Author Topic: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift, update pg 7  (Read 17842 times)

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Sophia

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #75 on: October 03, 2013, 10:49:32 PM »
I would be concerned that the younger child would feel that she and her feelings don't count.  Lots of kids in these types of situations withhold their feelings to avoid annoying parents or making things worse for themselves.

I agree totally.  I also won't want to be an accessory to that. 
Would their guardians be OK with quality used clothes as gifts?  Maybe for Christmas get them clothes in their current sizes, but get several things. 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #76 on: October 03, 2013, 11:24:14 PM »
I like the idea of getting Younger Sister a book, and writing her name in the front.

GrammarNerd

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #77 on: October 04, 2013, 12:02:16 AM »
Can you get them both identical things, like the exact same outfit (for occasions like Christmas, of course, where you might get both girs gifts), so that there would be no point in the older sister appropriating the younger sister's gift?

I remember when I was a new mommy, I had a crib set up for my DS, who was a newborn.  He didn't sleep in it yet; he slept in a cradle by our bed so he was close by so I could nurse him.  But he had this room that I'd spent time decorating, etc.  My first baby....a lot of thought and work went into it, KWIM?  DH's sister and BIL visited, overnight, to see him, with their DD who was about 9-10 months old.  I was adamant that their baby not use our DS' crib, even though  DS didn't use it yet.  I couldn't explain it to my DH (at least in a way that he understood).  He didn't care.  But to me, it was a big deal that my DS would be the first one to sleep in HIS OWN crib.  (Plus, SIL was kind of the golden child, as was her DD, who was the first grandchild.  They could do no wrong.  So I was probably just projecting my worries about the future and if DS would get shuffled aside all the time b/c his cousin was first and was the golden child, so I was trying to start from the outset and not let her take over his bed that he'd never used.)

Of course, now it sounds silly, although I'm sure there are some people who could relate to how I felt at the time.  Both kids are in high school now.  But it was a big deal to me then.  And I think that despite the family situation, the OP should find some way that younger niece's gifts can't be given to older niece.  And despite the family situation, I think it would be a kindness to the older niece in the long run to not let her get away with this, whether it be making a point about the hat, or some other method.

OP, would it be possible to gift the three year old with something at the 5 year old's next birthday?  So as to not disrupt the birthday celebration, could you preemptively tell the 5 year old that her little sister will be getting a gift too, and that's only fair since the older sister not only took the younger sister's hat, but damaged it too?  And your gift to younger sis is to make up for that, and she is not to touch it or else?  I know she's only 5, but let her stew on it for a while.  Actions have consequences. She needs to realize that, even at 5.  If she wants to be the only one getting gifts on her birthday, then she has to act appropriately with other people's gifts at their birthdays.   I still remember a defining moment from my childhood when my father punished me for something.  Looking back on it now, I was totally being a brat and I deserved it.  And let me tell you, that punishment made an impression on me, so much so that I still remember it. 

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #78 on: October 04, 2013, 12:16:25 AM »
The younger girl has her birthday within the next month.  I will quietly gift her with another hat and she will be getting a handmade character bath towel as well.  My IL's have been making noises that they have too much stuff ( in general) so I'm trying to give a practical useful gift.  I like to give books but books are on the "too much of" list right now.

Thrift store finds are okay too, so I'm always on the lookout for things I've been told are absolute *needs*.

The older girl got her own towel for her birthday already, so it will be pretty clear that this one is for younger girl.  One bath time, two kids, two towels.  :). And as for the hat, I also know that younger girl needs one that has ties under the chin this year, so I should be good there too.

Thank you for all the insight!

Owly

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #79 on: October 04, 2013, 12:26:10 AM »
I think I'd explain to the girls' guardians that I'd really like to get 3-Year-Old a present that's just for her, and ask them for ideas on how you can make that happen. I think this could go over fairly well if you try to make them your allies - if it sounds like you know the older girl is a handful and they're doing their best, they'll be less likely to feel criticized and get defensive. You're not insulting their parenting, just working together to solve a problem, you know?

CakeEater

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #80 on: October 04, 2013, 12:54:15 AM »
What if it wasn't children but adults?

Say I found a lovely unique necklace I just my friend #1 would love.  I give it to her at her party in front of friends.  Then the next time we all got together I saw that friend #2 was wearing it.  Upon seeing my puzzled look, friend #2 pipes up with "I saw the necklace and just loved it, so I took it.  Friend #1 can have it when I get tired of it!"

That would be horrendously rude, right?

Sure, but towards Friend 1, not towards you, the gifter.

o_gal

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #81 on: October 04, 2013, 09:39:17 AM »
The younger girl has her birthday within the next month.  I will quietly gift her with another hat and she will be getting a handmade character bath towel as well.  My IL's have been making noises that they have too much stuff ( in general) so I'm trying to give a practical useful gift.  I like to give books but books are on the "too much of" list right now.

Thrift store finds are okay too, so I'm always on the lookout for things I've been told are absolute *needs*.

The older girl got her own towel for her birthday already, so it will be pretty clear that this one is for younger girl.  One bath time, two kids, two towels.  :). And as for the hat, I also know that younger girl needs one that has ties under the chin this year, so I should be good there too.

Thank you for all the insight!

