Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Bluenomi on February 17, 2014, 06:55:50 PM

Title: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Bluenomi on February 17, 2014, 06:55:50 PM
MIL makes awesome shortbread and DD1 loves it. So whenever she comes to visit (2 or 3 times a year) she brings her a batch bad gives if to her with much enthusiasm and 'look what I made you!'. This I have no problem with, it's nice for her to make it for her and DD1 really loves it.

What does bother me is the fact MIL and FIL end up eating more then half of it while they are here even though it's apparently DD1's treat. One visit I went to give one to DD1 just after they left for the airport to help cheer her up and there wasn't any left. I discovered later MIL had the last 2 with her tea just before they left.

This trip they arrived just before DD1's bedtime and MIL gave her the shortbread but she didn't eat any since it was too late. She had preschool the next day so didn't get any in the morning before MIL and FIL arrived (they were stayingin a hotel since we don't have the room). They got themselves a cup of tea while I was sorting the twins out and I came back to find they had opened DD1's package of shortbread and were tucking in, DD1 hadn't even had any yet!

So here my question, am I being a snow flake thinking they shouldn't be eating the shortbread MIL gave to DD1 as a present? Or should I just suck it up because MIL made it?
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Promise on February 17, 2014, 07:02:56 PM
My husband also makes awesome shortbread that we often give as a gift. It keeps well. Could you not hide it? If MIL asks for a piece you could say, "I'm going to save it. It just seems to disappear so quickly if I leave it out and since it's a gift for her, I'm going to make sure that after your visit, she'll get one piece every day to remember you by."
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: lisat on February 17, 2014, 07:20:21 PM
Can you ask her for the receipe? I mean, shortbread is very easy to make. If your daughter loves it so much  I think it would be pretty cool if your MIL  showed her how to make it, and then you two can bake it also.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: esposita on February 17, 2014, 07:27:39 PM
I have friends who might bring something tasty, say "Look at what I made you!" and we'd both enjoy it together. Its understood that its not really a gift, more like a treat for both (or all) of us. It could be just a difference in personalities/the way she expresses herself. I'd just mentally go "Okay, she says 'Look what I brought you' but she really means 'I was bumbling around in the kitchen and brought some cookies for us all to eat during my visit.'"

You might have a word with her though, since she's making your little one think that the cookies are specifically for her. Maybe say "Hey, she loves your cookies, but when you say that it makes her think they are a gift meant just for her and she gets hurt when she sees you taking them...could you maybe say it differently so she knows?" That would have the added benefit of opening their eyes to how much they are really eating if they really are being oblivious.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: purple on February 17, 2014, 07:29:00 PM
I do think what MIL is doing is rude.  I wouldn't think it's rude for her to have a piece if the package were opened by DD1 in the presence of all and to share with everybody, but what she is doing is definitely rude.  I actually can't imagine a grandmother who would bake shortbread for the granddaughter and then eat it all like that!

When MIL gives the shortbread to her, perhaps you could say something like "Oh wow, thanks so much - say thank you to MIL DD1 - let's put this away for now since it's too late/too early/too sunny etc, and we will get it out on the weekend/for your birthday/or some other time after MIL is gone".

Then, put it somewhere where MIL doesn't know where it is.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Bluenomi on February 17, 2014, 07:29:50 PM
I've got the recipe and DD1 and I have made it but mine isn't as good, I lack MIL's Scottish touch! Plus part if the fun for DD1 is getting a present and knowing her grandmother made it for her.

I can try hiding it next visit but I'm not sure if I really can stop her eating it since she did make it. Would that be rude?
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 17, 2014, 07:43:16 PM
Since MIL brings a large batch maybe her intent is more of a "here's a batch to share with DD1". I do think it very odd they'd eat the last of what they brought though. Opening before DD1 had some wouldn't register as an issue for me though.

Is the short bread already cut into serving pieces? If so, I'd just immediately put some in a separate container for DD1 and put it away and then leave the rest out for everyone to share. If MIL says anything just say that DD1 likes to ration her share over several days instead of eating it all at once. And it's a nice treat for her to have after they're gone.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: CakeEater on February 17, 2014, 07:47:49 PM
Since MIL brings a large batch maybe her intent is more of a "here's a batch to share with DD1". I do think it very odd they'd eat the last of what they brought though. Opening before DD1 had some wouldn't register as an issue for me though.

Is the short bread already cut into serving pieces? If so, I'd just immediately put some in a separate container for DD1 and put it away and then leave the rest out for everyone to share. If MIL says anything just say that DD1 likes to ration her share over several days instead of eating it all at once. And it's a nice treat for her to have after they're gone.

I was just about to suggest this. Can you put it in a tupperware, or chinese container with her name on it and make a special fuss about, 'Ohh, DD, here's your share for when grandparents are gone, and we'll put the rest out here for everyone to share.' And then even put it in the freezer, or somehwere out of the way in the kitchen.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 17, 2014, 07:57:04 PM
^ And duct tape that sucker shut!   ;D

I also think this is the best compromise.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: VorFemme on February 17, 2014, 08:01:01 PM
Once she's given the gift, MIL doesn't get to dictate what is done with it.

She gave DD the cookies, DD gets to decide whether or not to offer any shortbread to Grandma & Grandpa (or anyone else).  Perhaps DD could put one cookie per person on a plate and serve it - then you two can put the rest away "until later".

I remember reading about someone who froze cookies all year (a dozen from each batch) to have cookies to make plates for the holiday season.  She labeled the box "zucchini" - which worked until her husband actually wanted some zucchini for a recipe....and that year she opened up boxes of frozen crumbs where everyone had been sneaking a cookie here and a cookie there, figuring Mom would never notice....

Next year - there was a frozen container of zucchini that contained actual zucchinni and one of zucchini bread.  But the cookies were frozen under another name....which she said was staying secret, in case the family read the blog!
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: weeblewobble on February 17, 2014, 08:02:29 PM
No, that's pretty rude. I would parcel out some cookies for DD and hide them, so she's sure to get some. 
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 17, 2014, 08:06:08 PM
I have friends who might bring something tasty, say "Look at what I made you!" and we'd both enjoy it together. Its understood that its not really a gift, more like a treat for both (or all) of us. It could be just a difference in personalities/the way she expresses herself. I'd just mentally go "Okay, she says 'Look what I brought you' but she really means 'I was bumbling around in the kitchen and brought some cookies for us all to eat during my visit.'"

You might have a word with her though, since she's making your little one think that the cookies are specifically for her. Maybe say "Hey, she loves your cookies, but when you say that it makes her think they are a gift meant just for her and she gets hurt when she sees you taking them...could you maybe say it differently so she knows?" That would have the added benefit of opening their eyes to how much they are really eating if they really are being oblivious.

I agree with this. It sounds like your MIL intends for her shortbread to be a treat that everyone can share, rather than a specific gift for your DD. But unfortunately, whether she means to or not, she's implying through her words that it's a specific gift for DD.

I think you'd be fine in putting a piece or two aside for DD. You can even explain to MIL that you're doing this because DD loves MIL's shortbread so much and you don't want her to miss out. 
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: katycoo on February 17, 2014, 08:09:45 PM
I have friends who might bring something tasty, say "Look at what I made you!" and we'd both enjoy it together. Its understood that its not really a gift, more like a treat for both (or all) of us. It could be just a difference in personalities/the way she expresses herself. I'd just mentally go "Okay, she says 'Look what I brought you' but she really means 'I was bumbling around in the kitchen and brought some cookies for us all to eat during my visit.'"

You might have a word with her though, since she's making your little one think that the cookies are specifically for her. Maybe say "Hey, she loves your cookies, but when you say that it makes her think they are a gift meant just for her and she gets hurt when she sees you taking them...could you maybe say it differently so she knows?" That would have the added benefit of opening their eyes to how much they are really eating if they really are being oblivious.

This - and suggest that they portion some off wrapped just for her, and some for 'everyone' to share during the trip.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: CakeEater on February 17, 2014, 08:14:37 PM
I have friends who might bring something tasty, say "Look at what I made you!" and we'd both enjoy it together. Its understood that its not really a gift, more like a treat for both (or all) of us. It could be just a difference in personalities/the way she expresses herself. I'd just mentally go "Okay, she says 'Look what I brought you' but she really means 'I was bumbling around in the kitchen and brought some cookies for us all to eat during my visit.'"

You might have a word with her though, since she's making your little one think that the cookies are specifically for her. Maybe say "Hey, she loves your cookies, but when you say that it makes her think they are a gift meant just for her and she gets hurt when she sees you taking them...could you maybe say it differently so she knows?" That would have the added benefit of opening their eyes to how much they are really eating if they really are being oblivious.

