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#1 of 52 Old 11-29-2008, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd's 2nd Birthday is tomorrow. A package arrived today from my parents - a very large package. I peaked because I had no idea what it was. A talking doll with all the bells and whistles - playpen, stroller, highchair, and a bunch of little plastic stuff. This wouldn't be so horrible (my mom just doesn't get that I'd like to say away from a bunch of plastic and just have one or two nice quality wooden toys) but I already told her we were getting dd doll stuff for Christmas, a waldorf doll, a wooden cradle and stroller from Nova Natural. I hate to turn away gifts but I've decided not to give her the stuff that was sent. I'd probably grin and bare it if she hadn't known I was already getting her that type of stuff.

DH doesn't understand why I get mad about stuff like this. 1. She knows this isn't something I'd want in the house - I've spent so much time getting rid of toys and trying to stick with natural toys. 2. She sent this knowing I would have to change my gift plans for Christmas. He doesn't get why a plastic talking doll is such a big deal. Maybe the doll in itself isn't a big deal but given the whole situation, I don't want her to have it. Especially when I have a beautiful waldorf doll sitting upstairs waiting to be wrapped for Christmas.

I hope Target is good at returns
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#2 of 52 Old 11-29-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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Same here, My parents are shipping us some 'rock n roll' bike that we're not keeping.
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#3 of 52 Old 11-29-2008, 08:46 PM
 
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I hear ya! Unfortunately, for me it's the in-laws that set me up. Luckily, Target is great about returns and they have many more natural toy options (wood instruments, those cute bendy animals, a barn, a wooden kitchen, etc-).

Exchange it, and wrap the approved gift up and present it from the grandparents. Send mom and dad a lovely thank you note for the beautiful gift and explain what you did. Eventually, they will get the point.
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#4 of 52 Old 11-29-2008, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Exchange it, and wrap the approved gift up and present it from the grandparents. Send mom and dad a lovely thank you note for the beautiful gift and explain what you did. Eventually, they will get the point.

That's a great idea. Unfortunately, it was ordered from target.com and I have to send it back rather than taking it to the store. That's what I'll do, it will just take more time.
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#5 of 52 Old 11-29-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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That's a great idea. Unfortunately, it was ordered from target.com and I have to send it back rather than taking it to the store. That's what I'll do, it will just take more time.
I am pretty positive you can return target.com items to a store instead of shipping them back.

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#6 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 12:16 AM
 
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Perhaps you've already tried this but if you go to Target's website at the bottom right, under "help" you can choose "return an item". It will lead you through a few steps, including entering the order number off the packing slip. If it's a product they carry in the store you will be able to return it there.
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#7 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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I am pretty positive you can return target.com items to a store instead of shipping them back.
Yes, you can! You just need the log on to target.com like pp said click on "return item" and print out the return receipt that they give you. You might have to ask your parents for their target account info in order to print it out. I have returned things that were sold online only.
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#8 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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Is there a reason she could not enjoy both--at least for a little while. Maybe something can go outside or in the garage (if you have one) a bedroom, and other toys can go in the main space. Maybe just let it happen. The play is the thing.

I have cute pix of one of my dds playing in our playroom...surrounded by silks and playstands, toy kitchen etc...and she and her cousins are playing with little Pokemon figurines, even though none of them had seen the show. I think they are all about age 4-6 in those pix. It's rather funny, knowing they played with everything. The little plastic stuff, and all of the wooden/woolen/beeswax items. I haven't seen any harm come from letting my children play with various toys.

In fact, I think they are better for the varied experiences. They all certainly have amazing imaginations and don't have any issues with boredom, not to mention nice relationships with their grandparents-- who love them very much. They get that grandparents and parents have different roles in their lives.
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#9 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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I'm guessing, since this is the decluttering forum, that it's not just a matter of the toys not suiting the parents' philosophies, but also the fact that their daughter would end up with a double set of something she was getting for Christmas, instead of something different she could actually use. I'd be frustrated if I told my parents I was getting my kid something and they got basically the same thing too.

