Chit Chat

rude or not: dictating gifts for children?

FI's family annoys me. in particular, they have a way of sucking the joy out of christmas. specifically, there are a few of them that like to dictate gifts for their children. so what i mean is that they say, get this, or don't get that, or don't buy my kid anything, or that's too big, or run your gifts by me first to make sure "santa" hasn't already bought it. 

my thinking is this: i enjoy giving gifts. gifts are a treat. there shouldn't be so many rules around gift-giving. i think you should be appreciative that people want to buy your kids presents and just accept them graciously, as you would any other gift. i don't think you should dictate what others can buy. 

but i don't have kids so i recognize that there's another perspective out there that i don't have. 

so is this rude or do i just need to get over it?

PrettyGirlLost
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Re: rude or not: dictating gifts for children?

  • Well, every year I ask my cousin's wife what their kids want for Christmas. She usually will tell me very specific items. And I have no idea what to buy a 9 year old and a 13 year old so it works perfectly for me. Otherwise, I'd probably be standing in the store for an hour trying to figure something out. I'd also hate to get them something they either were not into or already had 5 of. That's probably annoying as a parent too - having to return something.
    melbelleup
  • I am totally on board with give gift ideas like "kid is really into books/little people/ etc" and "well kid really has too many stuffed animals or xyz" but putting restrictions on noisy toys or what not is ridiculous in my opinion.
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    PrettyGirlLostHisGirlFriday13pumpkinsandturkeys
  • I get the "running the gift by the parent" first thing since that will prevent repeat purchases. I think parents should provide a general guideline or list of things their kid does and does not like to help in the gift buying process ( still waiting on a list from my sister for my niece), but other then that they should stay our of it.

    doeydo
  • I guess the first question is: Do you solicit this information? Or do they bring this to your attention?

    If you're asking them, I don't really think it's that rude as they're just replying to your question.

    If they ask "When are you going Christmas shopping for my kids?" then it's rude.

    I would never me ungracious to a gift giver, but if you ask, you're opening yourself up to that response.
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  • i'm not against specific suggestions or general ideas about what the kids like, i just find all their directives annoying. 

    in any other gift giving situation (weddings, birthdays) it would be inappropriate, but for some reason its ok with kids?

    but i totally admit that i'm in an annoyance phase with FI's family right now and its definitely coloring my judgment.
  • I guess the first question is: Do you solicit this information? Or do they bring this to your attention?

    If you're asking them, I don't really think it's that rude as they're just replying to your question.

    If they ask "When are you going Christmas shopping for my kids?" then it's rude.

    I would never me ungracious to a gift giver, but if you ask, you're opening yourself up to that response.
    this year it's been both solicited and unsolicited, and that's one of the reasons i'm annoyed. 
  • cruffino said:
    I guess the first question is: Do you solicit this information? Or do they bring this to your attention?

    If you're asking them, I don't really think it's that rude as they're just replying to your question.

    If they ask "When are you going Christmas shopping for my kids?" then it's rude.

    I would never me ungracious to a gift giver, but if you ask, you're opening yourself up to that response.
    this year it's been both solicited and unsolicited, and that's one of the reasons i'm annoyed. 
    I would be kind of annoyed at specific dictations but I wouldn't think it's rude per se.

    Those who are addressing presents unsolicited are the ones who are being rude. You should never ever expect gifts ever... so.... they're just being butts.
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  • cruffinocruffino member
    First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    edited December 2013
    cruffino said:
    I guess the first question is: Do you solicit this information? Or do they bring this to your attention?

    If you're asking them, I don't really think it's that rude as they're just replying to your question.

    If they ask "When are you going Christmas shopping for my kids?" then it's rude.

    I would never me ungracious to a gift giver, but if you ask, you're opening yourself up to that response.
    this year it's been both solicited and unsolicited, and that's one of the reasons i'm annoyed. 
    I would be kind of annoyed at specific dictations but I wouldn't think it's rude per se.

