Randall Zadar/YouTube

Redditor’s in-laws treat mice figurines as sentient members of the family

She's having marriage problems because of it.


Siobhan Ball

Internet Culture

Published Jul 12, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 8:51 am CDT

A 34-year-old woman sought advice from redditors out of desperation: Her in-laws are treating mice figurines like real, sentient members of the family, and her marriage is suffering because of it.

The user posted her plea in r/relationships subreddit with a simple enough and therefore utterly misleading title, “I’m pregnant and struggling with my husband’s lack of support regarding my in-laws’ behavior. How can I improve the situation?”

The user first sought out advice on the “Am I the Asshole” subreddit but received an overwhelming amount of responses from people saying she wasn’t the asshole. So she migrated to the “Relationships” subreddit for some further advice.

Each mouse in the family has its own backstory, role in the family, and squeaky voice provided by one of her husband’s parents. The in-laws frequently talk to her as the mice.

“My father’s husband will squeakily say ‘My tummy hurts, I am hungry!’ while wiggling a mouse plushie in my face. I’m then expected to answer the mouse and get it, not him, something to eat,” the redditor wrote as an example.

The in-laws then get upset when she ignores the mice and doesn’t play along. They even bought her mice figurines for her own house and want them displayed when they visit.

“I understand that it’s probably them welcoming me into the family, but I’m just too creeped out by it,” she wrote.

Things escalated when she announced her pregnancy to her in-laws. Her father-in-law told her that “it would be wonderful to soon have two grandchildren.” Grandchild number one being Timothy, a giant papier-mache mouse. Understandably, the redditor got upset that her human child was being equated to a mouse grandchild.

Timothy then told her she was stupid and being disrespectful.

Marriage problems ensued when her husband of 10 years attempted to justify his parents’ behavior by alleging that “lots of people’s stuffed animals talk.” She said his lack of support made her feel lonely.

“Should I press the issue or accept the situation and try to avoid them? How should I deal with this once our child is born?” she asked on Reddit.

Twitter users–where the thread was reposted–wondered how she put up with this for all these years.

The consensus is also clear: Timothy needs to be eradicated.

Along with the comedic responses were some serious suggestions.

Redditors were keen to suggest therapy so her husband can understand how this is so not OK.

Mental disorders such as schizophrenia were also floated around as a possible explanation, as was child or pregnancy loss. Yet, the redditor seemed to confirm that this isn’t a coping mechanism for the loss of a child.


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*First Published: Jul 12, 2019, 12:47 am CDT