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Mom Irate After Brother Buys Her Daughter A Sturdy Dog Toy After She Keeps Ruining Her ‘Fragile’ Toys

toddler playing with stuffed rabbit toy
Tatsiana Volkava/Getty Images

A child’s beloved toy suffers a lot of abuse over its lifetime.

Some toys are up to the challenge, but others disintegrate under the constant love.

When that happens, it leads to heartbreak.

If only there were a line of cute, soft—but sturdy—toys…

Great news!

These toys do exist. You just won’t find them in the toy aisle.

An uncle who discovered these toys turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.

Solid-Feature-7678 asked:

“AITA? I bought a non-traditional toy for my niece.”

The original poster (OP) explained:

“So my niece had this lamb toy that she loved. I should also mention that she is really rough on toys, and long story short the poor little fluffball has gone to stuffed animal heaven.”

“Well my niece was heartbroken and my sister was telling me how down she has been, so I thought I would get her another one.”

“All of the the stuffed lambs that I looked at were just as fragile as before, but when I was getting some treats for my pooch, I was struck by the sight of a lambchop dog toy, and I had a brilliant idea.”

“I mean think about it, the lambchop toy is made to be chewed on and clawed on so it should be able to handle the abuse from a toddler.”

“So I bought it, and on Saturday, I was watching my niece for my sister and brother-in-law. I gave my niece the toy and she loved it.”

“She really liked the squeaker, too. So Saturday rolls around, niece is having a blast with Lammy 2.0, and my sister and brother-in-law (BIL) walk in the door.”

“Of course, my niece runs up to her parents and shows them her new toy. They ooh and aah over it until my niece squeezes the squeaker…and my sister completely loses her crap.”

“Screams, ‘You bought my baby a dog toy?’ BIL just looks at me and tells me I should probably head home.”

“The aftermath is that my sister sent my a bunch of texts which basically consist of ‘You bought her a dog toy’, with some choice expletives thrown in for good measure. Our mom asked me what the hell was I thinking.”

“Our stepfather and stepbrother thought it was funny as hell. BIL is quietly amused but is keeping his head down.”

“My sister took the lambchop away, and my niece had a meltdown until she gave it back, so now I am getting the double stink eye from her. And my niece still loves her Fluffball.”

“So AITA?”

“I was just trying to make my niece happy.”

The OP summed up their predicament.

“I bought my niece a lambchop dog toy because she destroyed her stuffed lamb. My sister is calling me an a**hole because of it.”

“I think it was reasonable because she destroys toys, and the lambchop is tougher.”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors overwhelmingly declared the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).

“NTA. It’s not like it will do her any harm. It might drive the parents crazy with the squeaking.”

“It’s definitely a thinking outside-the-box solution to please a rough-play toddler. I’m in the same court as stepfather and stepbrother.”

“This is more funny than outrageous and will probably make for an excellent family gathering story in the future. Your sister needs a better sense of humour.” ~ Doktor_Seagull

“NTA. Most dogs actually have the average mental equivalent of a 2- to 2.5-year-old human, so that tracks.”

“A toy is a toy. And a toy for a dog is ironically probably safer for toddlers than many other toddler-targeted toys, since it’s more expected for a dog to rip off, chew, and swallow bits of it.”

“I’m not saying people should get rawhide bones for toddlers, mind you. But a soft, durable toy is a soft, durable toy.”

“I guarantee that the toddler doesn’t care that, technically, her new Lammy is meant for dogs, and it was a practical and clever choice.”

“And it’s not like OP started calling the kid ‘Fido’ or something at the same time, which would make Mom’s apparent assumption that OP sees her baby as a dog at least make a little sense.” ~ DumpstahKat

“I thought it was such a good idea! Who cares who the toy was made for originally? Shouldn’t the metric be whether the kid is happy?”

“Are they worried about choking hazards? If there are little buttons or other things that might come off you might want to make sure to take them off.”

“That’s all I can think of for why they might be upset. NTA, but maybe you should write them an apology note with the explanation of why you bought it.”

“I don’t think you owe them an apology—they could have been a lot more gracious—but it could help smooth things out. Parents of young kids can be pretty intense.” ~ situationship321

“NTA, it is kind of strange to give a child a dog toy but I’m assuming most of the family knows how rough she is with toys (RIP OG Lammy).”