    Those who are addressing presents unsolicited are the ones who are being rude. You should never ever expect gifts ever... so.... they're just being butts.
    and i just got ANOTHER email from the worst offender:

    "Hi All,
    Do you mind please sharing what you bought my kids? Sorry but can't have anyone trump Santa...thanks for understanding."

    so if by some off chance i bought something similar, the same or better, i guess she'd expect me to return it? 

    is there a christmas bridge i can jump off of?
    PrettyGirlLost
  • tmclawchicktmclawchick member
    5 Love Its First Comment Name Dropper First Anniversary
    edited December 2013

    I see both sides of the coin here (with respect to solicited suggestions only)... As someone purchasing a gift, it becomes stressful when there are too many restrictions/requirements dictated. As a parent answering the question "What does DS want for Christmas this year?" to a lot of different people, I totally get why they might be specific. I try to keep it as open as possible (ie "DS likes construction things", or "A few puzzles might be nice"), but they may be trying to avoid getting duplicate gifts (because honestly exchanging gifts is a PITA, as is explaining to your wailing 3 year old why he can't have both Black and Decker toolbelts Christmas morning). 

    At times I wish FI's mother would run things by us before she gets them. We have a small apartment here, and she always buys him the largest things she can find. It's very sweet of her, and we're always gracious about it, but it's a pain to try to find room to store everything.

    *edited for grammar

     

  • Uh... where's my avatar pic? This is weird...

     

  • Uh... where's my avatar pic? This is weird...
    i see it.
  • Gah, I swear it wasn't there like 10 minutes ago! Anywho, problem solved haha...

     

  • I see both sides.  It's rude to completely dictate what you should give the kid (buy him X), but I don't think it's rude to say "please don't get X"

    As parents, they get to ultimately decide what their kids can and can't play with.  If you buy the kid something that the parents are against, it puts them in the awkward situation of having to take the toy away and you in the sad position of knowing that the kid doesn't get to play with the toy.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    KeptInStitchesAlexisA01PrettyGirlLostdoeydo
  • cruffino said:
    cruffino said:
    I guess the first question is: Do you solicit this information? Or do they bring this to your attention?

    If you're asking them, I don't really think it's that rude as they're just replying to your question.

    If they ask "When are you going Christmas shopping for my kids?" then it's rude.

    I would never me ungracious to a gift giver, but if you ask, you're opening yourself up to that response.
    this year it's been both solicited and unsolicited, and that's one of the reasons i'm annoyed. 
    I would be kind of annoyed at specific dictations but I wouldn't think it's rude per se.

    Those who are addressing presents unsolicited are the ones who are being rude. You should never ever expect gifts ever... so.... they're just being butts.
    and i just got ANOTHER email from the worst offender:

    "Hi All,
    Do you mind please sharing what you bought my kids? Sorry but can't have anyone trump Santa...thanks for understanding."

    so if by some off chance i bought something similar, the same or better, i guess she'd expect me to return it? 

    is there a christmas bridge i can jump off of?
    1. I can finally see your new avatar -- LOVE the fleur-de-lis.

    2. I was kind of on-board with them giving general ideas (i.e., it's helpful when people say, 'Little Johnny is really into Sesame Street and his favourite character is Big Bird,' because that gives me general direction without dictating specifics.'

    3. They lost me on the bolded. Uhm, no. You give me ideas, I will buy your kid something, and if it "trumps" Santa, then so be it. Your kids aren't going to believe in Santa forever, so having generous relatives isn't a bad thing. I would be sorely tempted to write back and say, "In light of the repeated e-mails and demands, we won't be getting your child anything. Since the point of the season is gratitude and it's clear that ship has sailed, we're done, kthanksbai."

    As an example, my SIL asked me, if I was planning on buying my nephew stuffed toys, NOT to, because she thinks he has too many, and she wants to transition him to hard plastic toys he can do imagination things with (he's really into dinosaurs, for example, and she suggested animals he could play battles with. I ended up getting him something else entirely, but I appreciated the feedback.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    PrettyGirlLostdoeydoSKPM
  • cruffino said:

    and i just got ANOTHER email from the worst offender:

    "Hi All,
    Do you mind please sharing what you bought my kids? Sorry but can't have anyone trump Santa...thanks for understanding."

    so if by some off chance i bought something similar, the same or better, i guess she'd expect me to return it? 

    is there a christmas bridge i can jump off of?
    UGH. See, THAT is rude.

