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Author Topic: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift  (Read 18807 times)

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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2012, 09:22:55 PM »
On the opposite side, my cousin was so intent on not wanting his son to like girly stuff that he balked when his 1 year old son went for his sister's Pinkie Pie (A My Little Pony character) doll instead of Buzz Lightyear. He'd even take Pinkie away from his son and say "No, Pinkie's for girls! Here! Take Buzz Lightyear!"

Later that night, after his wife told me that, we were hanging out in his daughter's room and middle son was playing My Little Pony with her, and cousin was fussing a bit about his son having a barrette in his hair to keep it out of his face because it was "girly" and he said "Well I don't have a problem with him picking girl things to play with when he's old enough to make his own choices but I don't like it being pushed on him either."

I thought I did very well by not rolling my eyes or laughing at him, considering his son *was* choosing girl toys to play with on his own because his 1 year old mind just saw "oooh, toy!" with no gender attached and cousin was pushing boy toys on him.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Aluminum

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2012, 09:44:18 PM »
I have to be honest...I don't believe this letter.  It just seems terribly over the top, and so deliberately set out to show the "true colors" of all those "hippy-dippy-equal-gender" types.  It screams strawman to me.

...or perhaps I've simply been lucky, in that my friends who try to discourage gender norms are able to do it without (GASP) rudeness!  :P

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2012, 10:08:42 PM »
Oh I can believe it, as I've known people who get really into things like that and they will lecture you till they are blue in the face why their choice is the only right way of doing things.   Like a woman at a playgroup I attended once who swore every which way that her 8 month old daughter was SO much smarter than her teen daughter because she fed the baby only organic food.  I left the playgroup feeling sorry for the teen daughter and with a big hankering for a Big Mac and I don't really care for McDonald's burgers!

I also knew a family who would not let their son have guns for toys...and then had to try not to laugh when the kid would make a gun out of Legos. 

I don't really much care for pink..I'll wear it now and then but after the mistake of having my childhood bedroom painted pepto bismol pink and having to live with it for a few years, well it kinda killed it for me and if I'd had a girl I would have tried to avoid pink but if someone gave me something with pink in it I'd keep it and she might wear it now and then but just not quite as much as other colors. I saw on one "A baby story" a mother with 2 or 3 boys had another baby that turned out to be their first girl. The child's wardrobe was 100% pink and frilly which I thought was a bit much but hey to each their own.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

KenveeB

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2012, 10:22:54 PM »
I don't really much care for pink..I'll wear it now and then but after the mistake of having my childhood bedroom painted pepto bismol pink and having to live with it for a few years, well it kinda killed it for me and if I'd had a girl I would have tried to avoid pink but if someone gave me something with pink in it I'd keep it and she might wear it now and then but just not quite as much as other colors. I saw on one "A baby story" a mother with 2 or 3 boys had another baby that turned out to be their first girl. The child's wardrobe was 100% pink and frilly which I thought was a bit much but hey to each their own.

Another one whose room cured me of any pink love! My mom insisted on a very pink and frilly bedroom when I was little, and I developed an abiding hatred for the color. I can tolerate it now but still don't care much for it.

Asharah

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2012, 11:23:21 PM »
I remember niece complaining about people telling her that her baby daughter didn't look good in pink. Cause basically all the clothes she got as baby gifts were pink, so what was she supposed to do about it, buy the kid a whole new wardrobe because she didn't look good in the clothes everyone gave her.  ::)
Asharah

zyrs

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2012, 11:51:37 PM »
I have to be honest...I don't believe this letter.  It just seems terribly over the top, and so deliberately set out to show the "true colors" of all those "hippy-dippy-equal-gender" types.  It screams strawman to me.

...or perhaps I've simply been lucky, in that my friends who try to discourage gender norms are able to do it without (GASP) rudeness!  :P

I believe the letter.  I've met people who have sent back gifts in the same manner. 

lollylegs

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2012, 12:05:23 AM »
I have to be honest...I don't believe this letter.  It just seems terribly over the top, and so deliberately set out to show the "true colors" of all those "hippy-dippy-equal-gender" types.  It screams strawman to me.

...or perhaps I've simply been lucky, in that my friends who try to discourage gender norms are able to do it without (GASP) rudeness!  :P

I understand your scepticism but, like PPs have said, I believe it because I've had similar-ish friends.  I can't believe I didn't think of this story earlier, about a year ago a friend was telling me that a mutual friend was throwing her a baby shower and asked me how to tell everyone to only buy gender neutral stuff.  I told her that you can't really do that, but if she just tells everyone they're not finding out the sex they'll probably get gender neutral stuff anyway.

"But I want to tell everyone we're gender neutral!" she declared.

"Why?" I asked.

"Because I want everyone to know!"

Knowing what I know of this friend, I'm nearly positive that it was a show-offy, 'gee look how liberal and educated we are' thing (and of course their nearly two year old daughter won't play with anything but dolls and tea seats).  I don't want to generalise because I know some really fantastic gender neutral parents and the concept in general is fantastic, I think, but I think there are some like my friends who make a big deal of point it out without regard to other peoples feelings.

baglady

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2012, 01:12:44 AM »
So where did this alphabet book come from? Mission Impossible Publishing? Was it set to self-destruct if the child wasn't exposed to its contents by age ___?

