Author Topic: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts  (Read 10267 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2014, 01:44:35 PM »
Are you sure she wasn't being sarcastic and trying to be funny?  That is just really rude if she was serious.  I can absolutely see someone being facetious like that though.  I mean, if someone gave my five year old a drum set, I can see saying, "Nooooo!  Please noooooo! I will never get the sound of her playing this out of my head!!!!"  But people who know me would see the smile on my face, see me helping her set it up, and know that I was kidding with my "noooo!" because I would follow it up with, "She is going to have so much fun with this!  Thanks!"

MommyPenguin

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2014, 01:49:29 PM »
I'll admit to having privately not appreciated the person who got my kids a set of "do it yourself face paints" one year.  :)  (Yes, I did let them paint each other's faces.)  However, that's totally something to keep to yourself.

And I'd agree with the others that at their ages, fingernail polish should be something they can do somewhat independently.  I'd think the 10-year-old could definitely do her own and help her sister with hers, or the 6-year-old can do her own a bit messily.  Unless she's worried about spills?  I'd be more worried about the sand art, which sounds like something likely to get everywhere.  :)

You might consider keeping messiness/parental involvement requirements in mind when buying presents in the future, but I know that's hard to tell when getting presents for somebody you don't know well when you have no kids, so I wouldn't worry about it too much.  Not wanting the present to require her involvement doesn't necessarily mean that the mom doesn't spend time with her kids, it just might mean that she views their toys as the time that *could* be hers, and she'd rather most of their toys be independent because she gets other time with them.  But her whinging about it in public in front of you is just rude and ungrateful.

123sandy

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2014, 02:08:02 PM »
I think the mum was rude. Having said that I try to never give children gifts that are messy or noisy. A seven year old visitor dripped nail polish on my rug and that sand stuff is the work of the devil, I have yet to meet another parent who thinks it's fun!

EllenS

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2014, 02:14:42 PM »
As a parent whose children have plenty of childfree aunties, the exact gifts parents sometimes find annoying/messy, are usually the same ones the kids absolutely love.  Probably because it's the sort of thing the parents don't buy. As long as the gift is not age-inappropriate, conflict with the parent's moral values, or dangerous, I think it is perfectly polite to shop in order to please the recipient.

 Perhaps with toddlers who are prone to tantrums, you might want to bear in mind whether Mom and Dad will have to take the thing away, but at the age you describe I firmly believe that setting and enforcing household rules, boundaries and chores is the parents' job, not the gift givers. (with the caveats mentioned above).

MrsJWine

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2014, 02:25:02 PM »
She was extremely rude. There's no excuse for the way she acted.

However, I might have privately thought the same thing. I'm not a slave to my kids' whims; I can say 'no', but some gifts really are more cumbersome than others. I, in a fit of insanity, bought my kids some nail polish for Christmas this year. They want to paint their nails all.day.long. now. It's not because I'm a mom who hates my kids and doesn't want to spend time with them. It's just that they are obsessed. AND nail polish is not exactly easy to clean up. Especially since they don't really understand that until it hardens, it will come off on anything they rub against.


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Piratelvr1121

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2014, 02:30:29 PM »
I feel bad for the girls too, but at least they have better manners than their mother, though that doesn't seem to say much, does it?  I also think it's sad that the mother was annoyed that the present meant she'd have to spend time with her kids.  My boys got a Battleship game for Christmas and I had fun beating my oldest at it!  >:D 

I'd keep giving them presents as I wouldn't want to punish them either. 

Heehee...Must say though, anyone threatening to buy drums for my kids to punish me would be disappointed.  I love drums! :)
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esposita

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2014, 02:39:13 PM »
She was extremely rude. There's no excuse for the way she acted.

However, I might have privately thought the same thing. I'm not a slave to my kids' whims; I can say 'no', but some gifts really are more cumbersome than others. I, in a fit of insanity, bought my kids some nail polish for Christmas this year. They want to paint their nails all.day.long. now. It's not because I'm a mom who hates my kids and doesn't want to spend time with them. It's just that they are obsessed. AND nail polish is not exactly easy to clean up. Especially since they don't really understand that until it hardens, it will come off on anything they rub against.

