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Were we wrong to tell MIL we don't want moving talking bottle-fed white doll for DD? - Page 2

post #21 of 70

Your mother sounds like a beautiful and wise woman.


I'm not saying that you have to compromise every ideal to avoid hurting other people's feelings.  But one toy from an overexcited new grandmother is not the hill I would choose to die on, if you know what I mean.   


My DD was not much older when a dear, dear family friend gave her a battery-operated Tigger that bounced on funny spring legs and sang "The wonderful thing about tiggers" over and over and over.  It was not my ideal toy in almost every way.  But this family friend had seen it and thought it was funny and had seen her friend's toddler granddaughter watch one and laugh and laugh -- and she thought our child would enjoy it.


And she did.  We accepted it, and we watched her reaction and it was hilarious, and it made our friend very happy.  And we took it home and it lived, most of the time, on a bookshelf above DD's reach, but we got it down once in awhile to turn it on and let her enjoy it for awhile.  


This friend meant no harm and only wanted to make our baby happy.   It wasn't hard to accept the gift and honor that impulse while not having all DD's toys be battery operated disney characters.  It's really possible to make the two work.  

post #22 of 70

I would just graciously accept the doll and put her up untill a more developmental moment. I would be very wary of insulting a gift. It's not like she had to give your dd anything at all!

post #23 of 70

Ok, totally OT, but I used to have that same tigger in college.  I saved it and when DS was a year old, I brought it out for him to play with.  That thing scared him $#!%less.  It was so bad, that when he saw a pair of tigger slippers sitting out (also left over from my college days. LOL!) he went into hysterics.  Something about that dang singing bouncing tigger just scared the bleep out of my kid. 


Now he's 7 and we told him that story and he cracked up laughing.  I wish I still had that tigger to give to him as a visual aid. LOL!


Originally Posted by savithny View Post

My DD was not much older when a dear, dear family friend gave her a battery-operated Tigger that bounced on funny spring legs and sang "The wonderful thing about tiggers" over and over and over.  

post #24 of 70

 I think the other posters are right on,  the issue of "why did you buy THAT" is something we all have to put up with, and I think that a large portion of the time it's not worth the battle.


For my ds' first birthday my ex's mother bought him a present. It was a toy radio. Ds could have cared less about the thing...he wasn't into battery operated stuff. I thought it had gotten lost a long time ago but recently we came across the thing and as it turns out, dd LOVES it. Go figure.


my own mother who usually is great at picking out educational toys, or good books or whatever, once brough  hom this motion activated puppy that would burst out laughing hysterically every time you walked past it. It drove us crazy for weeks and nearly gave me a aheart attack several times when I forgot to turn it off at night and got up to go pee or something.


It's just a grand[parent thing....

post #25 of 70
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

Your mother sounds like a beautiful and wise woman.



I was thinking the same thing!


OP, you are also a very beautiful and caring person, so even if your mother in law is hurt about that doll, she's not going to hold it against either one of you.   I think you might want to apologize for hurting her feelings (and it really is a cute doll)  but, you don't need to be sorry for wanting certain toys for your dd.  Just that her feelings are hurt.  And, you know, she might not actually be HURT as much as disappointed.  She may have loved that doll since it came out in the 70s.  Perhaps she's been waiting for the opportunity to buy it for someone.  I can't wait to have someone to buy the old fashion fisher price toys for.  (i have a while to wait... but, I'm looking forward to it)



You are so lucky to have such a wonderful extended family.  I wish I'd had that when my daughter was little.

post #26 of 70
Originally Posted by choli View Post

Your mother is right.


post #27 of 70

I totally get why you'd be frustrated. We've lived in really small places and it's so hard to "hold onto things until they are older" when you don't have the space. My MIL is the queen of inappropriate gifts. As in size 5t clothes for my then 6 month old son. And until recently, we've lived in places that were 700 sf or so. We used to try and give her ideas, she'd ignore them, then the toys would end up at the thrift store or given to a friend with a kid it was appropriate for. We tried. She also wouldn't listen and would buy something we told her we bought our kids but "better" in her eyes. Very frustrating. 


It's too late now, but next time something is purchased already, maybe try to let it go. The toy can "break" (as they often actually do when given to kids too young for them!) and disappear. 

post #28 of 70

My 10 year old dd is really creeped out by those dolls.


In future I would emphasize age appropriateness only. If the toy isn't for your dd's age I would say so and return it. That's a safety issue. If it is age appropriate but just not the type/color of toy that you'd prefer I'd just accept it. You can weed through toys every so often and get rid of the things you don't like to "make room".


We hated electronic toys but that is all one grandparent ever gives dd. We just accepted them. Dd rarely touched them among her other toys. Some of them you can just not put batteries in and they still have play value.

post #29 of 70

I think your 6 mo old may even be a bit intrigued by the doll. Of course she'll be supervised, so there's no reason to worry about the age appropriateness rating.

post #30 of 70

My 8 month old daughter also got a doll for christmas last year that was 3+ and looked bargain basement and had small objects like a bottle etc. I never said a word and it's still up in the closet.


