Earlier I posted its probably a bunch of little objections. I'm wondering if another one of those little things is the OP is comfortable restricting her daughter's usage of a toy, but is not comfortable commandeering a "toy" (word used lightly) given to her daughter and re-purposing it as a family gift. So while yes the OP is still the parent and can control her daughter's usage, she might not be comfortable saying "oh DD doesn't understand the idea of a group gift and we let her open it and her grandpa said it was hers, but really her dad & I are going to use it as a family device."This - exactly this (ok - maybe i am not going to bed)
I know for me, I think the idea of it being a family device is reasonable if its given as one. But I don't think its ethical for a parent to take a gift given to a child solely and then deem it belongs to the whole family. If it wasn't given to the whole family it does not belong to the whole family, regardless of who's in charge.
To me, this is no different than saying "Thanks for the $50 you sent for your grandchild to buy a Christmas gift....we used it to pay the electric bill!" (which may seem in opposition to my previous reply but it isn't, because we are talking about cash vs. hand-me-down gifts"
I see where you mentioned that you didn't read the entire 9 pages of thread. Those pages were important because the OP made it clear from the beginning that the gift would be joint, or not be given at all. She doesn't want her daughter to have an iPad, and making it a family gift was a compromise. She has zero intentions of accepting a gift for her daughter and then taking it for herself.
I actually did see the part about her not wanting her daughter to be the sole owner of the iPad and deliberately didn't comment on that because I see no reason for her not to want it to be hers and it makes no sense to me, but that is a parenting decision and I will not question the "ownership" part.
I read through the rest of the OP's comments (now that I have more time and I am less sleep-deprived) and up until her reply #119
, I honestly thought that she was trying to justify her discomfort with her DD having a better "toy" than her....until I read this:
FIL is fond of telling DD that something is "hers." For example, FIL and SMIL have a beach house. Whenever we go there FIL makes a big deal about how it's "DD's beach house," using that phrase repeatedly. The first time we went she was barely a year old, just starting to use words much less sentences, and he kept coaxing her to repeat the phrase herself. That doesn't bother me because it's obviously not her beach house and there are no practical consequences if she thinks it is. But it's probably that sort of behavior that makes me nervous about the emphasis he is placing on the ipad being hers.
I "have" a Beach House the same way the OP's DD "has" one. Actually, my father owns it, pays for everything, etc...but I have keys, and come and go as I please (along with my 3 other sisters - although we always try to coordinate our trips if for no other reason than it is only 4 bedrooms and if we all showed up the same weekend, 1 family would be riding the sofa bed
), but my father still refers it to "our house", even though he didn't buy it until I was almost 30.
I am going to make a (possibly wrong) assumption and say that FIL is better-off financially than the OP. By having the $ to "give" her an iPad (even a 2nd-hand one, because many people I know are able to re-sell their iPads for almost as much as they paid for it) or a beach house and wanting to seem like the "awesome grandpa who gives the most amazing gifts and can afford to give those gifts", it puts the OP in the uncomfortable position of being see as giving "less awesome gifts".
IOW - if this behavior by FIL continues, by the time the OPs DD is 16, Grandpa will be wanting to give her a shiny new (or slightly used) car for her 16th birthday while the OP will be giving a much more modest (whether by choice or financial situation) gift. No parent wants to be upstaged by others (as in "Thanks for the gift mom - now when can we go to Grandpa's so I can see what HE got me?"). I COMPLETELY get that and from the beach house comments....I see it going exactly there. Even if it is a matter of not wanting to be "upstaged", I can see a few years from now the OPs DD asking the OP for a specific gift, the OP saying that it is out of their budget and DD saying "that's ok - I'll just ask Grandpa!". That would make me NUTS!
So that is probably going to be an ongoing issue with FIL and I think that this iPad is the perfect opportunity to make it clear to FIL that DD can't and won't be spoiled the way he seemingly wants to spoil her (out of curiosity - is DD the only grandchild?). Here is what I would do:
- Accept that DD will be the primary user of the iPad from FIL. It may be better than what the OP owns...but so be it. Link it to the same iTunes account as yours so that "cloud thingy" (a technical term) makes sure that everything is identical with the 2 iPads. But when it is time for DD to have "iPad time", she gets to use the better one.
- Say something like this to FIL "Oh - DD is going to love an iPad! There are so many educational apps that she can use for it. Of course, since she is only 3, she will only be using it for about an hour a day (or whatever you choose), so it will be great to have a 2nd iPad in the house for DH & I to use!"
- if FIL says "no - this is just for HER to use", say something like "That's just crazy! She's only going to be using it for about an hour each day! Why should it just sit there if someone else in our family wants to use it?"
- If FIL STILL insists that it is for her exclusive use, just say "Well - then maybe you should just get her the LeapPad we talked about. While the iPad would be a great addition to the household, DD is just too young to be the sole owner of that expensive of a gift! And I am certainly not going to let my 3-year old or anyone else tell me what I can and cannot use in my own house!' (note - this is how I felt when my kids were that age...as they age, I relax that more and more...then again, I have never felt an overwhelming urge to play Halo Reach on their XBox )
- and if FIL STILL wraps it up and gives it to her on Christmas, hand it back to him and say "I thought we talked about this!". DD may be upset for a few minutes, but she will get over it and presumably still be able to have "iPad time" on your iPad. If FIL starts to give you guff about handing back the gift, say "We TALKED about this - I don't appreciate you going against our wishes!" and then leave if you have to.
I'm assuming that your FIL isn't a complete jerk and is just trying to be The Wonderful Grandfather. If this is the case, a few gift-giving holidays where the above happens should make it clear to him that, while you appreciate his generous gifts, you don't want to raise a spoiled and entitled daughter that would have others complaining about her on eHell
ETA: and seriously - get an Otterbox for it!