One thing parenting will teach you quickly? The neighborhood park can feel like the Wild West — a place with little room for rule and order. We keep subjecting ourselves to the chaos because, well, it's good for kids to burn off all that energy. And while the occasional skirmish is bound to happen, kids also have a way of making instant best friends somewhere between sliding down the slide and jumping off the swings. Such seemed to be the case for TikToking mom Kat Stickley's daughter, who recently spent the better part of a park morning bonding with a group of kids. It all went awry, as Stickley recounts in a now-viral video, when her daughter's new park besties broke out the birthday cake.
"I'm gonna mom shame. The only people I've ever mom-shamed are myself and my own mother. But one other mom is going to be added to the list because, what the f*-," starts Stickler before stopping to process the experience. "Am I entitled, or is this messed up?"
The "this" in question? Stickler goes on to describe watching her daughter MK literally have a piece of birthday cake pulled out of her hands by the disapproving mom throwing the party.
They'd just spent a considerable amount of time at the park with MK's new friends, playing and having fun. So, naturally, MK got swept up in the festivities when the birthday party for one of the kids kicked off. Sure, she was the only kid at the park who wasn't part of the actual party, but the kids included her in their playtime, which Stickler describes as "actually very cute." They even included her when it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" because she'd been seemingly welcomed into the group "with open arms."
Until it was time for cake, that is.
"Time to eat cake. I see MK. I see her intention of grabbing a piece of cake. So, I walk over to make sure it's okay, as a formality," Stickler shares. "Honestly, I was like, 'Obviously, it's OK. It's a cake. It's a massive cake. There's lots of leftover pieces.'"
Except, the other mother clearly had different ideas. "The mother takes the plate away from MK, gets down to her level, and says, 'You cannot eat this cake. This is not your birthday party. These are not your friends. Where's your mother?'"
Yikes. Stickler ends the TikTok by covering her mouth in shock. She felt bad for her kiddo and was appalled by this mom's behavior. Her followers in her comments section backed her up.
"The part that gets me is the 'these are not your friends.' They've been playing for half an hour. To kids, that's friendship," said K.
"I can't believe a parent would treat a child like that regardless. I'd be super happy to share cake with a new friend my kid has made," added Anna Mattox.
"The only appropriate response is, 'Run and ask your mom if you're allowed to have cake.' Reengages the parent and gives you a second to count the slices," suggested Vittoria.
While Stickler definitely doesn't seem entitled, any introverted parent hosting a gaggle of kids can probably relate to the other mom, too. We already know some parents drop their kids off at parties and leave. If this mom ended up with more kids than chaperones, she could have already been stressed. Add in that another child has appeared whose parent she hasn’t yet seen, and she could have been on the edge of a "menty b." And, of course, you always have to worry about kids' allergies.
Even in the best circumstances, throwing a kid's birthday party can be overwhelming and expensive. The cake alone can cost a freaking fortune! So, it can be tough sometimes to want to share the spoils with uninvited guests. That said... you give the kid some cake, right?