I agree with this. It sounds like your MIL intends for her shortbread to be a treat that everyone can share, rather than a specific gift for your DD. But unfortunately, whether she means to or not, she's implying through her words that it's a specific gift for DD.
I think you'd be fine in putting a piece or two aside for DD. You can even explain to MIL that you're doing this because DD loves MIL's shortbread so much and you don't want her to miss out.

I agree - I suspect that MIL saying, 'I made these for you', actually means, 'I made these for all of us to eat, but I chose to make shortbread because you like it so much, rather than any of the other things I could have made.'

I want to revise my wording form earlier to, 'Ohh, DD, Grandma made these for you! Let's put away some for you specially, and you can offer Grandma and Grandpas some to share now - won't that be nice!' Makes DD more 'in charge' of her 'gift'. And tells G&G that the other container isn't for them.

Then hide the DD portion.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: CL32 on February 17, 2014, 09:05:02 PM
No, that's pretty rude. I would parcel out some cookies for DD and hide them, so she's sure to get some.

I agree. Grab a few pieces, put them in a container, and hide them where MIL won't find them. If the ILs eat the rest, DD will still have her stash.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: JenJay on February 17, 2014, 09:15:53 PM
I like the idea of setting a portion aside for DD to have after the grandparents leave. I think eating the last two pieces was definitely rude.

Does DD notice that her cookies are gone? Does she fuss about it? If so I would explain to her that Grandma brings the treat for everyone to share and they aren't just for her (even though grandma calls them "hers"). I'd then sent MIL a note and tell her that it's upsetting for DD to be told the treat is hers and then only get a piece or two, but of course you want everyone to enjoy it, so it would be best if she didn't tell DD the shortbread was for HER. She can either bring the treat as a gift intended for DD or she can set it out for everyone and help herself to as much of it as she wants. Not both.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Bluenomi on February 17, 2014, 10:35:01 PM
I like the idea of setting a portion aside for DD to have after the grandparents leave. I think eating the last two pieces was definitely rude.

Does DD notice that her cookies are gone? Does she fuss about it? If so I would explain to her that Grandma brings the treat for everyone to share and they aren't just for her (even though grandma calls them "hers"). I'd then sent MIL a note and tell her that it's upsetting for DD to be told the treat is hers and then only get a piece or two, but of course you want everyone to enjoy it, so it would be best if she didn't tell DD the shortbread was for HER. She can either bring the treat as a gift intended for DD or she can set it out for everyone and help herself to as much of it as she wants. Not both.

She was certainly fussed the time MIL finished them. Her slightly sad mood turned into a full on tantrum when the promised treat didn't appear. It's not fun for a 3 year old to open the tin with the treats in it and find if empty when it had been half full last time she opened it.

I think in future I'll take out a good portion of them for DD and hide them so she gets some. I'll leave a few for MIL to eat out and let her know if she's going to tell DD she made them just for her, she better not expect her to share.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: delabela on February 17, 2014, 11:00:52 PM
I don't think MIL is being rude, per se, but rather that this is a case of different expectations.  I completely agree with the poster who noted that it's likely what MIL is actually trying to say is "I know you love these so I made them" rather than "here are a bunch of cookies that are a present for you and you alone".  This seems particularly likely given that they are (apparently) staying in your home with you - when I visit family, there are often treats made that are a particular favorite of mine and are made because I am there, but it's expected that everyone else will partake (and this is obviously a little different with a child - I wouldn't take the last of something if I knew a kiddo was looking forward to it). 

So maybe next time, you can talk with your daughter before about how nice it is that MIL makes these and everyone really likes them (setting up the expectation that they are shared) and then put some away to make sure DD gets her share. 
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: weeblewobble on February 18, 2014, 12:34:42 AM
It strikes me as particularly crazy making that Grandma took the last two (TWO) cookies for herself. She made these treats "for her granddaughter" and then she eats the last of them, leaving nothing for the little girl? It's thoughtless on a level I don't understand.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: peaches on February 18, 2014, 02:58:59 AM
I think in future I'll take out a good portion of them for DD and hide them so she gets some.

That's a good idea. It would solve the problem without being confrontational.

and let her know if she's going to tell DD she made them just for her, she better not expect her to share.

This could offend your MIL. She might stop making shortbread altogether!

If MIL questions where the rest of the cookies went, I would say "I put some aside for DD. She loves them so much, and she loves that her grandma makes them for her."


Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Runningstar on February 18, 2014, 04:43:35 AM
I think in future I'll take out a good portion of them for DD and hide them so she gets some.



This could offend your MIL. She might stop making shortbread altogether!

If MIL questions where the rest of the cookies went, I would say "I put some aside for DD. She loves them so much, and she loves that her grandma makes them for her."
I would open them up immediately, let DD have one no matter how late, take at least a layer or two out and hide it.  If anyone other that DD asks, I'd say that I ate them.  Shortbread is just a great cookie, but well made shortbread is worth more effort and yes, even deceit. 
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Coralreef on February 18, 2014, 07:38:22 AM
I find that rude, maybe because the same thing kept happening to me.  The present is for your DD.  If MIL and FIL want the treat so bad, they should not bring it as a gift, but admit it is for them and you guys can have a share.  Your DD is Young, you don't want her to feel that gifts are something that are given to you but still don't belong to you anyway.

Or she can make a batch at your home just before leaving.  That would be the gift.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: GrammarNerd on February 18, 2014, 07:59:17 AM
The grandma taking the last ones when she knows your DD loves them and when she presented them to your DD as HER present is just....wrong.

I agree with the pp who sort of said that this is a matter of perception.  MIL thinks of them more as a hostess gift for your family, but like people do with a lot of little kids, they make things more 'personal' for the child.  So she said they were for your DD when she doesn't really intend that at all.

I don't think it should be hidden from your MIL what happened when she ate the last couple of pieces and left none of your DD's supposed present for her.  Let her know about how upset your DD was and how SHE is perceiving it.  I've had to do this with people (even my DH); "Look, she's a little kid.  She believes you when you say X.  She doesn't understand that you're joking/she doesn't understand the nuances of a household gift."

So before the next visit, I might call MIL on the phone when plans are being made and say something like: "Hey, MIL?  I was just wondering....are you planning on bringing shortbread again like you often do?  Oh, good, that would be wonderful.  Yours always turns out better than mine; you have that touch!  But hey, can I ask a favor?  Usually when you come, you give it to DD and say you made it for her.  When she hears that, she thinks the whole batch is exclusively for her, not that you just happened to make THAT particular thing because she likes it.  She's THREE, and she takes those types of statements very literally and expects that it will all be hers; that it won't be shared among everyone.  Last time, right after you left, she opened the tin to find it all gone, and she was SO disappointed.  She started crying and I just couldn't console her because she wanted HER treat and she didn't understand why it was all gone, already.  Yeah, she REALLY likes your shortbread.  So for the favor .... when you bring it, please don't say it's all for her unless that's really true.  I just don't want her to be disappointed again if she sees everyone eating what she thinks is just HER present.  Or if you want to portion some out just for her, and some for the rest of us to share, that would be fine too.  But she needs to know that if someone gives HER something and specifically tells her that, that the thing really is for just HER and other people won't take it."

Sometimes people just need a reminder of the three-year-old mindset, and how they are coming across. 
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: nayberry on February 18, 2014, 08:18:13 AM
^^^ wot GN said!!

i would expect that if a gift is given to a child , food or otherwise, it belongs to the child.  parents can monitor how much the child has of it at one time, but it is still the childs. like easter eggs, if the child offers you some then thats lovely, if not then it's not a big deal as it was bought for them.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: AnnaJ on February 18, 2014, 08:20:21 AM
Why not just ask MIL to set aside some of the cookies - maybe wrap them or put them in a container - and when she arrives she can hand them to your daughter and say those are her cookies.

I don't see MIL (or FIL) as being rude, they are bringing a hostess gift.  The problem, as many have said, is in the presentation.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: VorFemme on February 18, 2014, 08:24:00 AM
I'm wondering if the reason that Grandma's shortbread tastes different is that there is a regional difference in ingredients - perhaps Grandma could be persuaded to make an extra batch during the visit as hers is just "perfect" and DD would love it even more if she got to watch Grandma make it.

Mom could find out if she needs to use unsalted vs. salted butter or some other "tweak" to the recipe that doesn't seem like it would make that big a difference in taste....but does.  And if Mom's shortbread gets tastier, then DD and MIL's son would get more shortbread "just like Grandma makes only Mom made it so it's fresh"!
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: 123sandy on February 18, 2014, 08:26:31 AM
I think part of the visit should be Granny and Grandaughter baking time, so they can make shortbread together. That or get daughter her own little tin/storage jar that's off limits to grown ups?
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: KarenK on February 18, 2014, 08:47:01 AM
I'd set some aside for your DD, but then, I come from a long line of food hiders! ;D It's to be expected that if adults and a small child are supposed to share something, the adults will probably finish it off before the kid gets any, simply because adults can eat whatever and whenever they want, but children's eating needs to be monitored more closely.

