Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Warning to All Future Parents

When the Wife and I began our spirited quest to have kids, and lots of them, a few years ago, we thought we knew what we were getting into. We knew there might be some sleepless nights. We knew there would be some expense involved. We knew there would probably be some irritability at times, but for the most part, I've tried not to let my irritability affect my parenting skills.

Having children is not cheap. There are all sorts of things that you need to have, all of which cost money. Children need clothes, and, since they grow out of one size and into the next size just about every other week, you need to keep buying clothes. That can be expensive.

Children need to eat. Luckily, when our kids were babies, the Wife was able to keep them well fed, but we have had to buy some supplemental baby formula every once in a while, and that stuff is spendy, even if you get the generic stuff, like we do. (Also, here's a little tip for any new parents out there - every time you go to your pediatrician, ask if they have any formula samples. We got several medium sized cans that way. Saved us a lot of money.)

Children need things to do and toys to play with. If you haven't walked through the toy department at Target lately, you should. You will see that all toys, even fairly simple ones designed for babies, are astronomically priced. We have been very lucky that all of our kids' grandparents and several aunts and uncles live nearby. They have a tendency to lavish our kids with so many toys that we haven't had to buy many ourselves. Not everyone is so lucky, though.

We knew about all of the expenses I've written about here. But there was a child-related expense that we never thought about, and it reared its ugly head almost as soon as we brought the Girl home from the hospital 3-and-a-half years ago.

That unexpected expense was: batteries. I hate to even think about how many batteries we have had to buy since we became parents. There's a good chance that even the simplest of toys will require batteries, and all toys are notorious for using up their batteries' juice in a rapid way.
We don't have a Teddy Ruxpin doll at our house, only because I heard he runs on 25 "D" batteries, and we couldn't afford them.

We have a really fun mobile that has hung on our babies' crib since day one, but that stupid thing runs through batteries like nobody's business. It wouldn't be so bad, except it takes eight "D" batteries to run! So, every month or two we have to go out and buy another huge pack of "D" batteries, just for that one mobile.

We have toys that run on pretty much every battery you can think of. Along with the millions of "D"s we have had to buy, we also have toys that run on "C"s, 9-Volts, "AA"s, "AAA"s, and about 4 different types of watch batteries. Why can't all watch batteries be the same?!?! This is a question that I'm sure does not have a good answer.

OK, I will end my rant now. This was very therapeutic for me. Thank you for listening. But, really, I wanted to write this as a warning to all future parents out there. Start saving your money now. Teddy Ruxpin can only run so long on his first set of batteries.

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