Just when you thought you’d read the strangest story ever, and genuinely worried for the future of humanity, along comes Amy the Hamster! But poor little Amy the Hamster isn’t the problem. No. She’s just in her little hamster cage, doing hamster things and living her best hamster life with her 11-year-old owner. The problem is the young boy’s pregnant aunt who thinks she is entitled to demand that he renames Amy something else, just in case she decides to use Amy as a middle name for her unborn child. Yes, that’s right! Welcome to another batshit crazy Reddit post folks!
Writing into none other than AITA subreddit, the boys mum asked whether she had dealt with the bizarre situation appropriately. But first, a little background on Amy the Hamster, for context.
So to start this off, my son is 11 and has been begging for a “family pet” for a while. I finally gave in when I felt we were ready to take one on, and also when I felt he was ready for the responsibility that comes with one. I expected a dog or cat, but he really wanted a hamster. So we spent a little over a week prepping, helping him “study” hamster care and dedicated a sizable spot in our living room for necessities and home.
We finally get around to picking one out at the pet shop, he’s set on the name Sonic, but the lady ringing us up mentioned the one he picked out was a girl and that she could get him a boy if he wanted, and he just lit up and said “That’s Amy!” and that was that, we took Amy home. This was in March.
And this is where things take a strange turn. Buckle up!
My sister-in-law found out she was pregnant somewhere around that time, and last month they found out they were having a girl. Basically what happened was, they were picking out names and one of the names they narrowed it down to had Amy as the middle name. I made a joke of something like “Hey, we already have an Amy at our house!” Trying to be funny, but SIL didn’t think it was. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but a couple of days ago she asked to come by to talk.
She started off by saying the joke I made was in bad taste, I apologized for it, and then she suggested I change the name. I told her I didn’t think that would go over well with my son, and then she outright demanded it be changed “whether he likes it or not” because she wasn’t going to have a child share the name with a hamster. I agreed to talk it over with my son to see what he thought, and of course he didn’t want to, he even thought it was cool that his cousin would share her name with his hamster. I tried convincing him to rename her Sonic even, or some other Sonic character, but he didn’t want that. I explained how SIL feels about this, and he felt a bit hurt because he thought he upset SIL but he really didn’t want to change the name and didn’t understand why they couldn’t just share it.
I told SIL that my son was set on Amy, and she blew up. I’ll admit I got a bit defensive and reacted poorly, but I essentially told her it wasn’t a huge deal, it’s not like anyone is going to make the connection and by the time her child is old enough to know her name, Amy the Hamster likely won’t be around. She claimed it was embarrassing because she would always know the connection in her mind, to which I simply told her if it was such a strong reminder of a hamster then maybe it wasn’t a name she should use for her daughter.
My brother has told me that I am being selfish for not forcing my son to pick another name, SIL obviously thinks I’m TA, and my mom has said the whole thing is childish. So AITA?
The entitlement is strong in this one! As expected the comment section blew up!
Honestly, even if the kid does change the hamster’s name, isn’t she still going to associate the baby’s name with a rodent? That ship has already sailed. The whole family presumably already knows about the issue. It’ll be a joke for years either way. SIL is an idiot. Let the kid keep his hamster’s name for crying out loud. NTA (Sometimeswan)
Seriously. It’s a hamster. Do you know the average life span of hamsters? Its like… 2-3 years. Thing will be gone before child is old enough to understand anything. Your kid will fondly remember the time when his cousin was named after his hamster though 😀 (ommnian)
Even if it was a cat that could live up to 20 years, the child should not be renaming the animal just because of some childish idiot who somehow thinks she has a monopoly on names. Wait until the kid is in school and has a bunch of mates with the same name. I honestly am so disgusted with these kinds of situations/Reddit posts about baby names and people losing their minds.
ETA- NTA (Jumpy_Spend_5434)
Honestly the boy had it picked out and named first, it would be a middle name, and it was just one of several names SIL was toying with meaning she had other name sets she liked and wasn’t dead set on this one. SIL needs to realize she doesn’t own names, especially very common names. (Bethanyann1292)
A very long thread ensued in which commenters joked that since hamster Amy was the original Amy, she’d be known henceforth simply as ‘Amy,’ and the child would be referred to as ‘Amy the human.’
However, many people thought that the mum was at fault for even suggesting to her son that he might change Amy the hamster’s name, and said she should have shut down the ridiculous conversation with her sister-in-law immediately.
Well, YTA for even asking son to consider changing it. The proper response to SIL is to say that this is stupid and it’s not even a discussion that I’m going to entertain. (NotNormallyHere)
I’m hijacking this comment to say yes, ESH. You NEVER put the emotions of an adult on a CHILD. A child is not responsible for any adult’s emotions or crazy-ass whims. Your son should never have even been made aware of this nonsense. Sure, his aunt might eventually make a comment or something, but then you explain to him that sometimes even adults can act like kids. Instead, you put the decision on him. You put the harmony of the family in his hands. Now, because he doesn’t want to rename his hamster (and what kid would?), he’s going to feel responsible for the fallout.
Please. Go apologize to your son. Tell him his aunt’s ideas and emotions aren’t his fault and that you’ve decided no one is renaming his hamster. Try to fix the damage, because his little head is probably full of guilt that he absolutely doesn’t deserve. (erininium)
All-in-all though, people agreed that the aunt had absolutely no right to demand that anyone change the name of anyone or anything simply because she is pregnant – because, newsflash – no one owns a name! One commenter joked ‘I would make sure that there was always a sweet little hamster named Amy living at the house! I would gift everyone cute pictures of Amy the hamster. I would tell cute stories about Amy, the hamster. Finally, every time the in-laws brought up their Amy, I would ask for clarification…. Amy the hamster or Amy the kid? (Interesting-Long-534)’
What would you have done in OP’s position? Have you ever met someone who caused a fuss over a name?