My mom asked what we wanted for dd, and made a few suggestions, one of which was a dollhouse. I said, "Get her whatever you want, but please don't get her a dollhouse." We're moving from a house to an apartment in a few months, and we're really trying to cut back on stuff, especially items that take up a lot of space (which I told her). I also think dd is still a little too young (which I told her). And, dh and I had planned on getting her a dollhouse ourselves, sometime in the future, as a special birthday present.
Guess what my mom got dd?
Plus, she called and said, "I just HAD to get it. I wanted to get her something special. One of our patients at work said that [the particular model] was a great toy, so I had the store messenger it over." So this "special" gift--that I explicitly asked her not to get--was chosen by someone she happened to talk to, because HIS kid wanted it, and she ordered it without even going to the store and seeing it. How very, very personal.