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not to be grateful to the PILs for crap presents they get for my DD? (sorry, long)

(6 Posts)
50shadesofbrown Wed 17-Apr-13 15:14:17

DH & I have 11m old DD. DH has MH issues & hasn't worked in a few years, he is currently full time SAHD. I work part time (was full time but dropped my hours so I could support DH at home.) Consequently, we don't have a lot of money. PILs are also not very well off, they live mostly on benefits.
My problem is this: how can I tactfully tell my PILs that I don't like the things they buy for DD? Is it possible or should I just leave it?
They often come round with toys and/or clothes for her. They are mostly second-hand although that in itself doesn't bother me - I regularly shop in charity shops for all 3 of us, but I am picky & only buy things that are in decent condition. What does bother me is the fact that the clothes, toys etc are almost invariably: broken or worn out, poor quality, unsuitable, or dirty. They don't clean them before giving them to her (& they usually come round when I am at work) or they have them at their house for her to play with. They don't fix them if they are broken. They give her things that are really not suitable or even safe (think a small beaded bracelet given to a 7 month-old, things with sharp edges, likelihood of splinters) or, TBH, some of the stuff they get her is just crap. Clothes are often damaged or have buttons missing - this is less of an issue as I am quite capable of fixing them.
I've spoken with my DH about the suitability & cleanliness of items before, he promised he would get them to clean a particular toy before giving it to her, but when I went round a couple of weeks later, she was playing with it on the floor. It was filthy. He doesn't seem to get it that their lack of thought is potentially endangering DD's safety.
I don't want to alienate or offend them - I get on with them ok, they adore DD & do help us out sometimes, eg taking us to the shops when we need it - they have a car & we don't.
I have strategically 'lost' a few items that came to our house in the past - but this isn't practical or fair. I also feel guilty for deliberately hiding things so she can't get them, as they have spent some of their limited money on DD. We can't watch DD like a hawk every second of the day to make sure she doesn't hurt herself on the unsuitable things they get her.
Please help - what should I do? Speak to them - what should I say? Ignore it? Carry on 'losing' things? Or am I just being an ungrateful cow?

helenthemadex Wed 17-Apr-13 15:26:33

difficult one, when you know they dont have much spare money either, can you not simply say to them thank you very much but dd doesnt need any more toys.

or maybe ask them to look for particular things for you something she needs and will use, or suggest that you go to a car boot sale together to get dd some summer clothes/toys etc

very hard without being rude or offensive

Flossbert Wed 17-Apr-13 15:39:32

No advice, but you have my sympathy as we are in the exact same position. DD is 3, and starting to twig when things go missing. The worst thing they've given us so far is a talking baby doll whose "voice box" and one arm is held on with electrical tape. And her carrycot was covered with black mould spots. Sadly, DD adores this Frankenbaby so I've not been able to snaffle it into the rubbish.

50shadesofbrown Wed 17-Apr-13 15:49:22

LOL at 'Frankenbaby'
Glad to know I'm not the only one in this position. Helenthemadex I'm not convinced they would stop buying her toys if I did say that. They are horrendous hoarders, like something from that Channel 5 programme. They just seem to like buying stuff. Consequently their house is also pretty grubby. Maybe why they don't realise what a state the toys are in...

dilanddan Wed 17-Apr-13 15:52:22

I've had a bit of trouble like this before with o.h's parents, so i took round a bottle of antibac spray and antibac wipes and asked that if they buy anything for our l.g, could they give it a once over (or chuck it in the wash if it's fabric) as we're a bit worried what with lots of germs/ colds going round atm and we didn't want our l.g to get ill (especially as other children had played with the toys/ books). They took it really well, especially as i'd ha a chat with o.h before going round and he agreed and backed me up.

Hope you manage to get things sorted... just remember that your dd's health is more important than worrying whether you will upset your PILs x

helenthemadex Wed 17-Apr-13 15:54:30

put them in a box then and suggest they keep them at their house

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