'A Hurtful Conversation': Mom Backed After Cousin Ruins Son's Birthday

Internet commenters encouraged one mother to cut her losses after she explained why she billed her cousin for a ruined birthday cake.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/CardoNo4444 said that after her son blew out the candles on his fifth birthday cake, her cousin's 6-year-old child threw a tantrum and knocked it over in the process. Titled, "AITA for sending my cousin the bill for my kid's birthday cake because her kid ruined it?," the viral post has received nearly 12,000 votes and 2,000 comments in just 10 hours.

Describing her cousin's child as "loud, disobedient, and a nightmare in public," u/CardoNo4444 said that her husband tried to prevent anything from happening to the cake, but was ultimately unable to stop the 6-year-old.

"Eventually my son blew out the candles and the kid absolutely lost it," the Redditor wrote. "He threw a tantrum and slammed his entire arm into the cake, knocking it into the table."

"It was so awkward, everyone gasped and got quiet," she added. "My son looked up at us and I could tell he was about to start crying."

Following the outburst, u/CardoNo4444 said she spoke to her cousin about what happened, but was disappointed when her concerns were brushed aside.

"[My cousin] brushed it off saying 'kids will be kids.'," she wrote. "I completely disagree...I told her how important it was to us that this birthday be special to my son since it would be the first one he remembered, and now all he would remember was that his cousin ruined his special moment."

"She got extremely defensive and refused to pay for anything," the Redditor continued. "She then accused me of acting like 'the perfect mom' and began to list the ways in which I was in fact NOT perfect. It was a hurtful conversation and we haven't spoken since."

Jealousy at children's birthday parties is common, according to My 1st Years.

"When they're little, kids can have a hard time being patient, taking turns or accepting that [a birthday party] is not all about them," the retailer's website reads.

Although many parents resort to purchasing gifts for envious party guests (especially siblings), My 1st Years suggests offering small tasks, like passing out napkins or hanging decorations, to keep children involved — even when another child is being celebrated.

But in cases like the one described in the viral Reddit post, there are fewer recommendations, and dealing with destructive children at birthday parties can potentially require more than distractions and feel-good gestures.

However, extra efforts to appease jealous children at birthday can backfire, according to Today's Parent.

"While you may have to make some accommodations for the youngest preschoolers," author Teresa Pitman wrote. "The goal should be to encourage siblings to celebrate with the birthday boy or girl without needing an equal share of the limelight."

In her original post, u/CardoNo4444 made it clear that her cousin's child demanded far more attention than her son, and said she requested repayment for the ruined birthday cake, and the replacement her husband bought afterwards.

"I sent her the bill for the ruined cake and she has not paid us," she wrote. "I actually feel she should pay for both cakes since her kid is the reason we had to get a new one, but I didn't go that far."

Responding to the viral Reddit post, commenters showed support for the frustrated mother, but speculated that it was unlikely she will ever receive any money from her cousin.

In the post's top comment, which has received more than 25,000 votes, Redditor u/DognamedTurtle said that the original poster's request for repayment sent a clear message.

"You'll never get your money and I think you made the point," they commented. "The kid is a jerk because the parent is a jerk. No longer invite them to any parties and enjoy your immediate family."

Redditor u/yourlittlebirdie, whose comment has received more than 5,500 votes, relayed a similar message.

"Obviously she's not going to pay for the cake. Don't invite her to any more occasions or events and just write her off," they wrote. "Her son is going to have massive problems in the future no matter what. It's not your responsibility."

"Hounding her about paying for the cake isn't going to make any difference at all," they added. "Except make both of you feel more anger and resentment."

Cake
Close up of blue glaze birthday cake with red butter icing smashed to a mess. Oksana_Bondar/iStock / Getty Images Plus