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to ask my DP and in laws not to buy anything else for my DS until Christmas?

(19 Posts)
TheProvincialLady Tue 23-Sep-08 16:13:24

My DS turned 2 earlier this month. He was overwhelmed with all the gifts (not helped by the fact that MIL decided to bring a bag of my DH old toys with her on the same day as giving him hundreds of pounds worth of toys) but STILL they keep on coming.

Every time MIL comes (about once a week) she brings something, usually a few things, for DS that she has picked up in charity shops. Books and toys. She also brings things from DH childhood (she has kept almost literally everything) and also some things from her days as a childminder. The sheer volume of stuff gets overwhelming and I feel bad taking them to the charity shop when I know they used to belong to my DH.

And then every time my DF visits (once every 3/4 weeks) he brings a sackful of stuff - mostly age inappropriate. If he discovers my DS likes something like ITNG he doesn't seem happy until he has purchased the whole frigging range.

Anyway, until now the only annoyance has been the clutter in my house, which I can live with to a point. But now I think there is a risk of turning DS into a spoilt brat, always expecting endless stuff, and also their presents totally overwhelm what DH and I can afford to buy for him.

I want to say NO MORE PRESENTS of any kind until Christmas so that he can actually enjoy Christmas day as something special rather than being yet another day he gets more toys and books. But I don't want to be a killjoy to DS or DF or MIL and I do genuinely want to know if IABU. So, am I?

TheProvincialLady Tue 23-Sep-08 16:15:20

Extra points will be awarded for offering tactful wording I can usegrin

ImNotOnline Tue 23-Sep-08 16:18:04

YANBU - Tell them to fuck off with the shite. grin

cluckyagain Tue 23-Sep-08 16:20:36

'I feel so pleased that ds has the full use of all these lovely toys, although I do feel that I ought to offer them to more children, such as in a Romanian Orphanage - you wouldn't mind would you?' Actually it would be a lovely idea in any case if he has that much!

Anna8888 Tue 23-Sep-08 16:21:01

Oh it's so hard isn't it sad.

I think that the best tactic is to adopt the "I'm worried about him being spoilt and having so many more toys than his friends."

Can you ask your DS' grandparents to contribute to something else? A class, for example?

StayFrosty Tue 23-Sep-08 16:22:40

Hmm. Well tbh 2 is probably a bit little to get into the thing of expecting new stuff all the time - he probably doesn't notice it as much as you do, iyswim? And it is really nice that your mil is giving you DH's old stuff. But YANBU to put your foot down at buying endless new stuff - it is just wasteful imo, since they don't even appreciate it at that age. Charity shops, toddler groups and Women's Aid shelters would probably love to have the stuff from your mil's CMing days - I cannot believe that she is buying yet more stuff out of charity shops on top of all the stuff she already has shock enough is enough!

By all means say something tactful to them, but brace yourself for an avalanche of tat at Christmas grin .

Swedes Tue 23-Sep-08 16:22:59

Anna888 A class? At age 2?

Turniphead1 Tue 23-Sep-08 16:29:36

I would say;

"It is lovely that you have kept all of DH's toys. I love DS being able to play with them - but as we just don't have room for them all it would be great if you could keep them at your house so he can play with them when we come to you. Now that DS is older, we are trying to get DS used to just receiving gifts at christmas and birthdays and other special occasions. We really don't want him to grow up expecting a gift every time a visitor arrives, so we would really sppreciate nothing more until Christmas time"

I have this issue with my inlaws and my MiL plays ball to a degree. I ask each aunt and uncle to limit it to 1 present per child per occasion too - as it was just getting out of hand.

Dropdeadfred Tue 23-Sep-08 16:43:18

I don't think you're wrong curtailing the toys..I ahve had this problem with my mother...BUT I wouldn't take DH's old toys down the charity shop without clearing it with his mum.

Dropdeadfred Tue 23-Sep-08 16:43:30

I don't think you're wrong curtailing the toys..I ahve had this problem with my mother...BUT I wouldn't take DH's old toys down the charity shop without clearing it with his mum.

CookieMonster2 Tue 23-Sep-08 16:49:25

Wow, and I thought we had a problem with being given too much stuff.
I frequently talk about the lack of storage space and the need to store things away and rotate toys as we can't have them all out. As bad as it sounds last Christmas my parents asked if they could but my dd something specific, and I said yes, but could we make that her only large present. I suggested that if they wanted to get her loads of bits and bobs that they did a stocking. I wasn't bothered about what they put in it as long as it was restricted to the size of the stocking. Also, if they have bought something that clearly didn't cost too much money, and they have given it to her at their house, I have suggested that it is left at their house for when we go to visit them there. That way they get to experience some of the clutter.
I also encourage people to buy books instead of plastic tat. They take up less space and are appreciate much more by both me and dd.
Hope all that helps!