To be honest, even if it is considered a hostess gift, the hosts are not required to share it with the guests.

I also like what GrammarNerd said. I don't think the MIL is evil, just clueless. I'll bet if she were made aware of how upset her granddaughter was the last time they visited, she'd never do it again.

Heck, I'm 56 and I'd cry over missing shortbread!
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Dindrane on February 18, 2014, 08:52:26 AM
I agree with what a lot of other people have said. It's fine to bring shortbread as a hostess gift for everyone to eat during the visit. It's fine to bring shortbread as a gift specifically for your daughter. It's totally not fine to present a hostess gift as a gift specifically for your daughter.

If they give it specifically to her, they shouldn't be eating any of it without asking your daughter for permission to have some first. If they don't want to do that, they shouldn't tell her that it's specifically for her. She's too little to understand anything except that all of her treat disappeared unexpectedly.

I also think it was pretty inconsiderate to eat the last two pieces even if it was presented as more of a hostess gift, especially without saying anything to you about it. Presumably, your MIL can make shortbread whenever she wants it. It's a special treat for your family precisely because you can't (or at least, you can't make shortbread that tastes as good). So polishing off what was meant to be a special treat even for your family without so much as a heads up was not a nice thing to do.

I also agree that there's no need to hide your daughter's reaction to finding all the shortbread gone. And you should definitely, in an obvious way, set aside some shortbread for your daughter if they present it as a gift for her the next time they visit. I think you should tell them very plainly that you're setting it aside because your daughter was so upset not to have that last little treat after they left, so you want to make sure you save some for her to eat after the visit is over. If they're behaving this way out of cluelessness, that would hopefully be enough to stop them from eating that share of it.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: LadyL on February 18, 2014, 09:36:47 AM
Wait...so this woman makes cookies for her 3 year old grandchild, presents them to her as a gift, and then eats so many that the child gets less than her? I do think it's extremely inconsiderate. As someone else said, she is THREE and probably very literal. Heck I'm almost 30 but I am very protective of my "treats" and would be having an internal temper tantrum if someone ate the last of my stash without telling me or replacing them! LordL knows that my "emergency chocolate" hoard is sacred!
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Yvaine on February 18, 2014, 09:42:25 AM
I agree with what a lot of other people have said. It's fine to bring shortbread as a hostess gift for everyone to eat during the visit. It's fine to bring shortbread as a gift specifically for your daughter. It's totally not fine to present a hostess gift as a gift specifically for your daughter.

If they give it specifically to her, they shouldn't be eating any of it without asking your daughter for permission to have some first. If they don't want to do that, they shouldn't tell her that it's specifically for her. She's too little to understand anything except that all of her treat disappeared unexpectedly.

I also think it was pretty inconsiderate to eat the last two pieces even if it was presented as more of a hostess gift, especially without saying anything to you about it. Presumably, your MIL can make shortbread whenever she wants it. It's a special treat for your family precisely because you can't (or at least, you can't make shortbread that tastes as good). So polishing off what was meant to be a special treat even for your family without so much as a heads up was not a nice thing to do.

I also agree that there's no need to hide your daughter's reaction to finding all the shortbread gone. And you should definitely, in an obvious way, set aside some shortbread for your daughter if they present it as a gift for her the next time they visit. I think you should tell them very plainly that you're setting it aside because your daughter was so upset not to have that last little treat after they left, so you want to make sure you save some for her to eat after the visit is over. If they're behaving this way out of cluelessness, that would hopefully be enough to stop them from eating that share of it.

I agree with all this, plus the bolded. Even if it's a hostess gift, the guest isn't supposed to nom it all--just like if it were wine, the host is not required to serve it while the guest is there, and the guest shouldn't just pop open the bottle and drink the lion's share of it. It's not really a gift to anyone then, it's a BYOB.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: SeptGurl on February 18, 2014, 10:02:12 AM
I agree with what a lot of other people have said. It's fine to bring shortbread as a hostess gift for everyone to eat during the visit. It's fine to bring shortbread as a gift specifically for your daughter. It's totally not fine to present a hostess gift as a gift specifically for your daughter.

If they give it specifically to her, they shouldn't be eating any of it without asking your daughter for permission to have some first. If they don't want to do that, they shouldn't tell her that it's specifically for her. She's too little to understand anything except that all of her treat disappeared unexpectedly.

I also think it was pretty inconsiderate to eat the last two pieces even if it was presented as more of a hostess gift, especially without saying anything to you about it. Presumably, your MIL can make shortbread whenever she wants it. It's a special treat for your family precisely because you can't (or at least, you can't make shortbread that tastes as good). So polishing off what was meant to be a special treat even for your family without so much as a heads up was not a nice thing to do.

I also agree that there's no need to hide your daughter's reaction to finding all the shortbread gone. And you should definitely, in an obvious way, set aside some shortbread for your daughter if they present it as a gift for her the next time they visit. I think you should tell them very plainly that you're setting it aside because your daughter was so upset not to have that last little treat after they left, so you want to make sure you save some for her to eat after the visit is over. If they're behaving this way out of cluelessness, that would hopefully be enough to stop them from eating that share of it.

I agree with all this, plus the bolded. Even if it's a hostess gift, the guest isn't supposed to nom it all--just like if it were wine, the host is not required to serve it while the guest is there, and the guest shouldn't just pop open the bottle and drink the lion's share of it. It's not really a gift to anyone then, it's a BYOB.

I think the wine as a hostess gift is a good comparison. I couldn't imagine bringing a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, opening it myself, and drinking most of the bottle. Or bringing flowers from my garden as a hostess gift and then picking out the lilies to take home with me because I really like my lilies.

The shortbread isn't a gift for the granddaughter if the grandparents are eating most of it. I agree about setting some aside for your DD next time and explaining why you are doing it. They may be oblivious to what they're doing, but to a 3-year-old, "gift" is a rather concrete word.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: YoginiSaysYes on February 18, 2014, 10:09:10 AM
Now I REALLY want some shortbread.  :-[
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: tinkytinky on February 18, 2014, 10:24:01 AM
"MIL, the shortbread that you make is delicious! It isn't any wonder why DD love it so much! It is a great treat to have with tea as well, and we love that you bring it! Would you let me know the recipe so I may have the ingredients on hand when you come to visit? We seem to run out so quickly, and DD gets so disappointed when they run out and she has had so few. Maybe you and she could get the dough ready to bake so we can replenish them. She would love to have that experience with you!"

Even a child at 3 years old can help by stirring the ingredients a few times or helping pour them into the bowl. I believe the dough can be refrigerated/frozen so you could just bake a small amount at a time as well.

It doesn't sound like she does this with a vicious agenda, just sort of thoughtless? I think if you come to her from the direction of help me/DD it can be a win/win.

another option is to give her two smaller tins and ask her that if she makes the shortbread, to split them, so when she gives one to your DD she has her own tin that can be put away.

Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: GreenHall on February 18, 2014, 10:32:40 AM
I wonder if MIL doesn't eat shortbread at home, either for health reason (sugar, etc); diet reasons; or like me too often, just not bothering to make something for myself at home.

Then the shortbread is a treat for her as well, and she may not consciously realize HOW MUCH of her granddaughter's 'gift' she is actually eating.  (Kind of like the 'if I don't order dessert, it doesn't count if I eat half of yous' mindset?)

Doesn't make it less rude in general, or less upsetting for a 3 year old (or a 33 year old, I assure you).  And I like the idea of asking her to either have a separate container just for the granddaughter, or to not call it a treat for granddaughter specifically.  I also like the idea of Grandma and Granddaughter making shortbread together.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: jaxsue on February 18, 2014, 10:51:19 AM
It strikes me as particularly crazy making that Grandma took the last two (TWO) cookies for herself. She made these treats "for her granddaughter" and then she eats the last of them, leaving nothing for the little girl? It's thoughtless on a level I don't understand.

ITA. I love to bake, and since I'm diabetic I eat very little of what I make. I share with friends/neighbors. However, let's say for argument sake that I could eat my baked goods. If I took it to the neighbors, then proceeded to sit down and eat 95% of it, how is that not rude - especially after making a big deal of it being a gift.  :o
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Mikayla on February 18, 2014, 12:29:48 PM
The grandma taking the last ones when she knows your DD loves them and when she presented them to your DD as HER present is just....wrong.

I agree with the pp who sort of said that this is a matter of perception.  MIL thinks of them more as a hostess gift for your family, but like people do with a lot of little kids, they make things more 'personal' for the child.  So she said they were for your DD when she doesn't really intend that at all.

