Dd just got a gift.. and I want to cry or scream - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-11-2009, 05:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize this is dumb but I have to tell this to someone that might understand.

A couple of days ago I went through some of our stuff and donated two huge bags full of clothes, toys, etc. While we don't have a ton of money, I have worked hard to avoid plastic toys, to make a wooden oven felt play food, etc.

So... we have really nice and friendly neighbors... and tonight my dd opened the door and found the lady giving her a large box with a big, bright plastic oven/stove top in it. I just want to cry... I fee anxious thinking I will need to stare at that thing for months. The neighbor meant SO well!

And this came just after dd had learned that we don't buy plastic toys because many of them break so easily and because of the endless advertising bombarding us at this time of the year.

I realize that this is silly.. but I was so proud of the nice toys and the way our living room finally looked, uncluttered and natural... I just want to cry.

So... I do not want to hurt dd's feelings... What do I do?

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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Give your child a time limit that you will keep the toy. Say one week, two weeks - however long you can stand it.
Then discuss giving it away to someone else for their Christmas!
My kids really only play with their toys for a short time before moving on to something else. Hopefully your DD will too!

Alisha - proud mom of four!
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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I can sympathize. We finally just gave up on our toy standards (or vastly compromised them). It can be so hard and so frustrating!

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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Old 11-11-2009, 06:04 PM
 
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Christmas is your friend. You can help DD give it to a child who needs it more than she does...or however you want to phrase it.

DH wouldn't allow it to take up our living space. If it didn't fit into our toy room, we wouldn't keep it.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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Old 11-11-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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Can you use it outside?
Seriously, I do home daycare and have a plastic kitchen in the sand area and the children love it


and if you tried it you could tell the neighbor you already have a wooden one for inside... in fact, you could even tell the neighbor first and say you'll be using it outside and would she prefer to pass it on to someone else?

Just a thought
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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I know the neighbor only had good intentions, but who gives something that big without consulting the parent first? And not allowing the child to know anything about it til mom n dad said yes or no?

I'd say its your home, tell the neighbor very nicely that it isn't part of the plan and while it was beyond generous you will be regifting it or if she wants it back she can have it. Tell dd she can keep it for one week.

Tell her Santa needs help this year getting all the toys due to the recession. He had to lay off some elves.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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Hey, Anu! This is your fellow Hanna Andersson friend Azalea .
I completely understand. I'm in the same position. We have very few toys but those we do have are quality wooden or some sort of fabric or puzzles, etc. For my DD's birthday my ILs gave her a huge plastic ride on toy. Even though they know we already owned two! I just thanked them. My DS ended up loving it so we let him keep it. Coincidentally toys like that end up getting broken and HAVE to be donated or thrown away, right?

If it were me I'd let your DD enjoy it for a while and as soon as she gets tired of it pass it on to someone who'll enjoy it. No need to explain.

Awesome SAHM to 5-yr-old son,3-yr-old girl and a baby girl. Blog about my home http://azaleastudio.blogspot.com
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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I once had a very nice neighbor who loved to give my dd stuff, her daughters were grown and she missed them terribly. This was stuff I would never get for my dd, boxes full of heavily scented soaps, perfumes, lotions, boxes of fast food toys. It bothered me but I didn't have the heart to ask her to stop or to keep them from dd so I don't have any advice for you.
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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since you MADE a wooden one for your daughter already, i would go to the neighbor and say, "thank you so much! the thing is, she actually already has one, so i don't feel right keeping it. i'm sure someone else would love to have this. is there someone else you want to give it to, or do you want me to find a new home for it?"
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Old 11-11-2009, 07:40 PM
 
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Does the neighbor come into your house ever? would she know if it was gone?

I'm sorry you are in this tricky spot.

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommaof3boz View Post
I know the neighbor only had good intentions, but who gives something that big without consulting the parent first? And not allowing the child to know anything about it til mom n dad said yes or no?
:
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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since you MADE a wooden one for your daughter already, i would go to the neighbor and say, "thank you so much! the thing is, she actually already has one, so i don't feel right keeping it. i'm sure someone else would love to have this. is there someone else you want to give it to, or do you want me to find a new home for it?"
I think this is a GREAT way to address the issue! It's absolutely honest and shouldn't hurt the neighbor's feelings either.

Single mama to DD 10/18/03 and DS 9/15/05 

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Old 11-12-2009, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone! It simply feels nice to be understood.

The thing is the neighbor is from another culture and there is no way I can give this back. (This is not the first gift, either.) Their kids are older, so I think she just loved to give dd things and can't even imagine I am not so thrilled.

Last night dd was playing with the gift and the oven door just would not open. She looked at me and said "I think this was made in China." (She does not get the whole thing about things being made as cheaply as possible in certain countries, so this was funny coming from her.) So, at least I think she kind of does get why I dislike plastic.

HI AZALEA! Now I get it: I remember I had seen the beautiful wooden toys in the background of your photos! Dd is just not growing fast enough... hah.. so I have not bought anything for a long time, and don't read there much.

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:45 AM
 
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I throw out EVERYTHING...my children have very few toys and I'm a zealot about keeping it that way. I am a serious purger.

BUT....in your situation -- well-meaning neighbor from another culture who would know if you threw out her gift...I think I would keep it.

And I would display it prominently so that everytime the neighbor came to visit she saw her gift out there being used.

I would take a PICTURE of my child playing with that gift and put it in the thank-you note to your neighbor.

Because people are more important than having things "just so" in your home.



