-- An Iowa dad's determination to defend his toddler son's choice in playtime activities has gone viral after Internet trolls put the son down for receiving a homemade kitchen playset for his second birthday.
"It was kind of in the heat of the moment," Andrew Hook of Urbandale, Iowa, told ABC News today. "I was upset that it was being said about my 2-year-old son. I made the response with the language that I did and I feel kind of bad."
"I'm glad though that the attention is on this for the fact that it's unacceptable," Hook added.
Hook said it was in late September when he and his wife Jessica decided they'd build their little boy Owen a kitchen from an old entertainment center for his Oct. 6 birthday.
"He's always been in the kitchen with us whenever we're cooking meals," Hook said. "I make muffins in the morning and he helps mix that. He likes being involved in whatever we are doing and then whenever we go to a science center, they have a kitchen play area and that's where he wants to spend the most time."
During the birthday party, Hook and his wife presented the homemade gift to their son, complete with a chalkboard and a range top that wires up with electric luminescent wire so Owen can turn on the "burners."
"Since he's only 2, he doesn't have a huge vocabulary, but he was shouting out and kind of jumping up and down and immediately wanted to start playing with it," Hook said. "It only took four days total [to build]. I did the majority of the power tool work and my wife did most of the painting."
Proud of his creation, Hook posted Owen's kitchen on Imgur a few days later.
To his surprise, Hook said users began posting negative comments about the toy -- going as far as using offensive profanity, including anti-gay slurs, and criticizing the toddler for playing with a "girl's toy."
"It's sad that there are still people out that would say those things -- even to say those things about adults, let alone a 2-year-old," Hook said. "It was just so irritating. Had those things [comments] been directed to me personally, I probably wouldn't have even said anything back."
Hook posted a furious rebuttal defending his toddler, as well as his choice in playtime activities.
"They were indicating that it is a toy that's designed for a girl, saying 'He's 2 and he can't make his own decisions, so you are pushing this on him,'" Hook said. Like I said, he's always wanted to play in the kitchen area, so we just knew it was a toy that he would like. It's not my decision what my son wants to play with. If he has an interest and wants to play with it, I'm not going to stand in his way. The second you start denying kids of something they want to play with, they will start resenting you.'"
Hook said Owen loves his new kitchen and uses it to "cook" meals for the family dog.