I have a similar MIL, lucky me!
I wrote something to family members a couple of years ago regarding types of toys and clothing we'd prefer for our kids. My mom is super fabulous, in all ways
, and always asks for ideas on what to give the kids. I so so so appreciate it. My MIL, on the other hand, disregards everything I say and buys whatever she wants to buy, which is almost always a whole lot of cheap, plastic, junk that breaks quickly. Last Christmas, she sent me an email *asking* what I thought about the things she was thinking of getting for our children. Since she asked, I answered and told, gently, the reasons why most of the things she had chosen wouldn't be great choices, and gave some similar (where possible) choices that we would prefer. She pretty much all of what I said. I think everything she gave them has either been broken, lost or forgotten (and then given to Good Will) since then.
Specifically, she had a few ideas for our youngest, who was almost 6 mos at the time. I told her that really Laney didn't need any toys, but that she could really use some clothes. I specified comfortable, loose, cotton clothes in a specific size. She ended up giving her a smocked Christmas dress and another fancy outfit, both in a size smaller than I had asked for.
I was mad. I'm still annoyed. I don't get why she would buy things we don't really want and won't really get used.
But, in the end, I decided that I shouldn't rely on her (or anybody else) to buy things for my kids that I want. I have told her what we'd like, and when she asks again I'll tell her again, but other than that, I can't expect her to give my kids what I would give them.
I know about money being tight, but it is definitely possible to clothe a child in a Waldorf manner on the cheap. Goodwill stores, consignment shops, and the like are full of cotton clothing. It might not be organic cotton or the brands I covet the most
but it is affordable, soft, comfortable.... Yes, there is lots of garish, character stuff to sift through, but there is plenty of plain stuff out there too. Woolens might be trickier to find, but you shouldn't need many of those, I wouldn't think.
: from one mama with a sucky MIL to another.