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Worst birthday gift faux pas???

(15 Posts)
squilly Tue 30-Jun-09 23:32:41

Sorry this is long....My dd is 8. She's very good friends with a little girl whose mum is a little different to me. Quite controlling, quite bitchy about other parents and kids, not what you would called laid back. We had a disagreement over nothing a while ago & i took months to get back to normal.

Anyway, for her birthday this year dd's friend, let's call her Scarlett, wanted a build-a-bear costume for a bear she had. She's bringing it to a sleepover in the holidays and wanted it to be suited and booted.

I suggested this gift idea to the mum who poo pooed it. Said it was overpriced tat and Scarlett could do without it. She wasn't having ant more BAB stuff, no matter what.

Over the next couple of days and with no viable alternative proposed, I said I couldn't think of anything else and that her daughter really was very keen. She capitulated, but said she wouldn't go in the place as it was tacky.

I said I'd take her dd and mine to go buy stuff, then we'd eat out at the foodcourt and I'd have her home by 6:30.

She forced £10 on me for the expenses and I refused initially, saying if she gave me money, it'd end up being spent on her daughter. She said it was for her tea. But my parting words were, it'll be spent on BAB.

So...we got to the store and let the girls run wild. I bought their chosen outfits and Scarlett decided she wanted a bear. I tried to talk her out of it as I knew her mum wouldn't be too happy, but it was her birthday FGS so I gave in.

Dropped Scarlett off with purchases, explained what a great time we'd had, said goodnight.

Next day, Scarlett's mum says that she shouted at Lucy last night and made her cry because she'd chosen a bear! I said why? She said she shouldn't have asked for it. I said it was my fault, she should have shouted at me, not the child, but she just shrugged it off.

At the party later that day, my dd said to Scarlett in front of friends, whilst discussing gifts, we bought you the bear didn't we Scarlett? She replied, mum bought that bear!

DD was quite upset, mentioned it later, but smiled through the party. I overheard the discussion and I was upset too.

I'm very tempted to give this woman a tenner in an envelope tomorrow explaining that there's clearly been a mix up as this conversation has taken place and we want Scarlett to know we've bought her the bear.

The mum is a bit mad though so I think it'll just cause trouble. And we've only just recovered from the last trouble we had.

So honestly...what would you do??

pickyvic Wed 01-Jul-09 00:36:06

honestly? id tell the nasty rotten cow to fuck right off!

yes id stick a tenner in a bloody envelope and make sure she knows why! then id steer well clear of this horrible woman in future! her poor poor DD. whats the harm in having a teddy bear???
gosh im cross now!

FAQinglovely Wed 01-Jul-09 00:41:01

same as pickyvic.

Even if I'd given you £10 which I knew had gone towards the bear I would never have the gaul to say that I had bought it for her!

Tortington Wed 01-Jul-09 00:42:20

so the mum didn't want any BAB stuff for her kid

you pushed the issue

3 times

she relented

then you totally sodding undermined her and bought a bear. completely and utterly not respecting her wishes.

thumbwitch Wed 01-Jul-09 00:46:23

what a sad miserable poisonous cow of a mother.

I'm not sure about the money - although the mother is a certifiable loon, your DD doesn't want to lose her friend and it sounds as though the mother is just nuts enough that she would take it so amiss that she might refuse to allow her DD to play with yours any more.

In the end, you and your DD know what happened and so does "Scarlett" (or is it Lucy - you know you mentioned her name too?) - and so does the mother. So why rock the boat on it?

pickyvic Wed 01-Jul-09 00:47:34

but it was the OP who broke the mums wishes - does that give the woman the right to shout at her dd and make her cry then tell all and sundry about it next day? or is that just to make the OP feel crap for letting her buy a bloody teddy bear! how many 8 year olds want teddies. i just find it sad. its a bloody bear. not a playboy bunny or a lolita bed. a bloody teddy bear. would another teddy bear have been ok if it hadnt been from BAB? life is just toooo short.

FAQinglovely Wed 01-Jul-09 00:54:32

whatever happened to simply choosing a gift for someone that you think they'd like anyhow.

I just don't get all this "what would Tarquin like for his birthday" or "Pollyanna would like a x,y,z" - I just find the whole thing bizarre.

Tortington Wed 01-Jul-09 01:01:14

no it doesn't excuse the subsequent actions of the mother.

but that doesn't make it right

" i don't want scarlet to have BAB stuff!"