I don't think it should be hidden from your MIL what happened when she ate the last couple of pieces and left none of your DD's supposed present for her.  Let her know about how upset your DD was and how SHE is perceiving it.  I've had to do this with people (even my DH); "Look, she's a little kid.  She believes you when you say X.  She doesn't understand that you're joking/she doesn't understand the nuances of a household gift."

So before the next visit, I might call MIL on the phone when plans are being made and say something like: "Hey, MIL?  I was just wondering....are you planning on bringing shortbread again like you often do?  Oh, good, that would be wonderful.  Yours always turns out better than mine; you have that touch!  But hey, can I ask a favor?  Usually when you come, you give it to DD and say you made it for her.  When she hears that, she thinks the whole batch is exclusively for her, not that you just happened to make THAT particular thing because she likes it.  She's THREE, and she takes those types of statements very literally and expects that it will all be hers; that it won't be shared among everyone.  Last time, right after you left, she opened the tin to find it all gone, and she was SO disappointed.  She started crying and I just couldn't console her because she wanted HER treat and she didn't understand why it was all gone, already.  Yeah, she REALLY likes your shortbread.  So for the favor .... when you bring it, please don't say it's all for her unless that's really true.  I just don't want her to be disappointed again if she sees everyone eating what she thinks is just HER present. Or if you want to portion some out just for her, and some for the rest of us to share, that would be fine too.  But she needs to know that if someone gives HER something and specifically tells her that, that the thing really is for just HER and other people won't take it."

Sometimes people just need a reminder of the three-year-old mindset, and how they are coming across.

I've read to the end, but I think I like the direct approach best.  For one thing, OP can't control how MIL reacts if she uses hints, like announcing she'll save some for DD.  I think MIL is well intended, but is just unaware of how a 3 year old perceives her statements. 

OP could ask her husband to do it, as well.  It's his mom and his child, too.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: QueenfaninCA on February 18, 2014, 12:59:42 PM
It doesn't matter if its a present for the daughter or a general hostess gift. If you give food as a hostess gift, you don't consume most of it. If the hostess passes it around, you take something, but you don't dig it out of the cupboard. I'd talk to MIL about it (of have DH talk to her).
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: turnip on February 18, 2014, 01:18:50 PM
I'm going to go completely against the other posters here...

My MIL visits a few times a year - it is a considerable drive, she stays with us, she often brings food and treats with her.  Frequenlty she brings cookies she knows I am particularly fond of.

I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.  Completely mortified - it goes against all of my ideas of what is required of a gracious hosts.  And I do believe that my children are 'hosts' also.  I would be discussing with my _daughter_ how to graciously accept gifts and how important it is that your guests are comfortable in your home.  I would be working with my _daughter_ on saying "Thank you Grandma!  Let's both have a cookie together!"


Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: TootsNYC on February 18, 2014, 01:21:47 PM
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Yvaine on February 18, 2014, 01:29:24 PM
I'm going to go completely against the other posters here...

My MIL visits a few times a year - it is a considerable drive, she stays with us, she often brings food and treats with her.  Frequenlty she brings cookies she knows I am particularly fond of.

I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.  Completely mortified - it goes against all of my ideas of what is required of a gracious hosts.  And I do believe that my children are 'hosts' also.  I would be discussing with my _daughter_ how to graciously accept gifts and how important it is that your guests are comfortable in your home.  I would be working with my _daughter_ on saying "Thank you Grandma!  Let's both have a cookie together!"

Nobody's saying she can't eat any of them! Just that if Grandma is eating the majority of them, and digging into them without asking the person she ostensibly brought them for (whether that's the OP as hostess, or the 3yo to whom she's presenting them), they're not really a hostess gift or a gift for the child.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: YoginiSaysYes on February 18, 2014, 01:30:20 PM
Quote
I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.

I don't think it's necessarily that OP or other posters think MIL shouldn't get ANY cookies, it's merely the fact that she's presenting them as a gift, then treating them as her own. If it was "Hey I brought cookies for the weekend!" there would be no problem.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Sophia on February 18, 2014, 01:41:43 PM
I would ask my MIL to bring a double-batch next time.  "Since DD never gets enough to really enjoy it much, and MIL's is soooo much better than yours, and made with Grandma love.  "

That way, she has have some and DD will have enough leftover.  In fact then you would have an excuse to hide half of whatever she brought for DD for later. 
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: esposita on February 18, 2014, 02:09:26 PM
I'm going to go completely against the other posters here...

My MIL visits a few times a year - it is a considerable drive, she stays with us, she often brings food and treats with her.  Frequenlty she brings cookies she knows I am particularly fond of.

I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.  Completely mortified - it goes against all of my ideas of what is required of a gracious hosts.  And I do believe that my children are 'hosts' also.  I would be discussing with my _daughter_ how to graciously accept gifts and how important it is that your guests are comfortable in your home.  I would be working with my _daughter_ on saying "Thank you Grandma!  Let's both have a cookie together!"

I agree with this very much.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: turnip on February 18, 2014, 02:38:54 PM
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "

"Child, Grandma loves to make your favorite cookies, but a batch of cookies are made for sharing!   Be sure to thank her graciously and offer her one!"

If my child was particularly distresses - well first I'd try to explain that we don't cry over cookies.  But I think I'd work with her on what she expects - if she was particularly set on having a couple for desert, than she can put a couple aside for later.  But no hording, no hiding.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Yvaine on February 18, 2014, 02:40:13 PM
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "

"Child, Grandma loves to make your favorite cookies, but a batch of cookies are made for sharing!   Be sure to thank her graciously and offer her one!"

If my child was particularly distresses - well first I'd try to explain that we don't cry over cookies.  But I think I'd work with her on what she expects - if she was particularly set on having a couple for desert, than she can put a couple aside for later.  But no hording, no hiding.

Do you feel this way about any gift given to her, or only food gifts?
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: GratefulMaria on February 18, 2014, 02:41:52 PM
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "

"Child, Grandma loves to make your favorite cookies, but a batch of cookies are made for sharing!   Be sure to thank her graciously and offer her one!"

If my child was particularly distresses - well first I'd try to explain that we don't cry over cookies.  But I think I'd work with her on what she expects - if she was particularly set on having a couple for desert, than she can put a couple aside for later.  But no hording, no hiding.

It seems to me that the child is crying over what she perceives as a broken promise.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Yvaine on February 18, 2014, 02:45:06 PM
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "

"Child, Grandma loves to make your favorite cookies, but a batch of cookies are made for sharing!   Be sure to thank her graciously and offer her one!"

If my child was particularly distresses - well first I'd try to explain that we don't cry over cookies.  But I think I'd work with her on what she expects - if she was particularly set on having a couple for desert, than she can put a couple aside for later.  But no hording, no hiding.

It seems to me that the child is crying over what she perceives as a broken promise.

This. Threads like this always descend into discussion of whether people care too much "about food"--I remember one about a gift of cake being given away without the recipient's permission a few years ago--when you could really extrapolate the principle of the thing to all sorts of non-food gifts. Nobody wants to have someone take away a gift that was given to them and consume or destroy it before the recipient has had a chance to enjoy it at all.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: lowspark on February 18, 2014, 02:45:54 PM
I think I would just try to keep things as simple as possible so I wouldn't confront MIL. Too much possibility for misunderstanding and hurt feelings there.

Instead I'd take a few cookies and set them aside in a Tupperware container and announce, "I'm setting these aside especially for Daughter."

At three years old, it can be very hard to understand how a present for you isn't really a present for you and not to get your hopes up. How many cookies can/should a three year old eat out of a batch? Set aside that many and it can be open season on the rest.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: miranova on February 18, 2014, 03:24:41 PM
Technically, I agree that grandma is mislabeling the cookies as a gift when they aren't really a gift only for the child.  However grandma isn't posting here so we can't advise her to change the way she is labeling the cookies.  In this case, this certainly wouldn't be a hill to die on for me.  I would just explain to my child that when grandma brings cookies, she wants us to share them.  I would put some aside for my child but I would not tell my MIL to stop presenting the cookies to my daughter.  Yes MIL is making things a bit more difficult for me but that's not the only time in my child's life that they will have to deal with disappointments.  This is a perfect example to teach my child that sometimes the "fair" thing doesn't happen, and we need to deal with it gracefully and not throw a fit.  I do understand this is a difficult lesson for a 3 year old, but it needs to happen at some point.  I can't protect my child from every situation in which someone might be slightly less than fair to them.  And I DO see this as VERY slight.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: TootsNYC on February 18, 2014, 03:30:05 PM
Technically, I agree that grandma is mislabeling the cookies as a gift when they aren't really a gift only for the child.  However grandma isn't posting here so we can't advise her to change the way she is labeling the cookies.  In this case, this certainly wouldn't be a hill to die on for me.  I would just explain to my child that when grandma brings cookies, she wants us to share them.  I would put some aside for my child but I would not tell my MIL to stop presenting the cookies to my daughter.  Yes MIL is making things a bit more difficult for me but that's not the only time in my child's life that they will have to deal with disappointments.  This is a perfect example to teach my child that sometimes the "fair" thing doesn't happen, and we need to deal with it gracefully and not throw a fit.  I do understand this is a difficult lesson for a 3 year old, but it needs to happen at some point.  I can't protect my child from every situation in which someone might be slightly less than fair to them.  And I DO see this as VERY slight.

