In-laws x-mas gift-vent! - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-17-2007, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We celebrated x-mas with our extended families this weekend. The day was going great, everyone was having lots of fun. We had opened all of the presents from my family, mostly small toys, books and clothes. My in-laws asked dh to go out and help them unload their presents for our kids. They brought in a huge pedal tractor for my 12 month old, his feet are a foot from the ground when he sits on it. I thought this was not age appropriate, but my two older girls thought it was great! They said the girls had to go outside to see their present. I looked out and saw a big battery operated four wheeler, with two seats. My girls are 3 years old and almost 6 years old. I have felt strongly against these battery operated cars for years and have always said I would never allow my kids to have one. I can see so many problems and injuries that could result. I told in-laws how I felt and said the girls couldn't have it. MIL said she thought it was appropriate, I would just have to supervise. My dh is an only child and she has no clue what it's like to watch 3 young children! I felt like the biggest jerk in the world! There's nothing like kicking a gift horse in the mouth. I had to stand up to in-laws by myself and dh didn't say a word. He knows exactly how I feel about this and has known for years. I'm so mad at him and at in-laws, I would think they would ask first about such a big purchase. Not only that, but these are the people who say our kids have to many toys and have never bought a toy for the girls, however once we had a boy they have bought him lots of toys! MIL was asking dh for x-mas idea's and he told her that I was buying ds a sit-in car, so she decided that she was going to buy him one instead. I said no because it was my idea first, so I guess she decided she was going to buy a car anyway! Anyway, now we are supposed to go to a town an hour away next weekend and stay in a hotel with in-law and pick out a new present for dd's. The last thing in the world I want to do is go be around them! MIL is sappy sweet to my face and does the opposite of anything I ask the second my back is turned. Sorry, I had to vent!
While I believe that a gift is a gift and should be taken graciously, however we are talking about a huge battery operated car that my little girls would be driving (we live on a road that cars go by at 45-60mph)! I have taken tons of inappropriate gifts from them, thanked them nicely and quietly gotten rid of the offensive gift. But this is a $300 gift, that would be asked about very frequently. Also, if my children had been allowed to see it, they would have definately wanted it.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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have never bought a toy for the girls, however once we had a boy they have bought him lots of toys!
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MIL was asking dh for x-mas idea's and he told her that I was buying ds a sit-in car, so she decided that she was going to buy him one instead. I said no because it was my idea first, so I guess she decided she was going to buy a car anyway!
I'm sorry. We have trouble with our consumeristic family, but these two things are completely over-the-line. Personally, that would be enough for me to distance myself from them for future holidays.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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I have taken tons of inappropriate gifts from them, thanked them nicely and quietly gotten rid of the offensive gift. But this is a $300 gift, that would be asked about very frequently

Donning my flaming suit...

And you couldn't do that this time? I'm sorry but you sound very ungrateful.

Do you realize there are kids out there whose Grandparents won't even ACKNOWLEDGE them??????? and you are complaining about "battery operated toys"

Bowing out of this thread.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Ok you said four-wheeler but it has two seats so it's not actually a four-wheeler right? This is a minature car that goes 3mph correct? I don't really see the danger or why it's a big deal but my dad got my DD#2 a Dora "four-wheeler" last year. She rides it in the basement. It goes 3mph tops and it low to the ground and not at all all unsafe as far as I can tell. To be totally honest I'd feel a little more on your side if I didn't get the vibe that you're angry at MIL for stealing your thunder with the car.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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As I understand it, the PP lives on a ve3ry busy street and has 3 small children. I think it's very understandable to not want my children to have a toy that requires them to play with it on a busy street. In a cul de sac, maybe.
Some of these cars can go on grass...is that an option? My kids have a ninja 4wheeler that goes on grass. They love that.

Also, you said that you were going to get them a sit in car.l What were you going to get? Is it the speed and lack of control that bothers you? Is it the cost? The battery? The fact that MIL took your idea and ran with it?

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Old 12-17-2007, 03:12 PM
 
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Donning my flaming suit...

And you couldn't do that this time? I'm sorry but you sound very ungrateful.

Do you realize there are kids out there whose Grandparents won't even ACKNOWLEDGE them??????? and you are complaining about "battery operated toys"

Bowing out of this thread.
I totally agree. You would obviously have to supervise them with it. It's not a real four wheeler. My DS has rode on one at a friends house and I could walk faster than that thing drove.

