to be fed up with being 'handed down' broken s**t

(30 Posts)
CoffeeChocolateWine Fri 12-Apr-13 10:55:53

My good friend has two children with her youngest the same age as my oldest. And she's now having a long overdue clear out of all their old toys. Every time I see her (about once every couple of months...she doesn't live that close) she gives me a bin liner full of their old stuff because my two might like it.

I'm not kidding when I say she hasn't given me a single toy that isn't broken or has bits missing. Some toys have been so broken that she's selotaped them back together and every jigsaw has at least a few pieces missing. I admit I'm a bit anal about things like this...I hate puzzles that have pieces missing and I can't think of things much more frustrating for a toddler than getting as far as almost completing a puzzle only to find the last few pieces are missing.

I'm getting really pissed off with it. Am I being ungrateful? She does give me clothes too which is brilliant and I really appreciate it, but most of the toys just end up in the bin because it's rubbish, but why can't she do this?? My DH reckons she's so emotionally attached to it that she finds it easier to give it to me than to throw it away. He also reckons I should tell her not to give it to me, but for some reason I feel like I'm being rude and ungrateful! And I keep thinking that eventually she'll run out of crap stuff to give me, but it just keeps coming!

But seriously AIBU to think that if you're going to hand things down to other children, they should be in a reasonable condition?? Why would you hand down broken toys that have been selotaped back together? Am I being ungrateful?

thermalsinapril Fri 12-Apr-13 10:56:51

Tell her you're having a good clear-out of old stuff as well. You're throwing away anything that's broken and has pieces missing!

It sounds as though she genuinely means well, most kids won't care if a toy has a wobbly wheel or a missing arm etc anyway.

It obviously is an issue for you though so maybe you could tell her you ahve run our of space as your DC have so many toys and that she could redirect them to a local women and children's centre or similar charitable organisation? I am sure they would be most grateful for some toys.

SwishSwoshSwoosh Fri 12-Apr-13 10:59:38

You have two choices, neither of which is worth getting stressed about IMO.

A) say 'please don't give us any more toys, we are trying to declutter and keep everything tidy'

Or b) just throw them away afterwards.

She isn't doing this to be bad, it is annoying but not nasty IMO.

TheCraicDealer Fri 12-Apr-13 11:04:00

Just tell her that the clothes are greatly appreciated, but that the boys have so many toys you're forgetting what colour the carpet in their room looks like.

My DH reckons she's so emotionally attached to it that she finds it easier to give it to me than to throw it away.
My parents are like this- they cant bear to see stuff thrown away, and they keep it in case my DSis or I will ever need it when we buy a house. Will I want a twenty five year old double bed when I buy my own place? Probably not, but will they bin it? Nope!

HoppinMad Fri 12-Apr-13 11:14:17

YANBU

As pp have said tell her you appreciate the.clothes but toys are unneeded as your dc have so many already. Or you could say that it upsets your dc when they realise pieces are missing on completing puzzles and jigsaws. I know it would definitely upset my ds (3) but then i'm a bit anal that way too he lost a Thomas jigsaw piece months ago and still looks for it occasionally hmm

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 11:15:23

YANBU - I couldn't believe how much of this went on when I was pregnant. Mouldy bouncy chairs, knackered baby bath, bobbly clothes. I thought I was maybe channelling a really "poverty stricken" vibe until I compared notes with a pregnant friend who said that someone had fallen out with her when she explained that she didn't want old cast-offs for her pfb. Your DH has totally hit the nail on the head - these types got such great use out of these items that they are too attached to them to throw them away, but they don't want them uselessly cluttering up their own house so they fob them off on you. It's as if they just can't see how horrible the stuff is. I very quickly got to the point of graciously accepting the crap, and driving directly to the tip. If you're worried about people wondering where the stuff is, maybe fish out one item and leave it out when the person comes round. My SIL actually inquired about the whereabouts of a bouncy chair that was so done in, it was almost lying flat on the floor! I told her it was in grandma's house - it was in a skip. I've written thank you cards for things that have already been disposed of and taken photographs of the baby with an item so that the giver can see what "great use" it's getting. As if you don't have enough to do when you have a weeks-old baby! The main thing is to remember: never do this yourself!

