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MIL and presents - very mad!!! - Page 3

post #41 of 90
post #42 of 90

I think a lot of people posting here are being quick to judge. Yes, you can get nice secondhand stuff. But there's also a lot of yucky secondhand junk out there, and that may be what the OP's MIL bought! In which case, my only advice is to say in her hearing that you would prefer that your child have fewer clothes/toys, but good quality. If she hears it several times, maybe it will sink in!


Edited by April Dawn - 7/5/11 at 8:15pm
post #43 of 90
Maybe the OP could clarify what kind of "stuff" her DD was given. That would allow the thread posters to make a better judgement call. IMO.

As for buying used, we LOVE garage sales, thrift stores, and all sorts of used places. All my children got something "used" this Christmas. Most of them also got something new. However, my 17 month old ONLY got a used gift. And it was only "one" gift (although it had LOTS of pieces) while all my older children got several gifts each.

I can totally understand why someone would only get a few things or even cheap things for the "babies". That is what we do. Older children are just different to gift for.
post #44 of 90
Maybe it was garbage, but it sounded like the problem was simply that it was used and didn't cost $125, and that she's used to "nice things" so while used is fine for other people, it isn't appropriate for her. I agree that used things are generally tacky as Christmas gifts, but a child that age doesn't know the difference so I don't think it's such a big deal. Also, I wonder how much of our issue wtih thinking used things are tacky is a result of marketing rather than reality.

If it had been worded without the huge sense of entitlement, it would have gone over better. "My dss and niece get new things, and they're older so they recognize the value more, but it still hurts my feelings to see them given nice new things and my dd given used toys, regardless of her age. It makes me feel like my MIL doesn't value her the way she values her other grandchildren." I would have felt much more empathy to that, and if she's going to talk to her MIL, that would be a better way to say what she wants to say.
post #45 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybun View Post
I am not trying to be a snub
Trying or not, you are, and you're teaching your children to be the same. This is what we call a "first world problem". You are very fortunate if your child receiving used toys is the biggest problem you have to complain about on the internet.
post #46 of 90
What is the problem with the used items, other than the fact they are used? We love second-hand, but I will say I do prefer quality second-hand goods. It is a real bummer getting something 1/2 broken that fully breaks in 2 days and the child melts down. Or something totally age inappropriate purchased because it was a good deal at a yardsale that I have to find space to store (usually I will just donate it).

I really do love second-hand goods, however they shouldn't be worn out.
post #47 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvillemidwife View Post
Trying or not, you are, and you're teaching your children to be the same. This is what we call a "first world problem". You are very fortunate if your child receiving used toys is the biggest problem you have to complain about on the internet.
I think that's a little harsh. I agree the OP comes off this way, but I am wondering if she was gifted dirty or broken items?
post #48 of 90

to the germophobes

i'm just wondering what kind of germs people think can linger on toys, etc. after a certain period of time and/or with washing? even the flu virus can't live on a surface longer than a 48 hour period.
bedbugs/lice are a different story, but that would be stuffed animals and those can be washed.
i just hate to see people turn down things that were used for those reasons. most things can be cleaned well enough to kill any germs that would be present... there's so many things that could not get tossed in landfills when we reuse them. i try not to buy anything new if i can help it...
not trying to offend, i'm just sayin'...
post #49 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post
I think that's a little harsh. I agree the OP comes off this way, but I am wondering if she was gifted dirty or broken items?
We can only go on what the OP said, and being that she hasn't come back to update and she didn't say "these were falling apart, dirty, broken pieces of crap" I think it would be safe to assume her main problem is not enough $ was spent to make it even between grandkids, and she's "used to nice things."
post #50 of 90
Well, I wouldn't assume that they're not junk. I have to open every package my mom sends at the garbage and recycling can because she can't ever get rid of anything so she dumps it on me (and then screams or whines at me when she asks what I did with it and I tell her. I think maybe she just needs me to throw things out so she can be pissed and pouty at someone even though she knows that really she doesn't need to hang on to disposable cocktail napkins from the 1970s or leftover halloween candy from the 80s, ect.). Having lived with someone who keeps crap like that, I can imagine someone giving a box of uncleaned banged up toys and stuff like that.

Though, if that was what happened, I would think that would be front and center of the post, not the $$ amount. Which is why I kind of leaned towards it being more of a "you better spend on my kid what you spent on the others" sort of thing. But for all any of us know, maybe she DID get a box of toys with pieces missing or really yucky looking.

To me, a box of stuff, new, from the dollar store vs. a box of stuff used but clean and complete from the thrift store isn't much different, if anything it's tipped in the thrift store box's favor.

