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The unwanted gifts have begun

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
My dd's 2nd Birthday is tomorrow. A package arrived today from my parents - a very large package. I peaked because I had no idea what it was. A talking doll with all the bells and whistles - playpen, stroller, highchair, and a bunch of little plastic stuff. This wouldn't be so horrible (my mom just doesn't get that I'd like to say away from a bunch of plastic and just have one or two nice quality wooden toys) but I already told her we were getting dd doll stuff for Christmas, a waldorf doll, a wooden cradle and stroller from Nova Natural. I hate to turn away gifts but I've decided not to give her the stuff that was sent. I'd probably grin and bare it if she hadn't known I was already getting her that type of stuff.

DH doesn't understand why I get mad about stuff like this. 1. She knows this isn't something I'd want in the house - I've spent so much time getting rid of toys and trying to stick with natural toys. 2. She sent this knowing I would have to change my gift plans for Christmas. He doesn't get why a plastic talking doll is such a big deal. Maybe the doll in itself isn't a big deal but given the whole situation, I don't want her to have it. Especially when I have a beautiful waldorf doll sitting upstairs waiting to be wrapped for Christmas.

I hope Target is good at returns
post #2 of 52
Same here, My parents are shipping us some 'rock n roll' bike that we're not keeping.
post #3 of 52
I hear ya! Unfortunately, for me it's the in-laws that set me up. Luckily, Target is great about returns and they have many more natural toy options (wood instruments, those cute bendy animals, a barn, a wooden kitchen, etc-).

Exchange it, and wrap the approved gift up and present it from the grandparents. Send mom and dad a lovely thank you note for the beautiful gift and explain what you did. Eventually, they will get the point.
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabes View Post
Exchange it, and wrap the approved gift up and present it from the grandparents. Send mom and dad a lovely thank you note for the beautiful gift and explain what you did. Eventually, they will get the point.

That's a great idea. Unfortunately, it was ordered from target.com and I have to send it back rather than taking it to the store. That's what I'll do, it will just take more time.
post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Berty View Post
That's a great idea. Unfortunately, it was ordered from target.com and I have to send it back rather than taking it to the store. That's what I'll do, it will just take more time.
I am pretty positive you can return target.com items to a store instead of shipping them back.
post #6 of 52
Perhaps you've already tried this but if you go to Target's website at the bottom right, under "help" you can choose "return an item". It will lead you through a few steps, including entering the order number off the packing slip. If it's a product they carry in the store you will be able to return it there.
post #7 of 52

take it back to the store

Quote:
I am pretty positive you can return target.com items to a store instead of shipping them back.
Yes, you can! You just need the log on to target.com like pp said click on "return item" and print out the return receipt that they give you. You might have to ask your parents for their target account info in order to print it out. I have returned things that were sold online only.
post #8 of 52
Is there a reason she could not enjoy both--at least for a little while. Maybe something can go outside or in the garage (if you have one) a bedroom, and other toys can go in the main space. Maybe just let it happen. The play is the thing.

I have cute pix of one of my dds playing in our playroom...surrounded by silks and playstands, toy kitchen etc...and she and her cousins are playing with little Pokemon figurines, even though none of them had seen the show. I think they are all about age 4-6 in those pix. It's rather funny, knowing they played with everything. The little plastic stuff, and all of the wooden/woolen/beeswax items. I haven't seen any harm come from letting my children play with various toys.

In fact, I think they are better for the varied experiences. They all certainly have amazing imaginations and don't have any issues with boredom, not to mention nice relationships with their grandparents-- who love them very much. They get that grandparents and parents have different roles in their lives.
post #9 of 52
I'm guessing, since this is the decluttering forum, that it's not just a matter of the toys not suiting the parents' philosophies, but also the fact that their daughter would end up with a double set of something she was getting for Christmas, instead of something different she could actually use. I'd be frustrated if I told my parents I was getting my kid something and they got basically the same thing too.

