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MIL purchased plastic toy - Wrong on so many levels! - Page 6

post #101 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd1amommy View Post
What, pray tell, do you imagine they use to cut down trees for the beloved wooden toys you insist upon as the only suitable toys your children should be gifted with?


Yes, irony at its best!

I have a MIL who sends me all sorts of things in care packages about 3 times a year. Most of which I do not need. So I put it in the goodwill box, and a couple of times a year I donate it. Surely someone will use it. She likes to buy us things, it makes her happy, and I'm not going to rain on her parade. My husband's SIL is very resentful of her buying anything for them and has made it clear not to get her grandson any toys. MIL knows this - so she has to ask permission to get grandson a gift. SIL said, "Why doesn't she just give us cash". I think that is so rude and selfish. And MIL gives us cash all the time too. She's VERY generous.

Indulge the woman - even if you don't like her. She's your child's grandmother.

I send a thank you card for every thing I am given, whether I like it, use it, dress my kids in it, or not.
post #102 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by pampered_mom View Post
OP - I understand your feelings on the issue and likely the issues you have with your MIL. No one here knows the whole story, only you do so I would suppose there are likely bits and pieces that might be missing from the picture. There are also values and beliefs that you feel are important (regardless of whether or not there are posters here that agree - they don't have to live your life and vice versa).

Heck, even aside from the other issues you had with the toy I wouldn't have wanted it just for the fact that it's essentially a form of advertising - it's a big blaring billboard for Black & Decker for goodness sakes! For that company it's not just about the toy, it's about building brand loyalty for the future - if they get their brand name in your child's head at an early age they figure when your child is older they'll be much more likely to purchase their products. IMO that's reason #1 for it not to stay in my house - not even for older children.

As to the issues with the ILs...we've often had struggles with these types of issues with my ILs - part of it has to do with the fact that my MIL believes in quantity rather than quality (things and the buying of said things is really important to her) and some boundary issues she has. As a result we've often had some really awesome garage sales (bought a split-half of some organic grass-fed beef one year) with the things that she's purchased/sent for our children.

While they're young we typically take the toy after MIL has left and put it in the closet - either to sell or to donate to Goodwill. That way MIL's gift becomes a double blessing, she got to go through the process of buying/giving the item (which is for the most part what it's all about for her) and another child who has far less than mine gets a toy they maybe wouldn't get otherwise. If you can manage to leave the toy unopened than you can donate it to "Toys for Tots" or other similar campaign which imo is even better.

Now that our kids are older (and it's more likely that MIL will insist upon opening everything before she/we leave) it's very likely the toy will make it to our house and remain for awhile before it's forgotten (as I've often found is the case when the number of toys in our house climbs - the more toys the far less care/regard is given). Then after they've gone to bed the toy again makes it's exit until we either sell it at a garage sale/on Craig's List or give it to Goodwill.

Either way both needs are served - your MIL got to buy the item and give it as a gift (which maybe is a love language of hers) and you don't have to keep it. You may not as others have mentioned be able to place limits on what other people give your children, but you do have the right to set the tone for your family. If she mentions something in the future about the toy not being there or something like that then maybe you might want to bring in some of the thoughts you have on the issue. Until then I'd probably just let it be.
Our kids must have the same grandmother and we do exactly the same with her gifts.

OP: Just wanted to give you another voice of support and that I completely understand. Your knee jerk reaction to this gift has a lot to do with issues you've had with MIL in the past and that will color everything she does. However, for your own sanity always try to not view her as coming from a position of being against you and that she has her way of thinking of things that don't happen to agree with yours and realize that you can't change people (like she can't change your mind) but you can change the way you react to them.

As for the other poster who said you are being militant in your beliefs...well I don't think it's militant at all and I think that's an overreacting statement. I think you are responding to her in a way that has everything to do with your relationship with her and honestly you have a right to feel the way you do as none of us are walking in your shoes like pampered_mom said.

