Friday, December 2, 2011

Plastic Toys + Other Sins

Look at these.





I like toys like that.

I do not like toys like this.



How do you (politely) let people know that you'd prefer that they not give your kid plastic chemical soaked toys? Or loud toys? Or anything that is designed to cruise faster than a Ferrari?

I'm not the type of person who has trouble being direct, but handing out gift requests is something that I abhor. I find registries and want lists and catalog favorites tacky. (For our wedding we suggested charity donations in lieu of presents.)

I have no idea how to say, "Does this come with a gift receipt?" without feeling like dog doo doo.

Then again, I'd really rather my kid didn't suck on something that smells like a used tire lot.

How do you handle this sort of thing?

31 comments:

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

I hear ya, girl, but don't think there's much you can do about it. People like to buy babies dumb crap like a pink starfish(??) with crazy LSD eyes and a purple tongue. We've always said we didn't want loud toys and all of our friends with kids laugh at us. I don't want some motion sensored - psycho starfish going off in the middle of the night and scaring the bejesus out of me. Give me those old school, wooden, imagination makers, please. And if you MUST buy the plastic crap, at least include a gift reciept.

Melissa said...

i'm not really sure how to answer your question, but i AM dying to know where that pedal car came from? i NEED one for my daughter!

Diana said...

Ha. I donate these items to Goodwill. I agree, it feels pretty rude to dictate gifts (count us in as another couple who didn't have a registry!). The few people I did feel comfortable enought to tell this request simply ignored us. Grrr.

Good luck. Oh, and good luck in the future if you try to stop people from pumping your kids full of crap food. That's another one that people completely ignore.

Anonymous said...

If the baby shower consists of close friends and family, they might know the style you like more than you would expect them to. If there is no registry, people will probably ask your closest friend or your mother, so maybe give them a head's up to what you like so they can pass along the word when asked. Even just the suggestion of a certain store that has things you like. It won't sound tacky (imo) if it's word of mouth. And *usually* people do give gift receipts for anything baby/kid related. I will say though that eventually your kid is going to want something obnoxious haha. Enjoy picking out their toys while you still can! The toys you picked are so cute!

Cindy @The Flipping Couple said...

Good question. When I'm the giver I love registries because it's nice to know I'm getting them something they'll actually like. And when it's not off a registry I always (ALWAYS) include a gift receipt.

But for the unfortunate souls who haven't figured that out yet, I'd donate. Hopefully the people that visit your house frequently enough to notice whether or not the toy is missing also know you well enough to know that you hate pink plastic starfish. Hopefully?

Deb said...

I love registries because then I can give what the momma to be wants - but if you get something you don't like - and it doesn't come with a gift receipt - there's always consignment shops you take them to, or give them to toys for tots. I point blank told me mother in law NOT to buy playskool plastic stuff for my girls and she never - ever - listens to me so we ended up with a ton of that shit. Just resign yourself to the fact that you'll end up with plastic stuff but that it's easily given away or sold so you can buy what you want :)

m @ random musings said...

I agree - goodwill or some other charity. (ebay or consignment if that charity is *you*)

as far as the food thing, I think it happens b/c people think their own diets are perfectly fine thank-you-very-much. Just send your kid off to play dates with healthy goodies to share with everyone and call the rest a "treat" that they only get at grandma's (or sis's, whomever). I personally try serve food I know my guests like/enjoy/aren't allergic to, but don't bother to fulfill the "my kid doesn't eat...." requests. So if I hear/see that your kiddo *loves* fruit, then fruit they get. But really, as a host I'm more interested in making sure ppl have a good time than playing food police.

Anonymous said...

Just thought it is kind of funny that if you do a Google image search for "ugly toys" it's mainly pictures of one of the toys you picked out

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

probably because that's how i found them, anonymous. i was looking for quick pictures of ugly toys, and voila. up popped the ones i liked.

found the starfish on walmart's website. should have thought of that first.

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

for those who mentioned donation, i think i'm going to go that route, but it still feels terrible! especially since it's not a gift meant for ME, you know?

yelloworanges said...

I just went to a shower and loved getting their gift - they had an Amazon registry of all natural, organic items. It felt so good to get them a cloth diaper, natural rubber pacifier, and some Weleda baby care products instead of babies-r-us crap.

Tracy said...

As a member of the plastic-toy buying generation, I fully support your desire to expose your child only to the items of your choosing, but as a long-time mom I can tell you that there is no surer way to make your kid want something than to forbid them to have it. I personally think you'd be better off keeping a few plastic starfish laying in the bottom of the toy box (without batteries, of course) that you never actually get out to play with. This gives your child the message that he has the option to play with these toys, but he probably won't want to because he'll prefer the ones that you do. (The second best way to make your child want something is for you to have it first). So, while most gifts your child receives will probably reflect your taste, if you get a few that don't it might not be a bad idea to keep some around. Then when your child goes on a play-date to plastic-beeping-siren-town, which he probably eventually will, he won't think he died and went to heaven, he'll think that poor other kid has a whole lot of crappy bottom-of-the-toy-box junk to play with and he'll be happy to come home to the good stuff. Maybe that sounds manipulative, but I think it's better to give a child choices and steer them toward the right one than to just outright control everything for them. The earlier they learn to make good decisions, the better. Geez, I am rambling, huh? What were we talking about?

And Kathleen said...

Just tell your friends and family that you prefer ugly toys. Tell friends and family to Google it - super cute Ugly Dolls™ will come up in the search - because you know... that's how Google works.

web development india said...

I appreciate the concern which is been rose. The things need to be sorted out because it is about the individual but it can be with everyone.