Pod. There are lots of things I enjoy doing with my kids. Reading tops the list. There are some things that I really hate doing with them. They have this little thing where they make their fingers into animals and play with their "animals" and other various toys for hours upon hours. Well, probably more like ten minutes upon ten minutes, but it seems like ages. I decline to participate.  ;)

Not wanting to paint her kid's nails doesn't make her a horrible mother (though complaining about a gift might if she wasn't displaying an extremely dry type of sarcasm like TurtleDove made a case for). We hear all the time about not becoming completely wrapped up in your kids activites... why are we jumping on her for not wanting to paint their nails? The point is that she spurned a gift in what was possibly a really mean way.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2014, 02:51:20 PM »
The mother was rude. But it wouldn't have given a nail polish set to a 6 yr old.


EllenS

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2014, 02:56:58 PM »
She was extremely rude. There's no excuse for the way she acted.

However, I might have privately thought the same thing. I'm not a slave to my kids' whims; I can say 'no', but some gifts really are more cumbersome than others. I, in a fit of insanity, bought my kids some nail polish for Christmas this year. They want to paint their nails all.day.long. now. It's not because I'm a mom who hates my kids and doesn't want to spend time with them. It's just that they are obsessed. AND nail polish is not exactly easy to clean up. Especially since they don't really understand that until it hardens, it will come off on anything they rub against.

Pod. There are lots of things I enjoy doing with my kids. Reading tops the list. There are some things that I really hate doing with them. They have this little thing where they make their fingers into animals and play with their "animals" and other various toys for hours upon hours. Well, probably more like ten minutes upon ten minutes, but it seems like ages. I decline to participate.  ;)

Not wanting to paint her kid's nails doesn't make her a horrible mother (though complaining about a gift might if she wasn't displaying an extremely dry type of sarcasm like TurtleDove made a case for). We hear all the time about not becoming completely wrapped up in your kids activites... why are we jumping on her for not wanting to paint their nails? The point is that she spurned a gift in what was possibly a really mean way.

I read the OP as saying that the mom habitually sneers and makes insulting and PA comments about gifts to her kids, even ones that most people don't consider particularly troublesome (paper dolls?)

Also, blaming OP for her "having" to paint her kids nails, when it is obvious that she need do nothing of the sort.  This sounds to me like blameshifting and drama creation of a fairly high order, which is why I feel sorry for the kids.

MrsJWine

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2014, 03:01:25 PM »
Oh, no doubt she's a jerk. People are going to give your kids gifts you don't love once in a while; it's just part of life, and you need to be happy they went to the trouble at all (unless it's obviously devised to hurt or slight). But hating nail polish doesn't mean she doesn't like spending time with her kids. I don't get the paper dolls thing either, though.


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EllenS

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2014, 03:07:44 PM »
Oh, no doubt she's a jerk. People are going to give your kids gifts you don't love once in a while; it's just part of life, and you need to be happy they went to the trouble at all (unless it's obviously devised to hurt or slight). But hating nail polish doesn't mean she doesn't like spending time with her kids. I don't get the paper dolls thing either, though.

Oh, of course not. I don't like painting my kids nails either.  And, you know what? if the mom had taken OP aside and asked her to please consider x,y, or z when gifting the kids, I think that would be a perfectly reasonable conversation to have.  It's the way she snarked about it, that sets off my ickometer.

MrsJWine

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2014, 03:10:18 PM »
Oh, no doubt she's a jerk. People are going to give your kids gifts you don't love once in a while; it's just part of life, and you need to be happy they went to the trouble at all (unless it's obviously devised to hurt or slight). But hating nail polish doesn't mean she doesn't like spending time with her kids. I don't get the paper dolls thing either, though.

Oh, of course not. I don't like painting my kids nails either.  And, you know what? if the mom had taken OP aside and asked her to please consider x,y, or z when gifting the kids, I think that would be a perfectly reasonable conversation to have.  It's the way she snarked about it, that sets off my ickometer.