Your daughter will outgrow that kitchen in about a year and will lose interest in it...then it can quietly leave through the backdoor without anyone noticing. And by then your neighbor will feel like her gift was loved and appreciated.

In the grand scheme of things, that one year with a plastic kitchen in your home will be forgotten. Your relationship with your neighbor and the way she felt about giving your daughter that gift will live on forever.

 

 

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Old 11-12-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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why would someone from another culture not understand that your daughter has two, and someone else has none?
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post

Because people are more important than having things "just so" in your home.


Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I think the only proper response to a gift is to say thank you. I would never even dream of going to someone and returning a gift or telling them I was going to give it away. I'm not even sure what that is supposed to accomplish - the money was already spent and it would only hurt feelings.

Of course its yours now and you should feel free to pass it along if you don't want it (I believe its equally rude to ask about the fate of a gift one has given, so hopefully they won't). Using it outside, however, is another great idea. It's great that you are sensitive to cultural differences as well.

And I definitely understand where you are coming from. I love how our home and minimal toy collection looks right now and I'm sure getting something that big and plastic would throw me into a tizzy.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:34 PM
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I say either use it outdoors or freecycle it right before Christmas. My 2 year old saw me purging toys, and he actually understood when I explained that we had to make room for the new toys that Grandma and Grandpa will send him for the holidays. I have a strict policy of getting rid of more toys than we receive every December.

"Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?" - Andy Warhol
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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I do understand wanting things just so. I am a chronic declutterer.

Fact is people in our life bring us presents because they love our children - brand new or hand me down. My kid's love them - the friend/relative is thinking of my child's happiness.
I'm sorry you don't like the gift - I get that I really do. I'm happy somebody loves your family and was thinking of you guys. If dd enjoys it, see her smile and not the toy. If she doesn't love it, maybe she will choose to donate to someone else.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
BUT....in your situation -- well-meaning neighbor from another culture who would know if you threw out her gift...I think I would keep it.

And I would display it prominently so that everytime the neighbor came to visit she saw her gift out there being used.

I would take a PICTURE of my child playing with that gift and put it in the thank-you note to your neighbor.

Because people are more important than having things "just so" in your home.

. Your relationship with your neighbor and the way she felt about giving your daughter that gift will live on forever.
Ya, that.

I agree, the only proper response to a gift given honestly out of kindness (not some of the passive-aggressive stuff, etc) is a warm thank you. Telling someone you are going to give it away or trying to give it back to them is just..so far beyond rude.
is there any way you can maybe stash it at someone else's house? Like grammas? (Hey, mom, dd loves playing kitchen and we have 2, so I thought maybe we could bring a small kitchen over to your house, is that ok?)

CPST
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sunshineafterrain View Post
Can you use it outside?
Seriously, I do home daycare and have a plastic kitchen in the sand area and the children love it


and if you tried it you could tell the neighbor you already have a wooden one for inside... in fact, you could even tell the neighbor first and say you'll be using it outside and would she prefer to pass it on to someone else?

Just a thought
I think that's a good "rule." It's basically what I do. Plastic toys are for outside, wooden toys are for inside (mostly).

my toy shop on etsy.com: wooden baby keys, natural bathtub toys, wooden animals, little kitchens, waldorf dolls...also check out my blog about saving money, creating things, and natural living
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:19 AM
 
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I would also keep it.

I was also going to suggest using it as an outside toy. That's where I've put our plastic play kitchen and it gets played with heaps with the sandpit nearby and the playhouse (it's totally filled with sand etc, but dd in particular plays with it a bit out there). In fact, it never got played with when inside, so gets much better use out there anyhow!

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Old 11-13-2009, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone!

I have decided to just put up with it... for now.

This is not a neighbor that comes in our house (has been in once) but I really cannot do anything other than say thank you.

The outside idea would be great...except there is snow out already.It would look as if we left it there to get ruined. But... we do have a walk-in-closet near the living room, so that will most likely be the permanent home very soon.

Oh... and part of the problem is that dd's toys are in the living room. She does not even have her own room, as that is how we all prefer it.

Thanks again. It meant a lot to know there are people who understand.

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Crunchy*VT*Mom View Post
I throw out EVERYTHING...my children have very few toys and I'm a zealot about keeping it that way. I am a serious purger.

BUT....in your situation -- well-meaning neighbor from another culture who would know if you threw out her gift...I think I would keep it.

And I would display it prominently so that everytime the neighbor came to visit she saw her gift out there being used.

I would take a PICTURE of my child playing with that gift and put it in the thank-you note to your neighbor.

Because people are more important than having things "just so" in your home.



Your daughter will outgrow that kitchen in about a year and will lose interest in it...then it can quietly leave through the backdoor without anyone noticing. And by then your neighbor will feel like her gift was loved and appreciated.

In the grand scheme of things, that one year with a plastic kitchen in your home will be forgotten. Your relationship with your neighbor and the way she felt about giving your daughter that gift will live on forever.


I have a neighbor like this too.

Maggie, wife and mom to three
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:55 PM
 
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Can you use it outside?
Seriously, I do home daycare and have a plastic kitchen in the sand area and the children love it


and if you tried it you could tell the neighbor you already have a wooden one for inside... in fact, you could even tell the neighbor first and say you'll be using it outside and would she prefer to pass it on to someone else?

Just a thought
I think this is a great idea and we sort of do this as well. Outside we have a plastic school bus and firetruck and a few other plasticy toys...they hold up under the rain and everything and once they get totally nasty/broken/unuseable we'll toss 'em.

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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