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Ds has requested a very expensive present when I've completely finished my shopping - what to do?

(292 Posts)
lurchersrule Sun 22-Nov-20 15:35:11

He's 13 and our rule has always been 'you don't get everything on your list', but as ds's have always been tiny lists. he always does get everything! This year he asked for a detailed map of the British Isles and book about law, so I obviously bought them. I also got him a Chromebook as we have my work laptop and his phone and during lockdown he had to use an old, cheap laptop we had forgotten about - it only cost £120 new and is pretty shit. After lockdown Ds carried on using it for researching his interests and doing things like making election prediction maps, or whatever he's into at one time, so I thought he'd like an upgrade to a proper Chromebook. I didn't get the cheapest and got one for about £400 on Prime day. This is probably roughly the same or a bit more than what I usually spend on each child, so I planned to just get him sweets and not a lot else.

Then he came home today from his dad's and sat down looking pensive and said could he ask for another present. Turns out he wants a gaming PC! He's jut realised his friends have them and are playing a game together that's not on Xbox (we have one). I know Chromebooks are no good for this. I couldn't have predicted it - he's never mentioned it before and, while he goes through phases of liking Xbox, it's never been an obsession and he didn't even buy the new Fifa this year, which he normally does.

What do I do? I hate to not get him the one thing he really wants, especially as this is the only time in his life he's ever asked for anything expensive. His birthday was shit this year as it was late March and most of his presents and his party were experience based and had to be cancelled, but he didn't complain or anything.

PArt of the problem is that DS2 hasn't asked for anything big this year either, but has a long list of small-medium, items that I will/have got several items of. He sees glitter speakers as being a 'main' gift, but in terms of cost they're no comparison to what this PC will cost. But ds2 already has a gaming PC as ex got him one. I had threads about it - he tried to make ds2 pay out his entire savings because he wanted him to have it at his house to avoid ds going on his (ex's) iPad all the time. I stood my ground and ex paid for the PC in full, which was good but meant he essentially got a much bigger present than ds1 last year from ex, who normally only spends about £20 each on them max. (got it late January but ex got him nothing for Christmas as it was 'coming') so maybe this evens it out with him having lower-key gifts this Christmas.

Also, what do I do about the Chrome? Bit gutted about that as I was excited about giving it to him. If I spend a further £500-600 on a PC that would mean I'd have spent £1k on ds1 which is unheard of, and about £200 on ds2, which is too big a gap. Even assuming I don't give ds1 the Chrome the money is still spent, and I want him to have it as in some ways it'll be more useful than the PC because of them having to move between houses.

I thought of asking ds2 to contribute to the PC from his savings. He has enough to buy the whole thing, which I wouldn't want, but if he paid about £200 and I got the rest, maybe I could then give him the Chrome (and nothing else) for his birthday? And that wouldn't be too unfair? Or present the Chrome as a shared gift? But that's a bit shit really as neither of them really wants it and neither would use it if they both had PCs/their phones. Also, I'm worried about the unfairness as both kids know I refused to let ds2 go into his savings for his PC so it will look bad if I make ds1 go into his? But that happened because ex was being a dick and ds2 does tend to piss his money away while ds1 rarely spends.

I can afford it by dipping into savings and perhaps using a credit card - never normally do that for Christmas but I have a fairly sizable inheritance currently in probate which means I could justify it this year.

Sorry, I know it's long and boring but his request has knocked me so any advice would be great!

OP’s posts: |
PrivateD00r Sun 22-Nov-20 15:41:07

Can you definitely not return the chrome book? Or sell it as brand new?

Though to be honest, it sounds like the PC might be just a reaction to feeling left out. It doesn't sound like her would really use it, whereas he clearly will use the chromebook!

Will the other DC not let him use his gaming PC now and again so he can connect with his friends?

Notanothernamechanged101 Sun 22-Nov-20 15:42:07

Return the chrome? He hadn’t asked for the upgrade and has been happily using the old laptop, just return it and get the thing he wants instead.

