The InLaws Are Coming! The InLaws Are Coming!

June 18, 2008

Yup, the inlaws are staying over this weekend because we’re all attending a family member’s wedding. Believe it or not, it’s not MIL’s presence that I’m dreading. It’s BIL and his wife.

Last Christmas, I bought their then 2 year old twin boys presents that were designed for kids 18 - 36 months. Upon receiving the gift, SIL threw a fit saying that the toys were not age appropriate for her boys and that they would not be allowed to play with it.


Then earlier this month, the twins celebrated their 3rd birthday. To be on the safe side, we decided to get them gift certificates to Toys R Us. Know what they said? “What, you couldn’t have gotten them actual gifts?” I’m not kidding. Talk about ungrateful. Later, DH asked me if I thought we should take the gift certificate and get the boys a gift. My first reaction was, “No way.” As far as I was concerned, the gift certificate was the gift and if they don’t want it, then they don’t get anything.

However, now that I think about it, I feel sorry for the kids. It’s not their fault that their parents are rude, right? I’ve never been very close to BIL & SIL and unfortunately, it’s spilled over to their kids. As much as I try, I just don’t feel like they’re family . . . to me they’re more like acquaintances. How sad.

Anyway, if you were in my shoes you go out and get the boys a gift?

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Aloha from Kim, Jennifer H., UptakeInOH, Ginny, Pamela, AreWeThereYetMom, Suzanne Bastien, Willow, Dee, Amy, Rach (Heart of Rachel), Channah, Muthering Heights, Maisie, Amy, Baby Girl Names, Diana/sunshine, Andrea, Tamy, Kelleythejewelrylady, Yoshi, Nancy - Lessons Learned on the Farm, Briggie, Christina W., Renee, Jill, LuAnn, Naomi, Mannequin, Lissete, Alyson @ 3 Ps in a Pod, Barbara Baker, Dawn, Maria, Jacki, Cathi, Tonya, Summer, Jane, Happyathome, Witchypoo, and Aileen

43 Comments on “The InLaws Are Coming! The InLaws Are Coming!”

June 18, 2008
11:29 pm

aileen said:

yes, i think so. maybe u could ask the boys first what they want. just to play safe about getting good choices.

June 19, 2008
12:35 am

witchypoo said:

Uh uh. But I would be sure to explain the gift certificate was to avoid giving gifts that SIL disapproved of.
She sounds like a total dillweed.

witchypoo’s last blog post..Sattiday in Maine

June 19, 2008
12:50 am

happyathome said:

I would still go out and buy gifts for the boys, keeping with the age appropriate, and something that makes a lot of noise or cause a lot of clean up!

happyathome’s last blog post..Instant Garden!

June 19, 2008
12:54 am

Jane said:

I’d have some fun and babysit/take the kids to pick out their own gift. If the ILs would let you take them on their own, that is.

Jane’s last blog post..Sea Anemones and Birthdays

June 19, 2008
1:46 am

Summer said:

That is extremely rude of them. I wouldn’t go and get an actual present. I would explain to her that since she threw a fit about the toys being inappropriate last time, you wanted to be on the safe side. Of course I might not phrase it quite that way when actually speaking to her. :)
Summer’s last blog post..School’s out

June 19, 2008
2:22 am

tonya said:

It is sad for the kids but it sounds like the SIL and BIL can’t be pleased since you bought a present last year and it wasn’t “appropriate”…..
I agree with another poster if you could take the kids shopping or ask them what they want - but I definitely wouldn’t ask SIL what she wants them to have and I would probably just let the whole thing go.

June 19, 2008
2:42 am

Cathi said:

Absolutely not!!!!!
You bought them wonderful gifts.
Kailani, you do not need the stress of crappy people free-loading in your home and being around your babies.
Get them a MOTEL.

Cathi’s last blog post..Sunday Blessings

June 19, 2008
2:47 am

Cathi said:

and one more thing…
These people need to know that they cannot treat you and your family as they have been. Do not let them stay in your home. You will be miserable.
Sorry, I don’t mean to sound like a crabby old lady but I am serious.