“She loved it and it’ll last her a long time, that’s what’s important. I say just give your sister sometime to cool off.” ~ FancyStay3660

“NTA, it’s a smart thing to do. I’m taking notes.”

“Kids don’t care if it’s for dogs or not. They don’t even know. If it’s safe for them, why not?

“Plus it will be a funny story to tell in the future for them, ‘remember when you were such a savage kiddo that uncle had to buy unbreakable dog toys for you?’.” ~ SpookyBarnes

“NTA. It would matter if it was a used dog toy, but since it’s brand new from the store, I would imagine it’s just as clean as any other stuffed toy.” ~ ___coolcoolcool

“They also wash in the washer better than regular stuffies.” ~ Stormy_Wolf

“NTA. My daughter’s favorite stuffed toy is a dog toy.

“It’s a small blue hippo that squeaks and it’s been her favorite thing since she was 1.5 when she stole it from our dog’s forgotten toy bin—he never really liked it.”

“She’s 5 now and still sleeps with it every night. We’ve been through like 10 of them because they don’t last that long.”

“Point I’m making is, who cares what it is as long as it’s not dangerous and makes her happy?” ~ AeonianPhoenix

“My dog isn’t big on toys. We got him a super durable possum toy, and he had no interest in it. My daughter, though, loved it.”

“We got her a small tickle me elmo. She couldn’t care less, but our dog would steal it every time she walked away from it.”

“We figured fair is fair and let him have it. He ended up carrying it with him everywhere for quite a while.” ~ nervelli

“NTA. I’ve had to warn my nieces about giving their toys to my dog, but no one gives a sh*t about my nieces playing with the dog’s toys.”

“Not even the dog, which says a lot about how charming my nieces are!” ~ MayaPinjon

“NTA. The kid loves it, so mission successful. A toy is whatever a kid decides is a toy.”

“Sticks, rocks, ropes, cardboard boxes, doesn’t matter. Let the kid have its imagination.”

“Sis is uptight and needs to learn how to unclench a bit.” ~ BetweenWeebandOtaku

“NTA. You got her a toy that she loved that could handle her abuse. Bottom line she loves it, that’s all that should matter.”

“Instead her parents are being whiny babies and making some pretty stupid assumptions about how you view your niece since in their minds this is akin to calling her a dog, I’m sure.” ~ slayerchick

“NTA. I would laugh so much if someone bought one of my kids a dog toy! There’s absolutely no harm, and your sister is being ridiculous.”

“Does she think you’re trying to imply her daughter is a dog or something? I’d love to know what she is so upset about.” ~ WifeofBath1984

“NTA. I’m guessing your sister doesn’t have a dog because when there’s a pet, the toddler not only plays with the pet toys, they often eat out of the dog’s bowl.”

“Sister needs a chill pill.” ~ First_Play5335

“NTA. This is sort of hilarious. Lots of dog toys are very similar to a child’s stuffed toy. I see nothing wrong with this.”

“But the overreaction from your sister and subsequent family meltdown is funny as hell. Just laugh.” ~ Both-Ad1586

“I buy my grandkids dog toys all the time. They are much sturdier than baby toys and don’t have pieces that are choking hazards.”

“And they are generally less expensive. Not to mention the kids love the squeakers.” ~ pmousebrown

“NTA. I remember when I was a kid my family used to take our dogs to this grooming place that had a bunch of dog toys for sale.”

“There was a plush hedgehog one that I would always go play with because I thought it was cute and the noise it made when squeezed cracked me up.”

“The owner knew how much that toy made me laugh and one day decided to give it to me.”

“My mom thought it was funny as well, and almost 20 years later, I still have that goofy hedgehog and give it a squeeze when I need a laugh.”

“I can’t imagine being the slightest bit upset at someone for giving a child a dog toy to play with if it makes the child happy.” ~ AardvarkAntics

Most people agree that the child’s happiness should be everyone’s focus.

And since she loves Lammy 2.0, what’s the harm?

Written by Amelia Mavis Christnot

Amelia Christnot is an Oglala Lakota, Kanien'kehá:ka Haudenosaunee and Metís Navy brat who settled in the wilds of Northern Maine. A member of the Indigenous Journalists Association, she considers herself another proud Maineiac.