Author Topic: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child  (Read 13650 times)

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Onyx_TKD

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #120 on: December 07, 2012, 01:56:57 PM »
Onyx...you are misunderstanding my standpoint.  I have never suggested that a gifted ipad to DD be the "family's".  On the contrary, I suggested that it be DD's, but that DD share the ipad with the OP from time to time.  Sharing something with the family does not change ownership.  And I believe I already stated many times that if the OP is not comfortable with that, then she should make it clear with FIL that the ipad not be given to DD.  But, I also went on to say that means that they not ask him to make it a family gift nor do they suggest he spend an additional $100 for the LeapPad.

[snip]

I still say that it appears she can address her concerns with ownership of the ipad without insisting that her FIL not give it to her DD.  But, again, she doesn't have to.  Her and her DH need to then confront her FIL and not allow the gift.

Bah12, I understand that you were talking about the iPad being DD's and being shared with the family. However, the OP has (IMO) clearly stated that she is not comfortable with her daughter owning an iPad. I realize that many other posters, including you, do not see an issue with a 3YO owning an iPad, but the OP has repeatedly stated that she is not comfortable with that for her 3YO. Therefore, what I disagree with is the idea that any solution involving the FIL giving the iPad to the DD as her iPad will solve the OP's dilemma. What you suggest would be a viable solution for many families (including your own), but does not solve the OP's stated problem of not wanting her daughter to own an iPad. As I understand it, the ownership of the iPad is central to her concerns, so by definition it cannot be resolved by any solution that involves her DD accepting the iPad as a gift to DD specifically. Others clearly see the problem differently, but that is where my views are coming from.

ETA: Also, it seems like some posters (not you specifically) are advocating that the OP relax or compromise on the ownership issue on the grounds that it's not a big deal and/or that the 3YO does not really understand yet and/or that the OP's interpretation of ownership is overly strict, etc. The OP's views of ownership, sharing rules, and how to model these to a small child appear to mesh very closely with mine, so I personally don't see any reason to compromise on her stance that the iPad may not belong to DD. Again, YMMV. I think the distinction between suggestions on resolving the issue as it stands (question of etiquette) and suggestions about whether the OP should consider compromising on allowing her DD to own the iPad (question of parenting and the concept of children's ownership) is getting rather muddied in this thread, which is probably exacerbating the disagreements.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 02:08:50 PM by Onyx_TKD »

mindicherry

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #121 on: December 07, 2012, 11:31:32 PM »
I haven't read all 9 pages of comments (because I need to go to bed ;-) ), but from reading the OP, I have to say this:

Between the choice of a LeapPad and an iPad, the iPad would win 7 days a week and twice on Sundays.  From a practical standpoint - the games for a LeapPad cost $20-$35...iPad apps cost FREE-$5. it's not about spoiling her.  If she cares for it - she will be able to download apps for school (yes - they are even there for kindergarten) that will help her grow, mature and learn

Technology and education-wise - an iPad is something that is going to carry her FAR further than a LeapPad ever will.

She is 3-years old - even if FIL says it is for her.....after 2 weeks of you reinforcing that it is for the family - you should be fine. But honestly?  Even if you "only" have a 1st gen iPad and your FIL is giving the 2nd Gen to HER, you should just open a new iTunes account, transfer all of her apps in that cloud thingy to her new iPad and move on.

If your husband is upset about your daughter having "better toys" than he does, he really needs to get over it or buy himself better toys.  This is a gift. If you don't want the iPad 2 in your house, then say that.  if you don't want the iPad2 in your house because your 3 year old will have a better "toy" than you....then that is not a gifting or etiquette issue - it is a personal issue

And if you are worried about her breaking it (a valid issue)?  Buy an Otterbox case for it!  After i broke my iPhone 4S FOURTEEN DAYS after I bought it and had to pay $400 to replace it, I got a $30 case and that sucker now BOUNCES!  ;)

hey!  I am 43 and my 11 year old is asking me for a cell phone.  Every time I tell him that I didn't get a cell phone until I was 30, he looks at me like I used to ride a dinosaur to school. But iPads and kids just go together like peas & carrots.  She doesn't have to be glued to it, but tech-wise (and looking forward), it is a WAY better choice than a LeapPad!

** edited because I know the difference between "then" and "than"
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 11:34:41 PM by mindicherry »

mindicherry

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #122 on: December 07, 2012, 11:52:46 PM »
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."