    I think that general ideas on types of toys, characters, themes, and activities, and some general toy suggestions (she's been asking about this Barbie and THATdress up clothes kit) are good ways start people off but that dictating specific toys ("I want you to get her a Lego set W" or "Hmm, how about you get her the Cinderella dress up outfit from the disney store") is overstepping boundaries.

    Only 13 days!
     Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • My family does a gift exchange for the cousins. This way I don't have to buy for 20ish niece's and nephews. I have 4 kids, I buy 4 gifts for them to give to a cousin. Most of the time I let my kids pick out the gift since it is "from" them. Sometimes I have to pick them out. If I don't know, I ask. When asked..."Joe loves books, favorite author is Tom Clancy" Like you, I like direction but don't give me a set list.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I see both sides of the coin here (with respect to solicited suggestions only)... As someone purchasing a gift, it becomes stressful when there are too many restrictions/requirements dictated. As a parent answering the question "What does DS want for Christmas this year?" to a lot of different people, I totally get why they might be specific. I try to keep it as open as possible (ie "DS likes construction things", or "A few puzzles might be nice"), but they may be trying to avoid getting duplicate gifts (because honestly exchanging gifts is a PITA, as is explaining to your wailing 3 year old why he can't have both Black and Decker toolbelts Christmas morning). 

    At times I wish FI's mother would run things by us before she gets them. We have a small apartment here, and she always buys him the largest things she can find. It's very sweet of her, and we're always gracious about it, but it's a pain to try to find room to store everything.

    *edited for grammar

    @tmclawchick -- I bought that for my nephew! He's 2.5. Does your DS like it? Did it hold up well?

    I already bought it, so I guess it doesn't much matter, but I am curious about how it is IRL.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • jdluvr06 said:
    My friend is like that about her daughter. She said had a list of things not to get her daughter. Not because they were going to get it for her but because she didn't want her to get any noisy or mess making toys. I bought her a finger painting set.
    Dislike. Why would you buy something her mother specifically asked you not to get her? You realize it is very likely that was a wasted gift that she will not be able to have? If I specifically told someone not to buy my daughter any messy gifts (for whatever reason, seeing as I am her mother) and they bought her a finger paint set it would be returned or donated.
  • jlazgrl said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    My friend is like that about her daughter. She said had a list of things not to get her daughter. Not because they were going to get it for her but because she didn't want her to get any noisy or mess making toys. I bought her a finger painting set.
    Dislike. Why would you buy something her mother specifically asked you not to get her? You realize it is very likely that was a wasted gift that she will not be able to have? If I specifically told someone not to buy my daughter any messy gifts (for whatever reason, seeing as I am her mother) and they bought her a finger paint set it would be returned or donated.

    I told the mother what I got her daughter and she laughed and said that she guessed she had that coming. Apparently everyone ended buying the daughter messy or noisy gifts. Lol. That is kind of what we do in our group. You just have to know the individual you're messing with. Also her daughter will get to play with it. Her mom might not like it but she wouldn't deny the kid something someone bought her.
  • jdluvr06 said:
    jlazgrl said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    My friend is like that about her daughter. She said had a list of things not to get her daughter. Not because they were going to get it for her but because she didn't want her to get any noisy or mess making toys. I bought her a finger painting set.
    Dislike. Why would you buy something her mother specifically asked you not to get her? You realize it is very likely that was a wasted gift that she will not be able to have? If I specifically told someone not to buy my daughter any messy gifts (for whatever reason, seeing as I am her mother) and they bought her a finger paint set it would be returned or donated.

    I told the mother what I got her daughter and she laughed and said that she guessed she had that coming. Apparently everyone ended buying the daughter messy or noisy gifts. Lol. That is kind of what we do in our group. You just have to know the individual you're messing with. Also her daughter will get to play with it. Her mom might not like it but she wouldn't deny the kid something someone bought her.
    Eh still seems a little risky and rude on your part.  If you didn't care for her demands, then the "appropriate" thing to do would be to not buy anything.  Maybe she let the kid play with it, but I can I know plenty of parents who wouldn't "bend" the rules about what their kids are allowed to play with just because someone else bought the toy for their child.

