MIL Says She 'Just Can't' Buy Grandson the Bike He Wants -- Because It's Pink


Pink bike

Pink is no longer just for girls, just as much as blue is only for little boys. And although many people understand it, this is the message that one woman wishes her mother-in-law would learn after she refused to buy her grandson a new bike because of the color. "I just started laughing. Really, mother-in-law?" she wrote in a post on Reddit.

  • The anonymous mom explained that before her late husband passed, she and her mother-in-law had a great relationship.

    But that all changed after her husband died, she shared on the subreddit r/JUSTNOMIL. Now, sometimes the mom admits that she feels fortunate not to have to consider a significant other's feelings when dealing with her MIL. But on the other hand, "I also don't have anyone running interference with her (most of the time)."

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  • Now she has "very little to do" with her in laws because of how thoughtless they were after her husband died.

    She says that her and her father-in-law alienated her in process but the only problem is that her son can't get enough of them.

    "He absolutely loves his grandparents" she wrote. "But we have increasingly different values and I'm just not sure how much longer a relationship with them is going to work for us."

    She noted her in-laws are conservative Christians "and my new husband and I could be described as liberal nonbelievers."

  • Differences in faith are hard enough to manage, but their opposite perspectives really came to light when her son asked for a new bike.

    Since she, her new husband, and her son are all home because of social distancing, the mom thought it was a good time to get her boy a bike and finally teach him how to ride.

    "We went on Amazon and I showed him a well-rated bike," she recalled. "He picked the green color and I sent the link to MIL since she has been hounding me for ways she can help during quarantine."

  • But by the time her MIL got around to ordering the bike, green was sold out.

    So the mom asked her son for his second choice in color. He chose pink.

    "I was totally unsurprised, he loves Skye from Paw Patrol, Pinky Pie from MLP, Rosie from Thomas and friends, etc." she wrote. "He doesn't see pink as a 'girl's color' and I'm happy about that." 

    He's also only 4 years old, she reasoned, so this "is a balance bike he will use for probably a year, it's literally not a big deal."

  • But her MIL wanted to nix the pink bike.

    She wrote the mom an email that read, "I’m sorry, I just can’t order him a bike in pink. I just don’t feel comfortable." Grandma also included a link to a different bike she felt was more suitable.

    This sent the mom over the edge, and she couldn't stop laughing. "Really, MIL? You just CAN’T order a pink bike that your grandson asked for’s the wrong color for his gender?" she wrote. "Okay fine, wouldn’t want to challenge you too much."

    "I guess I won’t tell her about the rainbow T-shirt he picked out last week..."

  • In the comments, people agreed: Who cares if her son likes pink?

    "Actually, pink used to be the color for boys. Even men," one commenter shared. "Since red was the manly man color and pastel pink was the softer version of it. Often worn by men in the working class. It only developed into a color for girls around the middle of the 20th century. It was perfectly normal in the 1920s for men to wear pink suits. Tell your MIL that since she's so much older than you guys she should know that."

    "My MIL once commented on my infant son wearing a pink collared shirt," someone else wrote. "For the next three or so years I would dress him in a pink shirt every time she saw him. The best part was that at age two his favorite color was purple and he had bright purple shoes. MIL has learned that all colors are for everyone because my kids have corrected her." 

    "When I was 5, I wanted a pink tricycle," a third person wrote. "My father didn't approve but my mom allowed me to have it. I'm 35, now, and I still love pink. We laugh about my pink bike from time to time. There's no harm in it. Bravo to you for sticking up for your kid's preferences!"

  • The mom ultimately decided not to worry what her MIL thought.

    Because who else is her MIL going to complain to? "This is the beauty of her not really being my MIL anymore because there is no fallout," she wrote later in the thread. "There's nothing she can do; I'm the only one she can complain to and I've proven I will just ignore her if she acts a fool."

    When the bike incident occurred, the mom sent screenshots to her sister-in-law (her deceased husband's sister by marriage) "and we both laughed and laughed." 

    "So even if she tried to complain to her other son it would fall on deaf ears."

    But really, the only one who both mom and her MIL should be worried about is her son -- and doesn't give a fig if his new bike is pink.

    "Honestly when I ask him what his favorite color is he starts listing off all the colors of the rainbow," the mom explained. "So he will be happy with whatever color bike he gets. I'm lucky that he's pretty easy going."

gender bias