But that is *me*. If the OP would prefer something new, even if it comes from the dollar store and even if that's less "stuff" for the DD to unwrap, then I don't see the harm in having DH pitch that idea (but without making fun or blaming his wife).

As for the true germaphobe thing: look, it's an irrational fear. If you're looking for a rational explanation, you're going to be disappointed. My dad has a mildish form of OCD, which involves germ phobia. He has an iron will, so he can actually deal with coming to my house (where he has no control over the environment and it's fully carpeted, which is totally gross for folks who NEED to have things truly santized) for up to a week now. I am astonished and very proud of him. At home, he gets down on his hands and knees every day and handwashes every single foot of hardwood floor in their mansion-sized home. The countertops everywhere must be cleaned with specific products in specific order. There are whole rooms which may not be entered because they have been cleaned, if anyone goes in there he needs to clean them again from top to bottom to make them right. If anyone sneezes or coughs, he will be able to control himself from vaccuuming and then sanitizing until they leave (this was not always the case). If one opens a bottle of soda, you have to do it on the back of the counter so that invisible soda bubbles will not fly through the air and land on the floor possibly contaminating it. I don't know how he manages to keep his hands from being chafed and raw, other than although he washes his hands frequently, he doesn't get stuck in a loop of doing it until they bleed. He often refuses to go to hospitals even when he is very ill (he gave himself stitches, spent 3 days in agonizing pain with an acute gall bladder attack, spent 2 days with a blown out ball and socket in his shoulder, and later gave himself a hernia for which he refused treatment for months, until it required major surgery to repair) because he is terrified of the germ circus that is a doctor's office and hospital. (aside from the extreme avoidance, he's not wrong about the latter!)

In short, dealing with a true phobia of germs is a horrible, HORRIBLE thing to witness if you love someone. Sometimes I just can't deal with seeing him suffer how he did before he got some kind of treatment. It's an incredible burden. It's not rational, but it's not something to tease someone about. I don't have real phobias, so I have no idea what it's like from the inside, but as a kiddo who grew up with a parent who struggled with that, man...it's horrible seeing someone you love suffer that way, especially when it's not treated and is so strong they endanger themselves and/or it compels them to do really strange things and freak out when they can't.

So to be honest, I tend to get a little pissy when people throw that around like it's not serious too. But it's not just a "get over it" thing either.
post #51 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post
I am curious to why you think that new things wouldnt have grems on them?
People do make them, package them, handle them in some way.

And new clothes are sewn, handled , tried on, etc. That is what washing is for.
I agree.

I'm the one that makes sure my children get what they really want for Cmas and B-days. I'm their mom and just know what's best to get them. If my in-laws or others want to get them something they don't want or I don't agree with then I either give it away to Goodwill at some point, pass it on to someone else or trash it eventually. No biggie. I just hate for them to waste money (of any amount) getting my children something they will not use.
post #52 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatteras Gal View Post
If the stuff your dd got is in good working order and not missing pieces/falling apart then I think you're over-reacting. Clean it if you're worried about germs. Why would you want someone to spend $125 on things if they could get the same things at the thrift store- as long as all the pieces are there and in working condition? Reduce, reuse, recycle and all that. Maybe she spent more for the older kids b/c they are more likely to notice than a small child and she's saving that for when your child is older. Maybe she bought for your kid at the thrift shop b/c at age 2, she isn't likely to care, but at age 16 she may be. I've given my kids and my nieces and nephews toys from the thrift shop. Luckily, none of my family are entitled germophobes, so it's worked out well.
Yep my thoughts exactly!
post #53 of 90
A couple of people mentioned stuffed animals, and I just wanted to say that, unless there's a motor or build-a-bear voicebox inside that can't be removed, they can absolutely be washed! You can run them right through the washer and dryer. I do it whenever my daughter's stuffies get a little dingy.

I looooove thrift items! But we have some fantastic thrift stores here, and I get clothes and toys you'd never guess were preowned for just a dollar or two. My children's whole wardrobe, and most of mine, came from thrift stores. I can't see turning up my nose at something in good condition just because it's not new.
post #54 of 90
Man oh man some of y'all are being just plain nasty. Classism is just as much about hating on those who have/expect more than you. It is perfectly ok to buy stuff second hand but not ok to judge those who choose not to.