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

i'm a lego fan, tracy. i don't intend on forbidding my kid to do too much of anything, much less plastic toys. i'm just saying some of the toys out there are BAD. they reek of chemicals, and i just can't see handing that over to my six month old.

that said, i'm a big believer that a gift (especially not one intended for me), is given with thought and should be accepted without criticism... and i'd hate to hurt anyone's feelings.

but, i do think some toys i will put my foot down over.

Sarah said...

Write a blog post about it, then remind them that you write a blog and to check it out if they want updates on the baby and the house. You're halfway there.

Tracy said...

Oh, thank goodness, Legos are awesome, aren't they? Though you have me wondering if the hives on my ankle have anything to do with wading through knee-high piles of Barbies when my girls were little. jk, I think.

As to your actual question I agree that you should not intentionally hurt anyone's feelings by refusing a well-meaning gift, but you are under no obligation to hand it to your baby. Say thanks and then pitch it.

Sorry if I sounded preachy. The last thing I want is to remind myself of my ex-mother-in-law (may she rest in peace) who could not see the point of using car seats despite the large scar on her daughter's face from going through the windshield as a child. "She's still here, isn't she?" Ugh.

Anonymous said...

Its really rude to complain about gifts of any kind.. period. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so unless you wish to offend the gift giver, smile and say thank you. Then do with it what you want.

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

i agree, but i don't want someone wasting their money on something i won't give my kid. but if i found out someone donated a gift i gave them it would probably hurt my feelings.

so that's kind of where i'm caught.

Melissa said...

if you know where it came from, you can always exchange it at the store for something you like. most mainstream stores are beginning to sell some more "traditional" style toys (think Melissa&Doug) that you could exchange it for.

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

that's true!

Anonymous said...

Girl, if you don't register, you are going to end up with crap you don't want. You don't need to tell anyone about your registry, just register somewhere obvious, like Target or BabyRUs and register for modest gifts (think Sophie the Giraffe). OR if someone offers to host a shower for you, mention that you would really love a diaper shower since you already have everything else ready for baby.

All the staff at my husbands law firm offered to throw us a shower and I felt horrible considering the pay discrepancies between attorneys/staff. The diaper shower was a way for me to get something I would use without having the guilt of someone spending an arm and a leg.

Love,
Your friend anonymous aka 17 weeks + nauseous + also having a BOY!

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

thanks, and congrats on your pregnancy!

but who said anything about a shower? or a boy?

NotesFromAbroad said...

Sorry if I am repeating what others have already said ... but ...

For whatever reason that you do not wish to keep the toys given to you, you can just donate them and be happy about it.
But it does help if you let people know right away what you are wanting and not wanting for your baby/home/gifts.

OR ... put out the word that you would like to have anyone who wants to give you a present, to instead donate that money to a childrens charity and buy your own things when you feel the time is right. Newborns don't really need toys right away :)

Laura said...

Although registries sometimes seem tacky, at least you're throwing your style and needs out there for anyone interested. We got very lucky and most everyone got things for us from our registry, or gave us gift cards. I honestly can't think of very many toys that were even purchased for our shower. If you get stuff you don't need/want/like, you can always keep it in a stash, then sell it later after your kiddo has "outgrown" it.

This being said, we're getting ready to encounter holidays and birthdays. I know we're going to be overwhelmed with toys for the girls. I'm sure they'll be some crazy ones, but we'll just go with it. Good thing about those events though is that we can kind of steer our close family toward the kind of toys we'd like for the girls. Maybe you'll get lucky in this way too!

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I hear ya. I hate showers. Really hate them, but I can't get out of having one, and so I will register for some things and hope that I don't have to act happy for too many of the gifts. It's just easier to give in and do what everyone expects me to do, and I've got bigger things to worry about than gift etiquette, you know? Of course you do, I saw your video! Plus, goodwill is close for the really unfortunate ones! ha

Heidi said...

This is a sticky thing to ask without offending the giver! I love the donation idea and I used that with my kids. i just put away the toys
I didn't want them to have until Christmas time and made a toys for tots donation. I did put my foot down on violent toys - I have one girl and 2 boys and I told family and close friends that if they choose to give gifts to our children we have a no violent toys policy in the house and any guns, war toys, inappropriate DVD's etc would be donated to charity in the gift giver's name. They are all adults now and still reject violent toys - someone gave them all marshmallow guns a few years ago and they donated them to a charity. They kept the marshmallows that came with the guns for hot chocolate though!

Anonymous said...

Kelly,

Sorry I posted about you having a boy. I thought you were having a boy for some reason... probably because you ARE : )

And the shower advice was hypothetical. I would give you a shower, but I live in Texas. And I don't know you. Just stalk your blog. You keep it real, I appreciate that.

Love, Anonymous

kelly@tearinguphouses said...

nfa, i like that! and that's so true about newborns. (honestly, i don't have a clue, but that seems like it would be true!)

yeah, laura, i admit registries do tend to come in handy. i just hate the idea of registering myself.

sara, ditto.

heidi, i hadn't even thought about violent toys yet. see how much i don't know?!

anonymous, phew. i thought you were an old friend letting the cat out of the bag!

Carol said...

Maybe have your friends mention on the shower invites that your theme is something like classic, all natural or green(as in environmentally friendly) and that you love old-school wood and metal toys and most especially allergen-free cuddlies. Some would get the hint... and others will come up with some crazy entertaining stuff. (You know it will happen!)

Good luck!

Carol
antiquetexan.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

Thanks for posting this question! Reading the comments is preparing me to deal with the same issues (one of these days).