The bolded part confuses me.
Can't we advise the OP to ask Grandma to change the way she is labeling the cookies? I thought that was what we were doing--advising the OP (who -did- post here) what it is that she can do.

And if I were hesitant to ask Grandma (I see lowspark's point), then absolutely *I* would be re-labeling some of the the cookies, and taking a few out and setting them aside for the child, and making it quite clear that these were the ones that were only for Child.

And yeah, I can teach my child that the "fair" thing doesn't happen, but why should I have to, with this? If I can be proactive on her behalf, isn't that actually a valuable lesson as well?

And of course I would be talking about this with my kid before Grandma got there, since this is a trend, so my kid would be prepared. But I'd also like to teach my child how to look out for herself, and how to -not- be like Grandma.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: miranova on February 18, 2014, 03:42:28 PM
Technically, I agree that grandma is mislabeling the cookies as a gift when they aren't really a gift only for the child.  However grandma isn't posting here so we can't advise her to change the way she is labeling the cookies.  In this case, this certainly wouldn't be a hill to die on for me.  I would just explain to my child that when grandma brings cookies, she wants us to share them.  I would put some aside for my child but I would not tell my MIL to stop presenting the cookies to my daughter.  Yes MIL is making things a bit more difficult for me but that's not the only time in my child's life that they will have to deal with disappointments.  This is a perfect example to teach my child that sometimes the "fair" thing doesn't happen, and we need to deal with it gracefully and not throw a fit.  I do understand this is a difficult lesson for a 3 year old, but it needs to happen at some point.  I can't protect my child from every situation in which someone might be slightly less than fair to them.  And I DO see this as VERY slight.

The bolded part confuses me.
Can't we advise the OP to ask Grandma to change the way she is labeling the cookies? I thought that was what we were doing--advising the OP (who -did- post here) what it is that she can do.

And if I were hesitant to ask Grandma (I see lowspark's point), then absolutely *I* would be re-labeling some of the the cookies, and taking a few out and setting them aside for the child, and making it quite clear that these were the ones that were only for Child.

And yeah, I can teach my child that the "fair" thing doesn't happen, but why should I have to, with this? If I can be proactive on her behalf, isn't that actually a valuable lesson as well?

And of course I would be talking about this with my kid before Grandma got there, since this is a trend, so my kid would be prepared. But I'd also like to teach my child how to look out for herself, and how to -not- be like Grandma.

I save my requests for my MIL to change the way she is doing things for the more important stuff. I guess we are just in disagreement over how important this is.  When my MIL thinks sunscreen for the kids is optional, or thinks she can be 3 hours late getting them back to me, etc....those are talks I'm going to have.  My child having fewer cookies that he was expecting/wanting?  I really don't think I'm going to micromanage the way my MIL presents the cookies.  Just doesn't seem to be a hill to die on for me. Plus, I really wouldn't like the idea of one child eating an entire batch of cookies regardless.  That's not healthy, and it's not something I would promote.  I would be encouraging her to share regardless of MIL's wording.

I am not a person who believe in CREATING an unfair situation just to teach my children that life isn't fair.  But I also don't think it's my job to PREVENT every unfair situation that they may encounter.  My job is to help them work through life's disappointments.  This is a minor one, and I'd want to be teaching my child that, yes, I know you were expecting to eat all of the cookies but grandma meant for them to be shared. 

I do agree that I'd be setting some aside from now on.  We agree there.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: lowspark on February 18, 2014, 03:45:53 PM
Technically, I agree that grandma is mislabeling the cookies as a gift when they aren't really a gift only for the child.  However grandma isn't posting here so we can't advise her to change the way she is labeling the cookies.  In this case, this certainly wouldn't be a hill to die on for me.  I would just explain to my child that when grandma brings cookies, she wants us to share them.  I would put some aside for my child but I would not tell my MIL to stop presenting the cookies to my daughter.  Yes MIL is making things a bit more difficult for me but that's not the only time in my child's life that they will have to deal with disappointments.  This is a perfect example to teach my child that sometimes the "fair" thing doesn't happen, and we need to deal with it gracefully and not throw a fit.  I do understand this is a difficult lesson for a 3 year old, but it needs to happen at some point.  I can't protect my child from every situation in which someone might be slightly less than fair to them.  And I DO see this as VERY slight.

Yeah, I agree that the lesson has to be learned at some point. I'm just not sure that at three years old, and concerning grandma's cookies, is the right time or way to do it.

At some point, three year old will grow up and realize what's going on and make her own evaluations of grandma's way of doing things. But at three? I'd definitely want to protect her from the harsh realities of life, so to speak, especially if it was as easy as putting away a few promised cookies for safe keeping.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: TootsNYC on February 18, 2014, 03:49:38 PM
We also agree on the idea that it's important to help kids cope with the unfairness life throws their way, so yes, I'd be proactively talking to my child about it.

But I'd never, ever say to my child, "We don't cry over cookies." That's really dismissive.

I used to get upset when my MIL would say, "You're crying over nothing." Ticked me off.  Way to belittle my kid's emotions! I'd interrupt and contradict, "No, Grandma, she's not crying over nothing. She's crying over being disappointed. That's perfectly understandable." And then I'd say to my child, "I know you are disappointed, I get it. That's really frustrating. But this big teary scene is really a bigger reaction than is needed; us grownups want you to save your tears for when it's a bigger deal. Please, can you get your tears under control?" Very similar message, but not dismissive in approach.

Because yes, kids need to learn scale, and balance, and appropriate reactions. But telling them  "you are wrong to be this upset" in a dismissive way.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: 4children on February 18, 2014, 04:06:05 PM
You could also tell your DD before grandma comes this " DD grandma likes to make cookies to share, she could make any kind of cookie there is but because you are so important to her she makes your favorites to bring." Then, like others have said, set some aside just for your daughter.  Makes your DD feel better and avoids conflict with MIL.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: shhh its me on February 18, 2014, 04:18:38 PM
  How about "MIL dd is very literal  and is misunderstanding she hears "I made you cookies" as " I made these cookies, to be your  personal property.". Seh feels bad we have been stealing her cookies. Would you mind terrible telling her "I made cookies for US , shortbread your favorite""

Personally though I would go with just putting some aside for DD.

Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: turnip on February 18, 2014, 04:24:18 PM
My problem with her eating them is that she has mislabeled them. She specifically gifts them to the child.

If she just brought them along "for everyone," all would be good.

So i might call and say, "MIL, DD was distraught to discover that there weren't any cookies left; she had been thinking of them as hers alone, since you gave them to her and told her they were for her. Next visit, could you set aside her share in its own, smaller box? Separate from the ones that are for us all to eat? And we'll put it somewhere safe, so she can enjoy the feeling of eating Grandma's cookies 'just for her.' "

"Child, Grandma loves to make your favorite cookies, but a batch of cookies are made for sharing!   Be sure to thank her graciously and offer her one!"

If my child was particularly distresses - well first I'd try to explain that we don't cry over cookies.  But I think I'd work with her on what she expects - if she was particularly set on having a couple for desert, than she can put a couple aside for later.  But no hording, no hiding.

Do you feel this way about any gift given to her, or only food gifts?

I feel this way about _this_ batch of cookies _this_ girl's grandmother is bringing to her, because from all evidence this is how the grandmother intends to give them.   If this was a one-time-event, I'd be more sympathetic, but the OP has implied ( "So whenever she comes to visit (2 or 3 times a year) she brings her a batch " ) that this is an occurrence that has happened several times over the course of a year or more.   I think it's time for the OP to accept that this is how Grandma operates and prepare her daughter rather than scold the GM on cookies she made - presumably out of love, presumably not intending to upset or offend anyone.

Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: wildkitty on February 18, 2014, 04:25:57 PM
Everybody keeps saying that Grandma wants to share and that the child should be encouraged to be "gracious", but really it doesn't seem as though grandma wants to share. She seems to eat as many cookies as she wants without regard to the child she promised the cookies.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: jaxsue on February 18, 2014, 05:22:23 PM
I'm going to go completely against the other posters here...

My MIL visits a few times a year - it is a considerable drive, she stays with us, she often brings food and treats with her.  Frequenlty she brings cookies she knows I am particularly fond of.

