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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Listen to the parents - even if they're not yours.

OK, let me preface this by saying that I'm really aggravated right now.

No, I'm really seriously pissed. And for anyone who has been reading this blog for a while, you know that I don't usually use language like that. (OK, not here. Real life is different.)

Alex's first day of school - last year
Alex's father called me today and wanted to know what Alex still needed for school supplies. Well, considering that school starts in 3 days, he already has pretty much everything. I knew that he was missing one or two things but I wasn't sure what, so I told him I'd check and call him back. As it turns out, he just needed some twist-up colored pencils. That's it. Nothing else in the "supplies" category. So I called his father back and told him that.

He proceeded to tell me that he was at the store with his grandmother and she wanted to get school supplies. Again, I told him that he only needed the pencils. He said "well, she wants to get him a backpack too". I told him NO - he has a backpack. He is using the same one from last year, just like the other 4 kids are doing. He used it to carry maybe 2 pieces of paper back and forth each day, and it's still in perfect condition. He doesn't need a new one. I told him that if she really felt the need to buy something, to buy some underwear and socks - because that's what he NEEDS. I also told him that he doesn't need any new clothes or anything like that, but the socks and underwear are really a necessity at this point.

So he stopped by a little bit later to drop the stuff off - including a new backpack. Yes, he bought the pencils, and I am thankful for that. And 2 pairs of pants, that are literally 3 sizes too big. And 2 pairs of shorts - again 3 sizes too big. And a bunch of shirts - guess what? too big. And one pack of underwear and one pack of socks.

So why am I pissed? I should be thankful that he's buying anything, since he can't stick to a reasonable schedule to save his life. He can go out shopping with his grandmother, but can't stop to pick up his kid and spend a few hours with him. I'm pissed because I told him specifically not to get a backpack - and he did. It's not needed, and it's not wanted. Truth be told, when Alex saw it, his first words were "Dad, I don't need that - I already have one". And seriously, while he may only have 1 child over here, I have 5. Getting one kid a new backpack when it's not needed makes it hella hard to justify to the other kids that they don't need a new backpack as well. I am also not the type of person that feels that a kid needs to have a new backpack every year - if the one that we already have is fine, use it again! And seriously, the one that he used last year is in PERFECT condition because actually, now that I think about it, he only used it for a couple of months because the zipper broke on the first one that he had - so realistically, he already has a new one.

I'm pissed because he can't buy him clothes that FIT. Yes, he's a big kid, so his clothes do need to be a little bigger - but not 3 sizes! He told me "oh you can just put them aside for him to grow into" - well what's the point of that? He'll grow into the jeans maybe by next summer - when it's too hot to wear them, and then will turn around and outgrow them before school next year.

One 5-pack of underwear - when I told him that this was the one thing that he needed, and he got one pack. I'm sorry, but this is the kid who still has some toileting issues. Five pairs will last maybe 3 days. UGH!!!!

Bottom line is this - if you want to buy something for a kid, ask the parent (or guardian or whoever) what the kid needs. And if the parent says that something is needed, be respectful and get that. And if the parent says that something is NOT needed - show that same respect and DON'T. GET. IT.

Unless you ask, you don't know the reasons behind why a kid needs or doesn't need something. A kid might need more underwear because he/she has a lot of toileting accidents - but because you're not around a whole lot, you don't know that. You might be told not to buy a kid a toy because maybe the kid has been having behavioral issues at home and the parent doesn't feel that the kids needs it right now. You might be asked not to buy something for one kid because then the other kid feels slighted.

Point of the matter is - you may not know the reasoning. But when a parent says "yes, please get _______" or "no, please don't get _______" you need to listen. The parent has reasons - and unless you see that the kids are being neglected or put in danger, please respect those reasons.

Now, I have two choices.

1. Find a place in this tiny-little zero-storage house to put the backpack, the shorts, and the jeans aside until they can be used (maybe in a couple of years).

2. Take all of the stuff, figure out when I have an hour or two of spare time, and return it to the store and exchange it for the stuff that he NEEDS.

UGH! Seriously - I am so mad right now! Maybe I'm overreacting. But come on - I am with this kid 24/7 - I know what he needs! If you ask me what he needs, and then turn around and don't listen, why did I waste my breath??? Why????

OK, rant over. Have at it. Tell me I'm the one who is being ridiculous - because seriously, I don't know if I'm overreacting to this or not. But this is how I'm feeling right now.

16 comments:

  1. When I had my first daughter a few weeks before Christmas, my mother in law asked me what she NEEDED. My husband was in construction and it was very slow with work and our finances were not the greatest in the winters... I told her onesies and receiving blankets and a few pairs of socks- she bought her a PINK FUR coat. Gee thank you, I am sure at 6 weeks old and barely 7 pounds, in a Chicago winter this will be exactly what she needs. I understand that she wanted to spoil her, but DO NOT ASK what is needed and then do the opposite. I had even specifically told other people not to get those items because I had told her too.