I think this is a great strategy because it may have an additional benefit. If the parents are the type that will let the older one take over the younger ones things, then the older one could end up taking over the next hat and the bath towel. You'll know if you again see older one wearing the hat, or the younger one talking about how older one uses that bath towel. It will then be obvious what the dynamic is in the family - whether this first incident is an anomaly or the norm.

rain

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #82 on: October 04, 2013, 12:22:34 PM »
I don't remember if I posted this before


My OS acted like the 5 yr old ... unless its stopped, it will continue day by day (what's one more day right - they add up) - next thing you know the kids are in high school & its still happening ... even after high school ... it never ends ... even after the death of a parent as the definition of "fair" in the family is skewed


(((hugs))) to OP and family

"oh we thank thee lord for the things we need, like the wind and the rain and the apple seed"

BarensMom

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #83 on: October 04, 2013, 02:09:22 PM »
Before the younger girl's birthday, I would talk to the grandparents.  Something like, "(Inlaws), I see there's a problem with older girl appropriating younger girl's stuff.  I would appreciate if you let younger girl keep any and all presents from me.  Older girl will get her own items on her birthday.  If I see older girl with something I purchased for younger girl again, I'm going to stop buying presents for either child."  Then stick to it. 

If inlaws don't like what you're saying, too bad.  Just because they don't have the wherewithal to stand up to this brat, doesn't mean you have to participate in marginalizing the younger girl.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #84 on: October 04, 2013, 03:18:17 PM »
I agree with Baren'sMom, although I might start it a little more gently. 'I'm thinking about YoungerChild's birthday gift; I really want to get her something that's just for her, not for her and OlderChild. Have you any ideas? You remember, last year I bought the hat, and that didn't end well. I really want to be AwesomeRelative who gives great presents, not RottenRelative who gives things to OlderChild so that YoungerChild only ever gets hand-me-downs.' Extra points if you can bring in something like 'you remember how OlderBrother always got the new bike because he was the biggest, and MiddleSister and I always had to make do with his outgrown one? I really used to resent that. I still do, actually.' If there's no family story you can use, pinch one from a friend: 'I was talking to Carol - I don't think you know her - and she was telling me how even now that she's in her 30s, she remembers that her sister used to take her clothes/toys/whatever, and she never got anything new. She was telling me that her sister used to just appropriate whatever she was given, and how much she hated it.'

The GPs may not actually have seen it that way, particularly not if they're winging the childcare thing. If they're managing day to day, they may not be thinking about the long term effects of what they're doing.

Sophia

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #85 on: October 04, 2013, 03:25:47 PM »
...and throw in what an entitled snot Carol's older sister turnout out to be. 

LeeLieLow

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #86 on: October 04, 2013, 05:02:59 PM »
These children and the custodial grandparents sound like they are have lots of problems that are not related to etiquette.  I understand why OP is miffed about the gift. 

I don't think OP can solve the children's or GP's problems, but maybe OP will feel better her/himself if the gift problem is solved.  Next gift giving situation, give both children the exact same thing.  Hopefully, older child will not take/be given the duplicate gift.

Hillia

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #87 on: October 04, 2013, 05:05:13 PM »
When DS was about 10, I had shared custody with his father.  He alternated weeks between the two homes.  My  mom bought DS a small TV for his room at his dads.  Stepmother took the TV and put it in her 12 year old daughter's room, because 'she needed it more'.  I took the TV back, to howls of outrage.  But no - my  mom did not intend to buy a totally random child a gift, it was meant for DS.

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barefoot_girl

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift
« Reply #88 on: October 05, 2013, 03:39:02 AM »
For all we know, this propensity, or character trait, in Big Sister might have done a lot to protect Little Sister in their other home. Since she doesn't need to stand up for her baby sister anymore, its manifesting in this way. There is such a thin line between virtues and vices sometimes, and I hope that the Grandparents will recognize this my-way, bossy attitude and cultivate a strong woman who isn't pushed around.

i think this is a very good point. It sounds to me as if these children have bigger problems in their little lives than hats, and hopefully they and their grandparents are getting support and help.

I do like the idea of buying each child their own towel. its something really useful, and easily personalised.

Idlewildstudios

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Re: Am I wrong to be miffed, birthday gift, update pg 6
« Reply #89 on: November 04, 2013, 06:44:13 PM »
OP here-

Just in case anyone was curious...Younger niece had her birthday party this past weekend.  I made her a towel, which was a big hit as she now has one like her big sister.  Got her a cute and distinctive new winter hat that matched the towel.  Nobody said anything so hopefully she gets to wear it.

It was sad that she wasn't able to open any of the gifts by herself.  Her older sister crowded in and tire off the wrapping of every present first.  Older sister was quick to pull the gifts out of the boxes and try to lay verbal claim to whatever caught her fancy.  I spoke up three times, asking her to stop and let the birthday girl do the opening ( the birthday girl chose to open presents next to me) but neither the grandparents or the mother ( who was there ) said a peep.  If I had pushed the issue things would have gotten unpleasant so I just shut up. 

The birthday girl did notice me defending her and started getting upset when get sister kept barging in, trying to pull her gifts out of the way, but like I said, none of the adults who should have spoken up did anything.

At least she knows that the towel and hat are *hers* , so hopefully she gets to keep them.