ATJabberwocky Fri 12-Apr-13 11:17:13

YANBU

I would never give broken toys to a friend
I don't think charity shops would even want them

HolidayArmadillo Fri 12-Apr-13 11:19:28

YANBU. My SIL insists on passing down all her boys clothes to my DS, except the stuff has generally been worn by both her boys to death (and possibly their older cousin before them) which is fine if its still in decent nick but it generally isn't, it's stained, bobbled and quite frankly minging in lots of cases. It's really irritating as we feel like we're a dumping ground for stuff she doesn't want and it just ends up cluttering our house up until we get round to ditching it.

YANBU. I have a friend who has been doing this with outgrown clothes for the past few years. It's all absolute tat, yet they're not short of a bob or two and her kids are always nicely dressed so I suspect she's giving me the crap that she doesn't want to give other people hmm

I'm rather insulted about it tbh, I've never asked her for it and she just dumps it outside my front door so I don't even get a chance to say no! I end up having to take it to the clothes recycling point myself <grumble grumble>

Madmum24 Fri 12-Apr-13 11:24:05

This happens to me all the time! My mother actually visited me yesterday and brought a bag of out of date food with her!

I get family members saying "Madmum, this TV/DVD player etc is broken, I was going to take it to recycling but then thought you might like it..........

Eh, why would I like it??? I'm not financially in need or good at/interested in restoring broken things, but OP the point is that if you accept these broken things once then they think you don't have a problem with it.

Often good money has been paid for these crap toys, so what you view as junk your friend might see as a £30 toy with a broken wheel etc. Be firm and say jokingly, "that's another run to the dump" when she hands over the bag I've yet to muster the strength to do it myself

Floralnomad Fri 12-Apr-13 11:24:54

YANBU ,I just don't do second hand or used and fortunately have never had to ( except houses and animals) . I wouldn't say anything though I think I'd just bin it .

pigletmania Fri 12-Apr-13 11:28:02

Just tell her you have enough toys and don't need any more

I'm definatley emotionally attached to DS's stuff!! I can't bear to chuck it, I bet the local charity shop hates me!

I've got a big pile of stuff for pregnant friend (very poor, single mum, already with 1 older dc and on benefits). I'm now very anxious she won't want it (clothes and toys) sad

I'd like to add I was so poor when I was pregnant I was greatful of everything people gave to us! Anyone lurking on this thread doon't think there aren't some people who'd really appreciate hand-me-downs!

madmum that is the rudest thing ever! "that's another run to the dump". Seriously? If someone said that to me they'd either get a slap (not likely) or I wouldn't talk to them again!

Gay40 Fri 12-Apr-13 11:36:43

I wouldn't like it either. I'm all for a bit of recycling (DD's party dresses that are worn once or twice get passed on as they are as good as new, winter coats if they are in excellent nick etc) but otherwise no.
I'd go along the lines of decluttering, rather than hurt her feelings.

Pilgit Fri 12-Apr-13 11:39:05

don't really have an opinion on whether YABU or not but don't throw away! there are charities that take anything - we have one locally that will take anything, sell stuff complete and in good nick and then sell on for scrap/rags the rest. I only gave them the good stuff (and binned the rest) until i got into a conversation with a volunteer about it. IME this tends to be local charities rather than the national ones (but willing to be wrong on that one)

Blissx Fri 12-Apr-13 11:45:01

Daveydavidson-I think you are missing the point of the thread. It's not that people don't want 'hand-me-downs' at all, it's just they don't want peoples old broken toys and puzzles missing pieces or clothes that are past it.
YANBU OP, being the youngest in both our families, we were hugely grateful for the pre-loved items we received. And they were gratefulas it was cluttering up their houses and were ready for new stuff. Just didn't understand when we would be given items with bits missing, broken or just plain minging (used maternity pants anyone?)

Pilgit Fri 12-Apr-13 11:45:26

thinking about it my dad did this (he has a second family) and everything turned up covered in cat piss/shit and hair.... the clothes got sorted into age (and nice and slut wear piles...) then fumigated. The stokke cot and high chair were dettoled but the buggy was the worst and went straight to the tip - several layers of cat shit on the seat.... generally love second hand (so long as not broken) but why would you pass on stuff covered in shit? it still gives me the creeps 4 years later

BornInACrossFireHurricane Fri 12-Apr-13 11:50:28

I would personally just recycle them myself. I think I would probably feel a bit rude saying yes, I'll gladly take any clothes off your hands but not the toys. If she offered in advance that would be different but if a friend turned up with a bag I would say thank you and dispose of anything we didn't want afterwards.

