My 3 yo DS stays with my parents during the week while I'm at work and has done so since he was a baby. He adores them, and they're crazy about him but they are also about to drive me batty because of how much stuff they are constantly getting for him. New toys and other items seem to magically appear on a weekly basis...my mom's explanation for this is that she feels that DS is bored with everything they already have (which is a lot, at least to me). Granted, it's not like they buy him huge, obnoxious, expensive toys (most of the time), but I don't feel like it's good for a child to get a new toy, even a small, inexpensive one, every time they go somewhere.
I have tried to logically discuss my concerns with them. I've tried to rationalize their actions by reminding myself he's their only grandchild, and I'm their only child, and they were poor when I was little and couldn't give me everything they would have liked to. I've tried sending them links to activity ideas online...I even purchased a couple months of the Little Acorn Learning monthly guides for them to use, but they never did. I've also purchased several books like The Toddler's Busy Book to give them ideas. I've gotten completely furious a few times.
I get the impression my parents think I'm overreacting, and sometimes I wonder if I am. I just don't know whether I should accept the toy overload because I really have no control over it -- I'm a single parent, I have to work, and DS is already going to playschool 2 mornings a week, which is the maximum I can afford right now, so my parents are pretty much the only child care I have -- or if there is some way to get through to them about my concerns. I wish they could just be the doting grandparents (which they are fabulous at being), and not my primary child care. Any ideas on how to lovingly handle this situation?