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Who was unreasonable? A return of borrowed baby things...

(147 Posts)
Cleanmywindows Sun 03-Mar-19 23:13:46

A and B are sisters. A has 4 dc aged 7-1. B has 2 dc aged 2 and 7m.

When B had her first dc, A was very supportive and provided a lot of the stuff A needed. When A subsequently had her 4th dc, B sent back various items she was no longer using, along with some items which were new for B. Some of these A then returned to her for use with B's second dc. Overall, A has spent far more money on the items that have been used by both sisters than B.

Recently, A asked B to return a specific toy that A's youngest dc is now at the appropriate stage to use. B said that her oldest dc was still using the toy - would a new replacement of the item be acceptable to A? B said no - for good reasons, she wanted the originally lent item back. B agreed to return the toy.

However, the conversation caused some bad feeling between A and B. B says A did not ever use the words 'lend' or 'borrow' when providing the items to B but feels that, as sisters, this should not need to be explicated. B feels the reverse, claims that she never requested help from A and stated that if there are other items that A has 'lent' to B, then A should say what they are because B did not understand that these items were on loan. B said she would not be able to give back loaned items if she did not know what they were! B feels angry that A was not clear about wanting certain items back. She said she would not have accepted children's toys 'on loan'. A feels angry that B has taken her assistance for granted and has not acknowledged the financial value of the items.

A responded with a list of items - two higher value items and a few more specific toys, and requested that these be returned today. A said that she is struggling financially, and can either make use of the items herself (and therefore not be out of pocket for similar items) or resell them and bring in much needed funds. B is coming to the end of mat. leave, with not much to spare herself, but is not struggling as much as A who is a SAHM and has recently had her tax credits cut. B said that she will need to replace some of the items, some of which are necessities (breastpump) others of which will be missed by her toddler, who doesn't understand why her toys have been taken away. A told B that she cannot afford to be out of pocket on account of things she's already paid for once. B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem. A told B that she is done with the sharing of items and that the future of the whole relationship was in question. B cut A off, and ended the call, saying to A that she was coming close to saying things she would come to regret. B returned the items (via a third party) and so far no further messages have been exchanged.

Obviously I am one of these people. If my sister is reading, she'll certainly recognise herself as I've been pretty specific! I've tried to be neutral, although obviously that's hard. Who was being unreasonable?

CalmdownJanet Sun 03-Mar-19 23:43:11

I think you are A not helpful, I'm just here because I love a who done it type game

Rubies12345 Sun 03-Mar-19 23:46:11

A is being unreasonable.

Who would take toys away from a toddler?!

TheDarkPassenger Sun 03-Mar-19 23:46:54

I think they’re both pretty petty. I dunno which one you are op but surely you could have predicted this from a mile away?
As it happens, I would never ever give my kids stuff away if I knew I was going to continue making babies! As I said, A could have predicted this faff on.

Whichever one you are, comply to your sister and learn your lesson from it

LittleBearPad Sun 03-Mar-19 23:47:41

I think it’s mad to lend toys that you will want back. I’ve no idea why a new replacement wouldn’t have done - if the toy had sentimental value then it shouldn’t have been lent in the first place.

It’s also pretty shit to take away a breast pump that you know is being used.

B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem.

A bit mean but true.

Cleanmywindows Sun 03-Mar-19 23:47:55

Thank you for your thoughts. It's interesting to see different views. Sorry if the op was hard to read, I tried to take out anything that would give away which party I am. To clarify a few things...

B wont even give stuff back to her kind sister (who shared first and probably saved B a lot of money over the years.)

A did save B money over the years. B did return the items today.

I don't understand why A wouldn't accept new version of the toy and insisted on the old one back.

According to A, the original is the right size for her dc. The toy in question is a push-along walker / toddle truck. In B's opinion, the new replacement was of equal value.

LittleBearPad Sun 03-Mar-19 23:48:19

A is being unreasonable

slipperywhensparticus Sun 03-Mar-19 23:54:04

You should never take toys off a child what's next reusable nappies off the childs butt?

B should never accept anything off A again and A should be ashamed taking toys away from a child who has probably got attached and might get upset

IvanaPee Sun 03-Mar-19 23:54:48

A is being a dick for no good reason.

Margot33 Sun 03-Mar-19 23:57:52

I dont think you should lend baby stuff until you're done with it. Next time, keep it until you're done with it. All my baby stuff like toys and clothes etc has been gifted to charity. But the big stuff like the highchair, cot , bouncer, carseat and pram is in the loft. Because I'm a sahm and know that I couldn't afford to buy it all again.

MrsRyanGosling15 Sun 03-Mar-19 23:58:36

Has anyone asked D, E and F??

BlackCatSleeping Mon 04-Mar-19 00:00:41

All this lending of baby things and clothes leads to so much resentment. There have been so many threads on this over the years.

This is why I'd never lend stuff. I just kept my baby stuff in the loft until I was done having kids, then gave it all away. It's so much easier that way.