All of us have ideas of how we want to raise our children and we have a right to raise them as we see fit. And while our children are not our personal possessions and we do share them with the rest of the family, we are still the parent and if a gift is against our values, we have the right to get rid of the gift. The best things to do is always be gracious no matter what the intention is behind it. Just smile and say "thank you" and then donate it and you will still look gracious and the gift giver will just look nuts. Never criticize the gift giver because no matter what the real story is behind the gift you will look like the rude one and that will overshadow all else.
post #103 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsd1amommy View Post
What, pray tell, do you imagine they use to cut down trees for the beloved wooden toys you insist upon as the only suitable toys your children should be gifted with?
I hear you. We don't have many wooden toys - we prefer recycled metals and cloth, art supplies, books (paper, I know), etc. We do have *some* wood things, and yes I guess they were probably made from trees felled by chainsaws. We always try to buy wooden items that are from sustainably-grown lumber, but point taken.

Thank you all for your insight. I guess I could be a little more flexible with this. My MIL is elderly and frail, and it's definitely not the hill I want to die on.
post #104 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
I hear you. We don't have many wooden toys - we prefer recycled metals and cloth, art supplies, books (paper, I know), etc. We do have *some* wood things, and yes I guess they were probably made from trees felled by chainsaws. We always try to buy wooden items that are from sustainably-grown lumber, but point taken.

Thank you all for your insight. I guess I could be a little more flexible with this. My MIL is elderly and frail, and it's definitely not the hill I want to die on.
I think sometimes we forget that our values are rich and robust and strong and that these small acts from extended family or friends are not going to bring them down. At least that's what I believe. I think you've been very gracious about the feedback and that says a lot for how you probably deal with family and... it will all come out ok.
post #105 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
thats so cute it made me cry. That is the way big tough daddies tell their little girls "it will be ok."
I hadn't thought of that. So right, and so sweet.
post #106 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
Thank you all for your insight. I guess I could be a little more flexible with this. My MIL is elderly and frail, and it's definitely not the hill I want to die on.
You know.. it's possible that she just wants him to have that. Perhaps she doesn't expect to be here in four years, and wants him to have something she thought was really great. I assume she's had more years with his sisters, and she wants him to have things from her too.
post #107 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
op, i just wanted to chime in to say that i think you have valid reasons for being angry and hurt. The chainsaw thing on its own wouldn't warrant a negative reaction, imo, but i can see how in light of the above you'd be touchy with her in general.

Just thought you could use a supportive voice here.
ita.
post #108 of 147
Hey the Holiday season is right around the corner and every charity will be screaming for free gifts.
Last year we just rounded them (stupid toys that we don't appreciate) up and my husband and oldest son took them to Toys for Tots, when they volunteered.

Everyone wins.
But for crying out loud don't stress over it.
Tricia
post #109 of 147
I just want to say thanks for this thread...I thought there were so many thoughtful, great responses. I'm especially glad for it because I have a tendency to look at the mountain of (plastic, battery-operated, etc. etc.) toys that DS receives from all the grandparents and others and...well, I freak out a little and sometimes preach a little too much about my values. ;-) What I need to remember is the mountain of love that goes along with all those toys.
post #110 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Well, a tool set is an important part of a pretend apartment. Has he had a chance to get some towels for the kitchen? Lots of people forget about that when they first pretend move to their own pretend place. Even with a pretend dishwasher, you need one for things like pretend spills.
post #111 of 147
It is a very rare 78 yr old grandma that DOESN'T carry sexist baggage. They are a product of their age. Just think- 60 years ago, when she was coming of age and finding out what it was like to be a woman, it was the 1950's! So, I think sometimes a "pass" on not being completely up on gender expectations is in order.

And, I don't think it HAS to be a dig on the girls because she has been waiting to buy "boy things". I mean, I have 2 boys. I have a strange love of clothing with cherries and strawberries on them . These are not particularly appreciated by my sons . I always think "How cute, a little girl in the cherries...". I suppose I'm waiting. If I ever have a girl, she'll be wearing cherries! In the scheme of life- it could be worse .