I would be _mortified_ if she thought that during her stay she wasn't allowed to eat the cookies she lovingly prepared and brought to our home.  Completely mortified - it goes against all of my ideas of what is required of a gracious hosts.  And I do believe that my children are 'hosts' also.  I would be discussing with my _daughter_ how to graciously accept gifts and how important it is that your guests are comfortable in your home.  I would be working with my _daughter_ on saying "Thank you Grandma!  Let's both have a cookie together!"

Nobody's saying she can't eat any of them! Just that if Grandma is eating the majority of them, and digging into them without asking the person she ostensibly brought them for (whether that's the OP as hostess, or the 3yo to whom she's presenting them), they're not really a hostess gift or a gift for the child.

Exactly! Sharing is one thing; eating the vast majority is quite another.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: miranova on February 18, 2014, 05:24:12 PM
We also agree on the idea that it's important to help kids cope with the unfairness life throws their way, so yes, I'd be proactively talking to my child about it.

But I'd never, ever say to my child, "We don't cry over cookies." That's really dismissive.

I used to get upset when my MIL would say, "You're crying over nothing." Ticked me off.  Way to belittle my kid's emotions! I'd interrupt and contradict, "No, Grandma, she's not crying over nothing. She's crying over being disappointed. That's perfectly understandable." And then I'd say to my child, "I know you are disappointed, I get it. That's really frustrating. But this big teary scene is really a bigger reaction than is needed; us grownups want you to save your tears for when it's a bigger deal. Please, can you get your tears under control?" Very similar message, but not dismissive in approach.

Because yes, kids need to learn scale, and balance, and appropriate reactions. But telling them  "you are wrong to be this upset" in a dismissive way.

I'm not sure if you are responding to me specifically, but I did not make the comment about not crying over cookies.  That was another poster.  I don't tell my children what they are allowed to cry about.  That's not how I parent. 

My point was that I don't think it's worth having a big conversation with grandma over.  I do think she's wrong, but I don't think it's my job to correct everything she does that is wrong.  That's all.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 18, 2014, 06:16:26 PM
I wouldn't have a big conversation with Grandma over it but I would immediately take out some of the cookies into a separate container and tell everyone that these were just for DD.  And if Grandma then questioned it, I'd explain.  'Last time you were here, DD only ate a couple of cookies and when she went to get one shortly after you left, they were all gone!  She was a bit upset so I figured if she got her own little container, she could ration them however she wanted to.'
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Bluenomi on February 18, 2014, 06:47:08 PM
OP here, I've been trying to catch up on everyone's posts! I'll try answer the questions I can remember.

MIL always has shortbread at home. She has it every day with her tea. I have other biscuits in the house she can have while she's here but she always goes for hers, maybe out of habit. She might not have realise she ate the last ones, the container was still in the cupboard with the baking paper that had been wrapped around the shortbread in there. It's possible she thought there was one or two more left in there. But yes between her and FIL they eat over half the shortbread before they leave. She doesn't bring a full batch since she puts it in her carry on in the plane, it's around 20 pieces. They are only ever here for 2 days.

DD doesn't mind sharing her treat but MIL just helps herself, usually when neither DH or I are in the room. I came out at one stage on the weekend after changing the twins and both MIL and FIL are tucking into 2 each with their cups of tea. DD hadn't had any by that stage which would have been obvious since the package hadn't been opened.

I think next time some will go straight into a container for DD and her only. The rest I'll leave with the tea and let MIL help herself to those and not tell her where DD's are hidden. Luckily they keep for ages so if DD has her own stash they should last a while.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: StarFaerie on February 18, 2014, 07:43:07 PM
This could be a difference in meaning of words causing a misunderstanding.

Like when my mother says she made tomato soup for me, what she means is that she made a big batch of soup and it's the tomato one because I love her tomato soup so she made that one instead of her favourite of pea soup. But I don't get the whole batch, I get a small portion of the batch. It's for everyone, but specifically made because it's my favourite and hence "for me".

If that's the case, maybe a discussion with your DD about the different word meanings would help.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Hopefull on February 18, 2014, 08:56:35 PM
I Think hiding a few for your daughter is a good plan for next time. But I do have a bone to pick with you. All this talk about shortbread and no recipe? Could you possibly give us the recipe? I love shortbread! Please :)
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: CuriousParty on February 18, 2014, 10:13:01 PM
Ah, I had a thought, given your update.

What is the likelihood that, really, MIL likes her own shortbread, and only her own shortbread, for her daily "treat," but feels it would be rude to say to you "I would prefer to have my own cookies while we are visiting so I'll bring them along." ?  The "I made them for DD!" would be a perfect cover - except for the fact that DD is now noticing.

If you think this might be the case, then I'd try the route of "You and DD make them here together", as that would address each part of the problem.  There would be a full batch,  sod DD would have more cookies, and MIL would have her daily snack.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Dindrane on February 18, 2014, 10:30:07 PM
Even though their visits tend to be short, I would definitely suggest that your MIL make the shortbread with your daughter (and you, if you're around) if there's time for that. It would be a good chance to spend some time together, and if you're able to participate, you might be able to improve your own shortbread-baking skills.

And unless they wouldn't keep long enough or you'd have nowhere to store them, you could even make a double batch and just store the bulk of it for much later. Then you wouldn't even have to make shortbread every time your in-laws visit, but there'd still be enough that everyone gets to enjoy it.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Yvaine on February 19, 2014, 05:34:25 AM
Ah, I had a thought, given your update.

What is the likelihood that, really, MIL likes her own shortbread, and only her own shortbread, for her daily "treat," but feels it would be rude to say to you "I would prefer to have my own cookies while we are visiting so I'll bring them along." ?  The "I made them for DD!" would be a perfect cover - except for the fact that DD is now noticing.

If you think this might be the case, then I'd try the route of "You and DD make them here together", as that would address each part of the problem.  There would be a full batch,  sod DD would have more cookies, and MIL would have her daily snack.

Ding ding ding! I think we have a winner.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: bopper on February 19, 2014, 12:18:48 PM
I would say "Can you put a piece or two aside for DD? She really likes them."
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: TootsNYC on February 19, 2014, 12:30:05 PM
I would say "Can you put a piece or two aside for DD? She really likes them."

I wouldn't ask. I'd either announce somewhat casually, or I'd simply do it.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Mrs. Tilney on February 19, 2014, 03:02:48 PM
This could be a difference in meaning of words causing a misunderstanding.

Like when my mother says she made tomato soup for me, what she means is that she made a big batch of soup and it's the tomato one because I love her tomato soup so she made that one instead of her favourite of pea soup. But I don't get the whole batch, I get a small portion of the batch. It's for everyone, but specifically made because it's my favourite and hence "for me".

If that's the case, maybe a discussion with your DD about the different word meanings would help.

This is how I interpreted it myself. When I visit my parents, my mom will make foods "for me"...and I'm frequently not the one who has the most. Or, I sometimes make cookies for the office, and I keep in mind that one of my coworkers REALLY likes a certain type, so I make that "for her." And I eat a bunch of them myself. (And have, in fact, finished off the plate, if I go into the kitchen late afternoon and find a lone cookie sitting there!)
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Alli8098 on February 19, 2014, 03:09:06 PM
This could be a difference in meaning of words causing a misunderstanding.

Like when my mother says she made tomato soup for me, what she means is that she made a big batch of soup and it's the tomato one because I love her tomato soup so she made that one instead of her favourite of pea soup. But I don't get the whole batch, I get a small portion of the batch. It's for everyone, but specifically made because it's my favourite and hence "for me".

If that's the case, maybe a discussion with your DD about the different word meanings would help.

This is how I interpreted it myself. When I visit my parents, my mom will make foods "for me"...and I'm frequently not the one who has the most. Or, I sometimes make cookies for the office, and I keep in mind that one of my coworkers REALLY likes a certain type, so I make that "for her." And I eat a bunch of them myself. (And have, in fact, finished off the plate, if I go into the kitchen late afternoon and find a lone cookie sitting there!)

I only make certain kind of cookies for the holidays and don't make them any other time of the year.  At one job I had our team lead loved one particular kind I made.  So the next year I put together the usual containers of cookies to put out for the team; then I packed her her own individual tin of her favorite cookies.  I figured that way she didn't have to try to rush to get one of her favorites before they were gone.  She had her own that she could enjoy and/or share at her leisure.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: onikenbai on February 20, 2014, 01:45:26 AM
I'm wondering if the reason that Grandma's shortbread tastes different is that there is a regional difference in ingredients - perhaps Grandma could be persuaded to make an extra batch during the visit as hers is just "perfect" and DD would love it even more if she got to watch Grandma make it.

