General Etiquette > Family and Children

Eating a present you gave someone

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MIL makes awesome shortbread and DD1 loves it. So whenever she comes to visit (2 or 3 times a year) she brings her a batch bad gives if to her with much enthusiasm and 'look what I made you!'. This I have no problem with, it's nice for her to make it for her and DD1 really loves it.

What does bother me is the fact MIL and FIL end up eating more then half of it while they are here even though it's apparently DD1's treat. One visit I went to give one to DD1 just after they left for the airport to help cheer her up and there wasn't any left. I discovered later MIL had the last 2 with her tea just before they left.

This trip they arrived just before DD1's bedtime and MIL gave her the shortbread but she didn't eat any since it was too late. She had preschool the next day so didn't get any in the morning before MIL and FIL arrived (they were stayingin a hotel since we don't have the room). They got themselves a cup of tea while I was sorting the twins out and I came back to find they had opened DD1's package of shortbread and were tucking in, DD1 hadn't even had any yet!

So here my question, am I being a snow flake thinking they shouldn't be eating the shortbread MIL gave to DD1 as a present? Or should I just suck it up because MIL made it?

My husband also makes awesome shortbread that we often give as a gift. It keeps well. Could you not hide it? If MIL asks for a piece you could say, "I'm going to save it. It just seems to disappear so quickly if I leave it out and since it's a gift for her, I'm going to make sure that after your visit, she'll get one piece every day to remember you by."

Can you ask her for the receipe? I mean, shortbread is very easy to make. If your daughter loves it so much  I think it would be pretty cool if your MIL  showed her how to make it, and then you two can bake it also.

I have friends who might bring something tasty, say "Look at what I made you!" and we'd both enjoy it together. Its understood that its not really a gift, more like a treat for both (or all) of us. It could be just a difference in personalities/the way she expresses herself. I'd just mentally go "Okay, she says 'Look what I brought you' but she really means 'I was bumbling around in the kitchen and brought some cookies for us all to eat during my visit.'"

You might have a word with her though, since she's making your little one think that the cookies are specifically for her. Maybe say "Hey, she loves your cookies, but when you say that it makes her think they are a gift meant just for her and she gets hurt when she sees you taking them...could you maybe say it differently so she knows?" That would have the added benefit of opening their eyes to how much they are really eating if they really are being oblivious.

I do think what MIL is doing is rude.  I wouldn't think it's rude for her to have a piece if the package were opened by DD1 in the presence of all and to share with everybody, but what she is doing is definitely rude.  I actually can't imagine a grandmother who would bake shortbread for the granddaughter and then eat it all like that!

When MIL gives the shortbread to her, perhaps you could say something like "Oh wow, thanks so much - say thank you to MIL DD1 - let's put this away for now since it's too late/too early/too sunny etc, and we will get it out on the weekend/for your birthday/or some other time after MIL is gone".

Then, put it somewhere where MIL doesn't know where it is.


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