I mean I hear where you are coming from but a someone goes out of their way to pick out a special toy and wrap it and send it and get all excited about it (gift giving is really about the giving not the receiving) and then you return it. Yeah, it would hurt my feelings. Any person doesn't have to give you any kind of gift. Your mom is in a special place to be able to talk openly and often with you and she knows more how you feel and do things so MIL is at a disadvantage. It sucks :(  Next time I would build her up and say how awesome and thoughtful she was and how cool her toy was (while it meandered to a top shelf) and then 4 months later hint how you wish she had some dark colored simple cloth dolls for baby. :)


Perhaps people don't think they're REALLY serious about the 3 YEARS and up note. Heck, I bought a pillow pet for my now 1 and a half year old and that nose went popping off in a day and rolling around under my bed somewhere. Pretty sure they mean 3 years when they say 3 years+ now :/ I actually made a point to huff about it in front of people who Might be thinking of buying her another  one and I got this look of crap I WAS going to get her one.. heh Said person then started describing the noses of the other ones like the unicorn. Just what I  need.. her jamming a horn down her throat :/  I wonder if a fairy will cry if I chop it's horn off :x

post #31 of 70

LOL babygirlie...those new pillow pets are not as well made as the ones from last year.  We bought them last year before they were popular, and they are solid...my 1 year old has attempted many times to rip body parts off hers, and the body parts aren't budging.  I'm also pretty sure there's nothing removable on it.  (She has a penguin).


The age thing doesn't bother me...we buy lots of toys out of age range, because the babies only stay little for a short time.  I'd rather store something for a few months and give it to her when she's older than have something she outgrows in a month.

post #32 of 70

Oh man, have I been there. It is hard to navigate the gift getting aspect of being a new parent. When my DD1 was 6 months old my mom bought her this:


It wasn't a holiday, she just bought it for no reason and boy was I pissed. How dare she buy this big, giant plastic toy for my house without getting an ok from me first. I had lots of arguments - DD was too young for it, it was really big and took up a lot of space, how did she know we didn't already have it, etc. I didn't even bring up the plastic argument because frankly that is so far off my mainstream family's radar they would never get. My mom was really hurt and upset, she was coming at it from the angle of I just wanted to buy my grandchild a toy, why can't I buy my grandchild a toy. The toy came out of a place of love, just like the baby alive doll did for your MIL and I can totally see how she would be crushed by your rejection.

I've changed a lot over the years - when my DD1 was 2 we got her a play kitchen and play food, I wanted to make sure she got a wooden kitchen and I made all her food myself from felt and also bought her some Haba and Plan toys food to go with it. Over the years my ILs have added some Melissa and Doug wooden food to her kitchen set, it is not what I would have chosen, but it wasn't cheap plastic food and DD loves it. Well, now my DD1 is 4.5 and my DD2 is 8 months and we just celebrated Christmas with some friends. And what did one of our dear friends get DD1? Yup, a big plastic barrel full of cheap plastic food from Walmart. And I smiled gracefully and accepted it and it is now mixed in with my DD1's kitchen set because you know what? The relationship is more important than the toy. In 20 years DD1 is going to remember having fun times with this friend, not that she had a plastic hot dog in her toy kitchen.

In your case, the damage has already been done so now you have to decide how to proceed from here. You could call up your MIL and tell her you've thought things over a bit more, feel really badly about what you said about the toy and you'd love to have it. You could go at it from an inappropriate age perspective and tell her she can give DD the doll for Christmas but then take it back to her house to store until she is older since you don't have the space. You could tell her all the reasons why you don't want DD to have this particular doll and point her in the direction of what kind of dolls would be ok. You could accept the gift, take out the batteries and take away the chokeable parts and have it just be a doll.

Advice for the future - have natural toy catalogs sent to MILs house, talk about what you are getting her and why and just accept all gifts gracefully and deal with it later. Over the years we've gotten a lot of gifts I would never have purchased for my kids, some have turned out to be her favorites, some have been played with for a day and neglected for years, but none have irrevocably harmed them.

Here is my pet peeve about giving gifts to kids - why does the gift have to be a surprise for the parents too? If your MIL wanted to buy your DD a baby doll, why couldn't she have called you and said I was thinking about getting DD a baby doll for Christmas, how about this one? Or did you have any ones in mind?

In this day and age of technology, how hard is it to send an email, text message, or call from your cell phone? Last week my Mom bought DD a pillow pet. DD has been talking about getting a ladybug pillow pet for months, my mom bought her a panda one. So when DD got the panda she was disappointed and reacted as so. Both my mom and my DD were upset. It all could have been avoided with a simple phone call. We've also gotten so many duplicate gifts - books, games, etc. for the same reason. Just call me, text me, etc. But for whatever reason it never happens.

post #33 of 70

Given the results of the Clarks' famous doll study: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_and_Mamie_Clark , I don't think this is as simple as many other preferences listed here. Maybe, your husband can have a discussion with his mom about the Doll Study, and the recreation of it, and the CNN coverage from last year, and Nurtureshock's chapter on race, and ask his mom, "Mom, how did you do it? How did you raise me to be a proud, confident black man?" and in the course of the conversation, bring up the fact that Barack Obama listed himself as African American/black on the census because when he is walking down the street, people don't see his white mother, they see a black man.


