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(56 Posts)
suzieq Wed 04-Dec-13 07:47:27

My background is one of being careful with money and valuing skills, health, education, the environment -fairly lefty all round. My son is married to someone who sees how things look as very important.
We've bought some duplo for our two-year-old granddaughter because she has few toys that are encouraging her fine motor skills and she enjoys playing with what she already has. We have been asked also to buy some wellies for her and the ones requested are Hunter, which will also need the coordinating socks. Not much change from £40 if we are lucky. I have never been interested in brands for their own sake and think this is completely ridiculous - the child doesn't care what she wears. I don't think she has ever been fitted for properly supportive shoes and wears what her mum and other grandmother think are pretty -often they buy them without fitting.
As an unfortunate contrast, our daughter, of necessity, lives very frugally.
I know I must work it out for myself, but has anyone else been caught in this quandary? I must resolve it without upsetting a person who has joined our family but whose values and what she cares about are so different to mine.

Stansgran Wed 04-Dec-13 08:02:46

And she'll probably grow out of them as she unwraps them. Buy her a pair with frogs faces saying you couldn't resist and say they hadn't the right size in the hunters. The hunters have narrow ankles and don't suit wide feet so I wouldn't buy them without the child trying them on. I have a problem the other way. MyDGD often has wet feet because her shoes are worn through and the DD and SIL are too busy to notice. I try to equip her when she stays with me.

Grannyknot Wed 04-Dec-13 08:03:11

suzieq ouch... I don't see a way out for you because if you buy anything other than Hunter wellies you will be wasting your money because they won't be worn. Or you could explain that you are not buying the Hunter wellies and why, but that would also cause problems.

We have a young nephew for whom it is all about labels. The thing is, he is not actually that young (he is 30) and doesn't have much money, but comes here the other day with a Valentino scarf for goodness sake. He paid a fortune for it, and I started having the "But, it's a scarf and I could have knitted you one" conversation with him until I realised I was wasting my time.

By the way, those values you mention are not exclusive to lefties! My mother taught us all of those and I'd never have described her as left wing.

janeainsworth Wed 04-Dec-13 08:07:44

Suzie I'm not sure whether you are objecting to the Hunter wellies because you don't want to spend that amount of money on your DGD anyway, having already bought her the Duplo, or whether you are objecting to the Hunter wellies themselves. Or perhaps both.

Personally I think that if I'm giving my DCs money, either for themselves or the DGCs, then it's entirely up to them what they spend it on.

I also think that Hunter wellies for 2 year-olds that cost £40 are ridiculous.

Complicated, isn't it? If you can afford the £40, buy the wellies and say nothing!

thatbags Wed 04-Dec-13 08:16:33

Why do Hunter wellies need coordinating socks? Rhetorical question.

You don't have to buy what has been requested. Sympathy though; I wouldn't like to be in the position you're in. I'm just wondering if pretending to be a bit thick and getting the wrong kind of wellies and the wrong kind of socks (both perfectly usable of course) would get the message across that you might not be, ahem, "reliable" as a spender on label-gear.

On the other hand, if you can easily afford what has been requested, I think I'd go along with what Jane suggested and just get them. They are VG wellies, especially for adults who don't grow out of them.

Grannyknot Wed 04-Dec-13 08:24:23

My daughter bought her boyfriend a pair of Hunter wellies because he wanted only those, and they ended up on e-bay, for exactly the reason Stansgran mentions above. Lessons learnt all round.

Atqui Wed 04-Dec-13 08:37:58

The Hunter wellies are very soft and pliable, but a ridiculous price for toddlers.....I was tempted to buy them for my GD as parents have hunters and some boots are very rigid for small people . M and S have some which are almost identical except of course for the label!!!
I would be honest and tell her they are too expensive !!

Brendawymms Wed 04-Dec-13 08:39:50

We had a lady come into the charity shop with two lovely dolls in their boxes, obviously new, plus two shoe boxes of wonderful knitted clothes for them. She explained that she had just spoken to her DiL who informed her that the dolls would not be suitable for the DGD's for Xmas as they did not like that sort of thing. The dear lady bought it to us to sell. She was clearly upset. What is it with some people that a, they can be so unkind and b, that a 'name' is more important than love.

thatbags Wed 04-Dec-13 09:24:58

Were they Barbie dolls by any chance?

thatbags Wed 04-Dec-13 09:25:43

Just asking because not everyone thinks they are lovely.

Brendawymms Wed 04-Dec-13 09:27:24

No they were, what I would call, traditional dolls about 15" tall.

Aka Wed 04-Dec-13 09:50:35

That is sad Brenda especially when she'd taken the time to knit clothes for the dolls. Some people are keedless of the feelings of others aren't they?

thatbags Wed 04-Dec-13 09:52:37

That does seem a shame then, brenda, but if the kids they were intended for "didn't like that sort of thing", it's not totally unreasonable to refuse them. Possibly kinder to accept them and then make them disappear fairly quickly though.