That said, I gave up fighting the battle two or three kids ago. I smile, nod, let them open it if the grandparents are here, and then just quietly get rid of it a few weeks down the road. If they don't open it, I return it, which is probably what I would do in this case.

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#10 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Toys are very short-lived. Long after the toy is no longer played with and the kids move on, relationships remain.

I live in a very small home, but my kids still have toys that maybe I would not have bought. Yet, I have seen no emotional negative ramifications with letting my kids play with the toys their grannies have given them. Not a one.

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I'm guessing, since this is the decluttering forum, that it's not just a matter of the toys not suiting the parents' philosophies, but also the fact that their daughter would end up with a double set of something she was getting for Christmas, instead of something different she could actually use. I'd be frustrated if I told my parents I was getting my kid something and they got basically the same thing too.

That said, I gave up fighting the battle two or three kids ago. I smile, nod, let them open it if the grandparents are here, and then just quietly get rid of it a few weeks down the road. If they don't open it, I return it, which is probably what I would do in this case.
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#11 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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Well, I agree that it's not worth damaging relationships over. If they're far enough away to mail a gift, I don't think I'd exchange it and write a thank you note designed to teach them a lesson. I'd replace it quietly.

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#12 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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Well, I agree that it's not worth damaging relationships over. If they're far enough away to mail a gift, I don't think I'd exchange it and write a thank you note designed to teach them a lesson. I'd replace it quietly.


That seems to make the most sense to me.
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#13 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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Well, I agree that it's not worth damaging relationships over. If they're far enough away to mail a gift, I don't think I'd exchange it and write a thank you note designed to teach them a lesson. I'd replace it quietly.

I would disagree here...unless the child would be damaged by the gift, I wouid let the child have the gift the grandparent chose and let the child choose/determine it's play value.

I simply can't see that a plastic baby doll would be damaging to the child. (You can always take the tiny bottle away if you think it might make your child want to not breastfeed when the time comes).

I can, however, see how a parent with-holding grannnie gifts might not foster a close grandparent/child irelationship, in the long run.

Plus, wouldn't most grannies like a photo with the child playing with a toy they chose, and wouldn't it help develop a grandparent/grandchild relationship to engage the child by saying "Grannie sent you this doll. She thought you would enjoy it. Let's take a picture of it for her!". You can always tell the child that she doesn't need to keep something she doesn't enjoy, that she can donate it to someone who might.

To me, that could be relationship-building, unless of course the gift would harm. I think it would be nice for the child to know their grandma sent something espcially for them. If the child doesn't care for the gift, and it truly is cluttering up the house with no play value to the child, then the parent & child together can go ahead and donate it.

I don't see how a house of wooden and woolen toys is better when it means rejecting something given in love, expecially when it is something that is safe and something a child might enjoy. I think this is the child's call. Toys are limited in their appeal, age-wise, but a grandparents concern is enduring.
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#14 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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Well, like I said, since this is the decluttering and simplifying forum, I was going with the premise that the OP was troubled because her mother went out of her way to buy a duplicate of a gift she, the mother, already bought for Christmas, not because she felt the evil plastic would somehow damage her child.

From the OP:
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My dd's 2nd Birthday is tomorrow. A package arrived today from my parents - a very large package. I peaked because I had no idea what it was. A talking doll with all the bells and whistles - playpen, stroller, highchair, and a bunch of little plastic stuff. This wouldn't be so horrible (my mom just doesn't get that I'd like to say away from a bunch of plastic and just have one or two nice quality wooden toys) but I already told her we were getting dd doll stuff for Christmas, a waldorf doll, a wooden cradle and stroller from Nova Natural. I hate to turn away gifts but I've decided not to give her the stuff that was sent. I'd probably grin and bare it if she hadn't known I was already getting her that type of stuff.
And I may have missed it, but I don't think I saw anyone advocating withholding a gift from the grandparents, just exchanging it for something that isn't a duplicate.

