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MIL purchased plastic toy - Wrong on so many levels! - Page 4

post #61 of 147
I always thought the proper reaction to either a wanted or an unwanted gift is a simple thank you. Then if you don't want it/won't use it, donate or regift. I can't imagine telling my MIL that I hate a gift she gave me so there is no reason to deal with it any differently when the gift is given to my child.
post #62 of 147
i think it's a strange gift for a baby myself, but hardly a monstrosity. chainsaws do have value ... we live on an acreage and need it for firewood and to cut down dead trees that might otherwise fall on our vehicles or even on the kids when they are running around playing in the woods.

if you don't like it, give it away. that's what we do. you've asked your inlaws to respect your wishes, but you can't control them.
post #63 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shera971 View Post
I'm not quite sure why you are so upset that it is a chainsaw. Since you don't have plastic toys in your house I'm going to assume that you have wooden ones. Wood comes from trees that need to be felled by chainsaws. A chainsaw is a tool and it just depends on who uses it.
post #64 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marylizah View Post
I totally get what you mean, but the thought of equating BBQ with "intense action" made me laugh out loud. Just picturing my dad hanging with a beer on the back porch while BBQing, while the REALLY intense action was in the kitchen....


I knew that when i wrote "intense action" it couldn't apply to BBQing. BBQing is a relaxing hobby (for some). So intense action, relaxing hobbies or adventuring = stuff for boys.
post #65 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamameliaISback View Post
i think you are overreacting just a little. i understand your concerns completely as i have the same issue. . .we just say thank you for the gift and move on. . . .a toy can be returned, donated, sold... try to not worry too much about it.
I could have written the above. I think you are overreacting, but I do understand and generally share your concerns (mostly, though I am also with those who say a chainsaw is a tool, and one used in the process of making some of the natural toys you'd probably love...its all about teaching our kids responsible use of tools).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
I think criticising a gift is rude unless it's deliberately offensive.
This is the bottom line for me.

It is so beyond rude. I wouldn't ever, unless it was like REALLY inappropriate and designed to cross a MAJOR boundary (a playboy or something LOL, or a big slab of steak for our long-time meatless for religious reasons family).

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Given that your MIL usually respects your no-plastic rule, she probably wasn't trying to undermine you with this toy - maybe she forgot, or maybe she figured it was so utterly awesome that an exception could be made.
Right.

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ETA: Also, a useful habit I've developed is not expecting anything from gifts.
This makes sense to me.

My MIL can give my kids all the junkiest little party-favor/kids' meal type gifts that never actually work or that fall apart immediately upon touching them, but I am glad she is trying to be close to them in the best ways she knows how including her gifts, and I don't ever have expectations when she says she has a gift for them. I just don't. It's not about me. And frankly, it's not about the gift either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenners26 View Post
I have to say, I think you placing impossibly high standards on people who want to buy things for your children. Nothing with batteries, nothing with plastic, nothing that assumes a gender roll, nothing that could be interpreted in any way as being not "green."
I hate to agree, since before our kids arrived we mentioned some similar ideas of our own on multiple occassions to folks we love about toys, etc. But this seems true...

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It's confusing enough when you don't have small children to try and buy an age-appropriate toy, without all the rules and regulations pushed by the parents.
And this also seems true...
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Yes, he's your child and you can impose your rules on your child, but you can NOT impose your rules on someone (even your MIL) who is trying to buy your child a gift. At least not without coming off as being rude and ungrateful. Smile, say thank you, and move on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by confustication View Post
I tend to think we overworry- as parents- about the effect a single toy will have in the grand scheme of a child's life.
And I am not trying to minimize your feelings at all because again, I really GET why you are annoyed at the toy, but even if you did keep it, there is a place and time maybe for some things...like when you need to distract the kido from something really interesting but forbidden like the DVD player and the fork he wants to put in there or something in just a few months. It wouldn't be the end of the world, or your ability to communicate values to your son.
post #66 of 147
The title of this is "MIL purchased plastic toy- wrong on so many levels!" The way I see it, it's only wrong on two levels: it's battery operated/noisy and it's not age appropriate for DS. As many others have already pointed out, batteries can be removed and then the toy won't make noise.

The age issue isn't even really "wrong" when there are older siblings in the house who can play with it now, and in any case, children grow! Quite frankly, none of my kids were really into toys yet at 6mo. Any toys DS or DD2 recieved at that age were first played with by the older sister(s).

I've never nixed any toys for my kids unless they were safety issues. I also seriously limited the amount of time my kids were allowed to play with anything noisy in my presence.

