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Trouble with a nephew

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Smallpotatoes, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    This afternoon, I went to my cousin's 1-year-old daughter's first birthday party.
    I bought her a small gift, a little toy cell phone. Not much, but I thought she might like it.
    Anyway, as she's opening gifts, I bring out my gift to her, put the gift bag on the floor and no sooner does it touch the floor than my 2-year-old nephew take it open it and try to get the toy out of the packaging.
    Now I know because he's 2, he probably doesn't know any better. To him, every button is to push, every door to open and if you tell him no, he'll just ignore you and do it anyway. He tried to get the toy out of the package. Eventually he got his mother to open the package so he could play with it. And this is after several people tried to tell him the toy wasn't his.
    He didn't leave with the toy. My cousin's kid wasn't bothered. She probably didn't even know it was supposed to be hers. No real harm was done, I suppose, but it still bothered me. I didn't buy the gift for him, I bought it for the other kid whose birthday it was. If I wanted him to have it, I would have bought it for him. I know it's not my place to discipline my nephew, but I'm thinking about not getting him anything for Christmas because of this. Am I wrong if I do that?
  2. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    Do you really think your nephew is going to think to himself, 'Wow, Uncle Potatoes didn't get me anything for Christmas because of that business with the cellphone toy, I better clean up my act!'

    He's two. He'll learn. Although with a mother who sounds like a complete dolt, who knows...why would she open the toy for him?

    I don't know why people make one-year-olds 'open' presents at a birthday party anyway, it always agitates the other kids and the birthday kids get all overloaded and hysterical because they just want to chew on the first toy while the moms keep shoving more presents in their faces so dad can get more pictures.
  3. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    Two years old? I don't think he has the ability to make the mental connection between behavior two weeks earlier and punishment on Christmas. So I'm not sure it'd help.
  4. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    21, to answer your question, the kid was saying "Open, open, open..." and wouldn't let up until his mother opened it. At first, she tried to tell him that it wasn't his, to leave it alone, but I guess she realized it was a losing battle.
    I know you have to pick your battles, but if you let the kid win, won't he think he can always win?
    I wanted to yell at her for doing that, but with a lot of people around it didn't seem like a good idea.
    Her older daughter is having a birthday party on Friday. I don't think I'll go.
    And why should I get the kid anything if he's just going to open other people's gifts?
  5. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I know what you're saying. It's annoying as hell when kids do stuff like this, but the little bastard is two. It's not like he's really thinking things through and making a conscious decision to be disruptive.

    If it's any consolation, they can outgrow this kind of stuff. My cousin's kid is 14 now and really well behaved and considerate. He was a tyrant when he was little, causing scenes at any and all kinds of gatherings.

    If it really bothers you this much, probably best to stay away from the kid functions.
  6. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Every word 21 said.
  7. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    I'm going out on a limb and saying there aren't any evensmallerpotatoes running around the house yet. I'd go scorched earth on the kid, and when the parents say "I don't see anything for little Spud!" just look him square in the eyes and say "NO YOU DON'T." Lesson learned.
  8. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    How old is the older daughter? Because if you blow off the birthday of a relative who's old enough to know you, to love you, to want you there because of the actions of someone who's NOT her, that's petty and will come back to haunt you. That's how family rifts begin.

    He's freaking two.
  9. You should have picked him up and shook him.

    Really hard
  10. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    She's 5. I do have other things I could be doing at the time of the party, some work-related things. I could just beg out of it, saying I had to work.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Seriously, man, he's 2 years old. I have three nephews all under the age of 8, in the same family. For the past 8 years, I've watched them bop each other in the head, toss each other over couches, kick each other both accidentally and on purpose, and, yes, steal each other's toys. Particularly the ones at age range 2-3 or so. They are completely, completely self-centered at that age. They continue to be for some time after that, but at least you can begin to reason with them about right and wrong and sharing by age 4 or 5. But 2? It's really, really difficult.

    I don't think the mom's a dolt, either. I think that she probably understands how impulsive 2 year olds can be when they are watching someone else get presents. Again, they are wildly self-centered at that age, and any time they don't get precisely what they want, it's grounds for a nuclear tantrum. That probably goes double when they are overstimulated by a crowd like this. The mom clearly made a judgment that it was better to avoid said nuclear meltdown at this family gathering than to turn it into a teachable moment. You should cut her some slack. Parenting is really, really hard, and it is easy from the outside looking in to demand perfection in every single moment, and develop a zero tolerance mindset when it comes to misbehavior. Please try to see it from the mom's standpoint. I'm sure that when it comes to important things - hitting, touching hot stoves, etc. - she's on top of things.

    Like IJAG said, the quickest way to a family rift that may never, ever heal is to pass judgment on someone's parenting skills, particularly passive-aggressively like this, weeks later.

    I couldn't imagine withholding a present from a 2-year-old because he acted impulsively a few weeks before. I'm not judging you. I'm trying to get you to see it from a more rational point of view.

    P.S. When I go to a birthday party of a young child when there is another young child in the family, as well, I'll often bring a small gift like a coloring book for the non-birthday child, so he/she doesn't feel left out and doesn't feel the need to be jealous and start getting grabby with his/her sibling's presents.
  12. dmc

    dmc Guest

    The trouble is with the mom.
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