Yeah, if she's that uninhibited around family members who aren't really close, how must she treat her kids when no one's looking? I know I'm at my best when people are around. The ugly me comes out during everyday, at-home life. Imagine what her ugly looks like.

ETA: I meant to say in my last post that the nature of the gifts in no way excuses the mom's behavior. However, she seems genuinely interested in getting good gifts for the kids, and this is something to keep in mind. What I did before I had kids was to ask other people with kids for ideas.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 03:12:24 PM by MrsJWine »


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TootsNYC

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2014, 03:14:31 PM »
I have bad news for you - their mother is going to gripe no matter what you give them. It's what she does. It's not you, it's her, so please don't take it personally.

Continue to buy the girls thoughtful gifts that you think they might enjoy - Mom will get over it as soon as something else annoys her. Which shouldn't be too long.

This is where I stand, I think.

The purpose of gifts is to create a closer relationship. So focus on those girls--they are nice kids, and every time you give them a gift that you truly think *they* would like, you are creating a nice relationship with *them*.

Just roll your eyes at their mother (maybe even where they can see it, LOL, but if so be sure to smile when you do, it'll make them feel closer to you, if they think you also kinda think their mother is a little funny).

And focus on them.

(and yes, that's rude--doubly so, because it's rude to you, but it's also REALLY rude to those two girls, who did come to thank you for the present, and who apparently learned--not sure who was teaching them--that it's important to be gracious about the gifts they receive)

Sounds like my SIL.  I was told third-hand (from MIL through DH) a couple of years ago not to give my niece Play-Dough because SIL has beige carpets.  Now, I had never given niece Play-Dough and it hadn't really crossed my mind to do so but all I could think about was Play-Dough that year because it aggravated me to no end that SIL put her carpets before her daughter's enjoyment and creativity. 

My kids had plenty of Play-Dough experience at school and daycare. And there are lots of other ways my kid can be creative and have fun that wouldn't trash beige carpeting.

(mind you, I had Play-Doh in my house, but I have every sympathy for parents who don't want it in theirs. It's darned expensive to replace carpets, and that stuff doesn't clean up well)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2014, 03:15:55 PM »
People are going to give your kids gifts you don't love once in a while;

As the childless (honourary) Aunt, it's practically my job to give the kids gifts the parents are going to hate, isn't it?    >:D

When giving gifts to kids, I generally go by the ages on the package.  If it says '7 to 9 years old', I'm not going to give it to a 5 year old.  Likewise, if it says '2 to 4 years old', I'm not going to give it to a 6 year old.

Nail polish to a 10 year old seems fine to me; the 6 year old might have been pushing it if she was an only but with her older sister to help her?  Seems OK to me, too.

I'd give a jewellery making kit, in the appropriate age range, so that they should be able to do it with minimal supervision.  I probably wouldn't give a chocolate making kit, though, because of the added supervision (and cleanup!) necessary.  Although when I helped with the shopping for a kids Christmas party, we gave away some of those kits.  A parent told us later that although it had been a bit of a pain, their kid had so much fun and gave away the treats as Christmas presents that it was totally worth it.

If the mother had drawn the OP aside later and said, 'You know, something like that can be really messy, especially for the 6 year old, and I have to supervise more closely than I'd sometimes like to.  Could you keep that in mind for next year and get something less messy?'  It would have been fine.

Edited to correct a word and to add:

OP, would you see the girls any other time?  Would it be possible to give them a gift that you would do with them at a later date?  So if you gave them a crafty type thing, the girls would have a date with Aunt cocacola on the first Saturday after New Years to make whatever it is.  Make all the arrangements - picking them up, aprons for messy work, dropping them back off, etc.  Mom will probably still find something to complain about but then you know that you did everything you could to make it fun for the girls and stress-free for their mother.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 03:21:29 PM by Outdoor Girl »
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Re: Apparently I Give Inconvenient Gifts
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2014, 03:20:15 PM »
Rude. Even if the parent doesn't like something, it is rude to say so publicly.

You would think she would have some tact by this point, but apparently not.