I don't know, what's more "damaging"--a grandma willfully sending a gift she knew the mom was getting, or mom returning the gift for something the child could actually use? I'd return it. Heck, in my case, I'd probably even let them know, not in a "See, now THIS is what you should have gotten my child" kind of way, but a "Hey, you may have forgotten I told you we were getting DD the same thing for Christmas. We went ahead and swapped it at Target for XYZ." And then tell my little one that Grannie got it and took the picture. But our family relationships aren't so fragile that they're hinged on one Christmas gift. Obviously, other people might need to negotiate these things more carefully.

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#15 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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I guess it's not the popular choice but I would get rid of it and just thank the grandparents for the gift. They don't need to know you didn't keep it. I can't tell you haw many gifts we have done this with. The one that pops to mind is the Bratz ice skating rink my MIL got DD when she was 5. I hope you can get it figured out w/out any hurt feelings.

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#16 of 52 Old 11-30-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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I would let the child have both gifts. The waldorf doll and the plastic doll. It will be clear quickly what works for her. Then go from there. If the child loves both dolls, well, childhood is a very brief period of time, and soon the toys will be replaced by other stuff. Many millions of children have passed many happy and fulfilling hours with all sorts of dolls, even plastic ones. Good play is good play.

I don't see, even if this is the decluttering forum, that children don't have a right to decide what toys they most enjoy.

We can declutter all we want, but kids still need to have a say. Decluttering can be respectful to the needs of children, their toys and their relationships to their grandparents.

Whenever I get an urge to think about tossing my kids stuff, I go clean my closet or empty a couple of kitchen draws. :
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#17 of 52 Old 12-01-2008, 12:26 AM
 
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I let them open it, and play with it. Then once the interest is over, it takes a trip to Goodwill. Unless of course the giver comes to the house and would notice, in which case I grin and put up with it. Life is too short to spoil over gifts. After all, they have thought of the child and bought something. I think it is hurtful to not accept graciously.
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#18 of 52 Old 12-01-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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I'm with the op, I'd return it and get something else. If they are so far away they mail the present, they won't know the difference.

We've received a plastic doll & stroller that's similar to what you describe. The doll was scented & soft MIC plastic (no recognizable brand) - I didn't want dd snuggling with it (she was around 2). GP live here so since she opened it in front of them, we couldn't return it. She played with it a bit, then we passed it on. The stroller became an outdoor toy,it was always falling apart so dd got frustrated, it was painted & had vinyl so I'd prefer it be an outdoor toy. Most inappropriate stuff we get, I let them play with a bit & then donate (or toss if it's really bad). It seems better to just return it if possible & get the kids something that you & them will love. It just adds stress to your life to spend the day looking at things you can't stand/think might be unsafe.
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#19 of 52 Old 12-01-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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Ugh, I'm sorry . DH's parents did something similar to us. They bought DS a huge PowerWheel John Deere tractor with a trailer. I already posted about the situation here: http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...d.php?t=993154

I had a heart to heart with them about the toy and asked them to leave it at their place so DS could enjoy it when he visited. But then they still decided to bring it with them on their last visit (while I was recuperating from gallbladder surgery). I am so pissed that I've got this huge toy in my basement .

DH doesn't get why I don't want the thing at my house. Hmm...let's see: it's dangerous, it's huge, we have no room to store it, we have no place for DS to ride it (if I were to allow him). Why shouldn't we get rid of it!? I really don't want to hurt my MIL's feelings, but I really hate this gift. It's so totally not what we need or want. I wish I could have the $200 to buy DS swimming lessons or music lessons or something along those lines.