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Old 12-17-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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We celebrated x-mas with our extended families this weekend. The day was going great, everyone was having lots of fun. We had opened all of the presents from my family, mostly small toys, books and clothes. My in-laws asked dh to go out and help them unload their presents for our kids. They brought in a huge pedal tractor for my 12 month old, his feet are a foot from the ground when he sits on it. I thought this was not age appropriate, but my two older girls thought it was great! They said the girls had to go outside to see their present. I looked out and saw a big battery operated four wheeler, with two seats. My girls are 3 years old and almost 6 years old. I have felt strongly against these battery operated cars for years and have always said I would never allow my kids to have one. I can see so many problems and injuries that could result. I told in-laws how I felt and said the girls couldn't have it. MIL said she thought it was appropriate, I would just have to supervise. My dh is an only child and she has no clue what it's like to watch 3 young children! I felt like the biggest jerk in the world! There's nothing like kicking a gift horse in the mouth. I had to stand up to in-laws by myself and dh didn't say a word. He knows exactly how I feel about this and has known for years. I'm so mad at him and at in-laws, I would think they would ask first about such a big purchase. Not only that, but these are the people who say our kids have to many toys and have never bought a toy for the girls, however once we had a boy they have bought him lots of toys! MIL was asking dh for x-mas idea's and he told her that I was buying ds a sit-in car, so she decided that she was going to buy him one instead. I said no because it was my idea first, so I guess she decided she was going to buy a car anyway! Anyway, now we are supposed to go to a town an hour away next weekend and stay in a hotel with in-law and pick out a new present for dd's. The last thing in the world I want to do is go be around them! MIL is sappy sweet to my face and does the opposite of anything I ask the second my back is turned. Sorry, I had to vent!
While I believe that a gift is a gift and should be taken graciously, however we are talking about a huge battery operated car that my little girls would be driving (we live on a road that cars go by at 45-60mph)! I have taken tons of inappropriate gifts from them, thanked them nicely and quietly gotten rid of the offensive gift. But this is a $300 gift, that would be asked about very frequently. Also, if my children had been allowed to see it, they would have definately wanted it.

Wait Wait Wait... You said they don't buy gifts for your girls but wasn't the battery operated four wheeler for them?? It sounds like the real problem here is between you and your MIL and not about the gift at all.

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Old 12-17-2007, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, I am angry at MIL for many things, so much that I could write a small book about it. Mainly for making dh side with them on issues dh and I have already agreed upon together. I have bought a car for my 12 month old ds for christmas, it is not battery powered! It's the kind the child sits in and pushes with their feet. Even though I have obvious issues with in-laws, I would have taken issue with anyone who bought this particular gift for dd's. I do feel very strongly that this is an unsafe gift for my children, and I also realize that lots of people love these cars, but I do not. I have an almost 6 year old dd that has been very strong willed since birth, if you tell her not to do something, she most certainly will do it. I can almost guarantee she will run over dd or ds with this car. My dd#2 has alot of issues with her hip and falls alot. Not only that, but I believe it is not good to teach a child that they can drive, how long will it be before they decide to take the van out for a spin? Children's brains are not developed enough to have a clear idea of consequences. In this day of seditary lifestyles, let them ride a bike!
Also, I wish I could have just thanked them, accepted it and later returned it. I could have deposited the money in dd's savings accounts, which would have been great! However, everytime dd's talk to in-laws on the phone, they would have been asked about this car. Everytime in-laws came over, they would have wanted dd's to take it out and ride around in it. I thought thanking them for the thoughtful gift, but explaining why it wouldn't work for us, was a much more up front and honest way to handle the problem.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:33 PM
 
