This Redditor only wanted to make her niece’s wishes come true. But little did she know she’d get verbally attacked by her sister-in-law for it!
Make Her Wish Come True
The week OP (Original Poster) shared this story, her niece turned six. The last time she met the girl, she asked her what she wanted for her birthday.
The six-year-old asked for a Barbie, but not the actual original one, but a horse with a doll, which is a Schleich brand. OP’s niece knew precisely what she wanted because the horse looked like the one in her riding class, and the doll looked like her.
Best Birthday Present Ever!
It wasn’t pink; everything was natural, and the doll was not an adult and wore riding clothing.
OP then asked her niece if she had already asked anyone else for that toy, and she hadn’t. So, OP bought it and gave it to the little girl.
However, upon giving it to her niece, the mom freaked out and took it away. OP didn’t understand why, but the six-year-old was really upset.
Putting Malice to Something Innocent
After that, OP tried talking to her sister-in-law, who was furious at her, telling her that she didn’t ask if she was “allowed” to give her niece such a toy.
OP’s sister-in-law said that Barbie is only “s**********” little girls and that she doesn’t want to support that franchise.
Was It a Mistake?
She didn’t want to talk about it anymore. However, with the current mood, it was safe to say the party was already over.
Now OP asks, “Am I the a**hole for giving my niece a toy she asked for?”
Quiet Like a Clam
In the comments, OP added a few details to her story.
First, she explained that her niece’s mom is her husband’s brother’s wife. She said that her brother-in-law is a nice person, but he’s usually a “no controversy, no discussion” kind of person, and her sister-in-law is right by default.
Don’t Want to Pry
Aside from that, OP’s mother-in-law doesn’t want to interfere with her sister-in-law’s parenting style.
OP wrote, “She is just a really amazing person and accepts people how they are. So unless my niece would actually be in danger, she would not confront her. It is complicated.”
Taking Her Grandkids for a Treat
Then, as another example, OP explained that her mother-in-law loves taking her grandchildren on shopping tours, and when she asked OP if she could, OP was thrilled for her to do so. The first time she took her grandkids, it was for two days, and OP’s oldest child now usually spends a week there.
She wrote, “She asked me what the kids need, pants or shirts, etc., and they come home with stuff they chose together. Kids are happy. I don’t have to buy stuff. Best mother-in-law ever.”
Not This, Not That
On the other hand, OP’s sister-in-law doesn’t allow overnight stays at their mother-in-law’s.
Aside from that, she comes with the kids and only allows her favorite stores and brands, and no “silly” clothing like Paw Patrol or neon colors.
When OP’s niece gets Playmobil toys, per her sister-in-law’s demands, the box stays intact, and she’s not allowed to nick the sets. For instance, the six-year-old has a playground and a riding set, and she’s not permitted to use the two together.
The reason is that the toys sell better if everything is still together by the time OP’s niece gets too old. When OP’s niece turned five, OP’s sister-in-law sold all the toys for younger children, and OP doubts her niece got the money.
When One’s Baby Comes
Then, OP’s mother-in-law bought everyone a “pram” or a baby carriage when their first kids were born, which was expensive. She lent hers to her younger sister for her first child, then used it for her second baby, and it went to her sister again when she had another kid.
When OP’s sister-in-law got pregnant with her second child, she had already sold the baby carriage given to her and got upset when her mother-in-law refused to buy her a new one.
OP wrote, “I offered her our pram, but that one was unacceptable because of age and color, which is bright orange. She finally talked our mother-in-law into buying her another $1,000 pram.”
Living the Dream
Regarding her sister-in-law selling things, OP shared that her brother-in-law has a decent income, and they live rent-free in an apartment that belongs to his father. They also have two cars, one of which belongs to his dad’s company, so they only pay for gas.
Care of Grandma and Grandpa
Aside from that, OP’s in-laws are incredibly generous, and her sister-in-law is not in a place where she’s unable to afford things. If she ever needed anything for her children or if they wanted to buy a house, her in-laws would support them and pay for it.
OP noted, “Like the riding lessons including equipment and my kids swimming lessons including high-end swimsuits, and my nephew’s—from another brother of my husband—saxophone, all sponsored by my father-in-law.”
Let’s See How You Sell This
For sure, OP will get her niece another present, and she intends to find the most annoying gift her sister-in-law can’t take away.
Aside from that, OP made sure that all the gifts for her sister-in-law’s baby were highly personalized, such as having the name, date of birth, etc., to make selling as tricky as possible.
Redditors’ Reactions and Thoughts
The community said this problem goes way beyond OP’s sister-in-law not allowing her child to play with toys she likes. This can affect the kid’s personality and behavior, if not now, then in the future.
One commenter wrote, “With a mother like that, this girl is going to have a ton of worse problems than being s********* by playing with a Barbie doll.”
Another person added by sharing, “I can confirm this first hand. My mom was like this, and it’s taken me a lot of time to get over some internalized misogyny that rubbed off on me from her. It also left me with a super complicated relationship with femininity.”
Nothing but a Children’s Toy
People agreed that OP’s gift was appropriate. If her sister-in-law wanted everything done her way, then she should’ve just informed everyone what she would like for her daughter to have.
A Redditor wrote, “Not the a**hole. Little kids don’t think about overs********** anything! She rides horses and likes the doll simply because she looks like the little girl and has a horse. It’s that simple! I don’t understand why parents think you should have to ask permission to buy a kid a toy on her birthday! It’s so controlling! The doll was appropriate, and if your sister-in-law was so concerned, she should have given a wish list to the guests with the invitation, and she should have specified toys she didn’t want her child to have.”
The same person added, “I’d have gone off on her privately, and I’d have taken the doll and either kept it for my niece to play with at my house and gotten her another toy or exchanged it. Parents need to understand that if they don’t make a huge deal over things, the kids won’t either! Adults are the ones ruining toys and books for kids. Relax!”
Was OP wrong for getting her niece her desired birthday gift? Do you also know someone like OP’s sister-in-law?
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This post first appeared as She Gifted Her Niece the Doll She Wanted for Her Birthday. But Her Overcontrolling Sister-In-Law Freaked Out, Saying the Gift “Objectifies” Women, and She Should’ve Gotten Her “Approval” First! on Quote Ambition.