Monday, April 14, 2008

Financing parenthood

When Daniel was little, his biggest expense was diapers. I think that's the case for a lot of new parents - we all go through a little sticker shock over the cost of diapers and formula. But the phrase "bigger boys have bigger toys" is coming into play now. And what's a mom on a budget to do?

Do we keep up with his frieds and enroll him in some sort of sports program? (Keeping in mind the kid's a klutz - he gets that from me) What about summer camps and programs? He's too old for basic daycare; it's no longer the educational experience it once was. What about music lessons? Pick an instrument - anything but the drums, please.

And then there are the TOY toys. Bikes, scooters, soccer balls. Everyone who knows Daniel knows he loves Thomas the Tank Engine. He's expanded his interests to include anything with wheels - and yes, he can tell HotWheels from the knockoffs. Dad and boy spend hours creating the most amazing things out of Legos - trains, biplanes, big rigs, pirate ships... And let's not forget the movies and cartoons. We're on his second DVD plaver, and it's a little wonky. But hey, we travel a LOT, so I consider that an investment in sanity. Plus, it's a good way for me to watch "Buffy" without exposing Daniel to strange things he won't understand.

But everything is getting more expensive, and between the prices of milk and gas, there's a lot less left over for toys. So at what point do we say "I don't care if all your classmates have a Wii - you're not getting one?"


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