If your child's ever been to a Build-A-Bear birthday party, you already know how it works: Every kid gets to dress a furry friend to bring home with them. But when one mom decided to change things up so that her 6-year-old daughter got to keep all the bears, the other kids and their parents were confused and upset.
One of the other moms at the party posted about the incident on Reddit, and it didn't take long for her story to go viral. As she explained, there were about eight kids in total, and the invitation said that each child would get to make a bear. Reddit Mom assumed the kids would take the bears home since that's what happened at a previous Build-A-Bear party she attended.
Build-A-Bear offers several different party packages, all of which include guests building (and bringing home!) a stuffed animal of their own. The host of the party can choose a package that allows guests to add outfits or upgrades, but at the bare minimum, each kid gets to dress and keep a toy.
This particular party "was being held at Build-A-Bear, but it wasn't run by the employees." So the kids "had cake and pizza in the food court" before heading to Build-A-Bear, Reddit Mom said. The party would continue at the girl's house.
At the store, the kids went "wild getting their animals and accessories." This can add up pretty quickly, so Reddit Mom made her daughter "stick to just a standard dog with a shirt, which about half the parents did as well." She and her husband "even pitched in about 30 dollars."
Everything was going well until the birthday girl's mom announced "that the kids need to give all their animals to her daughter." The kids were "upset and angry...[but] they all disappointingly handed over their animals." To make matters worse, Reddit Mom said the birthday girl "wasn't even being nice about it, either. Another little boy didn't want to [hand over his bear], and [the birthday girl] ripped it out of his hands."
Back at the birthday girl's house, the confused kids watched on as their friend "[played] with all her new animals." Reddit Mom left "pretty quickly," and as soon she got back to the car, her daughter "just started bawling."
This mama felt bad for her little girl, so she took her back to Build-A-Bear to get a new toy. Still, Reddit Mom was baffled by the birthday girl's mom making the kids hands over their creations in the first place. "I'm just wondering if this is totally normal and I should have expected this," she said, "or am I being an entitled parent?"
The people of the Internet were quick to reassure her this was not normal. "This is so terrible," wrote one parent. "Those kids will be 30 and talking about this birthday party," said another. "You don't forget this kind of thing."
We don't think the parents will be forgetting anytime soon, either. In fact, two days after her original post, Reddit Mom posted an update about her run-in with the birthday girl's mom. During a school pickup, Reddit Mom and another parent from the party politely confronted the mom about the Build-A-Bear fiasco.
The mom said she just wanted her daughter "to have a special animal decorated by each of her friends." Reddit Mom chimed in and pointed out she "even pitched in a little bit of money, assuming the bears would go to the kids." The birthday girl's mom said she didn't have enough money to cover the cost for every guest and said she would look into returning her money. But she also noted she didn't "really see the problem."
Reddit Mom fired back: "Okay, well the kids were forced to give away their new creations, obviously they are going to be upset about it. I also don’t see why your daughter needs all these animals."
The birthday girl's mom "didn't respond and walked away right after, probably offended." Reddit Mom said she "probably should have talked to her more about it," but she decided to let it go.
"I guess we sort of worked it out," she reasoned. "No one's fighting, so I'm not sure I'm going to mention it to her again."
The big takeaway here came in the comments. "Fun can cost a lot of money, but it doesn't have to," wrote another parent. "Seems like this woman was focused on her kid getting stuff rather than having fun with her friends. I feel sorry for the kid. She's going to be embarrassed by her mom for a long, long time."
Parents.com reached out to Build-A-Bear for further comment but did not receive an immediate response.