Besides there is a big difference between buying thrift for YOUR kids and buying thrift for someone else's. Nobody has yet to give an example of the latter except the OP.
post #55 of 90
For those who are saying that maybe the OP got broken, dirty things, I'd like to point out this part of the OP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybun View Post
While I understand that for a lot of people it's acceptable, it is not for me (I am a biggest jermaphobe and am used to nice things).
I really, really doubt that the OP believes that broken, dirty toys and clothes are acceptable for "a lot of people". Combine with this:
Quote:
I am not trying to be a snub, but when I was growing up, I was used to having just 1 thing given to me at one time, but it was brand new, good quality, and lasted me forever.
I see nothing to suggest that the OP's MIL is buying broken, dirty junk.

I also agree with those who say that there may not be any favouritism in the way the two kids (cousins?) are treated. I usually spend way more on ds1 than on the other kids (not this year). I spend very, very little on my babies. Actually, every one of my children has received the same thing on their first Christmas - a coin set. They also get a stuffed animal from Santa (this is a charity bear from the liquor store - every one purchased means another one is donated to a child in need), and a teether and rattle in their stocking. That's it. I spent more on one of ds1's gifts (even this year) than I did on everything for dd2 combined.
post #56 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Man oh man some of y'all are being just plain nasty. Classism is just as much about hating on those who have/expect more than you. It is perfectly ok to buy stuff second hand but not ok to judge those who choose not to.

Besides there is a big difference between buying thrift for YOUR kids and buying thrift for someone else's. Nobody has yet to give an example of the latter except the OP.
Ok, here's an example. I got a sterilite box of thrift store baby clothes from my mom as a Yule gift for the baby. They are in great shape and obviously very carefully selected. I'm thrilled with them. Our playgroup does a gift exchange.....with ONLY used toys. Every year our kids outgrow some of their toys, why not gift them to a child that will play with them?
post #57 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Man oh man some of y'all are being just plain nasty. Classism is just as much about hating on those who have/expect more than you.
How is it classist to dislike snobbery?

Quote:
It is perfectly ok to buy stuff second hand but not ok to judge those who choose not to.
Who is judging those who choose not to? I don't buy thrift store or garage sale stuff. I hate shopping and the things I don't like about it are worse in thrift stores than in regular stores. I don't enjoy doing the yard/garage sale thing. So, I don't buy anything from either of those places (have done it a couple of times, from sheer financial necessity, but I really, really hated it). I'd look pretty stupid judging those who choose not to buy second-hand, since I don't buy second-hand myself. It's not the OP's choice to buy new that's bugging people.
post #58 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Man oh man some of y'all are being just plain nasty. Classism is just as much about hating on those who have/expect more than you. It is perfectly ok to buy stuff second hand but not ok to judge those who choose not to.

Besides there is a big difference between buying thrift for YOUR kids and buying thrift for someone else's. Nobody has yet to give an example of the latter except the OP.
That's easy for me to do. DD got 2 dresses, one from fil's girlfriend. Both used. dd recieved princess jammies from santa (he also likes the thrift store) blocks from mommy and daddy (used!)
post #59 of 90
OP, I used to be very much of the same mind as you.

My MIL LOVES garage sales. Won't miss a single day of them. Stopped at a garage sale on the way to the hospital when she was in labor with DH. Currently has terminal cancer, and despite exhaustion, etc., still goes to her Saturday morning sales to find "treasures".

DH grew up getting a lot of used/recycled gifts. I, on the other hand, did not. Sure, as the youngest, my clothes were all hand-me-downs, but most of my toys were new, exciting things like Legos.

So, when DS was really young, I hated all the used garage sale stuff. Was gifted a used pack and play for him, and turned around and donated it back to Goodwill before he was even born. (Nevermind that we ended up cosleeping, so he also never slept in the new PNP I later bought, but I digress.) I think I really offended her once when she brought home a big box of garage sale plastics and I took out the bleach and scrubbed them all with bleach-water for half an hour before letting DS touch them.

Ok, so that was then. But I've calmed down a lot, and I'm writing all this hoping that I'll be able to help you.

See, I'm not a true germaphobe, as in, it's probably not bad enough to be considered a disorder... but I do get really grossed out by the concept of other people's latent bacteria and such. And, I have severe, debilitating dust and mold allergies, so I have a pretty bad physical reaction to items with dust and mold all soaked in them, which many garage sale items seem to have. (Part of the reason the old PNP had to go was that as soon as I opened it, my eyes watered and I got all itchy...)

