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“I Bought My Nephew a Noisy Toy I Knew Would Drive His Parents Insane on Purpose.”

If your child has ever been gifted an annoying toy from a family member or friend, you’ll likely feel some sympathy for the parents after reading this title. There is a special place in hell for people who think gifting your child a drum set, or glitter craft supplies is hilarious, in my opinion. However, in this case, things aren’t quite so cut and dry. Did this couple get what they deserved? Read on for the full details, and let us know what you think.

I (26F) have a 7-year-old nephew who my brother, Karl (32M), and his wife, Halle (33F), encourage to climb and jump on me when I see them at mum’s house every week. They’ll encourage him to climb and jump on me if I’m sitting down or pick him up to hang off my neck wanting a piggy back ride which chokes me. I’ll give my nephew a hug and pick him up if he asks nicely, but I’m not generally good with kids and I especially don’t like them jumping on me or hanging off me the way they encourage my nephew to. Karl and Halle find my reactions hilarious so they keep encouraging it.

I’ve told Karl and Halle to not encourage it but they didn’t listen, so I threatened to get my nephew really annoying, noisy toys for his birthday. They brushed it off saying they’d just take out the batteries and kept encouraging it.

Well, last weekend was my nephew’s 7th birthday and amongst the other gifts I got him was one of those cheap, ear splitting plastic recorders. No batteries to remove, fully child powered. He’s on school holidays so he’s spent the last week running around their house squeaking away on it and driving Karl and Halle insane.

We went to our weekly dinner at mum’s place over the weekend and Karl said he hates that I got my nephew the recorder. I said I warned them so they brought it on themselves. It descended into an argument, Karl and Halle saying encouraging their son jump on me was just a bit of fun and me saying it wasn’t fun for me, the person being jumped on and choked, and this is the consequence of their actions. They called me a sensitive asshole for not being able to take a joke and stormed out of the house.

Mum is distraught thinking this will impact her being able to see her grandson (not sure why, none of us live with her and she babysits him a couple of days a week) and she wants me to apologise to keep the peace.

Should I apologise? AITA?


People in the comments were supportive and pointed out that the couple had failed to respect OP’s boundaries when asked politely.

I would say NTA. Somehow they’re cool with crossing your boundaries but you end up being the AH because you’re being sensitive?! Nope. I like children and I would admonish my children if they treated their aunt like a jungle gym after being told NO. They’re the AHs and they’re minimizing your feelings.

Also I applaud the recorder gift. While as a parent it’s equivalent to nails on chalkboard hearing it was used to torture entitled AHs made me laugh. (Basic_Ask8109)

NTA. Get him a drum kit and direct his burgeoning music interests. Be the fun uncle! (altern8goodguy)


NTA -I applaud your asshole creativity. Your brother is raising his son to be a huge, insensitive, boundary breaking jerk. This needs to stop. Don’t apologize…better yet find another annoying toy to give your nephew. (sunset-tx-armadillo)

NTA. You sought to set a normal boundary, when a child leaves toddlerhood, climbing all over people is no longer cute but bad behavior. Why are they the sole arbiters of what is “fun” when you specifically said you did not like it.

So your response to their continuing to ignore your desires in this situation was slightly petty, they were asking for it. In the end, they are still the parents, and if they choose to take the recorder away from their child periodically because he’s blowing on it too much and making too much noise; They are perfectly capable of doing that. You are NOT EVEN CLOSE to an AH (VoxFugit)

Not everyone agreed however. Some people thought that OP should have made his point without involving the child.

ESH. Them for not controlling their child, you for buying something for him in order to punish his parents. There’s nothing wrong with buying children things which are noisy and irritating to adults, but buying it just to be spiteful is unnecessary. (Kirstemis)

What do you think? Did the couple get what they deserved?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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