Cathi’s last blog post..Sunday Blessings

June 19, 2008
2:52 am

Jacki said:

I do not think I’d get them a gift for fear that their parents would find something wrong with it. Give them savings bonds.

Jacki’s last blog post..Dear Bloggy Friends

June 19, 2008
3:06 am

maria said:

My mantra for life is “Kill them with kindness”. So yes, even if it’s something small, and if it’s noisy it will bug the ILs, so it’s a win win

June 19, 2008
3:40 am

Dawn said:

Don’t bother…it’s not worth it. Next time instead of trying to please the parents (which will NEVER happen I am walking proof) just get something you think the kids will like…they are old enough now, that when they open it and love it…Mom will be unable to “take it away”….
I have crazy in laws like that too…God help us all.

Dawn’s last blog post..Away he goes…again

June 19, 2008
3:44 am

Barbara Baker said:

Wow…it sounds like my family (only a wee bit different).

For my neices and nephews birthdays, my mother will go to Dillards and foleys to shop for the latest fasions…for my kids; no such luck, we get the hand me down clothes from the others. Not that I hate hand me downs because we are happy to take them, but to get them as gifts on your birthday is not good.

I see where you are coming from and wish you the best of luck.

June 19, 2008
3:44 am

Alyson @ 3 Ps in a Pod said:

Boy, you are not kidding. Talk about r*u*d*e. Ugh. People like that need to go to doggie obedience

As for if I would go buy something for the kids with the gift card, uh, no. The gift card WAS the gift and the time before you had been burnt when you bought a gift. No, I’d let sleeping dogs lie. And as for the little boys, they are 3 and I am sure they have other toys. They will be fine. Not to worry.

Alyson @ 3 Ps in a Pod’s last blog post..Haul it Up!

June 19, 2008
3:48 am

Lissete said:

I don’t generally reward rudeness. But as sickenly sweet as possible I would have said something like “Oh sweety, I’m so sorry that this doesn’t seem acceptable to you either. I figured since you did not appreciate the last gift, that you would prefer this instead. I’m devastated that this doesn’t please you either. I will definitely try harder next time” And if possible squeeze out a tear or two! Oh, and I would try to have as many people within earshot as possible. ;)
Lissete’s last blog post..Rambling on…

June 19, 2008
3:50 am

mannequin said:

well I suppose I am in the minority here because I WOULD get them a gift (with the gift card, of course). They ARE just kids and NO, they can’t help it that their parents are rude. BUT, when I presented them with the gifts, I would make a subtle innuendo such as “I’m sorry, I thought sure they would take you and let you run crazy in the store picking out exactly what you wanted. I went ahead and did it since they didn’t get the chance”. I like to throw rudeness back in a subtle, refined manner.

June 19, 2008
3:59 am

Naomi said:

Honestly, I wouldn’t get them gifts unless you’re going to spend any time with them alone. If your in laws are there when you give the kids something, they will probably make some kind of disparaging comment that will make you and your poor nephews feel bad. If you can make the time to take the boys to Toys R Us without their parents, so they could choose how to spend the gift certificates, that would be cool, too. Although I can’t imagine your SIL would let you take her precious boys anywhere… sheesh. Poor kids.

Naomi’s last blog post..My sicko husband

June 19, 2008
4:03 am

LuAnn said:

I feel sorry for the boys. Their parents are rude and are bad examples. You are under no obligation whatsoever to go and get them an “actual” present. If you wind up getting them one anyway, I would mention something to the SIL (especially) … she cannot go on like that.

LuAnn’s last blog post..Mama Mondays: Begin

June 19, 2008
4:25 am

Jill said:

I like the idea Jane gave above… taking them to TrU to pick out a toy using their gift cards. It might give you a chance to bond with them a little bit…. Or it could be a total nightmare because kids + toy store… um… on second thought just let SIL take them! Gift cards are a perfectly acceptable gift, and if the issue comes up in conversation, I wouldn’t be afraid to mention that since you struck out at Christmas you thought they/she would be better off picking out something themselves. She sounds horrible!