My problem is that I cannot return the item - we have no box. So now I'm faced with either trying to take it back down to grandma and grandpa's house (if it will fit in our little car) or selling it. It makes my head hurt just thinking about it .
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#20 of 52 Old 12-01-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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After all, they have thought of the child and bought something. I think it is hurtful to not accept graciously.
I was on the giving side of the equation once, giving a gift to a friends' child. I didn't know about their toy preferences (because they never told me) and gave a cute little stuffed duckie that giggles. In retrospect I could see it being an annoying toy, but the expressions on their faces that said "yeah, that's getting returned" was extremely hurtful. But, Given the OP's situation I think that the gift was inappropriate. I would talk with the giver before returning it though. At least that way they would be semi-clear on the situation and maybe even be able to pick out something new themselves.

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#21 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 06:32 PM
 
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http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml99/99012.html (Old one)

http://babyparenting.about.com/b/200...s-recalled.htm (Newer one)

I forgot to post how these things are fire hazards!
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#22 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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so we simply cannot have certain toys like those building toys with magnets in them that if a child swallows them will twist his intestines and kill him? Yeah, we can't have those.

Yes my youngest is 5 1/2 but he cannot have toys for children over 3. He still puts everything in his mouth. I know that makes shopping inconvenient for you when you cannot buy whatever you want to!

In my house if an item is unsafe out it goes (trash/thrift store/etc. depending on the item). I don't return items. I have no idea where they get their lead coated MIC items!?!

My children also get anxious if they get too many toys! LOL!
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#23 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 07:00 PM
 
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I agree with what UUMom had to say. Our kids get gifts that I would not choose- but they are given with love for my kids, and that's what's most important about a gift (safety notwithstanding- I would absolutely not give my kid a toy that could hurt them, as a PP w/SN kiddos mentioned). Nobody dies or is permanantly psychologically injured from playing with plastic toys once in awhile. I can't see hurting a grandparent's feelings over a toy given in the holiday spirit. Stuff like that quietly gets donated after the newness wears off- the kids are happy to have played with, grandma is happy because she sees a picture of her child playing with the gift she chose, and I'm sure some child whose parents shop at Savers is happy with the toy when it gets to them

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#24 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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I'm sorry, but I think it was incredibly disrespectful for her to go out and buy the exact same type of toys you said you were getting your dd. I would be furious.
I'm not fond of many of the things my parents and in-laws get the kids, many of which end up getting donated within a month or so because they don't get played with. They seem to think they know better than we do what the girls like, but they have always made sure not to get them what we got them. Kwim? And in fact, my parents are slowly getting better about it.

Too be honest, I don't know what I would do. Part of me would be tempted to call mil up and say "Oh, you must not have realized we already got her a doll, etc for xmas so if it's ok we would like to exchange them.". Or just let her open them up, snap some pics, wait a week and then donate them.
Or if they live close enough to visit now and then, take them there and leave them for her to play with when visiting.
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#25 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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getting crappy plastic toys..I would be fine with that.
Getting just tons and tons of toys..okay, that too, i could deal.
I would not make a fight over parenting differences or decluttering issues, etc.

however, for me, the issue would be that if I had specifically told someone that *I* was getting my child a doll and accesory set, and they went behind my back and got the exact same thing, it is a matter of disrespect. and people who want to see or talk to my child or myself treat me with respect. I would call and bring it up, saying something like"i looked at the gift, but was a little surprised...do you not remember the conversation we had (insert "at your house/two months ago/just before Halloween", etc) when I told you that I/we were getting dd a doll and stroller, etc??
Thebn, it would depend on the answer......did this person truly not hear or remember??? Okay, then I would politely say that unfortunately you have already gotten dd a set and ask if they would like you to return the gift to them so they can choose something else, or if they would like you to return it and choose something else yourself?
If it becomes clear they DID remember what was said, but bought it anyway....first they'd get a stern, firm earful reminding them about how we treat people with respect and how trying to usurp our child's xmas gift is just RUDE and then offer the same options. Or offer to send it back so it can be payed with AT gramma's house, if that happens often.

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#26 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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Where is it written that a child can't have various dolls? I know some kids don't love dolls (I have two girls who have never played with dolls, which I have to say bums me out. lol) When I was a kid, I adored my dolls. The more sibs they had, the merrier. I spent hours, nay, years and years playing with my dolls. I favored none, loved them all.