That said, I gave up fighting the battle two or three kids ago. I smile, nod, let them open it if the grandparents are here, and then just quietly get rid of it a few weeks down the road. If they don't open it, I return it, which is probably what I would do in this case.
post #10 of 52
Toys are very short-lived. Long after the toy is no longer played with and the kids move on, relationships remain.

I live in a very small home, but my kids still have toys that maybe I would not have bought. Yet, I have seen no emotional negative ramifications with letting my kids play with the toys their grannies have given them. Not a one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I'm guessing, since this is the decluttering forum, that it's not just a matter of the toys not suiting the parents' philosophies, but also the fact that their daughter would end up with a double set of something she was getting for Christmas, instead of something different she could actually use. I'd be frustrated if I told my parents I was getting my kid something and they got basically the same thing too.

That said, I gave up fighting the battle two or three kids ago. I smile, nod, let them open it if the grandparents are here, and then just quietly get rid of it a few weeks down the road. If they don't open it, I return it, which is probably what I would do in this case.
post #11 of 52
Well, I agree that it's not worth damaging relationships over. If they're far enough away to mail a gift, I don't think I'd exchange it and write a thank you note designed to teach them a lesson. I'd replace it quietly.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Well, I agree that it's not worth damaging relationships over. If they're far enough away to mail a gift, I don't think I'd exchange it and write a thank you note designed to teach them a lesson. I'd replace it quietly.


That seems to make the most sense to me.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Well, I agree that it's not worth damaging relationships over. If they're far enough away to mail a gift, I don't think I'd exchange it and write a thank you note designed to teach them a lesson. I'd replace it quietly.

I would disagree here...unless the child would be damaged by the gift, I wouid let the child have the gift the grandparent chose and let the child choose/determine it's play value.

I simply can't see that a plastic baby doll would be damaging to the child. (You can always take the tiny bottle away if you think it might make your child want to not breastfeed when the time comes).

I can, however, see how a parent with-holding grannnie gifts might not foster a close grandparent/child irelationship, in the long run.

Plus, wouldn't most grannies like a photo with the child playing with a toy they chose, and wouldn't it help develop a grandparent/grandchild relationship to engage the child by saying "Grannie sent you this doll. She thought you would enjoy it. Let's take a picture of it for her!". You can always tell the child that she doesn't need to keep something she doesn't enjoy, that she can donate it to someone who might.

To me, that could be relationship-building, unless of course the gift would harm. I think it would be nice for the child to know their grandma sent something espcially for them. If the child doesn't care for the gift, and it truly is cluttering up the house with no play value to the child, then the parent & child together can go ahead and donate it.

I don't see how a house of wooden and woolen toys is better when it means rejecting something given in love, expecially when it is something that is safe and something a child might enjoy. I think this is the child's call. Toys are limited in their appeal, age-wise, but a grandparents concern is enduring.
post #14 of 52
Well, like I said, since this is the decluttering and simplifying forum, I was going with the premise that the OP was troubled because her mother went out of her way to buy a duplicate of a gift she, the mother, already bought for Christmas, not because she felt the evil plastic would somehow damage her child.

From the OP:
Quote:
My dd's 2nd Birthday is tomorrow. A package arrived today from my parents - a very large package. I peaked because I had no idea what it was. A talking doll with all the bells and whistles - playpen, stroller, highchair, and a bunch of little plastic stuff. This wouldn't be so horrible (my mom just doesn't get that I'd like to say away from a bunch of plastic and just have one or two nice quality wooden toys) but I already told her we were getting dd doll stuff for Christmas, a waldorf doll, a wooden cradle and stroller from Nova Natural. I hate to turn away gifts but I've decided not to give her the stuff that was sent. I'd probably grin and bare it if she hadn't known I was already getting her that type of stuff.
And I may have missed it, but I don't think I saw anyone advocating withholding a gift from the grandparents, just exchanging it for something that isn't a duplicate.

