Originally Posted by hakeber
grandkids come with different rules from kids. My kids will NEVER get equal treatment as their cousins, on either side, because the lifestyle we choose is not in keeping with the social norms of our siblings. We are far far away, and more than that, we just don't value things like ipods and Clothes and stuff.
That is very hard for our parents to "get" So yes, The nieces and nephews get more stuff and more time, but at the end of the day, I believe the universe has made things equal because our kids have...okay I am about to sound extremely arrogant and smug but here goes...our kids are growing up in a more inventive, fun, interesting, culturally diverse and engaing environment than their cousins.
There I said it.
At the end of the day we are even-steven, because our kids get us
I know how that sounds, but that's my POV and I'm sticking to it.
I like your comment. Thanks!
A few months ago I posted on here about whether I was wrong / out of line (because I do want to know if I am) to send back some Christmas toys with my inlaws that I felt were not appropriate and did not respect our values or boundaries.
Some people said yes, some no. Such is MDC, eh?
Some people struck a chord with me, though. They talked about how hard hit economically they were and coudn't buy any presents for their children or how they had no grandparents and would give anything to get even crappy, cheap, or inappropriate toys from anyone for their children so that their children would know they were loved.
It was heart wrenching. It made my heart ache for people I don't even know. It makes me wish there were a real Santa so that all children could get something every Christmas morning and no child would be left out.
But, I also have a different perspective on that, personally, and your post made me think of it.
When I was a kid, we were very poor. Most Christmases there was nothing. No presents, no heat, no food. It was pretty bleak. My parents were pretty absentee.
Anyway, there was one Christmas where an aunt who didn't have much money herself went out of her way to wrap up some of her kids' old toys and give them to me. Her kids were younger. Much younger. And I played with her kids often so I knew their toys pretty well.
I felt like I was nothing when I opened up those used, much too young for me toys and recognized them as my cousins' toys while my cousins were opening up their presents and squealing in delight at their brand new, clean, age appropriate toys.
I remember thinking I would rather have had the dignity of getting nothing and understanding my economic situation than the feeling that I wasn't deserving or special enough to warrant a new toy like my cousins.
I'm certain my aunt's heart was in the right place, but she made me, as a 6 year old, just feel worse.
Now, these aren't my own childhood issues coloring how I look at my son's grandparents/DH's parents.
They aren't treating my son equally and that is wrong. Nothing to do with what happened 30 something years ago with me.
So, I did send some cheaply made, crappy toys back with the grandparents this past Christmas, and they were mightily offended.
But this was several years into trying to make them understand big, loud, noisy, battery-required, close-ended, cheaply made, soon to be on the recalled list, gender specific toys are not what we allow in our home.
DH and I aren't made of money nor are we snobby nor do we feel we are better than others. I just don't think you have to be well off to value good things or have high standards especially when it comes to your kids.
I would rather have one quality made open-ended toy than a toy box full of junk.
And that's how I buy toys when I buy them myself.
I'd tried explaining this to my inlaws once. twice. three. four. fives times and more. DH even tried. It didn't take.
So when they shoed up with a bunch of stuff that wasn't right for us, I sent it back home with them. I figured they could donate it, give it to someone else, or keep it at their house.
You know what MIL did? She brought some of the stuff with her the next time she visited, almost to say to my 4 year old son - look, look at this eye candy toy here that your mom won't let you have.
Back to your post, we're also not into iPods, clothes, and stuff. Well, DH loves his iPod like a second wife or second child, but that's another story.
I don't own an iPod. My cell phone is basic and old-school ancient. I like that it's cheap and gets good reception. Our tv is a small 19 inch, actually I think it's 13 inch, and it gets hidden in a little cabinet. No iPhone, iPad, lap top here. I don't even have a remote for my tv!
It's not that I'm technologically impaired. In fact, I work in a pretty advanced technological field. I just don't get into all the newest and bestest things.
I like well made clothes that will last that aren't gender-directive. But we don't own a lot of clothes. Period.
We don't own a lot of stuff and we don't want to.
But what I do own and buy I am very selective about. I'd rather have quality over quantity.
I do get upset that the grandparents could be buying better things - I mean, $100 on toys at Walmart could be $100 in toys at our local Waldorf store - what's it to them? They're spending $100, why do they care where? But they do!
They think my lifestyle and choices are strange and foreign. Waldorf? Montessori? Open-ended? Educational? Country of origin? Recall lists? Huh?
I've tried to make it easy on them by saying "just buy books then." But you can buy really bad children's books pretty easily apparently. I gave her a list of about 20 authors and all the Caldecott winners. That sort of worked. Not really.
I would like it if the grandparents gifted equally as far as money so that perhaps we could put the money towards lessons, classes, a family museum membership, a zoo membership, books, quality toys, etc.
There are so many great things out there that I'd like to do for my son, and obviously I can't afford those things on my own, so I would like my inlaws to do things for my son, too, since they're doing so much for the other cousins, but it has to be something in line with our core values.
So, in the end, I do believe it was the right thing to do for my son to return the toys with the grandparents. After years of disregarding what we told them, that one action sent a pretty clear message and they've not purchased any crappy toys since then.
It's offensive to me when they cheap out on my son, and buy nice things for the cousins. Nice for all, or cheap for all. We can choose to politely decline, but the offers should be equal.
My kid is better off for the return of those Christmas gifts, I think, however ghastly rude my inlaws thought I was being, and they did.
But, after what year is it ghastly rude to continue to buy cheaper and less items for one grandchild than another and not listening to what the parents have to say about values and the environment in which they are trying to raise their child?