Annoying as it may be, it’s basically a child’s job to obsess over presents. After all, they are a child. Well, one mom on the AITA subreddit took it upon herself to do the same, and our jaws are actually on the floor over it.
Her 7-year-old recently celebrated his birthday with some classmates and his 12-year-old neighbor. The tween gifted her son a “doll-type thing” that glowed and made noises with the push of a button. Word on the street (read: in the comments) is that the post originally said “cheap doll-type thing” but mom must have gone back in and cut that snub out.
When she and her son opened the present after the party, her kid was happy, but she was less-than-thrilled. The doll-type thing had a cracked shoulder.
“[The next day], I showed [the 12-year-old] the broken part and lightly scolded him,” she wrote.
A commenter was quick to jump in and share an “immutable law” of Reddit: “If OP claims they did something ‘lightly’ or ‘gently,’ dear reader, they did not.” Absolutely. The unearned adverb is just a ploy to make themselves look more sympathetic.
So what did this light-not-light scolding consist of? OP told the boy that he should’ve checked the toy for defects before buying it and then said he should go back to the store and ask for a replacement.
“I thought it was a good life lesson and that he’d remember this,” she wrote. “It would help him when he buys something later on. It would teach him not to waste his money.”
One commenter perfectly responded to this nauseating explanation with three words and a whole lot of w’s: “Ewwww. Just ewwwwww.”
That night, this mom got a call from the tween’s mom who said OP was “very rude” to her son. Well that’s putting it lightly!
“She said, and I quote, “If someone gives you a gift, you just appreciate it and don’t say anything even if it’s not that good, especially when it’s a kid.’”
DUH! We didn’t think that needed to be spelled out to an adult. And yet, here we are.
“Turns out, he bought it with his own pocket money, and he put a lot of thought into it,” OP continued. “He did replace the gift, but he has stopped coming to play with my son. AITA? I genuinely didn’t mean to upset him. I didn’t even really scold him. I talked to him very gently and only explained it to him.”
“SHAME SHAME SHAME ON YOU!!!” said one commenter with the appropriate level of outrage.
Yes, mom. Yes. You are most definitely the a—hole, and the internet doesn’t say that “lightly.” Users have rightfully called her rude, tacky, oblivious, inconsiderate, entitled, belittling, holier-than-thou, judgmental, heartless, and extremely cruel. She gives off major Karen vibes, and one user was probably right when they said she is the “sort of person who gives retail workers nightmare.”
“My heart breaks for that kid,” one person wrote. “You crushed that kid.”
“I’m still a sensitive person,” another said, “but if this happened to me as a kid I’d be devastated and too embarrassed to talk to that kid or go to their house ever again.”
Now we want to know what would have happened if this boy hadn’t saved up his money and wasn’t able to buy a present? Would she have “lightly” scolded him about antiquated birthday party etiquette?
And why is mom even stepping in if her son isn’t upset about it? And even if he was, that means she needs to have a conversation with him about gratitude, not with the neighbor. Then she could have helped her son make lemonade from lemons, as one person brilliantly suggested.
“OP could’ve done something fun like ‘Hey, there’s a crack, we should take Captain Excelsior to the lab and repair his armor! And then lightly apply some epoxy or something to give him ‘battle scarred armor,’” they said. And honestly, we’ll be keeping that idea in our back pocket.
Reddit doesn’t only feel for the tween, but for the 7-year-old.
“Mom is going to cost him good friends at a time in his life when friendships are everything,” one commenter said.
“I am sad for her kids because if she dares to scold a kid for something like this then her kids gets scolded for everything,” another pointed out.
Mom was right that this kid and her son won’t forget her lesson, but it’s certainly not for the reason she hoped.
“The axe forgets but the tree remembers,” one commenter wrote. “That’s a quote that has really stuck with me, especially now that I’m older and realize how much of my young adulthood was shaped by words that meant nothing to my mom but everything to me.”
Since posting, OP has conceded that she is the a—hole, and while people are glad she’s seen the light, they are upset that she needed the internet’s help to figure this out.
“Shame a Reddit post will give her that life lesson, not the actual event,” they said.
Now it’s time for mom to swallow her pride, invite this tween over, bake some sweets and sincerely apologize.
“You messed up badly,” they said. “But if you own that and apologize to him, that could be a life lesson that really could stay with him. For the better. Your son would learn a lot from it too. And you — well perhaps you most of all.”
Before you go, check out some of Reddit’s most wicked step-parent stories.
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