Raising children is expensive, we all know this. Even before they're born, we spend hundreds of pounds on prams, car seats, sleeping paraphernalia, feeding equipment, clothes, nappies...the list is endless.
And as they grow, there is a never-ending need for something, whether it be new shoes, a bigger car seat or a life-size model of Roary the Racing Car (which is definitely something that Mini needs rather than merely desires).
Toys, books, games and days out can also be hugely expensive; but does entertaining our children really need to cost that much?
I ask this because, just recently, Mini's favourite thing to do has been "building a party garden". Essentially, this generally involves digging up some mud from the borders in the garden, pouring it into a bucket or cup, and then making a sandcastle from it, or a mudcastle, I suppose.
It doesn't look like the most exciting pastime ever created - I've watched for hours and never felt compelled to join in. Mini, however, is fascinated, amused, entertained. Above all, she is quiet. And it costs us nothing. She has not asked us to buy her plants or seeds to put in her "party garden", nor has she requested any specialist equipment. In fact, she mostly uses a cup from an old flask and a bucket that she got for Easter last year.
I'm fascinated by her interest in such a simple activity and have to ask if anyone has a similar story?