I don't know, what's more "damaging"--a grandma willfully sending a gift she knew the mom was getting, or mom returning the gift for something the child could actually use? I'd return it. Heck, in my case, I'd probably even let them know, not in a "See, now THIS is what you should have gotten my child" kind of way, but a "Hey, you may have forgotten I told you we were getting DD the same thing for Christmas. We went ahead and swapped it at Target for XYZ." And then tell my little one that Grannie got it and took the picture. But our family relationships aren't so fragile that they're hinged on one Christmas gift. Obviously, other people might need to negotiate these things more carefully.
post #15 of 52
I guess it's not the popular choice but I would get rid of it and just thank the grandparents for the gift. They don't need to know you didn't keep it. I can't tell you haw many gifts we have done this with. The one that pops to mind is the Bratz ice skating rink my MIL got DD when she was 5. I hope you can get it figured out w/out any hurt feelings.
post #16 of 52
I would let the child have both gifts. The waldorf doll and the plastic doll. It will be clear quickly what works for her. Then go from there. If the child loves both dolls, well, childhood is a very brief period of time, and soon the toys will be replaced by other stuff. Many millions of children have passed many happy and fulfilling hours with all sorts of dolls, even plastic ones. Good play is good play.

I don't see, even if this is the decluttering forum, that children don't have a right to decide what toys they most enjoy.

We can declutter all we want, but kids still need to have a say. Decluttering can be respectful to the needs of children, their toys and their relationships to their grandparents.

Whenever I get an urge to think about tossing my kids stuff, I go clean my closet or empty a couple of kitchen draws. :
post #17 of 52
I let them open it, and play with it. Then once the interest is over, it takes a trip to Goodwill. Unless of course the giver comes to the house and would notice, in which case I grin and put up with it. Life is too short to spoil over gifts. After all, they have thought of the child and bought something. I think it is hurtful to not accept graciously.
post #18 of 52
I'm with the op, I'd return it and get something else. If they are so far away they mail the present, they won't know the difference.

We've received a plastic doll & stroller that's similar to what you describe. The doll was scented & soft MIC plastic (no recognizable brand) - I didn't want dd snuggling with it (she was around 2). GP live here so since she opened it in front of them, we couldn't return it. She played with it a bit, then we passed it on. The stroller became an outdoor toy,it was always falling apart so dd got frustrated, it was painted & had vinyl so I'd prefer it be an outdoor toy. Most inappropriate stuff we get, I let them play with a bit & then donate (or toss if it's really bad). It seems better to just return it if possible & get the kids something that you & them will love. It just adds stress to your life to spend the day looking at things you can't stand/think might be unsafe.
post #19 of 52
Ugh, I'm sorry . DH's parents did something similar to us. They bought DS a huge PowerWheel John Deere tractor with a trailer. I already posted about the situation here: http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=993154

I had a heart to heart with them about the toy and asked them to leave it at their place so DS could enjoy it when he visited. But then they still decided to bring it with them on their last visit (while I was recuperating from gallbladder surgery). I am so pissed that I've got this huge toy in my basement .

DH doesn't get why I don't want the thing at my house. Hmm...let's see: it's dangerous, it's huge, we have no room to store it, we have no place for DS to ride it (if I were to allow him). Why shouldn't we get rid of it!? I really don't want to hurt my MIL's feelings, but I really hate this gift. It's so totally not what we need or want. I wish I could have the $200 to buy DS swimming lessons or music lessons or something along those lines.

My problem is that I cannot return the item - we have no box. So now I'm faced with either trying to take it back down to grandma and grandpa's house (if it will fit in our little car) or selling it. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it .
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britishmum View Post
After all, they have thought of the child and bought something. I think it is hurtful to not accept graciously.
I was on the giving side of the equation once, giving a gift to a friends' child. I didn't know about their toy preferences (because they never told me) and gave a cute little stuffed duckie that giggles. In retrospect I could see it being an annoying toy, but the expressions on their faces that said "yeah, that's getting returned" was extremely hurtful. But, Given the OP's situation I think that the gift was inappropriate. I would talk with the giver before returning it though. At least that way they would be semi-clear on the situation and maybe even be able to pick out something new themselves.
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