With kids it's like you're always putting your hand in your pocket for something.
It's not just the cost of keeping them in nappies, formula, clothes and food. Even bringing them home is expensive, what with car capsule, cot, highchair and pig pen.
But the biggest expense is TOYS! The money we've blown on plastic junk! And I really don't know why when up to the age of eighteen months the only things they consistently want to play with are car keys and all the cards and stuff in a purse: presumably because they know how expensive and painful it is to replace them.
And we haven't even touched on cost of the stuff the kids break.
In the ten years before I had our five little grommets I made not one claim on my insurance. In the nine years since I've had them I've made eight, the last one being for a laptop they pulled off the table. You might think eight claims is a lot, but there would be triple that of things we could claim for but chose not to so we didn't blow out our premiums.
But it's the little things they destroy which can add up to big dollars. Like last Monday when my five and two year olds got hold of a permanent marker and went looking for things to write their names on, like they were claiming dibs on what was theirs in the event Tracey and I pass away before the others got all the good stuff. Fortunately I caught them before they'd moved on from their lunch boxes because there was still a lot of ink left in that pen. If they'd made it into the lounge room they could have made a real nice mess of the leather lounge or cabinets.
Which still wouldn't rate a mention against the stuff I wrecked growing up.
I was a bit of a poster child for this sort of thing when I was a young sprog. My hammer feats as an adult are well documented and may, in fact, stem from trouble I had as a child. Legend goes, I found a hammer while my parents were busy moving furniture into their new home. Despite this being a new home, there was a disappointing lack of nails and wood lying around so I did the next best thing - I walked around the house chipping the corners off the bricks at my chest level. The whole way round the house.
You can imagine the praise my efforts earnt me when my folks discovered what I was doing. Yep, my ass is still sore and to this day all common sense and logic seem to evaporate the moment I hold a hammer in my hand (Tracey's assertion, not mine).
So don't let your kids near tools, is what I'm sensibly saying here. Forget worrying about them losing a finger, they might do serious damage to your stuff!
Scissors are another thing they can wreck your stuff with. I don't like to see scissors in my kids hands ever.
We keep our scissors behind stuff in the highest cupboard in the kitchen and don't let them see where we get them from. They might start with the A4 sheets of paper we have in their craft box, but without supervision (proper mummy supervision, not the way I administer it) they'd soon be into books, clothes, hair and sheets, and that could get expensive.
Or they could cut out the middle man, as the young child of a friend of ours did yesterday.
Their kid got hold of both a pair of scissors and their mum's purse. You might imagine the little bits of kaos that ensued.
Last I heard they were still looking for the other half of a fifty dollar note.
Fifty dollars. Phooey! Their child's attempt at havoc is amateurish at best. Fifty bucks wouldn't have covered the call out fee for the tradesman to fix my parents' bricks, and that was forty years ago. One day I'll tell you about the time I painted their car. I gave it racing stripes and a number like Herbie :)
I figured everybody loves Herbie. Turns out I was wrong.