My parents also are plasticrap royalty. But it is TOTALLY out of love. They see things and think "OH! DS1 loves dinosaurs! I bet he would LOVE this GIANT, SCREECHING, REMOTE CONTROLED one!" and so they spend and obscene amount of money on it. Because... it connects them. To my parents, it is a way to think about him when they are not together, to make him happy in the short amount of time they get together. For my son, he likes the toy, but he really loves the enthusiasm and them playing with him. And they all feel the love and they all know that the toy is just a way to come together. So I let them all go hog wild on visits (its never a safety concern or anything- just an endulgance in the more "junk-ey" side of things that is fun, but not something you want to live by). Life is short. 95% of DS's life is whole, healthy grow food and books and playing outside and the likes. If when he visits grandma & poppy he sees two people so deleriously happy with his mere existance and they all endulge a bit, well... I hope someday he'll let me do the same with his kids!
post #112 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
I hear you. We don't have many wooden toys - we prefer recycled metals and cloth, art supplies, books (paper, I know), etc. We do have *some* wood things, and yes I guess they were probably made from trees felled by chainsaws. We always try to buy wooden items that are from sustainably-grown lumber, but point taken.

Thank you all for your insight. I guess I could be a little more flexible with this. My MIL is elderly and frail, and it's definitely not the hill I want to die on.
KweenKrunch, I just wanted to say that you have handled yourself so well throughout this thread. Lots of other people (me included) would have been very defensive by now, kuddos to you.
post #113 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauletoy View Post
KweenKrunch, I just wanted to say that you have handled yourself so well throughout this thread. Lots of other people (me included) would have been very defensive by now, kuddos to you.
I agree, KweenKrunch. I was ready for a showdown with your level of extreme Krunchiness (I see you on many threads), but you took all of this madness rather graciously. Yay for you!
post #114 of 147
I understand how you are upset, because sexism issues make me really upset, too.

But I think maybe it would be good her to identify exactly what part of the gift made you the most upset.

I mean, the other posters pointed out, that if your kids have wooden toys, those did come from trees. Chainsaws are not, in and of themselves, evil things.

Plastic, blech, but you are going to need to deal with the fact that your MIL may just never change her mind about that. She was at the store and thought it was cute.

Six months old- my mom buys stuff for kids up to, like, eight. Including really trendy clothes. She just cannot get over sales. It happens. The chainsaw is not going to melt or anything. She's probably thinking, it was too good to pass up.

Sexist, yeah, but here there is an easy solution. Just say, "You bought it for DGS, but the girls love it so much and he's too little, we hope you don't mind them playing with it until he's old enough." Lesson learned re: sexism, gift appreciated, problem solved.

Ultimately, though, this post said it best:
Quote:
Your kids are lucky to have a grandmother who is invested in their lives enough to want to give them gifts. Don't ruin that for them. If you just can't stand the thought of having that toy around, thank your MIL, keep it around for the rest of her visit and then put it in the give away box when she is gone. There is no need to confront your MIL - she did a good, kind, thoughtful thing.
I take pictures of my kids in the ugly clothes other people get for them and then give them nice, clean, and stainless to the Salvation Army. I put the pictures on Facebook so everyone can see. My Facebook and Flickr are full of my children in hideous pink frilly outfits that I hate.

They are smiling.
post #115 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beene View Post
I agree, KweenKrunch. I was ready for a showdown with your level of extreme Krunchiness (I see you on many threads), but you took all of this madness rather graciously. Yay for you!
Exactly what I was thinking.
post #116 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I think sometimes we forget that our values are rich and robust and strong and that these small acts from extended family or friends are not going to bring them down. At least that's what I believe. I think you've been very gracious about the feedback and that says a lot for how you probably deal with family and... it will all come out ok.
This.

post #117 of 147
just another viewpoiint - i am that MIL who used to spend a lot of time picking out toys i thought my grandson would like. on every gift-giving occasion there would be issues even to the point that one christmas the mother of my grandson sat in my house, eating my food, opening presents i had spent hard-earned money on (while she collects ssi and has never worked) and said after nearly every present was opened "he can't have that"!!!!! When grandsons 2 and 3 came along i decided it was not worth the emotional impact her attitude had on me and if the gifts were not appreciated, there would be no gifts. This was also after I had found wooden, educational toys i had purchased for them scattered outside all over their yard, ruined by the weather! Birthday gifts have been scaled way back and we have tried to be gone to visit out-of-state family over the Christmas holidays.

