Some of you have probably encountered a similar situation so I’m hoping I can get a little feedback. Tomorrow is the BBQ/baby shower for daughter A’s new baby due in August. It’s also a graduation party for her husband D. A has a 4 year old son from her first marriage. The invitations to this shindig, from the Ex (dun Dun DUN!) and my SIL include a note that if the guest is bringing a shower gift they might consider bringing a little something for big brother. Okay, I’ve seen that done before, especially with really young kids who don’t understand the whys of gift giving and receiving. While no one ever practiced this in my family when I was a kid, I wasn’t against the idea in principle. However, when I raised it with Hubs he disagreed.
He’s a few years older than SIL and when they were growing up his family did practice this. When it was SIL’s birthday, Hubs would also get gifts. And vice versa. He explained that it was confusing to him when he was a kid. It sent a mixed message because when he received gifts on his sister’s birthday he didn’t understand that it was her special day, nor why she got all the attention (i.e., cake, candles). And when she got gifts on his birthday he felt like his special day wasn’t really special because he had to share it.
I haven’t given a lot of thought to the details of bringing gifts for siblings when there’s a new baby, but it occurs to me that you wouldn’t normally bring gifts for all the children ad infinitum. Why would anyone keep gifting the non-birthday child past an age where the child can understand that everyone has their own special day? Well, unless you have money to burn. Or maybe you’ve figured out a way to take it as a tax write-off. Hubs made a good point because apparently in his family they did, at least for awhile.
So. If we bring a gift tomorrow for the four year old are we setting a precedent for what will be expected in the future? On our new little granddaughter’s first birthday, will we be requested to bring a gift for big brother? When will it end?
I’ve come to the conclusion that Hubs is right (don’t tell him ‘k?); we won’t be taking a gift for N. Our grandson is a fairly mature four. I think he is probably old enough to “get it” that tomorrow is not about him. In addition, the gifts his mom will be opening “for little sister” aren’t likely to be things he’ll be that interested in: diapers, baby wipes, onesies, receiving blankets, bibs, “girly” clothes, etc. I suppose there might be some toys that would catch his attention briefly, but I doubt that would last more than a few moments. Plus? He’s going to clean up in the gift department. His maternal grandma (the Ex) will load him up. SIL will shower him. Even my bestest friend is going to bring him something. I don’t think he’s going home empty handed.
My preference is to wait for his next birthday and make sure he knows it’s HIS SPECIAL DAY. Thank goodness little sister will only be a few months old because I’m not about to take her a gift on HIS day.
What say you peeps? Do you have an opinion on this? Have you been in a similar pickle? How’d you handle it?