Thank you all for your words of encouragement for my upcoming trip to fulfill family duty. I figured I'd share this with you because it is part of the reason that started my revelation of how, uh, wonderful the trip will be.
I decided to just do a mass mailing before father's day to make sure I got some gifts off on time. I sent a box to my dad for father's day, a box to my brother with a small thing for his birthday and wrapped presents for my niece whose birthday was last Monday, along with scarves from Istanbul for my SIL and nieces, and a box to my sister with a small present for my BIL whose bday is the first, wrapped presents for my niece's 2nd bday which isn't until July 23rd and then unwrapped items -- hand-me-downs for my young niece and gifts from Turkey (slippers for the girls, scarves for my sister and a big bag of gummi airplanes for my nephew). All knew the boxes were coming and general idea of the contents.
My sister called and said the kids wanted to thank me for their gifts and can we skype. My sister mentioned that since the box was so girl-centric, her DH pulled a toy fire engine out of their stash and stuck it in the box for my nephew so to pretend I gave it to him. I was a bit confused and said "uh, okay" as her older daughter was listening in. So we skype and my older niece (whose bday is in January) holds up a Rapunzel baby doll that was wrapped up for my younger niece's birthday and says "thank you for my doll!"
Long story short, the kids went completely crazy in the box. The only thing I know my young niece got out of the box that was for her was a stuffed Grover. I had sent her the Grover, the Rapunzel doll, a book and a box of some clothes. I waited until the kids were put to bed, asked if they could hear me (no) and then pointed out to my sister that the doll my older niece held up was wrapped up and a present for J, my younger niece, for her birthday.
"Oh, I know," my sister said airily. "It doesn't matter. J doesn't care."
Whatever. But ticked me off. If I had wanted to give it to the older niece, I would have. And also I intended that to be for J's BIRTHDAY which is over a month away. It's not like they didn't have room to stash it. It's not like my sister didn't know the box was coming and what was in there. Not like the presents weren't clearly indicated as girl birthday presents, one with a card under it and there is only ONE birthday for the girls in July. Just irritating. Mental note to hold the presents even if it means they may be late and send them ONLY to my younger niece and stuff nothing else in there. I just can't figure out why she didn't do what she has done in the past -- intercept the box, stash what she needs, dole out what she can.
DD -- 5YO
DS -- 3YO