Jill’s last blog post..Hiding in plain sight

June 19, 2008
5:26 am

Renee said:

NO! If SIL wants to make a stink about it you can politely say that since she was so upset with your gift choice for when they turned two and you obiviously have no idea what to buy for BOYS you felt that the gift certificate allowing them to choose for themselves was a good choice. However, if SIL really feels like this you can just opt to get nothing.
There is nothing that you can do that will make this woman happy. Don’t fret over it, she obiviously doesn’t want to be happy.

What you should do is hop the next plane to CO and come stay with me! Bring the girls and leave your hubby to deal with his family.

Renee’s last blog post..STRESS! As if I needed any more.

June 19, 2008
6:06 am

Christina W. said:

I’m with Jane. Make an excursion out of gift-giving with your nephews. There are two major benefits to this: It will make you feel closer to them, and vice versa, (after all someone needs to teach them how to be polite!) and if they are holding the gifts in hand, it’s harder to take it away. (Even if SIL does, she ends up being the bad guy, not cool Aunt Kailani.) As to crappy in-laws, well, it happens to the best of us. I like to call my good IL’s after a bad visit and thank them for being wonderful and nothing like my erstwhile guests!

Christina W.’s last blog post..Campaign smearing

June 19, 2008
6:07 am

Briggie said:

My dad used to take my kids out for lunch on their birthday and then would take them to Toys R Us and let them pick something out. I would give me dad ideas about what was NOT appropriate and everything went well.

The other option would be to ask SIL for ideas or suggestions then you can take it from there using her input as a guideline.

I would really suggest starting a prayer chain for her asking God to break away the anger and hatred in her heart. Is it possible she is envious/jealous of you and your family? Something is going on there, ask God to show you what it is and how to handle it.

God bless you,

Briggie’s last blog post..Prayer Request for Shorty

June 19, 2008
6:07 am

Nancy - Lessons Learned on the Farm said:

I think it’s really hard to buy for someone that you don’t really know very well. I’d probably email and ask for some gift suggestions. Maybe you could even get her to give you the exact links to Amazon or whatever to be on the safe side. :O)

June 19, 2008
6:37 am

yoshi said:

GC’s are the catchall gifts. They’re not advised to use as gifts, because they say “it doesn’t seem like you spent that much time on getting the gift” but you know what, sometimes you’ve spent about 50 hours trying to figure out what to get and finally you say, “ugh, i don’t know what they want, i’ll have to let them decide.”

keep giving the GC’s. because that way they always get what they want. If not, then people need to fill out xmas/birthday registries.

yoshi’s last blog post..Stamp prices up Monday

June 19, 2008
6:52 am

kelleythejewelrylady said:

OMG! I must be the only rotten reader in your whole bunch. Tell them to take that rude, weak crap and leave it at the door. What an example to set for you kids.
These gifts are NOT for the parent. As long as you are not buying them gun or porn for pete sake- what does it matter?
Kids like presents, kids like toys, books…. ( I dont think my son has met a toy he did not like)

Can you take the boys and your gift certificate ALONE and go shopping? Let them get wahtever they want. It could be your bonding time…they get a gift and you can leave Mr&MRs Rude at home.

kelleythejewelrylady’s last blog post..Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

June 19, 2008
9:54 am

Tamy said:

OMG - I think we have the same family! This has been happening to us for about 8 years. I’ve tried it both ways. I have to be honest though the mom in my case has no sense of appropriate for her own child . She would use the gift cards for completely inappropriate items (like CD’s with lyrics that are like a street education in a can, etc…). So ultimately I went back to buying the appropriate gifts for her daughter and ignoring her the mom. It’s not daughter’s fault mom is who she is.

Quite honestly as time went on the rest of the family realized what a @*$%& mom was and started remarking that it was nice that I had kept the daughter’s best interests at heart.

As the daughter is in her mid-teens now, she is seeing her mom for who she is and has thanked me for keeping her best interests at heart.