Eloethan Wed 04-Dec-13 09:57:30

susieq I suppose the thing is, even if you can afford them, you see it as a waste of money, which I do too. I also think it's a bit cheeky to ask someone to pay £40 for a pair of boots. However, I'd probably be inclined just to buy them, rather than cause any possible ill feeling about it.

When the opportunity arises at a later date - perhaps when having a conversation about fashion/clothing, etc. - I'd casually mention my own views about the buying of fashion labels for children. Branding is a way of indoctrinating children and preparing the ground for them to be loyal consumers. Research has shown that children who are too young to read can still recognise several brands.

Grannyknot Wed 04-Dec-13 10:01:41

There's being right, and then there's doing right.

My daughter was very tomboyish and as a little girl, she would give all her dolls away. Even ones that her grandparents gave her. At the time I didn't stop her, and now she asks me why I didn't!

annodomini Wed 04-Dec-13 10:02:40

I didn't know they made Hunter wellies for toddlers. It's bad enough having to pay that kind of money for well-fitting shoes, but that's a necessity. Posh wellies aren't essential to keep their feet warm and dry.

kittylester Wed 04-Dec-13 10:07:30

I'd buy some really 'awful' Peppa Pig, In The Night Garden wellies as the child would probably prefer those to 'smart' Hunter Wellies.

Children are well known for having no taste. I constantly remind my daughters of the pink and purple, flounced ra-ra skirt that they all adored (and insisted on wearing when I took them out blush) until they became more discerning. grin

ninathenana Wed 04-Dec-13 10:07:57

Ridiculous price to pay for something she's going to grow out of PDQ.

A sad story about the lady and the dolls. Is it just me then that consults with parents over what to buy DGC ?? I always ask for ideas and inform DD what I'm buying so that other grandparents or mum n dad don't duplicate.

vegasmags Wed 04-Dec-13 10:14:43

It's not about the wellingtons, it's about the perceived difference in values. I thought it was interesting that the DIL was thought of as joining 'our' family, but of course the DS has also joined 'their' family. I have faced similar problems over the years in my own family and have resolved this by reminding myself (many times over) of exactly what is my role and responsibility as a grandparent. I have come to the conclusion that this consists of helping out the parents whenever I can - babysitting and the like - and continuing to give my DGS the message that I love him dearly and think he is a great little chap. It is not part of my role to educate or re-educate the parents. For example, my DS and DIL are terribly houseproud, so that all toys must stay in my DGS's room and a mess must not be made. I am not at all bothered about those things, and of course I have a view about their attitude, which I keep strictly to myself. When at my house, my DGS realises that the 'rules' are a bit different, and of course their is no parental objection to making a mess in my house! I think you can only influence by example, quietly and in the background.

ninathenana Wed 04-Dec-13 10:16:07

Eloethan My DGS is one of those that at 4 can recognise several brand names. In fact he can recognise supermarket staff uniforms too., and a domino pizza delivery man when we passed him in the street ! Not something for DD to be proud of in my opinion sad

annodomini Wed 04-Dec-13 10:38:05

I have a very thoughtful DiL whom I usually ask what I should get for the children. Her own parents, who are more affluent, buy more expensive gifts and I don't in the least resent this. One present I sent GD, which proved the most successful ever, was a set of fabric pens and two plain white tee shirts. I chose that one myself because I happened to see the pens in Lidl and then ordered the tops from Ebay. The children are brought up not to set much store by labels and have always had second-hand bikes - often from Ebay.

ginny Wed 04-Dec-13 11:40:40

My DD1 who is divorced dresses DGS in clothes from various shops and supermarkets. Her ex keeps a whole wardrobe for DGS to wear when he is with him as he has to wear 'labels.' Dgs has actually said that he prefers his 'home' clothes as they are more comfortable. He likes to help choose his clothes but is not bothered where they come from.

grannyactivist Wed 04-Dec-13 13:30:59

Having now got two sons my daughter is prepared to spend more on clothes etc. for the older one because she feels she'll be getting value for money as they'll be passed down to the younger one.
I have a budget for children and grandchildren, so I always say what the amount is and ask if there's something particular needed. My daughter tells me what she and the children would like and that's what I buy. Recently she told me what I might buy for my son in law for Christmas, but my husband has taken charge of buying that particular gift and gently asserted his right to choose for himself.
I think in your shoes suzieq I would bite the bullet and buy what you've been asked for this year, but be prepared for next year so that you can say you've already bought gifts when the subject is broached.

TriciaF Wed 04-Dec-13 16:41:17

This is a problem I chicken out of - just send the parents some money (for the children".)
They're scattered all over the world, so it's too complicated to send personal presents.

lucyinthesky Wed 04-Dec-13 16:53:51

I hate wasting money on clothes or toys that DGS will not be using so now I always ask DD what she would like me to buy him. For Xmas its a Little Tykes car which cost £50. That's enough.

Hunter wellies? No, just no. If they want those for him, give them the money to buy them and tell them they aren't a Grannie Xmas gift as he won't know any different and give a small appropriate toy or book from you, or even money for a children's savings account, if they have one.

Good luck!