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    1. Ugh. Isn't that annoying? And as cute as some of that stuff is, it's just not practical. Now, if she had bought the coat in addition to the stuff that you asked for, that would be a different story altogether.

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  2. I don't think you're over reacting at all. I've told my kids grandparents that they don't need all the toys and to be taken out to dinner at Appleby's every week. What they need is socks and underwear. Occasionally some new clothes, but not that often. I know thy think they're being helpful by spending money on the kids, but at least get them something they NEED. Honestly, I'm not that bad off that I can't afford the basic necessities, but if they insist on getting stuff for the kids, fine. Just get the things I ask. That way I don't have to take the crap back and get what they need, and in the process end up looking like the 'bad guy' who won't let them have all the fun stuff. *sigh*

    I'm right there with ya.

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  3. I feel ya! Don't even get me started! My in laws do the same annoying crap! It's nice to see another mom who uses backpacks until they are done! I don't get new ones every year either.

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    1. I use the backpacks until they are in SHREDS. I just refuse to keep spending money on stuff that they don't need.

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  4. You know what would be fun?

    To take the giant clothes that will never fit, stuff them in the un-needed back pack, and cram it right up his...........oops.....family friendly........

    These are the reasons why they are exes. The morons.

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    1. ROFLMAO!!!! Awesome! I love the way that you think!

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  5. ], myself, had this talk with my MIL. My mom gets it. Because when I was a kid, she would ask her parents specifically to get me clothes, new shoes, undies. I used to get so mad as a kid that my grandma never did what the other grandparents did and spoiled me rotten. Then I got older and realized. My grandparents are why I had new clothes, and I truly appreciated my mom standing her ground. She would go so far as to take it back to them. She would say, look, I told you she needs Blah. Please take this back, while I appreciate the gesture, we do not need it, she has not earned it, etc. I do the same thing with my son. I told my MIL he needs clothes. Underwear. Socks. ALWAYS. I get 99 percent of his clothes hand me down, so for him, a new outfit is like the coolest thing ever. I would tell his grandmother flat out. Look, the kid will appreciate new undies. Please take the backpack and use the money for... (insert something here)... or take it all back and use the money towards the transmission. LOL! <3 Mom T

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    1. Ha. I ended up taking most of it back and getting stuff that actually fit him, and then the rest of the money went on a gift card since I of course didn't have the receipts. I'll probably use that to get him a new pair of sneakers. You know, in my spare time.

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  6. If you know where it came from return it and get more undies. I don't think that is unethical as long as every penny they spent gets put back toward the kid they intended it for. Maybe a ton of underwear and socks and two new outfits so he feels good on his first day.

    I have had similar issues with my xMIL, but finally have her cash giving mostly under control. I make the boys do work for money so they can appreciate the value of money. Also, I make them save up for something if they want it and she was damaging my work by handing them money every time they would see her. I don't mean a dollar either, but $20. She will blow money on them and never offer to get them a new outfit or anything for school. My parents are amazing because they dealt with a bad grandma with my sister.

    I doubt Alex's dad is involved enough to even take the time to teach him anything. How often does he actually buy the child anything anyway?

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    1. I returned it, and what I didn't use went on a gift card that I will probably use to buy him shoes.

      As far as his father buying him stuff, it's usually special occasions. School, Christmas, whatever. Or whenever he doesn't like what he's wearing, because we have very different tastes - I don't buy designer stuff - he does. He can keep wasting his money as far as I'm concerned.

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  7. GRANNY HERE. A TEAR FELL.I ALWAY GIVE MONEY. THIS WAY THEY CAN GET WHAT THEY WANT. MOTHERS AND SIL ARE ALWAY HAPPY THAT I EVEN THOUGHT TO GIVE THEM SOMETHING. I AGREE, JUST TAKE THE STUFF BACK TO THE STORE AND DONATE TO YOUR CAR PROBLEM. THAT A NEED.IT'LL GET HIM TO SCHOOL.PROBLEM SOLVED GRANNY STYLE.

    GRANNY

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    1. I exchanged most everything for stuff that actually fit him. I'll only use the money on him though - I won't put it toward the van. I can't really, even if I wanted to, because it had to go on a gift card.

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  8. My ex used to do that for my oldest, he'd buy for her but I have a younger son too so when he'd buy her 400 dollars worth of toys when she didnt have clothes that fit and my son got nothing it was frustrating and made me really mad. I get child support through the state so as long as she's not lacking in anything all of it gets put into her savings account. I don't spend it and she can earn bits of it back through chores as she gets older etc. and whatever she gets in support I try to put equal into an account for my son. They are equals in spite of having different fathers, being different genders, having different grandparents, etc

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    1. That is such a great idea! I would love to get to the point that I could put his child support aside, but right now that's not possible. One of these days....

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