Isn't spoiling fun?
SS9 was with us for Christmas this year and it went surprisingly well. He seemed to actually like his gifts. And, to my shock, he told DH he wanted to get a gift specifically for me from him. I was touched that he was so thoughtful.
A few days after Christmas, he went back to BM's for her week. She and her parents usually spend TONS of money on him for holidays -- not to mention the random stuff he gets throughout the year from them. We don't play that game.
I should mention that SS's birthday is less than two weeks after Christmas.
He came back a couple of days ago on his birthday with a new iPad. DH pulled me aside. "You'd think Christmas and birthday would be enough, wouldn't you? Well, that iPad wasn't a birthday or Christmas gift."
It was "just because." And this is on a week when he's already been bombarded with Christmas and birthday gifts from her and her family.
Keep in mind, he had a fully functional, perfectly good iPad already.
DH was livid, but there's nothing we can do. She can do or spend whatever she wants on SS. Her money, her house, etc. DH has tried to talk to her about it before, but she either A) agrees, then goes back to buying copious amounts of crap for him when he asks or starts crying and gets emotional.
He did take a stand on one thing. She started buying him gifts (we're talking $50 a pop) every week he got good behavior reports from school. DH refused to play along because good behavior should be expected, not cause for a generous weekly reward like that. But he said it was her money, let her deal with it and the consequences. I warned DH that it may start to impact us. It did. SS started asking to go to his mom's a day early and crying when the answer was no. Or started crying if he found out the schedule had been shifted slightly to accommodate a trip or something. DH talked to BM. No problems since. Apparently BM told SS that if he talked about the reward at our house, she'd stop doing it. As far as we can tell, it's still going on, though.
Ugh. As I said, we don't play the game. We don't do the one-upping. SS gets gifts at Christmas and birthday and we'll bring him something small when we go on a trip. Otherwise, he doesn't get extra stuff. I know DH is afraid that at some point, SS may start preferring being at his BM's house since she buys him so much stuff and pretty much lets him get away with murder. Hoping we don't get to that point.