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Actually, I am angry at MIL for many things, so much that I could write a small book about it. Mainly for making dh side with them on issues dh and I have already agreed upon together. I have bought a car for my 12 month old ds for christmas, it is not battery powered! It's the kind the child sits in and pushes with their feet. Even though I have obvious issues with in-laws, I would have taken issue with anyone who bought this particular gift for dd's. I do feel very strongly that this is an unsafe gift for my children, and I also realize that lots of people love these cars, but I do not. I have an almost 6 year old dd that has been very strong willed since birth, if you tell her not to do something, she most certainly will do it. I can almost guarantee she will run over dd or ds with this car. My dd#2 has alot of issues with her hip and falls alot. Not only that, but I believe it is not good to teach a child that they can drive, how long will it be before they decide to take the van out for a spin? Children's brains are not developed enough to have a clear idea of consequences. In this day of seditary lifestyles, let them ride a bike!
Also, I wish I could have just thanked them, accepted it and later returned it. I could have deposited the money in dd's savings accounts, which would have been great! However, everytime dd's talk to in-laws on the phone, they would have been asked about this car. Everytime in-laws came over, they would have wanted dd's to take it out and ride around in it. I thought thanking them for the thoughtful gift, but explaining why it wouldn't work for us, was a much more up front and honest way to handle the problem.
Well, you have to keep your van & car locked and the keys out of it anyway when you have children. I think a six year old knows the difference between a real car and a battery powered 4-wheeler.

Yes, you would have to supervise to make sure your dd didn't run over the younger kids but I have to assume you're supervising kids that age outside anyway.

It's up to you what toys your kids have but IMO you made a mountain out of a mole hill. How is a bike any safer than the 4-wheeler? Your DD could tip off it and break her wrist, or ram into one of the younger kids. There is a risk to everything.

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Old 12-17-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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Not only that, but I believe it is not good to teach a child that they can drive, how long will it be before they decide to take the van out for a spin? Children's brains are not developed enough to have a clear idea of consequences. In this day of seditary lifestyles, let them ride a bike!
Ok seriously?! Why aren't your worried that having your DS ride in a car he pushes with his feet will make him think he can drive the van? Lots and lots of kids have play cars that they ride in and very very few children think this means they can drive a real car. See you're really mudding your argument when you throw out these things that just aren't very rational for lack of a better term. You don't like these cars well fine but they're going to make your child try to drive a real car or somehow teach the child how to drive a real car? Um not at all. They don't have keys, they don't have brakes, they don't have gear shifts. They only look like real cars, they don't operate like them.

And they don't make your Dh take their side. He does that. They may put him in the middle by not abiding by your wishes but they don't make him take their side instead of yours.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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How is a bike any safer than the 4-wheeler? Your DD could tip off it and break her wrist, or ram into one of the younger kids. There is a risk to everything.
Absolutely! In fact I'd be willing to bet money that there are far more bike related accidents than battery operated car accidents. Again if you don't like this item fine. If you're annoyed because it's yet another stunt by your ILs fine. If you're angry your Dh doesn't stick to the agreed upon plan of action fine. But it's not really a safety issue.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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Print this out, give it to them and return the cars. They are health hazards!


http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...ract/120/1/134
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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Absolutely! In fact I'd be willing to bet money that there are far more bike related accidents than battery operated car accidents. Again if you don't like this item fine. If you're annoyed because it's yet another stunt by your ILs fine. If you're angry your Dh doesn't stick to the agreed upon plan of action fine. But it's not really a safety issue.

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Old 12-17-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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Did you read that link? I'm not at all convinced that is covering these kinds of cars at all. They're talking about motorized two wheelers, four wheelers (the actual four-wheelers not a car that happens to have four wheels but the vehicle that is actually known as a four wheeler), go-carts and dune buggies. They're talking about kids that are in their teens. They do not seem to be talking about these at all. I'm not sure they're even technically vehicles.
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Children's brains are not developed enough to have a clear idea of consequences. In this day of seditary lifestyles, let them ride a bike!
I completely agree with this statement, and I too would be angry if I made it clear that I did not want this type of toy, and my inlaws bought it anyway. I do not think kids driving toy cars is cute or appropriate. When a kid pulls their sibing in a wagon and they pretend it is a car, that requires teamwork, exercise and imagination. This is just another do-nothing toy in my opinion.

As much as you would have liked to have the cash equivalent for other things that your family might need -- this, however, is not your perogative. You can accept or refuse a gift, but you can't decide what to do with the money if you refuse it. Unfortunately!
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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And they don't make your Dh take their side. He does that. They may put him in the middle by not abiding by your wishes but they don't make him take their side instead of yours.