I know for me, I think the idea of it being a family device is reasonable if its given as oneBut 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.
This - exactly this (ok - maybe i am not going to bed)

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"

bah12

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #123 on: December 10, 2012, 11:20:22 AM »
I agree it comes down to definitions of ownership. bah12 makes some good points and I think where I differ is the idea of requiring DD to share something that is hers. I have a strong sense of personal boundaries and respect for autonomy which I extend to possessions. For example, some parents have no problem with going through their teenage children's belongings, reading their diaries, etc., at will. I don't think they're wrong, but my personal values mean I would never do that unless I had good reason to suspect her safety was at risk. I will obviously place restrictions and parameters on her internet and phone use, but as long as she sticks to the rules, she's entitled to her own life and relationships without input or monitoring on my part. It's an aspect of parenting people think about differently, and that's fine.

Similarly, if something belongs to me it's not OK for someone to use it without my permission. I tend to be generous with my things in the same way bah12 described, but it has to be my decision. I have the same respect for DD's property. I wouldn't snatch food from her plate without asking and I wouldn't play with her toys without asking. So I would feel comfortable telling her she's had enough screen time today and putting the ipad away, but not telling her she can't play with it because I want to use it. Theoretically, I would feel comfortable telling her she can't play with my ipad (or a "family-owned" ipad) because I want to use it, though in practice it doesn't come up. I know I have the authority to tell her she has to share something that's hers, but that goes against my sense of fairness and I want to impart my values to her by modeling them/applying them to her.*

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 spoke to DH more last night and he does think FIL realizes DD won't have exclusive use of the ipad because he also mentioned DH using it for e-mail. I think it's more of a word choice thing -- FIL just enjoys indulgently referring to something as DD's -- but we have to ask him to lighten up on that when there are potential consequences for DD taking it literally.

*Off topic, but in case anyone is wondering, "you don't have to share things that belong specifically to you" does not apply the same way to play dates. Any toys she wants to play with when a friend is over must be shared with the friend. Anything she doesn't want to share is put away beforehand. But if she brings a bucket and shovel from home to the sandbox at the playground, she can say no if another kid tries to grab it, whether she's using it or not. This has actually led to other parents -- strangers -- getting huffy with me for not making her share. I never posted about it because I just assumed it would be a "snake in a restaurant" sort of thing, but maybe not...

I think having a different definition of "ownership" is just fine.  If you don't normally require your DD to share her things (outside of play dates), then asking her to share "her ipad" with you from time to time obviously won't work.  I do want to point out that just because I ask my DD to be open with sharing her things, I don't make her stop playing with toys to share them, nor does that mean that I will violate her privacy by going through her phone and diary when she's older and has those things. And for that matter, "sharing" does not mean that anyone can take her things whenever she wants.  She just needs to have a good reason to say 'no' when someone asks and "I'm using it right now", "you can't be trusted to take care of it or give it back", "I don't know you" or "It's private" are all valid reasons. (I understand you weren't assuming these things were true for me, but I wanted to be clear).

I will say that you still have two courses of action.  1. Fight the fight with FIL and instist that he not give the ipad to your DD (don't ask him to make it a family gift) or 2. let her have it and ask her if you can use it when she's not (if asking her to stop playing with your ipad so that you can use it has never come up before, there's very little chance, even if some, that this is something you're going to run into very often with the new one...unless, of course, the new one is so nice that you change your usage habits simply because you enjoy it more).  I personally, would go with 2, but again you don't have to.

It also sounds like the real issue here is a bit broader than the ipad.  If your FIL is defining things as DD's that are clearly not DD's, then that could be a problem.  And I would address this with him.  If your personal boundaries with material things is very strong, then you need to be consistent with all things.  The vacation house is not DD's and the same rules wouldn't apply to use of the house as it would to her true belongings.  If you're going to teach her that she has full autonomy to decide what goes with all things that are hers, then she needs to clearly understand what is not hers, and this is where your FIL's method of defining everything as hers can be damaging.

I've been saying this for a while and I'll go ahead and say this again.  The real discussion here is simply a parenting issue.  And there's no wrong or right way to go about it.  The etiquette is pretty cut and dry. You asked your FIL not to gift DD the ipad.  He needs to respect that.

Bexx27

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #124 on: December 10, 2012, 11:36:14 AM »
DH talked to FIL last night. Before DH introduced the topic, FIL excitedly told him that he had set the ipad to open to a picture of DD and a banner saying "DD's ipad."  ::) DH said he was concerned that presenting it that way would make DD possessive of the ipad and unwilling to let us use it. He asked FIL to make it clear that it was a gift for DD to share with us. He agreed, but seemed sad about it. Then I felt bad for making him sad when he just wants to see his granddaughter's eyes light up.  :( Ultimately, I guess we'll try to make everyone happy by telling DD it's mostly for her but mom and dad can use it when she's not. I'm sure I've just been overthinking this and we probably won't end up having any issues.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

CaptainObvious

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #125 on: December 10, 2012, 11:52:55 AM »
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."

