Note to the young man soliciting donations

Note to the young man soliciting donations

outside of CVS pharmacy this morning.

I was the mom with the baby in a car seat carrier in one hand and a big bag with diapers in the other hand and the toddler somehow also holding a hand. I smiled but didn’t give any money or listen to your pitch. I’m not even sure what you were collecting for. Just so you know, had you offered to help me carry my purchases to the car, I’d probably have given you some money. Even without knowing anything about your cause. I’m just saying.


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  • Oh, how I loathe the noisy toys.  Never have my my husband or I bought one, but we always seem to get them from relatives/friends.  I think some of my (childless) friends do this to annoy me.  My ploy has been to let the batteries run out and then just shrug my shoulders when the children ask about it.  “Must be broken.  Oh, well.”  Now, people have taken to including extra batteries when they give these gifts.  How very helpful.  Still, I am sticking with my plan and just use the batteries for other things.  I also throw the toys out when I can get away with it (harder now that the children are older).

  • I think it was after child number 3 that I began removing toys shortly after they were unwrapped.    If cousins are around, it’s usually pretty easy to do.    I immediately hide all unopened packages and save them to give away to poor kids at Christmas.    It started as a way to keep clutter down, but I’ve noticed it also keeps fights among the little ones down too.  I know people mean well when they give my kids presents, but when I say they don’t need a blessed thing, I mean it.

  • Cecilia is a big fan of Shaun the Sheep (a British character from the makers of Wallace and Gromit). We got her a stuffed Shaun that bleats when you press his face and shakes when you pull his tail. I don’t mind it and she adores it.

    However, we made a strict rule that Shaun has to sleep downstairs and Cecilia cannot take him to bed primarily out of concern of her hitting his face and waking to a bleating sheep. There is no on/off switch or volume control or even batteries accessible for removal.

    Given the fact Bella already likes this one, you can try to gradually hide it and use the “out of sight, out of mind” technique and then, once she forgets about it, donate it. Simply taking it away she will not understand why she cannot have it anymore.

    If family and friends give you something you don’t want or don’t want your children to have (which I think, in some way, happens to every parent), I’d recommend hiding it from the kids so they don’t beg for it or get attached to it, search online for stores that sell it (or call), and then try to return it for a store credit explaining it was a gift, and then use the store credit towards something you would like them to have.

    What I said you probably already know, but it is what we do.

  • I agree with MommytoCecilia: hide the things you don’t like right away. With this one, be patient for a while, and then it’s likely Bella will gradually find it less and less interesting. In the meantime, you can certainly make it a little hard for her to find it around. She will forget about it eventually.

    For some time we were plagued with a very annoying dog my little girl got for her first birthday – it wouldn’t just sing and name body parts, it would say something even when barely touched by accident! It was so absurd that the silly thing could get kicked and answer with a cheerful “You’re my friend!”  We kept it “off” unless the children really wanted the sound, until the batteries died. Now they barely look at it, and I’m more than ready to get rid of it.

    And by the way, don’t you find that these talking toys usually have truly annoying voices??

  • I am really surprised at this post.  I am assuming Melanie, that you blog under your real name and obviously, this is a publicly accessible blog.  That means, the very person/people who gave your child this gift, could, and perhaps have, read your comments.  Do you think they might be a little embarrassed or even hurt?  Do you think that risking this was truly necessary?
    Now, just because you speak the truth, does not mean you are not being rude and actually downright mean.  Having the right and the ability (i.e. a blog) to speak/write your mind does not mean you should do it.   
    It would clearly be different if you had bought this toy.  But it was given to your child at a party.
    People came to this party to celebrate a beautiful new life and to welcome that new life into God’s grace and the Catholic Church.  They chose a gift for that child.  No matter how much you dislike that gift – they went to the store and spent their time and money choosing a gift.  And you turn around and complain peevishly about that gift.
    And let me say, I agree with you.  I don’t like noisy toys.  In fact, we have that same toy.  And you know what? There are many solutions to the problem of your children receiving gifts you don’t like.  But, one of those solutions is not to publicly complain about that gift…and then to add that you wish people would simply access your amazon wishlist. 
    Keep the toy in the box, and return it to Toys-R-Us.  They will take it without a receipt and give you store credit.  You can buy diapers and sippy cups and art supplies there.
    Or, hide it away.  Pull it out when the kids are having a meltdown.  You’ll be shocked at how quickly they forget about a hidden toy.  It seems like new when you take it out.  Then, when they get bored with it – hide it away again.  I do this. My older kids now know that I do this.  And they look forward to it.  They know I can pull fun stuff out.  They also know it goes away again. Little life lesson there.
    Now if this was an offensive toy like those Bratz things or a dangerous toy – that’s different.  This is a harmless, cute little toy that just bothers you.  Yes, it woke your child up…but don’t put it in her bed for pete’s sake.  Lots of people probably like this toy.  In fact, I’ll be it’s actually on some other people’s amazon wishlists.
    But to expose how much you personally disliked this GIFT where the giver or even other attendees of the party could read it, for no other reason than to vent your spleen is not a very Christian act.

  • Genevieve,

    I find your comment rude and presumptuous. You don’t know me, or my family, the person who gave the gift or any of the circumstances surrounding this story. You upbraid me in public for a presumed offense against a third party whom you do not know. You make numerous assumptions about my intent and the people involved, never giving me the benefit of the doubt but assuming ill will (“venting my spleen”) and thoughtlessness.

    Not that it’s any of your business, but my family,  the people who attended the party, don’t read my blog. At the same time, though, I’m honest and open with them. I’ve never hidden from any of my family my attitude toward noisy toys and have offered many suggestions as to gifts they could give. I don’t mind if my family reads this blog post because I know they will take it in the spirit in which it is meant, a humorous anecdote about my child with a slight barb about an idiosyncratic pet peeve of my own.

    I actually thought of the objections you make and I wrote this post with care, aware that it is in a public forum and I took into account what I know of my family and friends and what they know about me… which are things you can’t possibly know. You don’t seem to have read what I wrote very closely. Some of your objections are issues I addressed directly in the blog post: I said quite clearly that I felt guilty and ungrateful for disliking the toy and that I appreciated the intent behind the gift.

    And in regards to the issue about putting the toy in bed with her, I didn’t. I’m not that dumb!!! She’d been playing with it all day and, in fact, she searched it out at bedtime. We were already at toddler meltdown at that point if we’d tried to remove it.