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WWYD if your MIL sent an unsafe toy for your son's b-day?

(31 Posts)
Picklemom Fri 18-Oct-13 22:32:41

My son is turning 4, and my MIL has sent a toy steam train engine made of metal with many sharp, uncovered edges and corners. I think it is obviously just intended to be a decorative piece and is not a child's toy at all (it hasn't come in any manufacturer's packaging, no idea where it is from). My husband thinks the boy will love it (which is true, he's obsessed with trains) and that we can just file down the sharp edges and it will be fine. But I count at least 50 sharp corners/edges on that thing. Good luck making it safe, I say.

I'm resolved that my son will never see it, because why frustrate him by letting him see a toy that I can't allow him to play with? But do I tell my MIL that I'm not giving it to him, or just say "thanks" and leave it at that. She lives in the US and seldom visits, so she may never know that the boy isn't playing with it. Moreover, my son has a twin sister who has received several nice gifts from MIL, so do I buy him a replacement gift and tell him it's from his grandmother so that he won't notice how imbalanced the number of gifts from Grandmother are? I really think it's my husband's job to tell his own mother that she needs to pay attention to basic safety standards when selecting gifts for young children, but he refuses to acknowledge that the toy is unsafe in the first place and he hates criticizing his mother.

Finally, my son has a twin sister who is getting several nice birthday gifts from MIL, so do I buy him a replacement gift for the train and tell him it's from his grandmother so that he won't notice how imbalanced the number of gifts from Grandmother are?

mammmamia Sat 19-Oct-13 07:51:04

I can't believe all the flack you're getting. I don't think that's PFB at all. I have twins the same age. PFB doesn't exist when you have twins! Anyway - I wouldn't give it to him unless he could understand it was only a decoration and actually what's the point of a decorative piece for a 4 year old? He'd probably lose interest anyway after a while if it has no play value so perhaps you could quietly put it away after a few days.

RayABlokeIUsedToKnow Sat 19-Oct-13 08:06:04

Just buy him a different toy train that is made for children.

Child gets train as intended.
Grandma assumes the train she is thanked for is the train she bought.
No one gets maimed.
Everyone is a winner!

PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 08:11:53

If she won't know any different then put it on a high shelf.

He will probably lose interest in it very quickly anyway if it doesn't make noises/go along/etc etc.

Don't worry about the balance of gifts thing. He won't notice probably.

Fwiw my lovely sister sent ds1 a dangerous present when he was about 2. It was a thin, glass lightbulb on a stand that you plugged into the wall and touched it and it shot little strands of lightning towards your hand.

Given that ds was the wild boy, and loved electricity and so on it was utterly, utterly unsafe for him to have, so we tried it gently one time and then I took it and put it in the cupboard.

Eventually it broke and went in the bin.

Some people mean very well but have no idea what is safe for a child.

ChipAndSpud Sat 19-Oct-13 08:13:38

I have had a couple of toys for DS that my brother has given him, I just thanked my brother and said I think it's a bit grown up for DS at the moment as he might break it (don't mention it might break DS) and that I'm going to store it for when DS is a bit older.

I'm not sure what I'd make of a foot long train though hmm where could you store that?!

I don't like the sound of your DD getting more presents than your DS and you having to top up his presents and say they're from your MIL. She has children herself, she must realise they should be treated equally?

I think it's something your DH should bring up with your MIL, but how you will get him to do this and whether she will take it on board is another matter.

chimchiminee Sat 19-Oct-13 08:20:30

LOL at "no one gets maimed". Is that a European safety standard?

Picklemom Sat 19-Oct-13 08:44:14

ChipAndSpud, I share your feelings about the imbalance in gifts, especially as that pattern has been a bit consistent in the last year. But I don't feel I need to raise it as an issue with her at this time (although I suppose my husband might down the line if the pattern persists). I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt because she is a lovely woman and her heart is in the right place. She is probably thinking more about giving gifts that make the twins feel special as individuals instead of gifts that make them feel good about being a pair. Indeed, she may be spending the same amount of money on the kids, but coming up with more, cheaper items for our girl. I also think she shops for the grandkids a bit spontaneously, grabbing things whenever she thinks something is special. She finds it easy to find special girlie things.

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