If I had not tried to pick thoughtful gifts that i felt would stimulate and interest the boys, it might have been another issue. Yes, sometimes they were plastic, sometimes they had batteries (horrors). Sometimes these gifts were picked out in the company of their father (my son) and she still didn't like them.

I am not as old as the MIL in the OP so I would have had a lot of years to provide them with toys they would otherwise not have been able to have. However, because of the mother's attitude and the lack of care of the toys she preferred them to have, they will not receive those toys from me.

I do spend time with them and love them dearly, but her attitude toward gift receiving has deprived her children of some really awesome gifts.

By the way - i actually bought a similar chain saw for grandson #1 when he was 2 or 3. Because we had a really bad wind storm with the loss of a lot of trees, it was pretty cool for him to have his own chain saw to "use" along side his grandpa who had to clean up the mess.

So yes - there is a very good use for chain saws. my father had to cut trees down by hand in the 1920's (no exhaust, no smoke, no pollution!) and you can't tell me he preferred that over the chain saw he was able to have in his later years!!!!!

All you young mothers should remember that there are two sides to each story. there probably is to this one also.

For the "crunchy" types who believe in dear old Hillary's axiom that "it takes a village", you are often the ones who think that's great - but only if the village does it your way!
post #118 of 147
OP - I have had a really hard time with a MIL that has a very different set of values to mine. I am still figuring out just what our values are and how and why they are different - but MIL *loves* plastic, lots and lots of it and does not understand why I don't and why I won't have battery opperated toys. Although she is slowly coming to accept that I am not some crazy extreme idiot.

I agree that you have been very gracious being told that you are over reacting and having your experience so openly critiqued. I would have found that very hard.

For me, the thing that has helped with my MIL is my DH having a chat with her and disussing that the issue is not the plastic toys as much as we want our choices respected. Why we don't want plastic is not the issue. If we don't, we have every right as parents to keep plastic out of our little boy's environment. The expample we used to help illustrate is food.

MIL is on a diet that requires diet foods ie everything needs to be 'lite' and be artificially sweetened. I do not keep such food in our home and do not eat such food myself. However, when we invite them around for a meal, I make sure to have diet bread, diet drinks etc even though it goes against what I believe to be the optimal choice. Yet, I want her to feel comfortable in my home and I know that she will only be comfortable eating diet food. So I accomodate her. I expect the same. I am not comfortable with plastic toys and would like her to acomodate me.

Having said all of that - they have bought him a plastic trolley thing, a plastic seesaw and a tent full of plastic balls. I cringe when I see DS emersed in the plastic balls and just block out visions of PVC, phthalates, lead etc. However, this is in their home and DS is there about once a week for a couple of hours. We have asked her not to buy anymore toys, not only because we don't want more plastic, but we don't want DS with an overwhelming number of toys. If she wants to buy more toys, we will have to start putting some away.

s - I do not think you are extreme. I think you are making a choice that is very unusual in modern society and I think you should have the support to make the choices you feel most comfortable with for your family.

MIL relationships can be very very difficult.
post #119 of 147
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post #120 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by BAU3 View Post
I have no in-laws, and my mom is my childrens only grandparent. She NEVER buys them gifts.

I would be thrilled if she (or anyone) thought enough about my children to buy them any old inaapropriate gender-specific non-age-appropriate kind of toy.

I could have written the above, my kids have no grandparents.
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