    I don't think it's right for parents to demand that people buy their children certain things, but I maintain that it's a parent's right to decide what their kid gets to play with and it's pretty rude to intentionally interfere with that.  Their kid, their rules.  If you don't want to play by the rules, don't play.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
  • I see both sides of the coin here (with respect to solicited suggestions only)... As someone purchasing a gift, it becomes stressful when there are too many restrictions/requirements dictated. As a parent answering the question "What does DS want for Christmas this year?" to a lot of different people, I totally get why they might be specific. I try to keep it as open as possible (ie "DS likes construction things", or "A few puzzles might be nice"), but they may be trying to avoid getting duplicate gifts (because honestly exchanging gifts is a PITA, as is explaining to your wailing 3 year old why he can't have both Black and Decker toolbelts Christmas morning). 

    At times I wish FI's mother would run things by us before she gets them. We have a small apartment here, and she always buys him the largest things she can find. It's very sweet of her, and we're always gracious about it, but it's a pain to try to find room to store everything.

    *edited for grammar

    @tmclawchick -- I bought that for my nephew! He's 2.5. Does your DS like it? Did it hold up well?

    I already bought it, so I guess it doesn't much matter, but I am curious about how it is IRL.
    DS got it last year for Christmas (he was in a major Bob the Builder kick) and he still regularly uses it to fix random things around our place, it was a hit! Everything held up pretty well, though not surprisingly the screws and nails have gone missing. I'm sure your nephew will love it!

     

  • I see both sides of the coin here (with respect to solicited suggestions only)... As someone purchasing a gift, it becomes stressful when there are too many restrictions/requirements dictated. As a parent answering the question "What does DS want for Christmas this year?" to a lot of different people, I totally get why they might be specific. I try to keep it as open as possible (ie "DS likes construction things", or "A few puzzles might be nice"), but they may be trying to avoid getting duplicate gifts (because honestly exchanging gifts is a PITA, as is explaining to your wailing 3 year old why he can't have both Black and Decker toolbelts Christmas morning). 

    At times I wish FI's mother would run things by us before she gets them. We have a small apartment here, and she always buys him the largest things she can find. It's very sweet of her, and we're always gracious about it, but it's a pain to try to find room to store everything.

    *edited for grammar

    @tmclawchick -- I bought that for my nephew! He's 2.5. Does your DS like it? Did it hold up well?

    I already bought it, so I guess it doesn't much matter, but I am curious about how it is IRL.
    DS got it last year for Christmas (he was in a major Bob the Builder kick) and he still regularly uses it to fix random things around our place, it was a hit! Everything held up pretty well, though not surprisingly the screws and nails have gone missing. I'm sure your nephew will love it!
    Thanks! My brother works construction, and my nephew (his son) LOVES to 'help' his Daddy fix things, so I bought him a tool belt, the B&D tool kit, and a construction helmet. I hope he likes it.
    Anniversary

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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • jdluvr06 said:
    jlazgrl said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    My friend is like that about her daughter. She said had a list of things not to get her daughter. Not because they were going to get it for her but because she didn't want her to get any noisy or mess making toys. I bought her a finger painting set.
    Dislike. Why would you buy something her mother specifically asked you not to get her? You realize it is very likely that was a wasted gift that she will not be able to have? If I specifically told someone not to buy my daughter any messy gifts (for whatever reason, seeing as I am her mother) and they bought her a finger paint set it would be returned or donated.

    I told the mother what I got her daughter and she laughed and said that she guessed she had that coming. Apparently everyone ended buying the daughter messy or noisy gifts. Lol. That is kind of what we do in our group. You just have to know the individual you're messing with. Also her daughter will get to play with it. Her mom might not like it but she wouldn't deny the kid something someone bought her.
    Eh still seems a little risky and rude on your part.  If you didn't care for her demands, then the "appropriate" thing to do would be to not buy anything.  Maybe she let the kid play with it, but I can I know plenty of parents who wouldn't "bend" the rules about what their kids are allowed to play with just because someone else bought the toy for their child.