I know for me, I think the idea of it being a family device is reasonable if its given as oneBut 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.
This - exactly this (ok - maybe i am not going to bed)

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.

wolfie

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #126 on: December 10, 2012, 12:00:34 PM »
DH talked to FIL last night. Before DH introduced the topic, FIL excitedly told him that he had set the ipad to open to a picture of DD and a banner saying "DD's ipad."  ::) DH said he was concerned that presenting it that way would make DD possessive of the ipad and unwilling to let us use it. He asked FIL to make it clear that it was a gift for DD to share with us. He agreed, but seemed sad about it. Then I felt bad for making him sad when he just wants to see his granddaughter's eyes light up.  :( Ultimately, I guess we'll try to make everyone happy by telling DD it's mostly for her but mom and dad can use it when she's not. I'm sure I've just been overthinking this and we probably won't end up having any issues.

I can see why you are thinking of backing down  - especially when your FIL has such good intentions. But I would ask you to rethink that. "Start as you mean to go on" and all that jazz. Eventually you will need to put your foot down and disappoint him. Wouldn't it be easier to do it now and set the tone for the rest of the relationship rather then 5 years from now when a precedent has been set and he is more likely to resist?

Sharnita

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #127 on: December 10, 2012, 12:02:52 PM »
I agree with wolfie.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #128 on: December 10, 2012, 12:32:26 PM »
I agree with wolfie, too.  Having good intentions does not mean your FIL gets to override your parenting decisions. 

Bexx27

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #129 on: December 10, 2012, 12:53:53 PM »
Well, I wasn't really thinking of it as backing down because she'll still be told it's a shared ipad.
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver

VorFemme

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #130 on: December 10, 2012, 01:58:43 PM »
Does FIL still refer to the beach house as DD's?

Because his choice of words is going to cause confusion, sooner or later.  He needs to be reminded that he might want to thrill his grandchild - but it could confuse her and lead to tears later on.  Being clear might not be as much fun - but will not set up problems with his grandchild (or the in laws) later on!
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Hmmmmm

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #131 on: December 10, 2012, 02:26:34 PM »
DH talked to FIL last night. Before DH introduced the topic, FIL excitedly told him that he had set the ipad to open to a picture of DD and a banner saying "DD's ipad."  ::) DH said he was concerned that presenting it that way would make DD possessive of the ipad and unwilling to let us use it. He asked FIL to make it clear that it was a gift for DD to share with us. He agreed, but seemed sad about it. Then I felt bad for making him sad when he just wants to see his granddaughter's eyes light up.  :( Ultimately, I guess we'll try to make everyone happy by telling DD it's mostly for her but mom and dad can use it when she's not. I'm sure I've just been overthinking this and we probably won't end up having any issues.

I think this is a good plan.  I understand and really respect your boundary issues about possessions.  But remember that there are things in your home that do not belong to just one person.  TV's, fridges, cars, furniture.... One family may actually acquired it, or even receive it as a gift, but it is shared with the family as communal bounty. 

I think it is important that kids get the opportunity to contribute to the family and enjoy that since of pride in sharing.  My son around age 3 received a wagon one year for Christmas from his GP's.  This wagon has the best off road wheels ever!  You could maneauver that thing anywhere.  DS got a big kick out of us asking to borrow his wagon when he was little. We'd decide to go to the neighborhood pool and he'd say "I'll go get my wagon to put the the stuff in."   At about age 12, I remember asking him to bring "his" wagon around to the backyard for me and he laughed and said that hadn't been "his" wagon for years. 

One day you'll say "Gosh I wish I had my iPad with me" and your DD will say with great satisfcation "Here mommy, use mine."

And I don't know what it is about some GP's wanting to refer to their things as the grandkids.  My ILs did this.  By age two, my DD "owned" their birds they'd had for 10 years, their backyard pool that had been there for decades, and a good bit of their other possessions including her gandfather's golf cart.  When our son came along when she was 3 they had to start doing a lot of backtracking.  So the next time FIL tells DD that the beachouse is hers ask him if he plans to buy your next child one too. ;)

mindicherry

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #132 on: December 12, 2012, 06:50:39 PM »
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."

I know for me, I think the idea of it being a family device is reasonable if its given as oneBut 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.
This - exactly this (ok - maybe i am not going to bed)

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:

Quote
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! ;)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 07:05:17 PM by mindicherry »

TurtleDove

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #133 on: December 12, 2012, 11:40:13 PM »
Well explained, mindicherry. 

Bexx27

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Re: Uncomfortable with FIL's gift to my child
« Reply #134 on: December 13, 2012, 10:54:04 AM »
Yes, FIL and SMIL are better of than we are financially and DD is their only grandchild at the moment. I'm not worried about being "upstaged" per se, but I'm absolutely worried about this:

...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!"... 

and ultimately this:

you don't want to raise a spoiled and entitled daughter that would have others complaining about her on eHell  ;)
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -George Washington Carver