Taking Mom to Court for Bad Birthday Card, No $$$
Two children, now in their early 20s, have taken their mother to court charging damages for:
- Sending a bad birthday card – and no money
- Neglecting to take one child to a car show
- Telling the other child, at age 7, that she would call the police if he didn’t buckle his seatbelt
- Failing to buy enough toys
- Haggling over the amount she would spend on a party dress
- Calling her daughter at midnight to insist she return from a homecoming party
The Chicago Tribune itemizes the complaints, saying that last week the court record stood about a foot tall with the children seeking $50,000 for “emotional distress.”
Come on, isn’t all of the above called “typical parenting”?
Steve Schmadeke, of the Tribune filled in details on the card:
On the front of the American Greetings card is a picture of tomatoes spread across the table that are indistinguishable except for one in the middle with craft-store googly eyes attached. “Son I got you this Birthday card because it’s just like you… different from all the rest!” the card reads. On the inside (his mother) wrote “Have a great day! Love and Hugs, Mom xoxoxo.”
I can see why her son felt this was “inappropriate” and sued.
An appeals court dismissed the case saying that ruling in favor of the children could open the floodgates to excessive judicial scrutiny and interference of families. Really? The court was tempted to rule in favor of the children? How this case managed to get as far as an appeals court is beyond me.
I’m not sure whether the children, who were raised in a $1.5 million home, are just spoiled or whether their father is manipulative and abusive.
Turns out the whole thing was dad’s idea. He not only came up with the scheme, but volunteered to represent the kids in court. Luckily, he’s a lawyer.
Mom and dad are divorced. This could be revenge.
But how did dad rope the kids into his evil web?
I don’t know the details of their family life, but the whole thing reminds me of something I read from Kathleen Krenek, Executive Director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence. In an op-ed piece for the San Jose Mercury News she says, “Father’s often use their own children as pawns to abuse their victims, creating family rifts that position the mother as inferior and the father as the good guy.” She continues:
An abuser hits his wife when the children aren’t around, then turns into the “fun” parent when the children are around. The victim, their mother, is frazzled, anxious and stressed out. The children see their father in a good mood, then see their mother: stressed out, annoyed and scared. Then their father says, “Hey let’s go to the movies.” The mother doesn’t want to go, spoiling their family fun. In the eyes of the kids, the father is the good guy.
Who knows whether dad found a way to make himself seem like the “fun” parent and turn the kids against a sullen mom. Regardless, dad, daughter and son should all be embarrassed for, at the least, being such spoiled brats.