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Dad takes away son's Christmas gift; says it 'was clearly a toy for girls.'

Dad takes away son's Christmas gift; says it 'was clearly a toy for girls.'


AITA for telling my son that his dad took away his Christmas gift?

Over the summer, me (39F), my husband (42M), and my son (7M) took a trip to Myrtle Beach.

We had a great time at the beach and we stopped at a nearby gift shop to pick up some souvenirs. My son spotted a toy ball with cute strawberry characters on it. He absolutely loved it and begged me to buy it for him. I told him that maybe Santa would get it for him for Christmas. I then purchased the ball and put it away for Christmas.

Four months go by. Not a week goes by that my son doesn't mention the ball. Quite frankly, I've never seen him so excited about something before. I was super excited for him to open it on Christmas morning.

So Christmas rolls around and my husband and I give my son his gifts. He opens the ball and he's ecstatic! My husband, on the other hand, was less than thrilled. He knew all about the ball but apparently he had never taken a 'close look' at it. He tells me he's 'concerned that our son would want what was clearly a toy for girls.'

I was shocked and tried to explain that it was just a toy ball and it didn't really matter who it was marketed for. He drops the conversation and I thought the issue was settled.

So fast-forward a week. The ball suddenly goes 'missing' from our house. My son is distraught and I have no idea where it went. My husband then reveals to me privately that he had given the ball to his brother to give to his younger niece and purchased him a different one (Spiderman, which, granted, he loves).

I was obviously livid. I reminded him of our son's love for the ball, and how excited he was to get it. I told him that what he did was incredibly insensitive and thoughtless. Husband argues that he did it for the 'greater good' and that he was 'protecting our son from bullying.'

I replied that he was being ridiculous and that our son wouldn't be bullied for having a toy that is traditionally viewed as being for girls (to be honest, it didn't even look like a girl's toy!).

So here's where I may have taken things a bit too far: I told my son 'The reason why the ball is gone is because your dad gave it away to someone else without asking.' My husband was immediately angry with me and told me that I'm 'trying to turn our son against him' and that I should have 'left it alone.'

He's dead set on the fact I'm in the wrong here, but I feel like I was just telling the truth and that it needed to be said.

Looking back, maybe it was a bit wrong of me to tell my son the truth as that's going to hurt him and strain their relationship. But at the same time, I don't think it's right for my husband to interfere with our son's Christmas gift without consulting either of us first.

Perhaps I could have handled the situation better by not telling our son. AITA?

Here's how people judged OP:

smugrainbow writes:

NTA- I'm a strong believer in not lying to kids because they'll grow up questioning if you're being honest with them or not. Also your son being the age he is, he most likely would have gotten bored of the ball after a few months and it would have been just another toy in his collection.

Your husband seems really concerned about his son being feminine which screams homophobia, how would he react if when your son is older he actually does turn out to be part of the LGBT+ community?

Exotic_Chemistry_931 OP responded:

I'm seeing a lot of responses indicating this could be a homophobia issue -- this is definitely not something that I had considered, but it does make sense. I will definitely be having a conversation with my husband about this to see if that is something that is going on. Thank you for your input!

jenna_grows writes:

ESH. Husband is a total AH, obviously. His masculinity is so fragile that it’s hardly masculinity. I obviously don’t know you or him but, if his toxic behaviour isn’t limited to this instance, I am worried for you.

But your reaction felt vengeful. Instead of resolving the issue with your husband, you essentially weaponised your son in this whole process.

Exotic_Chemistry_931 OP responded:

Thanks for your input. I can absolutely see how my reaction to the situation was wrong and I do regret it. At the time, it just seemed like the only way to get through to my husband and make him see how wrong he was as our previous discussions had no effect.

beaniemeows writes:

I hate to say it (No I don't) but you're living with someone who clearly does not support the LGBTQ+ community. In his mind (most likely) he believes this will 'Turn your son gay and/or trans.' This was a heavy belief I saw in my own family when it came to me & a few of my cousins.

Any_Coyote6662 writes:

NTA- shutting husband down for his lying and manipulative BS by making honesty a good policy is fine. But just be sure that you are not also playing games where he can expose your behavior.

Exotic_Chemistry_931 OP responded:

It's kind of upsetting that I would even have to consider him getting back at me, but I understand your point. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Karma_1969 writes:

NTA. Your husband is a real piece to of work. How do you think he’s going to react if your son turns out to be gay or transgender? He is the one that crossed the “united front” line and made a unilateral decision, not you. He has no right to be angry at you, and needs therapy to get over the idea that a ball with strawberries is a threat to his manhood.

Sources: Reddit
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