"oh c'mon!"


"i dont want scarlett to have BAB stuff!"

"but she likes it!"


"she has too much of the stuff i don't want her to have it!"

"ok well i'll take her out for some food"

"heres a £10!"

then scarlet returns with the bear she was told she couldn't have

the OP was told she couldn't have

for what reasons we don't know. but we don't have to - if someone says "do not buy my child 'x' for his birthday!' usually one wouldn't buy it.

why undermine the mothers authority? it was not your place

then we can imagine the girl gets home and

" i told you scarlett, you wern't allowed BAB stuff - what did i say?" and on and on

..." anyway i bloody paid for it cos i give her a tenner anyway!"

no - not right either - but i took the op to be asking whether her actions were right

and they just totally were not.

if a mother expressly expressly asks for her child NOT to be bought something

one doesn't but it

thumbwitch Wed 01-Jul-09 01:02:42

I saw a Build A Bear shop in Covent Garden last time I was there - I thought it looked like a really good idea - can't see the tacky bit at all.

If it had been Bratz or Barbie, then I'd understand her position completely! grin(but she is still being unreasonable to expect her little girl to adhere to her notions of what is tacky and what isn't, ffs)

pickyvic Wed 01-Jul-09 01:05:44

so should we all ask now what constitutes a suitable gift for a birthday? my DD has some things that i would consider "unsuitable" - never in a million years would i tell the bearer of that gift that it was tacky and that i shouted at my DD for them buying it. to my mind that is just madness, and probably the quickest and surest way to ensure you DD gets no birthday invites in the future. but hey - each to their own.

Danceswithchickens Wed 01-Jul-09 01:11:01

I think I'd be a bit hacked off if I had specifically said no to BAB & then it was bought.

I told my mum we had too many felt tip pens in the house, so for some bizarre reason she brought up 2 x packs + a bumper pack of felt tip pens. I made my DD ring & tell granny they were all going in the bin (my mum is thinks she knows best).

Perhaps give the £10 back & apologise & then give her a wide berth AND listen to people in future ? smile

Tortington Wed 01-Jul-09 01:13:57

told - definatatley NOT present 'x' by mother

specifically buys present 'x'


FAQinglovely Wed 01-Jul-09 01:16:06

if I was the OP I wouldn't even have ASKED (or told) what present I was getting.

It's a not a frigging wedding list (and I hate those too) it's a kids birthday party - if you don't like it - do what I do - whisk it out of the way after it's had a short play time and flog it grin (and buy something else for them with the money..........obviously wink)

squilly Wed 01-Jul-09 08:09:26

I don't think Ive explained things properly. She didn't say definitely NOT a BAB but she was just wasn't keen. I do get that. I understand that as parents we can make choices for our own kids and I'd never knowingly undermine another mum. In this case, though, dd and Scarlett are very, very close friends and they talk constantly about their BABs (they both have them from parties they've been to). Scarlett's mum is just not keen on the cost/taste implications. I can relate to it as my own daughter has way too many cuddly toys and they drive me nuts BUT on her birthday I'd make allowances and if someone else offered to buy her one, I'd never say 'I don't like them so no'. But I appreciate that's just me.

I could have just bought the child the outfit, but I'd asked the mum whether she'd like me to take her dd to the shop and she agreed. I thought it would be a nice treat for a little girl who is quite controlled, to have a blow out in a store that she wouldn't ordinarily get to go in.

The money the mum gave me was for the food. I chose to spend it on BAB, giving the child a slightly bigger budget. I tried to get her to buy clothes, which I'd had the o.k. for, but the child was SOOooo determined to buy a bear. And, a) it was the day before her birthday and I thought it would be nice to let her have what she wants and b) it wasn't anything morally questionable. It was just a teddy bear.

I know we sometimes get a bit close to this kind of thing, so it's hard to see it for what it is. I didn't list is as 'Am I being Unreasonable' because I didn't think I had been particularly. That's what happens when you get close. You see it from your own perspective. From asking the question, I've got an idea of both sides of the argument. Thanks for all your comments.

Danceswithchickens Fri 03-Jul-09 22:39:36

that's a nice response there smile. I know it's all done now & of course we don't know any of the characters so we can only go on the info you've provided & tales frequently get lost in translation.

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