Need some opinions please

Granlan_TXMarch 4, 2003

Hi everyone. I've never posted at this forum, I usually post at the Kitchen Table.

Last year, I had a chance to visit my DS, his fiance and their children. My son has two girls and his fiance has three kids. Four out of five are 7 yrs. old and younger, fiance also has a 17 yr. old.

I visited the family in summer and also at Christmas (out of state). I bought Christmas presents for everyone. These were the only times I met fiance and kids.

I recently mailed a birthday gift to my 3 yr. old granddaughter, got a phone call from DS saying the gift arrived. He told me there are other kids in the house. At first, I thought I should have gotten gifts for the rest to celebrate the birthday?? However, he explained if I send a gift for my two granddaughters on their birthdays, I should send b-day gifts for all kids.

I honestly didn't mean to avoid sending gifts, two of the boys had birthdays in January, I never knew the dates and didn't think anything about not sending gifts. Apparently, son and fiance think differently.

I live on a very, very limited income and was surprised to hear my son say these things. Of course, after they get married in May, I really will have 3 new grand kids and will buy accordingly.

Did I do the wrong thing? What would you do? What should I have said to my son?

Thanks for your input.

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I understand that you did not mean to hurt anyone's feelings, but you accidently did. To correct the situation, I would write a nice note of apology and asking for all the birthdates including your new daughter-in-law to be. I would enclose the note in a box of home baked cookies and mail it. If you have not heard from them in two weeks, call and ask how everyone is. Melting two families together is rough, be kind to them. I'm on a tight budget also, and watch for gifts all year long.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2003 at 2:35AM
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You didn't do anything wrong. Unless you can read minds how were you to know. (but if you can read minds that would be a great way to make extra cash :)! Maybe instead of sending gifts on birthdays, you could wait and take the gift with you when you visit. Let them know that these are their birthday gifts and that you wanted to be there when they opened them. This would save you on the postage and that way everyone would get their gifts at the same time. We all know how hard it to explain to kids why one gets a present but the other one doesn't.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2003 at 9:54PM
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I'm w/ Lynn, how were you to know?

Now you know, and you're willing to follow his wishes, which is great.

You might point out to him, in the same spirit of "cooperation between grownups in the raising of the children and the maintenance of family good will" that the combination of your limited income and the increase in his offspring means you won't be able to buy presents w/ much monetary value, and that you're counting on him and his fiance to assist you in the adjustment.

They need to be aware that you won't be splurging.

They need to adjust their own expectations.

They need to help the kids adjust their expectations (if indeed they need adjusting; many kids don't care THAT much about dollar value).

They also need to tip you off to things that are inexpensive but would be greatly appreciated (the 17-year-old could use new guitar strings; the 7-y-o boy has taken a great interest in trains, or Pokemon, or something; the 4-y-o has declared that pink is her favoritist color and she likes lace, so you can spot a pink t-shirt w/ lace at Target).

They need to do their part, too.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2003 at 11:50AM
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