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to think it is strange to change someone's present?

(93 Posts)
JaneFonda Tue 05-Feb-13 18:36:27

I'll try to keep this as simple as possible, without giving away too many details.

For Christmas, MIL and FIL suggested getting something quite expensive for DS1's Christmas present. He would have absolutely loved it, and would have had many years of use out of it. Because it was quite expensive, me and DP offered to pay some of it, but instead they suggested having it as a joint birthday/Christmas present. I thought this was a great idea, then it was 100% from them IYSWIM, and the price was then okay for a birthday and Christmas present combined.

The present wasn't to arrive until around January/February time, but DS was absolutely fine with that, as he knew it was worth waiting for.

However, this evening, they phoned us up to say that they had got DS a violin for the present instead. Which, while lovely, is not something that DS has shown interest in, or said he wanted as a present.

I am genuinely prepared to accept IABU, by the way, I don't want to seem ungrateful but I am a little upset for DS. I know that finances aren't a problem for them (we would have happily paid towards it anyway), so AIBU to think that this is strange of them?

wibblyjelly Tue 05-Feb-13 19:51:44

I would say to them that what with paying for ds's tennis, you don't have any spare cash for violin lessons, and ds wouldn't have time anyway. It seems a shame to waste such a lovely instrument, so maybe they could sell it, and the money could go toward the tennis lessons?

Frawli Tue 05-Feb-13 19:54:53

It could be that they think they are doing something nice, they might think the violin is worth more and so is a 'better' present. But if your son isn't interested then it's not better is it!

Could your DH tell them that while you appreciate the thought, it would just be a waste to give DS the violin as he has no interest in playing it?

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Tue 05-Feb-13 20:28:13

I would bet my house they are not trying to be nice.

frogspoon Tue 05-Feb-13 20:37:16

I wonder if they knew they were getting the violin and were planning to sell it to pay for tennis club membership. Then they got it valued and found it wasn't actually worth much, and so decided to give him the violin instead?

BambieO Tue 05-Feb-13 20:43:28

Ah that's so sad sad

I wish I could pay for his tennis myself! but I can't

Very odd behaviour, I would definitely tell them it's not his sort of thing and ask would they mind if you sold it to get the original present as he was so looking forward to it. They can hardly say no, like a pp said a present should be something to make the recipient happy!

5Foot5 Tue 05-Feb-13 20:45:40

That's an interesting point frogspoon

The OP only has her PIL's word for it that it is valuable. IME you can pick up second hand child-size violins really cheaply.

Could you return it and say that you can't afford the violin lessons as well as his tennis lessons and tennis membership?

HumphreyCobbler Tue 05-Feb-13 21:23:48

is it a full size violin? Will it even be an appropriate size for him to play?

I think this is really mean of them

IME a lot of people think they have got a valuable violin when they don't at all.

coldcupoftea Tue 05-Feb-13 21:30:10

I was going to say the same as Humphrey- is it even his size? Violins for children come in various sizes, if it is full size he may not be able to play it for years.

I would get DH to explain you are very grateful but it is not appropriate, he does not want violin lessons, and suggest they get their money back.

DontmindifIdo Tue 05-Feb-13 21:31:15

yep, ask your DS if he wants to learn the violin (assuming you can afford the lessons easily) then if not, sell it. Buy some tennis stuff with the money.

wizzywigg Tue 05-Feb-13 21:44:13

A violin would be a lovely present for a little boy who was learning the violin at school on a school violin. It would be so encouraging to have his own violin. Especially if it is the right size..........

Seriously, you need lessons for years and parents that want to encourage you to practice for years, and take you to the Saturday Music School to play with others.

No good if you want to play tennis sad

I like the suggestion of declining the violin/returning it on grounds of not being able to afford violin lessons as well as tennis lessons (which is what ds really wants to do).

YANBU, you don't promise a child something that they really want then whisk it away from them with no thought or consideration. Bless him for thanking them, he has lovely manners. Shame on the GP's.

*Factor in the added bonus question of, "What size is the violin MIL?" and hope they haven't a clue what you mean and have the wrong size

pluCaChange Tue 05-Feb-13 22:36:33

If this is just poor judgement, rather than malice, your DS still needs to be protected.

Poor child! So disappointed, and yet still polite! sad

AdriftAndOutOfStardust Tue 05-Feb-13 23:13:54

I agree sell the violin and use the money towards the tennis - it may not be valuable enough to cover the whole cost but you said you were willing to put some cash in yourself so hopefully you'll be able to make up the difference.

There is absolutely no point giving a child a musical instrument unless they have been really enthusiastic about learning to play.

ImperialBlether Tue 05-Feb-13 23:18:30

I would take the violin and hit a tennis ball with it as hard as I could. And again. And again.

Why would they do that? Who do they think will pay for violin lessons? What on earth made them think he'd want that?

2rebecca Tue 05-Feb-13 23:21:47

If this was my inlaws I'd ask my husband to phone them and see if they'd consider getting him the original present because he thinks his son would enjoy it more and to hang on to the violin as he hasn't expressed a wish to play it and it may be wasted at the moment.
He could also add that when his son chooses a musical instrument to play then the child and his parents will be choosing the instrument, not just picking a particular instrument because someone else has decided he should play it.
I would never buy a child an expensive musical instrument without the parents asking me to buy one for their child ie giving it as a suggestion if I asked what they'd like.
I think it's inappropriate and controlling of your inlaws to do this.
I suppose they get to choose what present they buy as their money, but your husband could mention to them that if he doesn't show any interest in it then you may sell it.

mum11970 Tue 05-Feb-13 23:23:13

Why can't your dh just ask them straight out why they bought a violin. If my parents did that I'd just ask.

Maryz Tue 05-Feb-13 23:25:26

Has anyone mentioned that you are going to have to listen to him practice, in the event he takes to it.

Poor him. And poor you.

BiteTheTopsOffIcedGems Tue 05-Feb-13 23:28:50

Disney tickets. Clingfilm. smile

2rebecca Tue 05-Feb-13 23:29:02

I agree if my dad had said he was getting my son something for xmas and birthday and then got something else I would say "dad why did you say you'd get him x and then get him y? He was really looking forward to getting x and has no interest in y " If your inlaws had already told him what they were getting him it seems particularly mean to change their present at the last moment.

jennywren123 Tue 05-Feb-13 23:33:40

Tell them you've had it valued and it's worth £20. Bet the look on their faces will be priceless smile

Clytaemnestra Tue 05-Feb-13 23:37:55

Tell them that while it was lovely, it cracked the first time your ds used it to serve in his tennis match, so they might want to look at getting their money back as it clearly wasn't fit for the purpose intended.

My DF still says it was the happiest day of his life when i gave up the violin. Sell the violin and pay for the tennis.

"Tell them you've had it valued and it's worth £20. Bet the look on their faces will be priceless "

Then ask them to go half with you as agreed, as they have in reality paid nothing for his gift.

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