TheProvincialLady Tue 23-Sep-08 18:17:33

So...not too unreasonable then. Thanks everyone. Dropdeadfred I wouldn't actually give Dh old stuff to charity don't worry, I woud just really like to!

I think I will try a mixture of all the approaches suggested (maybe not yours ImNotOnline - nul points!). I do moan endlessly about the lack of space in the house and it is about to get worse with DC2 on the way. I haven't said anything about DS being spoilt yet because I wasn't sure what age it would kick in - maybe 2 is a bit young but it would be good if everyone could get into good habits before it does become a problem.

Blu Tue 23-Sep-08 18:24:34

"oh, I wanted to ask you something- DP and I want to make sure that Christmas is a BIG surprise and excitement, as it's the first he'll be really conscious of. SO, we thought that it would make more of an impact if getting presents is something that only happens on special occasions. SO lets all have a little pact and club together to save everythhing we want to buy until Christmas day, OK? Then the surprise and excitement will be amazing - will you help?."

TwoMore Tue 23-Sep-08 19:30:01

Agree with Blu, keep Christmas special etc.

A class is a great idea, swimming, jo jingles, soccatots etc, and if its pants you havent wasted your money,

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Tue 23-Sep-08 19:44:35

The Provincial lady YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS I sOOO sympathise - we have had this since the day ds1 was born, neearly 11 years ago, drives me crazy and keeps on coming. Last year DS2 was into match attax - and part of the fun is collectng them with a little bit of pocket money every week and building up the collection. So DF goes and buy about £100 worth shock i was UTTERLY speechless. The trouble is, paretn help me out with childcare, and if i come home form work, they will say ( in front of child) - can he have this.... If I say anything they trot out the mantra that DF was deprived as a child, YES HE WAS - but OURS ARE SPOILT. Sorry - but your thread has really struck a chord here.... grin

ib Tue 23-Sep-08 19:54:49

We've done that. We have no tact, so just refused to let them give the last lot to ds (a car he could ride in with a trailer! He's already had a bike, a tricycle, a wheelbarrow, you name it. He's not yet two).

We told MIL we would keep it until his birthday (December) and said she was taking it back to the shop, but when we next went to their place it was there [anger]

DH gave a long, sensitive, and tactful explanation about how we believe excess consumption to be responsible to a large extent for the ecological problems the world is facing, and about how ds was currently happy to see them because he loved them not because he got gifts, and we didn't want that to change.

I was ready to tell them if they didn't fucking stop this crap they would never see ds again angry but fortunately dh kept me off the phone.

I won't let there be a next time though.

hotbot Tue 23-Sep-08 20:16:08

did actually say to my mum,
"enough of the plastic shit old woman"
it only worked for about a week
we have afab relationship btw

accessorizequeen Tue 23-Sep-08 20:29:57

DP's mother does this, I think she's making up for only seeing the ds's every month usuallly. But everytime she comes, or ds1 (nearly 5) goes to visit it's not just one thing but a whole pile. If they go on holiday, it's another big pile. I talked to her about it and the thing that seemed to make the most impact was the idea that ds1 in particular would just associate her with gifts and not have a relationship with her outside that. I made a point of mentioning when she sent him an alphabet card a week with a personal message which he really loved but means a lot more than a dozen cars.

You could of course just say choose one gift for today and the rest go in the gift drawer for later, we did this at xmas last year because ds1 had so much, didn't open them all until Easter! I think that's reasonable.

DP & I find Xmas particularly frustrating as WE want to buy things for our lo's (not loads) but they're so overwhelmed with the numerous pressies from family and friends we feel we're spoiling them. We're trying to do a 1 present for one child rule this year, as with last year, not sure how it will work as last year MIL bought gifts from 'santa' as well and little extra small gifts - it's still a gift, more stuff to spoil them with and fill up our very cluttered house. I actually dread it all now as the ds's birthdays are in December so it's a month of piles of plastic tat or soft toys (why?) building up. Arggggh.

TheProvincialLady Wed 24-Sep-08 15:58:11

I like the keep Christamas special idea thanks. I think they might go for that idea.

Accessorizequeen I could not agree more. Soft toys - why? One or two is fine but DS just is not interested in them and yet more and more arrive. Be grateful you don't have my friend's MIL though. She couldn't find a card that said "Happy Birthday Granddaughter Lottie" so she bought 3 separate cards. For a 2 year old. Instead of just writing the message herself.

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