That could be part of it but honestly, my mother and I use the exact same recipe and our results are like night and day.  Hers are soft and flakey; you could build houses with mine.  We use the exact same ingredients and neither of us uses any kitchen appliances, both being wooden spoon people.  We're not entirely sure what we do that makes it so dramatically different, but half the family prefers mine and half prefers hers.  I figure it's a matter of dough handling.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: VorFemme on February 20, 2014, 07:58:32 AM
Or one of you has cold hands (or a marble counter that stays cold) and the other has warm hands so that the fat melts a bit as it is being handled.

I learned from reading a book on Science in the Kitchen, that pie crust has to be worked with COLD fat to get a light & flaky crust.  The colder the fat (but not frozen) the better, to a degree.  Same with Southern (USA) style biscuits - made with soft flour.  The more you work the dough, the more the fat melts and the further from the desired degree of light & flaky the baked goods will end up.

Bread dough with yeast NEEDS to be worked with to get the most gluten to form for a lighter product.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: LadyL on February 20, 2014, 08:25:18 AM
Or one of you has cold hands (or a marble counter that stays cold) and the other has warm hands so that the fat melts a bit as it is being handled.

I learned from reading a book on Science in the Kitchen, that pie crust has to be worked with COLD fat to get a light & flaky crust.  The colder the fat (but not frozen) the better, to a degree.  Same with Southern (USA) style biscuits - made with soft flour.  The more you work the dough, the more the fat melts and the further from the desired degree of light & flaky the baked goods will end up.

Bread dough with yeast NEEDS to be worked with to get the most gluten to form for a lighter product.

Yep I add extra shortening and put my pie crust in the fridge for as long as I can before baking and it is super flaky and light.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: NyaChan on February 20, 2014, 08:30:20 AM
Ah, I had a thought, given your update.

What is the likelihood that, really, MIL likes her own shortbread, and only her own shortbread, for her daily "treat," but feels it would be rude to say to you "I would prefer to have my own cookies while we are visiting so I'll bring them along." ?  The "I made them for DD!" would be a perfect cover - except for the fact that DD is now noticing.

If you think this might be the case, then I'd try the route of "You and DD make them here together", as that would address each part of the problem.  There would be a full batch,  sod DD would have more cookies, and MIL would have her daily snack.

Ding ding ding! I think we have a winner.

This is what I was thinking too.  When you mentioned that both MIL and FIL are eating the cookies regularly, my thought was that they are in the habit of snacking during the day and wondered if you provided something similar while they visit.  Now that I see this second post, I think it is that they genuinely are used to eating this, aren't about to demand you provide it (or know they won't like what you provide as much), and are bringing cookies mostly for themselves while being okay if you guys have some with them. 

She's labeled it as a gift mistakenly since she's not giving it to DD so much as allowing people to have some if they can get at it in time.  This wouldn't be my hill to die on - I'd probably just grab a couple of pieces for DD to have and then let the wording go.  If DD is still upset, I'd explain that grandma really meant to bring cookies for everyone, and was remembering that DD liked this kind also.

ETA - thinking on it, I don't know that I would ever expect an entire batch of cookies to be just for a three year old.  That's a lot of cookies for one person.  In general though, when house guests bring food of a good quantity to the house, we all usually end up eating it together so maybe that's just what I'm used to.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Yvaine on February 20, 2014, 08:50:02 AM
Ah, I had a thought, given your update.

What is the likelihood that, really, MIL likes her own shortbread, and only her own shortbread, for her daily "treat," but feels it would be rude to say to you "I would prefer to have my own cookies while we are visiting so I'll bring them along." ?  The "I made them for DD!" would be a perfect cover - except for the fact that DD is now noticing.

If you think this might be the case, then I'd try the route of "You and DD make them here together", as that would address each part of the problem.  There would be a full batch,  sod DD would have more cookies, and MIL would have her daily snack.

Ding ding ding! I think we have a winner.

This is what I was thinking too.  When you mentioned that both MIL and FIL are eating the cookies regularly, my thought was that they are in the habit of snacking during the day and wondered if you provided something similar while they visit.  Now that I see this second post, I think it is that they genuinely are used to eating this, aren't about to demand you provide it (or know they won't like what you provide as much), and are bringing cookies mostly for themselves while being okay if you guys have some with them. 

She's labeled it as a gift mistakenly since she's not giving it to DD so much as allowing people to have some if they can get at it in time.  This wouldn't be my hill to die on - I'd probably just grab a couple of pieces for DD to have and then let the wording go.  If DD is still upset, I'd explain that grandma really meant to bring cookies for everyone, and was remembering that DD liked this kind also.

ETA - thinking on it, I don't know that I would ever expect an entire batch of cookies to be just for a three year old.  That's a lot of cookies for one person.  In general though, when house guests bring food of a good quantity to the house, we all usually end up eating it together so maybe that's just what I'm used to.

Well, usually, when someone gives a single other person a giant pile of goodies as a gift, you just eat it over a long period of time. My SO gave me a box of chocolate for Valentine's Day--that doesn't mean it's for all my relatives too (though I did end up offering some to my mom), just that I have chocolate for an extended period of time. ;) I'm still nibbling at it.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Psychopoesie on February 20, 2014, 09:03:36 AM
The MIL is in the wrong because she's calling something a gift when it's really not. The way she's treating the food is as if it still belongs to her. Definitely not a gift. It could be a miscommunication...

Or it may be MIL wants to have her shortbread and eat it too.  ;) This way she gets to feel good about making a special gift for her grandaughter (isn't grandma generous) while still enjoying all the shortbread she likes to eat while she's visiting. Don't know enough about the MIL from the post to hazard a guess if this is so.

It would be an awkward issue to raise with someone. Since they only visit a few times a year IIRC, unless this is part of some general pattern of behaviour that was causing problems, I agree with PPs who say just let it go and for OP to make the gift part a reality by stashing some shortbread for DD. 

A PP mentioned that a batch of cookies is too large a gift to be reasonable for a 3 year old. Here tins of shortbread are a fairly traditional Christmas gift for an individual. Plus, shortbread keeps longer than most other biscuits (that's what we call cookies here) so I wouldn't find it too strange. Well, it keeps longer if the inlaws don't eat it all first.  :)

Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: wolfie on February 20, 2014, 09:26:04 AM
Without intending to what MIL is teaching your daughter is "Grandma can't be trusted". She says the cookies are for Granddaughter and Granddaughter takes that literally - the cookies are hers. But what she really means is I made these cookies for everyone because you like them - which at 3 granddaughter is too young to understand. But she does understand that she was given the cookies but didn't actually get to eat them. So she knows that what grandma says and what she means is two different things. And long after she grows up enough to understand what grandma really meant she will still have a vague sense that she shouldn't trust what grandma tells her - cause she "knows" that she was burned in the past - she might never remember why she doesn't trust grandma because 3 is young for that, but she will know she just has that sixth sense.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: MommyPenguin on February 20, 2014, 09:27:26 AM
I'd probably pull out a full half of the cookies and hide them for my daughter.  Then I'd make sure I had all the ingredients on hand (since you said you have the recipe).  If MIL is disappointed to find that the shortbread is gone when she wants some, that might propel her to make some more during the visit.  I agree with the others that she is probably used to eating it during the day, but nudging her into making more during the visit might be just the trick.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Winterlight on February 20, 2014, 09:32:52 AM
Ah, I had a thought, given your update.

What is the likelihood that, really, MIL likes her own shortbread, and only her own shortbread, for her daily "treat," but feels it would be rude to say to you "I would prefer to have my own cookies while we are visiting so I'll bring them along." ?  The "I made them for DD!" would be a perfect cover - except for the fact that DD is now noticing.

If you think this might be the case, then I'd try the route of "You and DD make them here together", as that would address each part of the problem.  There would be a full batch,  sod DD would have more cookies, and MIL would have her daily snack.

This seems like a good plan. They get Grandma/Granddaughter time, there's a whole batch of cookies and everyone's happy.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: lowspark on February 20, 2014, 09:40:49 AM
I wouldn't expect the entire batch to be for my three year old daughter. And at three, she's too young to realize how many cookies there are anyway. But for crying out loud, she ought to get some of them!

To be honest, I wouldn't even set aside half. Maybe enough for her to have one or two every day of Grandma's visit. Kids that age do tend to forget the existence of stuff like that if they aren't reminded.

As an example, when my kids were of trick-or-treating age, I would allow them to take a few pieces of collected candy in their school lunches for a few days at most. After that, I'd hide the remainder. Inevitably, they'd completely forget about it. Out of sight - out of mind. (I'd always take it to work after making sure it was completely gone from their consciousness.)