If your dh can't stand up to his parents that's an issue with your dh. I know a couple where the dh routinely plays his wife against his mother because then no one is ever mad at him. Its cowardly, and causes tons of hurt feelings, and I really wish the women in his life would call him on it.

I hate those cars too.

ZM
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:51 PM
 
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i think it simply comes down to the fact that you feel its an inappropriate gift for your children and I think your MIL should respect that. Even if other people don't think it dangerous or may cause a problem you do and as the mother its your job to protect your kids and not bow out and wait for something bad to happen so you can say "see i knew it would happen". I also thinkyou should talk to your DH about speaking up to his mother and not leaving you to be the "bad guy" prehaps she thinks hes ok with it. If you both agree about something and someone does something against that belief then he is just as responsible to speak up for those beliefs. stand up for your self and what you believe in and maybe it would help if you told your MIL how you really felt about things sure she might be upset at first but she'll get over it and at least you'll be on the same page. you deserve respect and you're all adults. good luck
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Old 12-17-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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I think it's great to have a "no lazy toy" rule. I hate dolls that talk and would not like for my daughter to have that as a gift. She does have some stuffed animals with batteries and they bother the heck out of me. We also have the 4 wheeler that I mentioned earlier, although I think that these battery cars are another way for kids to lay back and be entertained. I hope that you can find a nice pedal car that will excite the inlaws as much as the children.


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Old 12-17-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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I think that it is inappropriate for anyone to buy a child a huge, expensive gift without asking mom and dad about it first. However, I think those little cars are the coolest!!! My neighbor had one when I was little and I can't wait for DD to be old enough for one. When you say you have talked about not wanting one of these cars for years, have you ever talked about it IN FRONT OF YOUR IN-LAWS?
I think you have issues with your in-laws and your DH, but I don't know so much if the gift is the issue. If they had bought your DDs a set of playstands or a really nice wooden kitchen would you have such a problem with them?

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Old 12-17-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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I completely agree with this statement, and I too would be angry if I made it clear that I did not want this type of toy, and my inlaws bought it anyway. I do not think kids driving toy cars is cute or appropriate. When a kid pulls their sibing in a wagon and they pretend it is a car, that requires teamwork, exercise and imagination. This is just another do-nothing toy in my opinion.

As much as you would have liked to have the cash equivalent for other things that your family might need -- this, however, is not your perogative. You can accept or refuse a gift, but you can't decide what to do with the money if you refuse it. Unfortunately!
I didn't see anywhere in her OP that she said to her inlaws "Do not buy this gift for my kids" if that was the case than I would be on her side. Also, her reason for telling them they couldn't have the toy was because it was dangerous. A bike is just as dangerous. She didn't say to her inlaws "But than they won't have to use their immagination!!" She said it was dangerous and there were so many ways they could get injured on it.

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Old 12-17-2007, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did tell inlaws that I didn't approve of those cars when we walked by them in WalMart a few monthes ago and I told them my reasons. I would have been absolutely thrilled if they had bought a wood kitchen or any kind of playstand! I am not taking issue with the gift because of who it came from, even though I do have issues with them.
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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To be totally honest I'd feel a little more on your side if I didn't get the vibe that you're angry at MIL for stealing your thunder with the car.
Not the OP, but if someone did this to me, it would not be about "stealing my thunder," but rather about making a purposeful attempt to undermine my authority as a parent. If parents decide that a toy is inappropriate for their children (or a food, activity, religious belief--anything), that's it, end of story. No one has the right to go behind their back and decide otherwise.

If someone doesn't know the parent's wishes and makes a mistake, that is a completely different story, but this MIL was specifically told no sit-in car and chose to do so otherwise. That is beyond wrong in my book.
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:16 PM
 
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As your children's parents you have every right to define appropriate toys for your them. All of the mommas on here attacking your choice - put yourself in her shoes. There has to be some toy you wouldn't want your child playing with (a toy gun, Bratz, dolls, something). I'm really surprised at the lack of support.

I'm really curious why your dh didn't speak up to his parents. Does he feel the gifts are okay but he didn't want to rock the boat? If he feels 100% as you do then he should learn to handle his parents instead of putting his wife on the hot seat.

