Saturday, May 17, 2008

Grandma Goes Shopping

The Parent Blogger's Network's theme this week is Grandparents and gift giving. Check it out

I could write a novel about my mom & I's various ups and downs surround my 'issues' with various gifts. Just the section on "Why Tickle Me Elmo will burnt in effigy if you give him to my child" would take up half the book. (I have this thing about needless noise. The boys make plenty of noise all by themselves. And I really cannot stand Elmo) .  This is the short version...

I believe, initially, my family thought I was kidding when I said "No noisy plastic toys. I will muffle the sound, I will not replace the batteries and I will probably arrange for them to 'break' within a few days."  They bought a singing bouncing Tigger, a freaky weird sound making BooBah, a bear that said prayers in a really creepy voice and lots of cheap plastic trucks with superfluous bells, whistles, music and lights. The last problematic toy was mix up in communication. I suggested Thomas Trains, meaning the wooden ones and they bought the battery ones. Neither of us realized we were talking about different types of trains (and we ended up with the Take Alongs anyway) I cannot stand uselessly noisy toys and toys that you play with by watching them do something.  Buy them a keyboard or drums if you want to give them a noisy gift.  Buy them sturdy trucks they have to actually move themselves. When they are 10 or so buy them the Lionel trains, until then no battery or electric things please. The worst was a kiddie karaoke machine my brother gave to my 2 year old. We never used it. Never. I put it in a box in the closet the day after Xmas and gave it away about 4 months later.

The Thomas mix up happened the same holiday that we were given a number of duplicates of other things. I began giving specific lists after that year. "These are the Take Along Thomas Trains we do not have". "These are some Leapster games the boys might like" "We have these Imaginext sets, any of the add ons would be welcome." "Here are some books & movies we've been borrowing often from the library & would love to own." "These are some games I think the boys would enjoy." Now that my parents have 5 grandchildren to buy for, they are leaning toward the less is more philosophy. Instead of lots of cheap stuff, the kids get a few well made, sturdy items and because of the lists, they are things they want & no duplicates.  Mom will call and say "I found this. What do you think?"  She likes the lists. I include a range of prices and a range of locations. I'll include links to things and mark items that are found together to save on shipping. It seems to be working out well for us.

I browsed through suggestions for my sons' age range and sent a link to my Mom. I love the gifts they suggest. They have some great hands on things for 3-5 year olds. I'm almost sorry it will be almost Thanksgiving before it's anyone's birthday.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Ah, the noisy toys. I have a blind child, now a teen, who was always getting noisy toys. We discovered the trick for electronic keyboards and music players: headphones.