But I very quickly let go of my "perfect toys" ideals, at least for those items received as gifts. So what if it's plastic rather than wood, or a Hannah Montana doll instead of a generic simple doll, or a Disney character stuffed animal rather than a simple teddy bear? It's still a toy, that can be used for open-ended play, especially for children who are unfamiliar with the consumeristic tie-in. (IE: a Hannah Montana doll is just a teenaged girl doll for anybody who doesn't know about the TV show.)

The only time I'd be specifically upset about a toy being plastic is when the toy is for a baby who still mouths everything, and I can't be certain that the toy is free of harmful chemicals. But a toy chainsaw? It's just a pretend tool for your daughters to play with until DS is old enough to play with it too.
post #67 of 147
In part, yeah, I think you are overreacting a bit. But seriously, a toy like this for a six month old? No. That's completely inappropriate.

And judging by other things you have posted, you seem pretty crunchy and rather extreme in your views. I'm not saying that's a problem by any means, but if I can figure that out simply by your posts, then how has your MIL not figured that out yet?

I would be more offended (which I think you are) by the fact that she can't simply respect your wishes and decisions for the way you choose to raise your children.
post #68 of 147
a thought struck me.

is your MIL old and has health issues? or did some close friend die recently.

i wonder if she bought the toy thinking she wasnt going to be here long and wanted to actually 'give' something he might enjoy in future. money is so different from an actual thing.
post #69 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
a thought struck me.

is your MIL old and has health issues? or did some close friend die recently.

i wonder if she bought the toy thinking she wasnt going to be here long and wanted to actually 'give' something he might enjoy in future. money is so different from an actual thing.

This is a good point and something I hadn't thought of. My MIL is 78-years-old.

I do appreciate everyone's replies - and I hear what you're saying about not getting too riled up about a silly gift. Clearly, it can be returned to the store or given away without my MIL ever even knowing. And you're right - confronting her would probably not accomplish much. We've already had our issues over the years, which resulted in a lot of hurt feelings and long periods of not communicating, and I am loathe to start a new war over this. We only see my MIL about once every other month, so whatever.

I think the reason this bothered me so much is twofold - one, we've already told this woman that we don't keep battery-operated plastic toys in the house. She has been to our home enough to have a good sense of the kinds of things my children prefer to play with - so I felt like the deliberate purchase of a very plasticky, very annoying toy was a slap in the face.

The second thing is that I felt like this woman just couldn't *wait* to get a "boy thing" for my son. She even commented that she was "so excited to finally be able to buy boy things" - because my son is the only male grandchild on her side of the family - we had two girls, my SIL had two girls, and my BIL and his wife had three girls before Leif came along. My MIL is constantly going on about how he can "finally carry the family name" and "play sports" and it drives me batty because I think it's a dig at the girls. Why can't they go camping, play sports, build things, etc? She is so extremely sexist, and I took the chainsaw as another attempt on her part to label by son "THE BOY WHO MUST LIKE MASCULINE THINGS LIKE POWER TOOLS."
post #70 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
She has been to our home enough to have a good sense of the kinds of things my children prefer to play with - so I felt like the deliberate purchase of a very plasticky, very annoying toy was a slap in the face.
Ummm....Your children don't "prefer" those toys. They are not given the choice.

Also, in regards to her not being able to wait to give him a "boy" thing- count your blessings! I have the first boy in the family and I WISH my mom and others straight up hadn't told me they wished he was a girl so they could buy him "girl things".
post #71 of 147
It sounds like you just don't really like her, and that is strongly flavoring your response.

Is it a good baby gift? No. But how many years has it been since the woman had a baby? And honestly, all three of my toddlers would have LOVED something like that.

And yes, she's probably eager to buy something "for a boy", especially if he is the first grandson. But that doesn't mean that she hates girls. Sometimes people get tired of buying the same stuff, and especially if they are older or locked into certain gender ideas, they may think getting a chainsaw would be upsetting to girl parents.

Everyone in our family went a little nuts over my twin boys because they were the first boy grandchildren. But both of their girl grandchildren are major tomboys (or were, at that point). When my inlaws noticed that Fi was playing as much with the tools (if not more) than the boys they got her her own toolbox in her favorite color (pink) with a variety of stickers of tools and fairies (her favorites) to decorate it with, and some letter stickers so we could put her name on it.