    I don't think it's right for parents to demand that people buy their children certain things, but I maintain that it's a parent's right to decide what their kid gets to play with and it's pretty rude to intentionally interfere with that.  Their kid, their rules.  If you don't want to play by the rules, don't play.
    You are entitled to your opinion but seriously no one listened to her. I guess you would just have to know our group. She would do something similar if it was one of us that had a kid we didn't want to have messy toys. It is just what we do. Even her husband bought the daughter a drum set.
    HaileyDancingbear
  • NYCBruinNYCBruin member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited December 2013
    jdluvr06 said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    jlazgrl said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    My friend is like that about her daughter. She said had a list of things not to get her daughter. Not because they were going to get it for her but because she didn't want her to get any noisy or mess making toys. I bought her a finger painting set.
    Dislike. Why would you buy something her mother specifically asked you not to get her? You realize it is very likely that was a wasted gift that she will not be able to have? If I specifically told someone not to buy my daughter any messy gifts (for whatever reason, seeing as I am her mother) and they bought her a finger paint set it would be returned or donated.

    I told the mother what I got her daughter and she laughed and said that she guessed she had that coming. Apparently everyone ended buying the daughter messy or noisy gifts. Lol. That is kind of what we do in our group. You just have to know the individual you're messing with. Also her daughter will get to play with it. Her mom might not like it but she wouldn't deny the kid something someone bought her.
    Eh still seems a little risky and rude on your part.  If you didn't care for her demands, then the "appropriate" thing to do would be to not buy anything.  Maybe she let the kid play with it, but I can I know plenty of parents who wouldn't "bend" the rules about what their kids are allowed to play with just because someone else bought the toy for their child.

    I don't think it's right for parents to demand that people buy their children certain things, but I maintain that it's a parent's right to decide what their kid gets to play with and it's pretty rude to intentionally interfere with that.  Their kid, their rules.  If you don't want to play by the rules, don't play.
    You are entitled to your opinion but seriously no one listened to her. I guess you would just have to know our group. She would do something similar if it was one of us that had a kid we didn't want to have messy toys. It is just what we do. Even her husband bought the daughter a drum set.
    It makes me sad that she just gave in on her "rules" and even sadder that her husband and her don't appear to be on the same page when it comes to raising their daughter.  I can't imagine it's easy to raise a child when everyone around you is teaching your child that you can be ignored, especially if that includes your co-parent.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    KeptInStitchespumpkinsandturkeys
  • NYCBruin said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    jlazgrl said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    My friend is like that about her daughter. She said had a list of things not to get her daughter. Not because they were going to get it for her but because she didn't want her to get any noisy or mess making toys. I bought her a finger painting set.
    Dislike. Why would you buy something her mother specifically asked you not to get her? You realize it is very likely that was a wasted gift that she will not be able to have? If I specifically told someone not to buy my daughter any messy gifts (for whatever reason, seeing as I am her mother) and they bought her a finger paint set it would be returned or donated.

    I told the mother what I got her daughter and she laughed and said that she guessed she had that coming. Apparently everyone ended buying the daughter messy or noisy gifts. Lol. That is kind of what we do in our group. You just have to know the individual you're messing with. Also her daughter will get to play with it. Her mom might not like it but she wouldn't deny the kid something someone bought her.
    Eh still seems a little risky and rude on your part.  If you didn't care for her demands, then the "appropriate" thing to do would be to not buy anything.  Maybe she let the kid play with it, but I can I know plenty of parents who wouldn't "bend" the rules about what their kids are allowed to play with just because someone else bought the toy for their child.