All the new parents I know have been tickled to death to get gifts for the child to grow into. You can only go through so many itty-bitty newborn-size outfits before the baby has outgrown them. But I don't just mean clothes -- books and toys that the child may not use for months or years are still welcome. Since when does giving a book to a *newborn* translate into requiring the  child to learn "on a schedule"?

That said, these parents are within their rights to not like a gift ... even a handmade one. But returning the sweater and book to the giver was beyond rude. Don't like it? Donate it. Freecycle it. Regift it. And zip it.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2012, 01:14:24 AM by baglady »
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Gyburc

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #53 on: April 12, 2012, 05:30:11 AM »
What horrid people. I think Prudence's reply was just right. I'm not sure what the LW should say to her friend, though...

On the topic of pink - I was never a very girly girl, but I took ballet classes when I was little, and was quite fond of pink as a result since a lot of ballet outfits for girls are pink (or were anyway). And DH's sister, who is the most un-girly person imaginable, has a little daughter who is absolutely nuts about anything pink, sparkly, princess or fairy-themed, and adores wearing pretty dresses. I think SIL is secretly hoping she grows out of it!
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #54 on: April 12, 2012, 07:13:31 AM »
On the other side of the coin, for a long time my best friend did not like blue because growing up her grandmother knitted her a ton of blue sweaters because they matched her eyes.  (She does have really pretty blue eyes) She got so tired of it, and I think her relationship with her grandma colored it too.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

gingerzing

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #55 on: April 12, 2012, 07:44:43 AM »
I think I would give the book and the sweater to the friend (the child's grandmother from the sounds of the letter).  That way it is still available to the child AND the friend knows how horrid her child and spouse was.

Or is that too PA?

susku

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #56 on: April 12, 2012, 09:18:04 AM »
I think that's just shocking behaviour.

I had a selection of bright coloured sleepsuits and vests ready when I was expecting - I didn't know the gender of my child until she came out. One day in hospital she was in a bright red sleepsuit, another day sported a fetching bright blue and I did not care one iota.

About books. We have always had books. She got a pile as christening presents when she was seven weeks old. She has "read" books from as early as she could hold them. When she started moving on her own, she used to go to our bookshelves and pull a book out to look at. Her favourite was a book on the human genome. It had pictures. Now, at four, she likes to be read to and likes to read on her own and I would never turn a book down. Or a gift of clothing either.

gramma dishes

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #57 on: April 12, 2012, 09:20:50 AM »
I think I would give the book and the sweater to the friend (the child's grandmother from the sounds of the letter).  That way it is still available to the child AND the friend knows how horrid her child and spouse was.

Or is that too PA?

I probably wouldn't give the book and the sweater to the child's grandmother because if Gender Neutral Mom sees them at Grandma's house, she'd just go off on poor Grandma. 

But I absolutely WOULD show Grandma the 'returning your inappropriate gift' note!  If one of my adult kids ever wrote something like that I'd sure as heck want to know about that, and I don't care if all of them are now in their late thirties or early forties, I'd still give those darned kids of mine quite an earful!!  I'd be so ashamed and embarrassed.  And I would fall all over myself apologizing to the gift giver.

Midge

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #58 on: April 12, 2012, 09:29:53 AM »
When I was maybe 12 or 13 I learned to crochet, and shortly afterward my aunt was expecting another baby.  Yay, a new cousin!  I decided to crochet her a baby blanket. 

Well, being an (impatient) beginner, that poor blanket was a mess.  I began the blanket with very tight stitches, but loosened up about halfway.  It was actually ended an oddly shaped trapezoid, poorly done with knots, frayed ends, long threads where I changed colors but didn't bother to weave them into the blanket and on top of everything else, didn't know enough to use baby yarn.

I was so proud of it.  When I gave it to my aunt, you'd have thought I handed her the moon.  She praised it, hugged me and said she would treasure it forever.  That was 45 years ago and my cousin still has the darned thing.  Every once in while she'll drag it out, wave it under my nose, and we both laugh like loons.   :)

Love it! That's exactly how gifts of the heart should be received, and exactly how cousins should act towards each other!

2littlemonkeys

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Re: Dear Prudence: Rejected Baby Gift
« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2012, 10:38:34 AM »
Actually I believe it too.  I hang out on some parenting websites and the number of posts from people like the parents in this story are staggering.  They'll make a post complaining about the awful woman who gave their baby a BLUE sweater and a BOOK!  Didn't their dumb MIL tell everyone they're rejecting gender stereotypes and that forcing kids to learn is RUDE?  But that's okay, she showed them!  She sent it all back with a note to educate the idiot.

And while some will come back and say, "I really don't understand the problem.  If you truly don't like it, just put it away.  That was quite rude."  others will cheer her on and give her slaps on the back for showing everyone she meant business.

It's rather appalling.