June 19, 2008
9:57 am

andrea said:

I feel for you - ahhh… relatives.

andrea’s last blog post..Feeling the burn…

June 19, 2008
10:36 am

diana/sunshine said:

wow! that’s unbelievable. where is the appreciation that you got them anythng at all (actual present of gift certificate)?

i would have said something to the parents reminding them that the last present you gave was not wanted or appreciated by them. a gift card would have been an obvious choice.

and i wouldn’t do anything different at this point. i would hope the parents gave the twins the gift cards so they did get something for their birthday. i think more kids nowadays prefer gift cards. they love going to the store and picking out their own toys.

as the kids get older, try to find creative ways to let them know who their aunt and uncle are and how much you guys love them. good luck with the visit.

diana/sunshine’s last blog post..back in the hood

June 19, 2008
10:40 am

Baby Girl Names said:

you shoud ask the boys what they want

June 19, 2008
12:16 pm

Amy said:

Wow, that is unbelievable! Sadly, the boys will probably grow up to have he same behavior. I, personally, would not give them a gift at this point.

A gift comes from the heart and you bought these certificates because you wanted to make sure they received something they would be allowed to play with or use, such as clothes or something.

I know it’s easy for me to say, but I wouldn’t worry about it. Don’t let them make you feel bad for doing a nice thing. God knows your heart!

Maybe one more suggestion is for the next gift ask your SIL for a list of things to choose from. If she is snotty about even that, then I am not sure what I would do. Probably stop buying them anything!

Hang in there girl!

Amy’s last blog post..Friday Already?!!

June 19, 2008
12:33 pm

Maisie said:

Oh my. I’ve been through that with my sister in law, too. She wanted me to give each of her daughter’s a Visa debit card for Christmas so they could buy what they wanted. I did and it cost me an additional $10 fee per card. I wasted $20 just in fees. I regret having done it and should have just given them cash. I was trying to keep the peace with the in-laws, but it just made me mad.

June 19, 2008
1:52 pm

Muthering Heights said:

Ugh! There’s nothing worse than crappy in-laws! If it were me, I would leave the gift certificates alone, and just ask your SIL for suggestions at the next holiday. She can’t get mad if she suggested their gifts!

Muthering Heights’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

June 19, 2008
2:02 pm

Channah said:

If they don’t like the thought, tough. Who taught this SIL manners?

Channah’s last blog post..WW: Aquarium

June 19, 2008
2:58 pm

Rach (Heart of Rachel) said:

A gift is something to be thankful and grateful for. It’s sad that your BIL and his wife doesn’t know this. The fact that they complain about your choice of gift is indeed signs of rudeness.

If I were you, their reactions would greatly discourage me from giving gifts to their children. However, the kids should not suffer because of their parents. Perhaps you can ask them directly to give you some possible gift suggestions for their children. That way you’ll be sure they will not disagree with your choice of gifts.

Rach (Heart of Rachel)’s last blog post..Photo Hunt :: Emotion(s)

June 19, 2008
4:21 pm

amy said:

I wouldn’t go buy them a gift as you did get them a gift. I think that was very thoughtful to get them gift certificates since they were rude about your previous gifts. I know it isn’t the kids fault, however, I don’t know that it would matter if you did go get them a gift–they would probably be ungrateful again!

amy’s last blog post..My birthday

June 19, 2008
4:49 pm

Dee said:

I’ll be thinking of you! Your BIL AND SIL are complete asses! Sounds like they are jealous of you, by their comments.


Dee’s last blog post..Junuary

June 19, 2008
5:09 pm

willow said:

I would NOT give the children another 3rd birthday gift; you already gave the children a gift for their 3rd birthday, it was a ToysRus gift certificate. I would NOT take the children to ToysRus to spend the certificate, their parents are responsible for doing that. From this point forward I would ALWAYS give money in a birthday card with a nicely worded note such as “save this for later or spend it now on something you would like to buy or some lessons you might like to take”. Kids never seem to have enough money to buy a new bike when they want it or to pay for all the of the things they need to take hockey lessons etc… YET, they always do have too many plastic toys. If you give money in the birthday card you will never have to stress about or spend any time figuring out what to give them. It will be easy for you year after year. And, if the parents make any comments that reflects on them, not you. You are a reasonable person, you decide what is reasonable for you to do. No-one gets to judge you and say this is not reasonable. Water off a ducks back, let it roll. Besides, as the kids grow up they will look forward to the 20 dollar bill to put toward their wish list items AND, the nice words you write in the card will be even more important and will help establish and maintain the relationship between you and the children regardless of what the cranky, immature parents think, say or do.
Just my two cents.