I would be really careful about assuming the worst here. Of course, it's my MOM who always sends the weirdest crap to my kids. I learned long ago to just open up her packages at the outside trash can, because I was going to end up dumping 5/6ths of it in there. But I understand that has the eldest of many children, who lived in a lot of poverty growing up, who lost everything as a child twice in house fires and moves, *stuff* is extremely important to her. It's just how she expresses love. It doesn't mean that I have to let it invade my house (since frankly, her obsession with stuff was not so nice for me growing up and I have my own pain related to it) but I have learned to just shrug it off.

If you get all pissy about it, who's it hurting? Not her. You. It contributes negatively energy to your house. Surely this is not the first weird gift that she's given anyone. Some people are just that way. The best way to deal with it IMO is to laugh, save it for a white elephant gift party, or pass it on to someone else or trash it.

And who is gender stereotyping by seeing a chainsaw as "all boy"? If you've got daughters, do they like tools? Would it make a fun outdoor toy for them? If they don't or it wouldn't, then just donate it or dump it. This won't be the last time you'll have to deal with this, so think of it as a practice session for the even weirder gifts that are likely to come.
post #72 of 147
um yeah she is excited to get boy stuff. I would be. Perhaps she went a little overboard (although i have three girls and I would bet my underpants even my 13year old would play with that thing - only to entertain her little sisters of course Heck I was just thinking the other day my next tool purchase needs to be a chain saw....and that a crow bar and sledge hammer is going to be my go t bridal shower gift because every girl should have big tools and know how to use them....especially if her choice in husband is sketchy....) but it is fun to get the pink frilly dresses and adorable little dolls and when you have done that for every single family member it is nice to have the opposite. its fun. babies are fun. period. and it is fun to shop for them. Let her have her fun.

but she is 78. She likely only has a few more years to buy inappropriate gifts. why ruin them.
post #73 of 147
Quote:
My MIL is constantly going on about how he can "finally carry the family name"...
Your MIL is nearly 80 years old and on some level is getting ready to leave this world. I do not know what I will be "constantly going on about" when I am 78 but I hope that my adult child and his spouse will be kind about it.

Give her and yourself the gift of letting it go. Treat her exactly as you wish to be treated at 78. Things come and go, it's how we care for each and make allowences for differences that gets passed down.

In the end, it's so much more important for your children to soak up every moment, and someday hear every story, about how their grandmother expressed her love for them in ways perfect and imperfect than to get riled up about one, or even a hundred, toys that are not the kind you want in your household.
post #74 of 147
I hope I never get to the point where I allow my values about "plastic" to take priority over someone's feelings.

Appreciate her intention, even if she didn't quite follow your rules about inanimate objects.
post #75 of 147
I think it's a cool toy actually. I could see my DH wanting to play with it just as much as my child.

We hardly get any gifts from the other set of grandparents. They send cash most of the time or in the case of my FIL he forgets the birthday entirely. I would love it if DD got a cool gift from that set of grandparents even if it was MIC of plastic.

As for age appropriate, I find that sometimes people buy gifts that children can grow into. People don't always give gifts that are meant to be used at that particular age. At my daughter's first birthday party, she got a whole bunch of gifts that involved recognizing letters and colors, reading simple words, tracing letters, etc. I don't think anyone expected her to do those things at 12 months but their expectation was she would like to do those things at some point in the future.
post #76 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
I hope I never get to the point where I allow my values about "plastic" to take priority over someone's feelings.

Appreciate her intention, even if she didn't quite follow your rules about inanimate objects.
These are great points b/c it truly is silly to get upset over *gasp* a plastic gift. If you are so set on avoiding plastic and keeping it out of your home, then fine, get rid of it... but to have 'gift giving rules' is very over the top extreme. If it were something that seriously compromised your child's life, health, or values, then I could see objecting. But even then, you do so discreetly b/c your opinion on what is best for your family does not trump your MIL's feelings.


Wanting to carry on the family name, being excited to buy "boy" stuff, hoping to make a kid happy when he gets big enough to play with something: are all OKAY intentions from a 78 year old grandmother. Sorry, but you need to lighten up a bit.
post #77 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by KweenKrunch View Post
Third of all, we try to be ecologically sensitive in this household, and a chainsaw is not exactly our idea of a "green" toy - not only because it's made of plastic but because it represents deforestation and the destruction of non-renewable resources and loss of animal habitat.

Errr... If you use wooden toys they come from somewhere you know.
post #78 of 147
Chainsaws have other uses besides deforestation....

Donate the gift to a charity like the Salvation Army and move on.
post #79 of 147
post #80 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.
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