Your MIL may be thinking you wouldn't feel comfortable surrounding your daughter with all black dolls and books and characters, so she might need to be brought on board, and reassured that you WANT it.

post #34 of 70

It may be too late now, but I would graciously accept and keep the doll, which your dd is too young to really have much of an opinion on anyway, and remove batteries and bottles or any accessories you deem offensive.  You could put it on a shelf on your dd's room and just see if she ever takes to it.....she should not miss the bottle or battery operated actions if she does not know they are there.  Not worth Grandma's hurt feelings to reject the gift.  As your dd grows and you accumulate more things that are in line with your values, Grandma may catch on to that and start to look for things she knows you would like for dd......or not.  In the long run your dd will have her own opinions anyway.  The relationship with Grandma far outweighs making sure only appropriate toys enter the home.  I can't tell you how many gifts I have cringed at over the years, and my kids have survived them all relatively unscathed!  Even things we have acquired in line with our ideals (such as an assortment of Asian dolls for our Chinese dd) have ended up being unused and sitting on a shelf collecting dust.  People before things.

post #35 of 70

Not wrong............but I would stop all arguments and state firmly that toy is for an older child.  She can give it but you will store it until it is safe for her to play with it.  It will be forgotten, batteries removed if not, then lost among the other dolls you give her.


I would have your dh deal with her.  IMO this is a boundry he needs to establish with his mom.  "NO, this is not acceptable.  I will not allow you to give unsafe (and it is) things to my child."  It might be also good to has him then ask "Why do you want to give something my child could choke on? Are you trying to kill her?"  The answer is going to be "NO, and upsetting because it will be obvious to his mom how little she thought about this special item."

post #36 of 70
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post


I would have your dh deal with her.  IMO this is a boundry he needs to establish with his mom.  "NO, this is not acceptable.  I will not allow you to give unsafe (and it is) things to my child."  It might be also good to has him then ask "Why do you want to give something my child could choke on? Are you trying to kill her?"  The answer is going to be "NO, and upsetting because it will be obvious to his mom how little she thought about this special item."

 IMO, this is too harsh, given the information that the OP provided.

post #37 of 70

OP, respectfully I think you are wrong.  I find it rude to not graciously accept any gift from anyone.  Your MIL is clearly coming from a loving and caing place...just trying to find something that could make your daughter happy one day.  I would never tell a gift giver that their gift is unacceptable and that they need to return it.  That's just me.  Now, if your MIL asked first and you gave her a list of acceptable options and she went the plastic, battery-operated route, I would be miffed.

post #38 of 70
Originally Posted by Hoopin' Mama View Post

I TOTALLY understand your concerns. And I truly believe in following age recommendations. In this case though, given the background, I think accepting it would have been the best thing to do. Your dd is young enough that making it disappear would not be problematic.

I think you should call your MIL and talk to her -- tell her the awesome things about her that you told us here.

I agree with this.  Be glad that 1) your dd is too young for the doll so she likely won't pay any attention to it and 2) she's young enough (and your MIL lives far away enough) that you can make it disappear the next day.  If MIL asks how she likes it, I would just say that she does and leave it at that.  If she visits, she'll see for herself that the doll is really too old for her and hopefully that will influence her future gift giving.


You can explain your beliefs and views til your blue in the face, but at the end of the day the grandparents will buy what they want to buy.... says the mom who's kids are getting a mobigo video game thing I'm less than thrilled about.  I would tell your MIL that you were wrong in telling her you didn't want the gift, but that in the future you'd prefer your dd to have AA or hispanic dolls.

post #39 of 70

My strategy with gifts is to accept them if they are inappropriate and from people we do not see often. Those ones can disappear if required.


If they are from someone we will see often, I can either put them aside and bring them out later (although dd at 5 will remember and ask for them now) or I can set boundaries about gifts. I do this outside of the Christmas season and I get dh to talk to my MIL about appropriate gifts. We also create a Christmas list early so the grandparents know what to get dd.


For grandparents who live closer and love to spend money on dd (both of ours do), I ask that gifts be restricted to Christmas and her birthday. Anything else, the grandparents can keep at their house and dd can play with the toys when she visits. So they can buy whatever they want, as long as it is safe, and dd will be exposed to it occasionally. When dd was born, PVC in toys was a big issue and we did have a talk with grandma about that so she knew why we didn't want dd playing with PVC, even at her place. She understood.

post #40 of 70

I struggle with issues like this all the time. My mother and MIL have given my kids so many things that I don't want them to have.  It's so hard.  Although I think you may have been a little harsh, I totally understand where you are coming from.  I wouldn't beat myself up over it.  You handled it the best way you could, she needed to know, especially with the age issue.  If I were you, I would or would have DH talk to MIL, make sure she understands why you said no to the doll but also make sure she doesn't feel hurt over the situation.

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