Have dh call and try to smooth things over with his parents before you guys drive to see them. If you don't really want to drive, how about just emailing suggestions to them???
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:17 PM
 
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Print this out, give it to them and return the cars. They are health hazards!


http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...ract/120/1/134


That link is talking about all-terrain vehicles, scooters & go carts. The inlaws did not buy the kids an ATV they bought them a faux atv that goes approx. 3 mph and is inches from the ground. They are also extremely light weight. Nothing like an ATV.

all-terrain vehicles (44.8%), 2-wheeled off-road vehicles (21.1%), and go-carts/buggies (13.7%).

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Old 12-17-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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I think you are right - you're the mother, if you and your husband don't feel it's appropriate, for any reason, then it's not appropriate! can it be returned?

can they keep it at their house, assuming they have a safer place to ride it when the kids visit?

otherwise, i'd definitely return it, or tell them nicely that you appreciate the gesture but don't feel it's appropriate due to age/safety/whatever. i think it's definitely inappropriate for someone to buy a child that kind of gift without asking the parents first.

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Old 12-17-2007, 04:21 PM
 
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I wouldn't suggest you have them buy your girls bikes if you're worried about safety.

safe kids usa

"
Bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except the automobile. More than 70 percent of children ages 5 to 14 (27.7 million) ride bicycles. This age group rides 50 percent more than the average bicyclist and accounts for approximately 21 percent of all bicycle-related deaths and nearly half of all bicycle-related injuries. "

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Old 12-17-2007, 04:26 PM
 
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I have the same issue with my MIL. My DH and I have decided that if she doesn't follow the guidelines we put forth for toys at our house, then that toy lives at her house. That way she is responsible for storing it and it is just a special treat that dd gets to play with every once in a while.
( I TOTALLY get how you feel though)
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cheshire View Post
I'm really curious why your dh didn't speak up to his parents. Does he feel the gifts are okay but he didn't want to rock the boat? If he feels 100% as you do then he should learn to handle his parents instead of putting his wife on the hot seat.
To me, that's the problem. But also I think it should be possible to nicely tell your ILs why it's not a good gift for where you live and ask for the receipt so you can take it back and get something more appropriate for the road you live on. In my family, the mantra was always, we want you to like your gifts, if you don't, we want you to take it back and get something you want. Ie the giver wants the receiver to be happy and won't be hurt if the gift given isn't quite right. For some inexplicable reason it's not that in my dh's family. The idea of taking something back is shocking to him. Ie the receiver needs to make the giver happy and not say things like "Oh I already have a copy of this."
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:37 PM
 
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I think you 100% in the right. You told your MIL your views on the battery cars she went ahead and bought one YOU are their mother and YOU ( and their dad) get FINAL say in what the kids can or can not have. I that you stood up to her. Maybe ( just maybe) next time she will get approval on a large item like that....


A FYI friends of my mom had a child who was 4 and was using his battery powered jeep in the back yard. the baby needed to go down for a nap so she took the baby in the old boy ( 5 ish ) opened the gate that was supposed to be childproffed and 4 yr old drove off. 15 min later the mom came out to check on the older 2 30minutes later after she called the police to report him missing a police officer called her back. the child was several blocks away at a 7-11 where he was spotted by another police officer. they had a BIG mess with CPS for non supervision.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:44 PM
 
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My neighbors' 3-year-old got an Escalade for Christmas last year, and it still frightens me to think about it. She could drive, back up, and do 3-point turns like a pro, but she also did some scary stuff in that car. She would drive along the sidewalk and, since the car is so wide and she was, well, 3 years old, the car would sometimes tip over the edge so that 2 wheels were in the street. She would sometimes try to follow my son, who was on his little bike, and her car went far faster than his bike-- it terrified me. Another afternoon she and some other neighborhood kids were backing up, then ramming the car into the curb, over and over. Then there's the fact that the car was always in the street and zooming in and out of people's driveways, constantly putting the child in close contact with (actual) cars. How can anybody think that these play cars are safe? They're not safety tested like real cars are, yet children feel safe shutting the door, buckling up, and going into the street in them.

And why are small children getting Cadillacs and other scaled-down SUVs as presents, anyway? What does this say about our culture? What will next year's present be? If my ILs bought a surprise like this for DS without consulting me, I would be so upset.

Maybe next year you can have a Nova Natural catalog sent to your MIL's house. (That's what I did this year, and she miraculously got all of DS's presents from it!)
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