BlueThistles Sun 22-Nov-20 15:42:39

can you afford it ... then get it...

if you can't then don't 🌺

conkersarebonkers Sun 22-Nov-20 15:45:00

Could you look into Google Stadia? It may not be suitable depending on which games he wants to play, but it works on lower power devices such as Chromebooks and mobile phones.

Iamuhtredsonofuhtred Sun 22-Nov-20 15:45:03

I would return the chrome book and get the PC

goose1964 Sun 22-Nov-20 15:45:38

He has to learn you my always get what you want. You could return the Chromebook but I'd tell him that his present has already been sorted but that he can earn the PC by helping around the house, keeping his room tidy and putting his dirty clothes out etc.

AaronPurr Sun 22-Nov-20 15:46:45

I agree with the other posters, I would return the chromebook and get the PC.

KittenCalledBob Sun 22-Nov-20 15:47:09

I too would return the chrome if you can and get the thing he's asked for.

PullTheBricksDown Sun 22-Nov-20 15:48:15

I was also thinking return the Chromebook. I think Amazon has extended the returns period because of Covid and postal disruption - I bought something a couple of weeks ago that I need to return, and when I checked the return date was 31 January.

CakeRequired Sun 22-Nov-20 15:50:03

Say no. A decent gaming pc will be more £500-600. Closer to a grand really for one that won't die quickly. Just say no, you can't afford it and you already got him his presents. If he was a big gamer and you could afford it, then fine, but you can't so no.

WhereverIGoddamnLike Sun 22-Nov-20 15:50:23

I would discuss with him first to see how much he is actually going to use the PC, since he isnt actually that into gaming.

If he absolutely has to have it then return the chromebook and get the PC but nothing else. If you cant return the chromebook then you might need to just tell him he isnt getting the PC. You cannot get him both. Kids need to learn there are limits.

CastleCrasher Sun 22-Nov-20 15:50:47

What everyone else said. Amazon are usually great with returns and this year even more so. Return Chrome and buy pc.

triceratops12 Sun 22-Nov-20 15:50:51

If you can afford it, I'd get the gaming P.C. and return the chrome book/sell it on

Snackasaurus Sun 22-Nov-20 15:51:29

Stick with the chrome book.

canigooutyet Sun 22-Nov-20 15:51:42

Return the Chrome.
Gaming PC as a joint present.
Don't ask the other sibling to cough up £200.

Notnownotneverever Sun 22-Nov-20 15:52:38

The telling but is that you referred to the Chromebook as a present neither of your DC would want. So return it and get something that your DS does want. And he can use that PC for researching as well. He won’t need the Chromebook.

Notnownotneverever Sun 22-Nov-20 15:53:01

*bit not but

nosswith Sun 22-Nov-20 15:53:22

I think you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.

If he is not to grow up a spoilt brat, he needs to be able to sometimes have, overcome and accept disappointment. Learning about deadlines if there was one given to him is also a valuable thing to learn.

However, if you can do this and it may be the only expensive thing he asks for, not wholly unreasonable. The suggestion of earning it is a good one.

Disfordarkchocolate Sun 22-Nov-20 15:54:10

We are buying a gaming pc this year, our son is paying half because it costs so much. Could be do something similar. We said yes because he never asks for anything.

DahliaMacNamara Sun 22-Nov-20 15:54:21

Could you not just tell him his Christmas present is already sorted, but he can have the gaming pc for his birthday? He might not still want it by then, or on the other hand if he really does want it then he could put Christmas money from other relatives towards it and get it earlier.
Or if you can return the Chrome now, get another one for his birthday. It sounds like something he could do with.

HollowTalk Sun 22-Nov-20 15:54:51

Could you treat them to something from the inheritance, so that Xmas stays as it is?

Frazzlefrazle Sun 22-Nov-20 15:55:02

Are you intending on sharing the inheritance? Would it be fairer for both children to receive an amount of money and then if he still wants it he could use his savings and inheritance? Other wise I would just say this is a good time to learn that you don't get everything on life that you want.

LoveMyKidsAndCats Sun 22-Nov-20 15:56:23

Return the chromebook he doesn't want it he wants a gaming pc.

violetsilvergold Sun 22-Nov-20 15:56:29

He doesn’t remotely sound like a spoilt brat to me.

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