Well, ok. I did favour one a bit. Her name was Hiedi, and she was sweet, and most special. But she had Nina and Stacy and Beth and Sunshine and well, just a bunch of sisters! lol :

I think it's better to err on the side of being less controlling with kids toys, rather than more. Unless a grannie gives a kid something with sharp pointy lead pieces or something.

No kid likes his/her mother messing with his play needs. It's not relationship -building. It doesn't foster trust. If it's all about the emotional connection, I would list respecting a child's personal gifts and play needs right at the tippy top.
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#27 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Well, it seems pretty common to buy little girls dolls, so perhaps this was not quite a malicious or undermining act? When my first dd was younger she received many dolls, and I know that the older adults loved the chance to buy dolls, whether they were approved by me or not. Sort of a re-living childhood. Also, the relationship is really with the child, and not the adult-your mom is giving your dd a gift of a doll, not you. Why make it into a competition when it doesn't have to be?

And if this is truly about de-cluttering, which I am not clear it is entirely, why not wrap up the doll and donate it somewhere where there might be a child without a grandparent to send them a gift? If you feel the need to make a point with you mom this might be less hurtful than returning one gift (thing) for another gift (thing). Maybe an opportunity to help your dd understand that while she may not have her grandmother's gift, someone else may joyfully receive it and be grateful.
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#28 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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Why would you only want your DD to have one doll? : I wish my girls would have played with dolls; I had many and remember playing with them until I was 11 or 12 years old. One of my DDs loves Disney Princess Barbies, though, and my mom and I are actually splitting them up for Christmas- she'll get them from both of us, it's cheaper for each person that way. I don't understand the proprietary feeling towards the gift you picked; unless you're worried that your DD will like the plastic one from grandma more?

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#29 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 09:20 PM
 
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Why would you only want your DD to have one doll? : I wish my girls would have played with dolls; I had many and remember playing with them until I was 11 or 12 years old. One of my DDs loves Disney Princess Barbies, though, and my mom and I are actually splitting them up for Christmas- she'll get them from both of us, it's cheaper for each person that way. I don't understand the proprietary feeling towards the gift you picked; unless you're worried that your DD will like the plastic one from grandma more?

Are we, like , the same person?!?!?

I adored dollies, and my girls...do not. It's sort of a bummer. lol

I mean, I totally respect who my dds are...but wow, my kingdom for carte- blanche on the doll- buying. lol

I begged my dds to want the homeschooling doll that American Girl put out a couple of years ago. I was like "Girls! She looks like you. She is our family!" At one point one of my dds (6 at the time) said "Mummy, you love dolls, you should get that doll for yourself. We are just not into dolls. That's OK".

Whatevah.

My kid was right, but I couldn't see buying a doll to do ....nothing... lol

I'll say straight up-- I live in a tiny house. But gosh, toys. Toys are like so brief in a kid's life. Some of us have kids not into toys, and some of us have kids who enjoy toys. I would want my kid to say "My folks were a bit confused by my toy choices, but my childhood was awesome because they respected me even if they didn't totally get it" rather than "My parents hated what I liked to play with. I always felt judged by them. Even my toy choices and needs totally dissapointed them".

Make room, I say. Don't be the person with the plastic on the sofa!

Just as our parents or grandparents vented about their bums sticking to the plastic on the couches, so will our children document our angst over the toys that cluttered up their parents homes.

At some point, an MDC kid will post, somewhere, about how decluttering made him/her feel guilty about certain toys. "I knew my mother hated my grandmother for sending me my favorite toy. I knew I my mother was upset that I love the peeing dollie/the Nerf Dartboard. I always felt so guilty. It would have been so peaceful to have been able to play with certain toys without worrying my mother was mad at me".
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#30 of 52 Old 12-02-2008, 10:01 PM
 
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I don't see anything wrong with having more than 1 doll, my kids do, but why would you buy an entire doll set when you know that the parents are already getting them?
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