I have gone to this rule for myself and you would not believe how FREEING it is! Truely.

June 19, 2008
6:32 pm

Suzanne Bastien said:

My advice… Give them a “gift certificate” from you and your family that says. “A day of fun with us”

Then take them to a fun park, perhaps shopping for a toy they want. Then, they get what they want, and your BIL and SIL can stay away! You can spoil the kids and be the cool aunt and uncle without the negative vibe.

Suzanne Bastien’s last blog post..Weekly Update!

June 19, 2008
9:00 pm

AreWeThereYetMom said:

With my SIL we call each other to find out what the kids want. She’ll talk to my kids, and I’ll talk to hers and then find out who’s buying what or what would be a good gift to give.
because my neices have everything, it’s hard to buy gifts for them, because they don’t need toys or clothes, etc. I’ve even given them McDs gift certificates on top of a smaller gift.

I hope this helps. It does sound so frustrating, and I’d be just as angry at someone who was so ungrateful.

AreWeThereYetMom’s last blog post..Christmas Survey

June 19, 2008
9:21 pm

Pamela said:

don’t know if my first comment went through

I suggested savings bonds —

Just when you think you’ve heard it all — we hear about them again.
It’s more than rudeness… I think mental illness.

Pamela’s last blog post..Fun Monday - Childhood Memories

June 20, 2008
4:26 pm

Ginny said:

Ugh, my MIL sounds like your SIL. Never happy & no problem stating that. I hate rudeness like that!

Ginny’s last blog post..It’s Party Time with Tote and Tee + GIVEAWAY !!!

June 20, 2008
6:04 pm

UptakeInOH said:

The only problem with taking them to buy the gift or asking them to spend the day with you is that the SIL will still find some way to ruin it. She will not allow the twins to go with you (insinuating that she doesn’t trust you with them), or she’ll complain about the gift they choose…..

I agree with the savings bond. My son is now 9 and his sister has been getting them for him for his b-day and Xmas since he was born. He loves keeping track of them and letting us know that he has over $1,000 already. He realizes it may not be his most exciting gift, but he’s already thinking about what he’ll use them for when he’s older. Of course, he says a car.

That way the twins can appreciate you when they are old enough to understand the gift. Plus, it’s not something that will get thrown out or given away eventually, and the SIL should have a hard time complaining. Especially if you sign each card, “This is an investment in your future.”

Naturally, you are going to report back with any drama after they leave, right? As much as they’ll bug you, just keep in mind what sort of entertainment you’ll be able to provide your readers with. That should help you make it through. ;)

June 21, 2008
9:56 am

Jennifer H. said:

First of all, how rude & unappreciative can 2 people be?! PUHLEAZE!!! To answer your question, yes . . . I would still get them something. I’d make it a special ‘event’ for them - take them to Toys R Us and let them pick out what they want using the gift certificates. You really have NO control over whether the BIL & SIL will allow them to play with whatever they pick out, but you can make it a special day and they will love it. Children are smart . . . they’ll eventually figure it out - that their parents are the problem & not you! Our family deals with a similar situation and I always have to remind myself that the child is the one we have to look out for - not ourselves. Hope this helps. Have fun with the IL’s!

Jennifer :-)
Jennifer H.’s last blog post..Friday Couldn’t Get Here Soon Enough

June 21, 2008
11:27 am

Kim said:

Wow. I am completely shocked at how rude and unappreciative your BIL and SIL are. Honestly, though, they sound like the kind of people who refuse to be pleased no matter what. Even if Jesus Christ himself bought their twins a gift, they would still find something to criticize.

What a shame these boys have such dolts as parents.

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