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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?

Smartiepants79 Fri 18-Oct-13 22:40:40

Sharp edges? Really? He is 4 not 2. Personally think he is old enough to understand that this is a special train because he is a big boy now and that he has to be very careful with it. If he can't be careful it goes on a shelf out of reach til he is older.
How do you envisage it being dangerous? Do you think he will hurt himself or others?
However, if you really feel he can't have it then I think you will have to buy him something to replace it.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Fri 18-Oct-13 22:43:49 can I put this nicely?

Give your son the train, tell him it's an ornament and tell him to handle it carefully.

QOD Fri 18-Oct-13 22:48:37

He's 4, surely he can realise its for gentle play and decoration

AlexaChelsea Fri 18-Oct-13 22:53:15

Four years old? hmm give him the train.

What did she send for your DD?

Hawkmoth Fri 18-Oct-13 22:57:26

I have a four year old DS. I would be putting the train on a shelf, but he is a very rough child.

quietlysuggests Fri 18-Oct-13 23:00:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Picklemom Fri 18-Oct-13 23:01:56

To clarify, sharp metal edges and about 50 unbent, uncovered, uncoated metal points (especially on the front "cow catcher" that really feels a bit like a cheese grater) that make me say "ouch" when I touch them. He might be careful with the train for awhile, but then there will be a squabble with his twin, things will get a bit hectic, someone will fall on it, and blood will spill.

AlexaChelsea Fri 18-Oct-13 23:03:23

Wow it must be huge!

Then, I'd explain to him that it's not a toy but an ornament.

CookieDoughKid Fri 18-Oct-13 23:30:54

if it won't pass toy safety tests then I wouldn't give it to him. I would keep it for him and give when he's older/when you think he's old enough......
if you don't want to disrupt the status quo then buy a replacement gift and make no fuss of it.....

TheFabulousIdiot Fri 18-Oct-13 23:32:59

Put it on a nice high shelf and let him have it under supervision.

OhBuggerandArse Fri 18-Oct-13 23:33:10

It sounds like a really special thing that he would love. Give it to him, show him how to be careful with it, and don't leave him and his sister squabbling unsupervised with it in the room.

DaleyBump Fri 18-Oct-13 23:36:02

I wouldn't give him it if you're that worried about it OP. Better safe than sorry.

Picklemom Fri 18-Oct-13 23:43:05

To quietlysuggest, if my own mother gave it my son would not get it, and I would not agonize over whether to talk to her about it either--I'd tell her it wasn't safe and why. But greater diplomacy is required for the MIL. I'd rather just leave it alone, or let my husband find a nice way to tell her.

To AlexaChelsea, it is rather big--about a foot long and half a foot high.

But the good news is, you all made me second guess myself, so I've gone back to check the train again, scratched myself on it (although I was handling it with care), taken it over to my husband and gently guided his hand across the sharp points (which I think he overlooked somehow), and he asked me to stop and agreed that the thing HURTS.

I'll consider letting my son have it as an ornament on a high shelf, though. He's old enough to understand that some things are just decorations. But I will have to put up with some fussing from him while he gets used to the idea of a train he can only look at.

fortyplus Fri 18-Oct-13 23:48:46

Tell him it's a precious thing to look at not play with and that he's very lucky to receive such a grown-up gift. Then let him take it down from the shelf under supervision. You're being very pfb

Picklemom Fri 18-Oct-13 23:57:59

Really, fortyplus? I'm being pfb when I'm sitting here bleeding because of the silly thing?

fortyplus Sat 19-Oct-13 00:01:15

You obviously weren't very careful then! Your son won't kill himself with it.

Picklemom Sat 19-Oct-13 00:08:11

So are you seriously arguing that I should give a train that was very obviously designed not as a child's toy but as an office or other decoration for an adult train enthusiast to a young boy, in spite of the fact that it scratched me while I was handling it lightly?

Drinking small amounts of bleach probably wouldn't kill him either, when you put it like that. I won't be allowing that either, though.

BrianTheMole Sat 19-Oct-13 00:11:21

No hide it away or get rid and say thanks. I have done the same with unsafe toys.

fortyplus Sat 19-Oct-13 00:13:31

Don't let him climb trees or play conkers, either then. Why did you post if you've already made up your mind?

Picklemom Sat 19-Oct-13 00:15:06

I do accept responsibility for careless use of language in my original post. I shouldn't have described the thing as a toy train, because I don't believe that is what it is. It is more properly described as a model, made of thin, sharp tin with lots of pointy bits where the tin was cut into sharp points and not even filed down, and it is certainly not designed for kids.

SingingSands Sat 19-Oct-13 00:15:24

OP, you posted on "what would you do?" not on "I want you all to agree with what I want to do".

Stop being so aggressive when people are suggesting answers to your queries.

Picklemom Sat 19-Oct-13 00:18:49

fortyplus, if you read my original post, you'll note that my questions were not whether to give it to him to play with (because I specifically noted that I wasn't going to be doing that), but whether to tell my MIL about it, or gloss the whole thing over, and whether I should get him a replacement present and tell him it's really from Gran. Which I am planning on doing--I agree with other posters that it seems the right thing to do.

fortyplus Sat 19-Oct-13 00:21:57

Your dh wishes to give your son his mother's gift and has undertaken to make it safe. That sounds sensible to me.

Picklemom Sat 19-Oct-13 00:25:16

True, if DH does succeed in altering it to make it safe, I'll change my stance. But DH seems suddenly less keen to try after closer examination of the object in question.

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