INeedNewShoes Mon 04-Mar-19 00:11:11

A should have been clear at the time that everything was on loan. I suspect that had B been aware of this she would have turned down some of the items on offer.

I know that I am loathe to borrow anything that is likely to be damaged or suffer wear and tear. I'd rather buy my own than worry about returning something in the same condition it arrived in.

When I was pregnant a (not close) friend told me she'd collected some baby stuff for me and she brought it over. There was one big item that I knew was a loan but I really thought everything else had been passed on to me. Imagine my horror when she started asking for things back; things I had already passed on to other friends. I would never have accepted these things on loan. It's too big a task to keep tabs on hand-me-downs if they are all loans that will need returning in a good state.

I think both A and B have learned lessons here. Neither party is entirely in the right or wrong. I hope the relationship recovers.

NuffSaidSam Mon 04-Mar-19 00:12:14

A is being unreasonable.

And 'it's the right size' is not a good reason to need a specific toy back unless for some weird reason there is no other one that size on the market. I'm sure A could have found a toddle truck in the same size as the other one!

greenlynx Mon 04-Mar-19 00:20:09

I think A is unreasonable. She should tell B at the beginning that it’s just a loan. I also don’t like her coming back with the list and wanting to take a toy from a small child.
But B was very wrong to tell A that her financial problems are result of her life choices, it’s not nice and sounds very nasty. I think B should apologise for this. Having financial problems when you have 4 children is really tough, I think that A might be very upset and worried so B should take this into account.

LilQueenie Mon 04-Mar-19 00:23:00

Don't borrow or lend things that children will think they own. Buy them their own things. I feel bad for the kids. grow up.

Butchyrestingface Mon 04-Mar-19 00:23:09

B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem

Ooooh, shots fired!

B was unreasonable to say that. I think A is being a touch jobsworthy to insist on the return of the originals and refusing to accept a replacement. If she's so attached to the originals that nothing else will suffice, why lend them in the first place? confused

Butchyrestingface Mon 04-Mar-19 00:23:40

Am assuming OP is B.

Elllicam Mon 04-Mar-19 00:25:26

I think A is in the wrong for not making it clear that the things were a loan. Especially in taking the toy from the toddler.

LotsToThinkOf Mon 04-Mar-19 00:25:34

A is being UR, even when you lend items it’s for the duration of need. A has decided she wants them back before they’re finished with which is massively unfair on B who now has to buy replacement items which won’t get much use. And of course the decision to be a SAHM is relevant.

christinarossetti19 Mon 04-Mar-19 00:29:51

Both of you. B for not just giving the toddle truck back and buying another one for her child, and A for upping the ante with the increasing lists of items that she would like returned.

B needs to give A back whatever she wants that belongs to her and not accept any future offers of baby equipment.

The youngest children are all close in age, so there's not much hand me down room anyway.

IsAStormApporaching Mon 04-Mar-19 00:32:58

They are both very very wrong. But B more so.
Sister A did a lot to help sister B when she could and now is in need of help herself.
For all sister B knows, sister A would take the things then return it again when she is finished for sister B's littlest dc to then use.

I think I am getting to emotionally involved confused

Cleanmywindows Mon 04-Mar-19 00:35:22

I'm B.

A is upset as she is realising that she is under real financial strain and that the items were originally her DCs...A is not understanding that you are taking brunt of her stress and she would be better off talking about her issues.

I think this is true.

^B told A that her restricted finances are a result of her decision to stay at home and are not anyone else's problem^

Ooooh, shots fired!

B was unreasonable to say that.

Yes, perhaps I was.

If she's so attached to the originals that nothing else will suffice, why lend them in the first place?

Very much this. As an adult, she's better placed to understand that one toddler truck is much the same as another than my 2 year old.

surely you could have predicted this from a mile away?

It has genuinely come as a surprise to me, I had no idea that half the things she's given me, she was expecting back. I would not have accepted the loan of children's toys, for the obvious reasons that pp have pointed out. Obviously I would have asked her what she wanted me to do with things when I finished using them!

BeekyChitch Mon 04-Mar-19 00:36:38

A is BU. If B is offering a replacement A should have said yes that's very kind thank you and used their common sense to realise that Bs baby is still using it.

If it isn't clearly Specified you want them back then it's a 'gift'.

Also B is not BU for making the comment as it is true that her choices have financial implications.

BeekyChitch Mon 04-Mar-19 00:37:16

To add, it's not worth falling out with a sister over such a petty thing.

Cleanmywindows Mon 04-Mar-19 00:38:35

Both of you. B for not just giving the toddle truck back and buying another one for her child, and A for upping the ante with the increasing lists of items that she would like returned.

B needs to give A back whatever she wants that belongs to her and not accept any future offers of baby equipment.

Just to clarify, I absolutely did return the toddle truck with no further debate once she said it was specifically that one she wanted. I only asked because we don't live in the same city and it would have been less hassle to get the new one delivered to her! I gave back everything else on her list too.

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