But, with MIL having cancer, a lot has been put into perspective for me. I no longer care about a lot of little stuff. So what if she gives the boys a few older, cruddy toys, you know? The kids are young, they don't care. I do still clean them (so I don't get a reaction from them), let them play with them for awhile, and then when we're all sick of them, we re-donate. Once I allowed myself to let go of some of these items - I mean, just because something comes in the door, doesn't mean it has to stay forever - once I let go of that, I was a lot freer to enjoy the sentiment behind the gifts, which is that she loves DS1 & 2, and just wants to see the look of joy on their faces when they get their "new to them" stuff. Then when the glow wears off, and the toy is forgotten, I pass it to someone else who will enjoy it. No harm, no foul. One or two of these items have become favorites, and you know what - the fact that my boys love them so much makes me love them. I don't even see their ugly plastic-ness, or their worn-off stickers, so much as I see my boys having a great time and (yes!) telling stories and playing imaginatively with these items.

Life is very, very short to get offended by the fact that someone won't spend their money on you the way you want them to. I'm an adult - if I want my kids to have certain toys, I will buy them for them. MIL is also an adult. She knows now that I have allergies and refrains from purchasing items that can't be thoroughly cleaned. I let her do her thing, and I don't feel bad about doing mine. It involved me letting go of a lot of my expectations, though, and not trying to micromanage her relationship with my boys.

Sorry for the novel.

Good luck.
post #60 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Well, I wouldn't assume that they're not junk. I have to open every package my mom sends at the garbage and recycling can because she can't ever get rid of anything so she dumps it on me (and then screams or whines at me when she asks what I did with it and I tell her. I think maybe she just needs me to throw things out so she can be pissed and pouty at someone even though she knows that really she doesn't need to hang on to disposable cocktail napkins from the 1970s or leftover halloween candy from the 80s, ect.). Having lived with someone who keeps crap like that, I can imagine someone giving a box of uncleaned banged up toys and stuff like that.

Though, if that was what happened, I would think that would be front and center of the post, not the $$ amount. Which is why I kind of leaned towards it being more of a "you better spend on my kid what you spent on the others" sort of thing. But for all any of us know, maybe she DID get a box of toys with pieces missing or really yucky looking.

To me, a box of stuff, new, from the dollar store vs. a box of stuff used but clean and complete from the thrift store isn't much different, if anything it's tipped in the thrift store box's favor.

But that is *me*. If the OP would prefer something new, even if it comes from the dollar store and even if that's less "stuff" for the DD to unwrap, then I don't see the harm in having DH pitch that idea (but without making fun or blaming his wife).

As for the true germaphobe thing: look, it's an irrational fear. If you're looking for a rational explanation, you're going to be disappointed. My dad has a mildish form of OCD, which involves germ phobia. He has an iron will, so he can actually deal with coming to my house (where he has no control over the environment and it's fully carpeted, which is totally gross for folks who NEED to have things truly santized) for up to a week now. I am astonished and very proud of him. At home, he gets down on his hands and knees every day and handwashes every single foot of hardwood floor in their mansion-sized home. The countertops everywhere must be cleaned with specific products in specific order. There are whole rooms which may not be entered because they have been cleaned, if anyone goes in there he needs to clean them again from top to bottom to make them right. If anyone sneezes or coughs, he will be able to control himself from vaccuuming and then sanitizing until they leave (this was not always the case). If one opens a bottle of soda, you have to do it on the back of the counter so that invisible soda bubbles will not fly through the air and land on the floor possibly contaminating it. I don't know how he manages to keep his hands from being chafed and raw, other than although he washes his hands frequently, he doesn't get stuck in a loop of doing it until they bleed. He often refuses to go to hospitals even when he is very ill (he gave himself stitches, spent 3 days in agonizing pain with an acute gall bladder attack, spent 2 days with a blown out ball and socket in his shoulder, and later gave himself a hernia for which he refused treatment for months, until it required major surgery to repair) because he is terrified of the germ circus that is a doctor's office and hospital. (aside from the extreme avoidance, he's not wrong about the latter!)

In short, dealing with a true phobia of germs is a horrible, HORRIBLE thing to witness if you love someone. Sometimes I just can't deal with seeing him suffer how he did before he got some kind of treatment. It's an incredible burden. It's not rational, but it's not something to tease someone about. I don't have real phobias, so I have no idea what it's like from the inside, but as a kiddo who grew up with a parent who struggled with that, man...it's horrible seeing someone you love suffer that way, especially when it's not treated and is so strong they endanger themselves and/or it compels them to do really strange things and freak out when they can't.

So to be honest, I tend to get a little pissy when people throw that around like it's not serious too. But it's not just a "get over it" thing either.
Ok, I have to ask. Are your parents still married? Because if so, that sounds like a difficult match.
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