    I don't think it's right for parents to demand that people buy their children certain things, but I maintain that it's a parent's right to decide what their kid gets to play with and it's pretty rude to intentionally interfere with that.  Their kid, their rules.  If you don't want to play by the rules, don't play.
    You are entitled to your opinion but seriously no one listened to her. I guess you would just have to know our group. She would do something similar if it was one of us that had a kid we didn't want to have messy toys. It is just what we do. Even her husband bought the daughter a drum set.
    It makes me sad that she just gave in on her "rules" and even sadder that her husband and her don't appear to be on the same page when it comes to raising their daughter.  I can't imagine it's easy to raise a child when everyone around you is teaching your child that you can be ignored, especially if that includes your co-parent.
    So.Much.This. I enjoy spoiling my nephew -- and I spoil him rotten -- but as my brother said the other day, "HisGirl, so far, you've bought him close to 200 books, flutes that change pitch when you put water in them, a kid-sized piano, a xylophone, a kid's drinking mug with the Latin names for various sharks on them, and a Nativity nesting doll set. It's hard to be bothered by you spoiling him when you buy him educational toys that feed his creativity."

    And if he and my SIL ever specifically said, "Oh, no toys with batteries" or "No electronic toys" or "No computer toys," I would honour that. 
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    NYCBruin
  • I'm not a parent, nor do I intend to be, but I do have some understanding of this.

    My parents once had to return a gift that was given to my brother for his birthday, because it broke their "no toy weapons" rule. It was awkward and unpleasant, and while the gift-givers did understand the reasoning behind the rule, it would just have saved a lot of trouble for everyone if my folks had said up front "please don't buy our children toy weapons".

    Because of that, whenever I have to buy gifts for kids, I ask their parents "are there any things your kids aren't allowed to have?" and it has mostly served me well. If the parents have a rule on something, I don't want to make it a big deal out of it by giving the kids something that breaks that rule. I also understand parents saying "no noisy toys please". There are plenty of reasons, quite aside from the parents' sanity, why they might not want noisy toys.

    As for "run your gifts by me", I understand that too. That's usually so they don't end up with duplicates. There are some things where duplicates are great (like Lego, you can never have too much Lego), but getting two copies of the same book or  two of the same shirts etc is not so much fun. We've just had this exact problem with out Christmas gifts for the adults in the family (FMIL bought FSIL a steamer on promotion earlier in the year to put away for Christmas, then the mom of the kids that FSIL has been tutoring/au-pairing for the last 3 years gave her a steamer as her farewell present. FSIL bought us a snack stand, but my dad got us exactly the same one a week earlier.)

    However, I do think it's rude for parents to say "buy this exact toy" as opposed to "we love this kind of thing". Wish lists (and wedding registries) are one thing, but it's pretty rude for ANYONE to say "you must buy me exactly this and nothing else".
    imageDaisypath Friendship tickers
  • Just read in Dear Abby today about a mom saying her kids were registered at Toys R Us and to only buy toys from that registry. The letter writer wanted to know if this was the new thing to do. Dear Abby didn't like the idea, but did tell her to let her friend know she was registered at Tiffany's for her birthday.
  • jlazgrl said:
    jdluvr06 said:
    My friend is like that about her daughter. She said had a list of things not to get her daughter. Not because they were going to get it for her but because she didn't want her to get any noisy or mess making toys. I bought her a finger painting set.
    Dislike. Why would you buy something her mother specifically asked you not to get her? You realize it is very likely that was a wasted gift that she will not be able to have? If I specifically told someone not to buy my daughter any messy gifts (for whatever reason, seeing as I am her mother) and they bought her a finger paint set it would be returned or donated.
    My mom used to tell people nothing noisy/messy and that wound up being what we got. She wasn't bending her rules she just preferred we not drive her up a wall. Apparently my first birthday our next door neighbor who was like a grandpa to me got me finger paint, a xylophone, and a whistle. 

    I wish I had some guidance as to what to get FI's son for xmas,the three of us sat down and even DS didn't know what the heck he wanted so he got a snake (that is currently wrapped around my neck) since the day I met him the three of us went to the hardware store to buy stuff to make him a snake catcher. 
    image
  • As a parent We have often received gifts I'd rather my children not have. But without being solicited I would never provide suggestions or rules. When asked I just mention something they are interested in. I tend to keep gifts even if I don't like them but for the most part our friends and family know what kind of things we have in the home. And if I don't like things, chances are kids love them.
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