Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What If They Really Do Spoil Rotten?

W turned one a few weeks ago, so now we have even more toys to trip over =) While I am very appreciative of the gifts our children receive, the number of toys they have is really ridiculous. So I want to take a look at how all these toys have amassed. First, many of the guests at the birthday party brought a gift for my three year-old in addition to a gift for the birthday boy. I understand the thought process, and I guess I don’t really mind a small gift for the sibling(s) who is not celebrating a birthday. However, my mom brought H a real gift. Now, granted it is a pretty cool gift (that’s it in the picture), and both the boys enjoy playing with it. But, why? My MIL told my husband she was bringing a gift for H b/c she “didn’t want him to feel left out.” My husband reaction to this was “Isn’t that our job? To worry about whether or not he feels left out?” (He didn’t say this to her… oh that he would!) I have an older brother, and I don’t remember receiving gifts on his birthday. Is this just more of the consumerism everyone is talking about? It’s kind of like wedding favors. I told C, “The favor at our wedding is the free beer, wine, and food!” I know some may say favors are fun, and don’t get me wrong, I like them myself most of the time. But, I don’t like that people feel pressured to provide them.

Back to the mountain of toys, the other way we get them is from the grandmothers. For some reason, they do not believe they can visit without bringing a gift. For a time, my MIL did not show up without a balloon. Seriously. Neither one lives more than twenty minutes away, so it’s not like they only visit twice a year or something. Now, I know some of you are reading this and asking, have you talked to them about this? Yes, I have (at least my mom). It doesn’t work, and in fact, this is a big part of the reason I don’t ask her to come over more often. It makes me angry b/c both of my children love their grandparents without the toys. Why do they feel compelled to bring things, when the boys are just so happy to spend time with them? I know that many say grandparents are supposed to “spoil” their grandchildren, and I agree in a way. I want the boys to be “spoiled” with their grandparents’ time, and by that I mean, playing with them when they are here. My grandma always had my favorite lemon pound cake baked when we visited. My grandmother saved the bowl of batter for me when she made muffins (I’m sensing a food theme here). I honestly can’t say that I remember a gift they got for me, but I remember that they knew what I liked to eat and made it especially for me, they sewed with and for me, and gave lots of love and memories. So, please tell me how do I stop this constant gift-giving?


mel said...

I have no idea how to stop it, but please, please let me know when you find out!! If you want to add to my list of worries, this is certainly one of them. I didn't grow up getting toys every time I visited my grandparents and I absolutely don't want my kids growing up that way. First, I don't want my house overrun with toys, but moreover, I don't want my parents or parents-in-law 'buying' my kids' love and attention.

Call me old fashioned, but I don't believe in gifts to someone other than the birthday boy/girl on their bday. It's their day, period. If my other child feels left out (I don't have another one, I'm just being hypothetical) then I think that should be a wake up call to me that maybe I've spoiled them. Each child should know that they each have their own special day.

That being said, I don't think your kids are too spoiled by you or C, but I do feel like the grandparents are wrong in this situation.

EatPlayLove said...

It's definitely a constant battle around my house. My parents were just visiting (they visit 2x a year), and my 4 year old worked it 24x7. Sigh.

I try to sneak things away but my oldest has the best memory. Then I try the, give things to kids with out toys talk, but she picks out the things I like. LOL.

AnastasiaSpeaks said...

I struggle with this issue A LOT, especially regarding the grandparents. I want to say no but they (the grandparents) love it so much and it makes them so happy to give it and see the boys loving the things they give that I don't have the heart to say no.

I did hide a few of the presents at my son's last birthday and gave him a few things later in the year.