Grandma's doing what she's doing for whatever motivation makes sense to her. As I said above, I think that confronting her is just asking for an unpleasant exchange so I wouldn't address it with her at all.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Psychopoesie on February 20, 2014, 09:47:21 AM
Wasn't sure if I remembered correctly so I checked OP's last post. MIL apparently doesn't bring a full batch on the plane anyway - around 20 pieces. Half of that is 10 which doesn't seem like a huge amount for a kid to eat over a couple of weeks.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: rose red on February 20, 2014, 10:19:09 AM
I was also going to bring up the fact they bring only 20 cookies.  How long do they stay?  If they stay a full week and the in-laws eat two a day at the minimum, that's 14 cookies (the OP says they eat over half) leaving only 6 for the little girl.  Less if they eat more than two a day.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: EMuir on February 20, 2014, 01:20:18 PM
OP, it sounds like your mom has never made them at your place.  I think you should have a baking party with grandma and daughter and closely watch how your mom makes them.  If they still come out hard, then at least you know it's your kitchen that's cursed.  ;) And you'll have many more cookies for everyone, hopefully !
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: eee on February 20, 2014, 01:47:02 PM

ETA - thinking on it, I don't know that I would ever expect an entire batch of cookies to be just for a three year old.  That's a lot of cookies for one person.  In general though, when house guests bring food of a good quantity to the house, we all usually end up eating it together so maybe that's just what I'm used to.

Exactly. If she'd brought a pan of her son's favourite lasagne with her and said "I've brought you your favourite lasagne!" no one would think he was supposed to eat the whole thing alone.

The fact the 3 year old is taking it literally could be addressed in lots of ways. I'd just tell Grandma up front that the kid is misunderstanding so let's be careful how to speak about the cookies.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on February 20, 2014, 01:52:29 PM

ETA - thinking on it, I don't know that I would ever expect an entire batch of cookies to be just for a three year old.  That's a lot of cookies for one person.  In general though, when house guests bring food of a good quantity to the house, we all usually end up eating it together so maybe that's just what I'm used to.

Exactly. If she'd brought a pan of her son's favourite lasagne with her and said "I've brought you your favourite lasagne!" no one would think he was supposed to eat the whole thing alone.

The fact the 3 year old is taking it literally could be addressed in lots of ways. I'd just tell Grandma up front that the kid is misunderstanding so let's be careful how to speak about the cookies.

I don't think the OP is saying that Grandma can never eat these cookies, but when Grandma only brought 20 and ate more than half, especially after presenting them as a gift to their granddaughter, that is not cool.

I would just take some aside from the beginning and save them for your daughter, OP.   You can even get a special tin and tell everyone that this tin is DD's special tin, and say how much DD is looking forward to eating the treats from her special tin.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: rose red on February 20, 2014, 02:05:17 PM
Even with a lasagna for an adult, it's not right to eat more than half, especially when presented as a gift. Not to mention start eating it before the giftee is able to sit and have any, and then to eat the last piece before going home.  I think it's fine to say "We brought xyz," but it just seem a bit off/rude to say it's a gift when it really isn't.

I agree the best thing to do is set some aside and tell the DD that's hers alone, but the rest are to share.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Stormtreader on February 20, 2014, 05:19:31 PM
I think the issue isnt that the OP is saying the little girl should get to keep all the shortbread for herself, but it sounds like shes lucky if she gets *any* of "her" shortbread at all. If someone visited me and brought me a box of chocolates, id be annoyed if i went to have some and found that most if not all of them had already been eaten.

I admit I also have a bit of an issue around children being treated as somehow less worthy of the consideration or regard that are awarded to adults and this sounds like one of those situations to me, because shes a child theres a lot of "she shouldnt be upset", "she should share" going on, but if i posted saying "my mother brings me a gift and then eats it all, last time i didnt get any!" im not sure the same advice would be given.

If the biscuits arent really for her, then dont lie and say they are. If they are for her, sure its nice if she shares them but they should ASK her, and especially they shouldnt be ripping straight into the unopened packet.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Dazi on February 20, 2014, 06:07:59 PM
I admit this is a huge peeve of mine even as an adult.  Heck, if anyone gave me a box of anything they labeled a special treat for me and proceeded to eat most of it, I'd be livid pissed about it.  I got DH an awesome box of his favorite specialty chocolate of V-Day, I asked before I even thought of taking a piece.  I consider it common courtesy. 
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: VorFemme on February 20, 2014, 08:08:41 PM
It sounds like grandma makes her own cookies and brings them for herself, grandpa, and everyone else to share.  She picks the shortbread because it is loved by her son and granddaughter.

Where she is failing is in not remembering that three year olds are extremely literal. 

If she hand the grandchild a small container with a few cookies and keeps the rest "for everybody else" - then the grandchild would be happy because she had her very own cookies made by Grandma just for her.  The fact that there were three or four times as many cookies in the bigger box for everyone else would be fine...she has her very own cookies.

Grandma may mean "I made these cookies because they are your favorite and we will all be eating them while Grandma & Grandpa are here" - but three year olds focus on what you said...not what you "meant".  And Grandma is indeed setting herself up to be taken with a grain of salt (and disbelief) by her granddaughter in future years....all over not bringing four to six more cookies in a small container for the granddaughter to have her OWN cookies - or setting some aside for her to make sure that she gets some of those "family" cookies that Grandma keeps dipping into as if she was still at home in her own kitchen.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: onikenbai on February 20, 2014, 09:19:49 PM
Or one of you has cold hands (or a marble counter that stays cold) and the other has warm hands so that the fat melts a bit as it is being handled.

I learned from reading a book on Science in the Kitchen, that pie crust has to be worked with COLD fat to get a light & flaky crust.  The colder the fat (but not frozen) the better, to a degree.  Same with Southern (USA) style biscuits - made with soft flour.  The more you work the dough, the more the fat melts and the further from the desired degree of light & flaky the baked goods will end up.

Bread dough with yeast NEEDS to be worked with to get the most gluten to form for a lighter product.

Yep I add extra shortening and put my pie crust in the fridge for as long as I can before baking and it is super flaky and light.

Strangely enough, I can make pastry no problem and my mother can't to save her life.  Shortbread yes, pastry no.  Yes, I realise they are essentially the same thing, but don't tell her that.
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Kariachi on February 21, 2014, 10:07:06 AM

ETA - thinking on it, I don't know that I would ever expect an entire batch of cookies to be just for a three year old.  That's a lot of cookies for one person.  In general though, when house guests bring food of a good quantity to the house, we all usually end up eating it together so maybe that's just what I'm used to.

Exactly. If she'd brought a pan of her son's favourite lasagne with her and said "I've brought you your favourite lasagne!" no one would think he was supposed to eat the whole thing alone.

The fact the 3 year old is taking it literally could be addressed in lots of ways. I'd just tell Grandma up front that the kid is misunderstanding so let's be careful how to speak about the cookies.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't think the lasagna comparison really works.

1) Lasagna is not a typical gift item. At least in my area nobody is going to mistake lasagna for a gift because in normal circumstances it simply isn't one. Cookies, on the other hand, are an extremely common gift item, so it makes perfect sense for someone to take Grandma's phrasing as gifting to a single person.

2) Lasagna is a 'meal' item, while cookies are more a 'snack' item. Meal items are, when it comes to a household, generally expected to be shared and in fact not generally expected to be. Kind of a gray area.

A better comparison would be bringing, say, homemade beef jerky and presenting it as a gift to a particular person. The fact is, she's taking a popular gift item, presenting it to a particular person as 'for them' and then digging in like she owns it.

To use your lasagna comparison- this is like if Grandma brought a lasagna, told her son it was for him, then popped it in the oven without his or the OP's knowledge, while most of the household was gone and, when it came out, served herself and her husband each over a quarter of it, leaving them the leftovers.

Oh, and we have to assume that she's bringing a smaller lasagna in the first place, maybe the size of those frozen lasagnas, since she's only bringing a small amount.

Also, when I make cookies, I can't get 32 to last longer than three days(tops!) with three adults in the house, how long is Grandma expecting 20 to last between four adults and a toddler?

*The contents of this post are based on my limited experience: Experiences may vary with locale and culture*
Title: Re: Eating a present you gave someone
Post by: Dindrane on February 21, 2014, 10:23:57 AM
The other big difference between something like lasagna and something like shortbread is that lasagna can only be kept for a few days before it goes bad. Shortbread can be kept for a much longer period of time.

So if I give someone a pan of lasagna as a gift, it would be marginally ridiculous for anyone to expect that person to eat every last bite of it. Unless it was so small it only had one serving, most people would not want (or maybe even be able) to eat several servings of lasagna in the short time before it went bad. So of course you'd share it with whoever else was in your house, because that's the easiest way to make sure it all gets eaten.

But 20 shortbread cookies? If you ate one every few days (say, 4 per week), you'd still finish it all within a month or so. Unless I'm mistaken, that's not an unreasonable amount of time for shortbread as a food to stay good (especially if you freeze it).