MsJupiterJones Fri 12-Apr-13 11:52:56

I have a friend who does this. She really does mean well and it's so hard to say no, I have never managed it. A couple of bits are ok but most really tatty or stained. Our house is overrun with stuff and my DS has all he could need. I just accept it and then don't use it which is why my house is so cluttered. It feels ungrateful or churlish to do otherwise.

I feel bad even writing this in case she sees it but I don't think she's a MNer.

MegaClutterSlut Fri 12-Apr-13 11:53:06

My MIL is like this, she doesn't give me broken crap but will not throw anything away. She will quite happily palm it off on me and say if you don't want it just bin it but she can't throw it away herself

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 12-Apr-13 11:53:57

My husband's granny saved lots of his toys in her loft for years and then gave them to us for the boys. Broken things, books with missing pages and scribbled in, all sorts.

She'd kept all this for 30 years. We took them politely. But did turn down the 30 year old cot mattress.

I hope I'm not guilty of this when I pass on clothes to SIL for boys' cousin, as I sort through carefully and chuck anything that's stained / ripped / past it into the textile recycling instead.

We don't get passed on secondhand clothes as my boys are the oldest in the family, I wish we did though. I have to buy them from charity shops / ebay instead.

Mooycow Fri 12-Apr-13 11:55:32

Say thank you and bin the rubbish, imo not worth making a fuss if you say no thank you you may not get anything.

I handed on three bin liners full of baby clothes for a friend's daughter. But I also sorted through it first and stuff that was in poor nick was sent for recycling instead. I passed the reasonably good stuff on.

I wouldn't be happy if someone kept passing on broken toys or toys/puzzles with bits missing.

MsJupiterJones you've accpeted the stuff you've been given, so don't feel bad about it, just declutter and get rid of stuff discreetly. Keep one or two good bits if your friend is the type to notice and get rid of the rest.

NynaevesSister Fri 12-Apr-13 12:00:51

I would have loved to have been passed stuff on but we were pretty much the first to produce out of friends and family so had no one to give to us.

gail734 Fri 12-Apr-13 12:45:14

daveydavidson You have to ask yourself - is this basically as good as new? Would I want it myself? If the answer is no, bin/recycle. The only stuff I've passed on to friends has been some brand new, label-on gifts that the baby grew too fast to ever wear. Or wacky, season inappropriate things, like the newborn snowsuit for my July baby!?
Pilgit The cat shit detail is disgusting. Some people are just plain old-fashioned mad.
I'm currently using a Little Tikes activity centre, passed down by SIL. Dd loves it, but when it arrived it was filthy. I sat it in the bath, sprayed it with Dettol and hosed it down with the shower - good as new. Would it have killed her to rub a wipe over it?

CoffeeChocolateWine Fri 12-Apr-13 23:04:28

Davey you misunderstand...I am so so grateful for the stuff that has been given to me that is in useable condition and I'm ure your friend will be too. I've had loads of clothes given to me which is brilliant...especially for my DD who is 9 months and growing out of stuff so quickly.

But with the toys... If it was just a wobbly wheel or a missing arm...at least you can still play with them. I'll give you some examples...a Mr Potato Head that comes with one arm and one ear. How much playtime entertainment can a child get with this? A 24-piece floor puzzle with 7 pieces missing...that's over a quarter of the puzzle missing. One of those crawling balls that neither moves nor plays a tune (yes I've changed the batteries) because the buttons are jammed beyond repair. A peg puzzle with only 2 out of the 10 inserts (and the ones that are included have been scribbled all over with pens). A toy drill that is selotaped together and missing all the bits that go with it. It is tat. I can't bring myself to take it to a charity shop...I just can't believe they wouldn't send me out with directions to the nearest dump! I'd be embarrassed giving it.

It's really irritating as we feel like we're a dumping ground for stuff she doesn't want and it just ends up cluttering our house up until we get round to ditching it

My feelings EXACTLY. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now