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Dad refuses to return daughter's Xmas gift after wife and son's 'bizarre' prank. AITA?

Dad refuses to return daughter's Xmas gift after wife and son's 'bizarre' prank. AITA?


When this dad is weirded out by his family's behavior on Christmas, he asks Reddit:

"AITA for refusing to return my daughter’s Christmas gift?"

My daughter, Kayla, (17) has been asking for a laptop for awhile. Money’s been tight, so my wife and I saved up to get it for her for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to give it to her. My wife is Kayla’s biological mother, since people keep assuming she’s her step-mom.

The other day, I come home from work and find Kayla upset, my wife in a mood and our son, Martin, (15) looking pleased. I asked my wife in private what was going on. She started venting to me that Kayla is an ungrateful brat, we should return her gift, etc. She then explained that she and our son decided to pull a small prank our daughter.

Martin told Kayla that my wife had told him that instead of the laptop, she Kayla was getting the amount it’d cost in gift cards to various stores (clothing, food, etc, not places you could buy a laptop), because she felt she wasn’t ready for one. Kayla got very upset and asked my wife if this was true.

My wife said yes and added “maybe next year”. Kayla got upset and said this wasn’t fair, she had only asked for one thing. Clearly money wasn’t an issue. My wife admits she started laughing, which made Kayla even more upset and she told my wife she was a jerk.

My wife feels how Kayla reacted to the prank “showed her true colors” and “what if we couldn’t afford it”. I pointed out that we had told Kayla in the past that we couldn’t afford it and she took it well.

It seems that the issue was knowing we had the money and could’ve bought it, but allegedly didn’t. I asked her what she expected to come from this little prank and called her childish for roping Martin into it. I said I’m not returning the laptop. My wife is mad at me and says Kayla needs to be punished.

I also made my wife tell Kayla it was all a prank. Kayla apologized for calling my wife a jerk but said the prank was super hurtful. My wife refused to apologize and doubled down that she doesn’t feel Kayla deserves it. Martin did apologize for his role. AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

newsalad4207 writes:

Of course you’re NTA. But your wife is. She’s a grown woman who knowingly upset your daughter, but why? I think for this exact reason. Obviously she knew Kayla would be hurt, the “prank” was mean spirited and probably engineered to get a reaction from Kayla that she deemed unacceptable so that she could have Kayla’s gift returned.

Seems like there some issues there that your wife needs to sort out, maybe she’s got some jealously for your daughter, I don’t know. But I don’t know why she would plan a cruel prank and then want to take her only Christmas gift from her as punishment. Even if she should be punished, which to be clear, I do not think she should be, taking the laptop would be far too extreme.

nessie51 writes:

Wow. NTA but your wife is. Why would she even ‘joke’ about something like that to your daughter? And then get annoyed when your daughter reacts like any other person would in this situation?

She sounds like a bloody toxic mother and clearly favours your son. Do something about this or your daughter will resent you for not standing up for her.

Also, what true colours??? Pretty much everyone has a laptop - especially those who are studying. Honestly calling your wife a jerk would have been the minimum she would have gotten from me.

pauscha580 writes:

NTA. Your wife is a jerk. Or she behaved like one. She needled your daughter into a situation that she knew would hurt her feelings and then laughed straight in her face. Now she wants to punish her for a totally predictable reaction.

Your wife is a jerk and your daughter will never forget it if she doesn't get a laptop over a situation completely orchestrated by your wife.

Looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for him?

Sources: Reddit
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