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A mum who took her daughter to the party has taken to Reddit to share the shocking tale.
Kids’ parties can be tricky to get right. But if you’ve ever taken a little one to a Build-A-Bear party, you’ll know how much fun they can be.
Yes, there are all the usual games and activities, but the best bit is that each guest gets to make ‘their own furry friend to bring home and love’, as the Build-A-Bear Workshop team put it.
But for eight unlucky six-year-olds, it didn’t turn out quite like that. One of their mums took to Reddit’s parenting thread to ask if their experience was normal.
‘Earlier today I went to a birthday party for my daughter’s friend from school,’ she wrote. ‘The invitation said each kid (about eight total) would get to make a bear, and I just assumed they would get to take them home, since that is what happened at another BAB party I went to. Me and my husband even pitched in about 30 dollars as we know these things can get expensive.’
The party seemingly went off without a hitch. But then things got weird. ‘All is well, we leave the store, then friend’s mom announces that the kids need to give all their animals to her daughter,’ the poster explained. ‘Cue the upset and angry kids.’
While the rest of the guests ‘disappointedly’ handed over their toys, the birthday girl actually ‘ripped’ one little boy’s creation out of his hands, she added.
Then, to add insult to injury: ‘We get back to friend’s house and our kids are watching as friend plays with all her new animals.’
The poster confessed that she felt so bad for her daughter, who burst into tears as soon as they left the party, that she took her back to Build-A-Bear to buy her a new toy.
‘I’m just wondering if this is totally normal and I should have expected this, or am I being an entitled parent?’ she asked.
The post has already had almost a thousand replies, and they’re pretty well united in their response.
‘We just had a BAB party for my daughter and I never would have ever considered keeping all the bears,’ said one parent. ‘I’m absolutely baffled at these parents’ thought process.’
‘The act of making a Build-A-Bear is so intimate and personal,’ another commentator pointed out. ‘They give you an adoption certificate with your name on it.’
‘That was an emotionally abusive thing to do to a child that age,’ another declared.
‘It sounds like something the Dursleys would do to Harry Potter,’ agreed another.
‘Jesus – what happens next year? Does the birthday kid get to select one attendee for a ritual sacrifice?’ another user joked.
Others were simply baffled. ‘Why would you even want that many stuffed animals?’ asked one.
And many were worried about the birthday girl’s future. ‘The birthday girl is gonna have some very weird ideas about life if her parents think this is acceptable,’ said one user.
‘I’m sure all those stuffed animals will be a great comfort to this child when no one ever attends another of her birthday parties,’ another commented.
But according to a former Build-A-Bear employee, although it might be astounding, it’s not all that unusual after all. ‘I don’t know why, but this is a Thing,’ she admitted. ‘I had two parties where parents did the exact same terrible thing.’
Heartwarmingly though, she revealed: ‘Between my manager discounts and everyone in the store – including other customers – chipping in, we were able to get the kids new animals.’