Tuesday, 8 January 2008

We are family - the Parents view

I don't know why, but I always wanted four children. My daughter's latest blog post describes what it was like to have three significantly younger brothers and you will gather that for 11 years we only had one child. Then, like London buses, two came along at once to be followed by a third.

Having the twins was a wonderful experience and as I've written before, a joy not given to many. I've always suspected that the effect on Robin's life was liberating and she confirms that. Suddenly having twins and then another younger child occupied almost all available parental time and attention. The result being that Robin was left pretty much on her own. It is greatly to her credit that she made a jolly good fist of her teenage years without much parental help. Which perhaps goes to show that such help is overrated. As the twins started school they had a role model in the shape of their big sister. They still have this model and there are signs that they have learned some lessons from her.

Now the twins are 20, and Chris approaching 18, they all show the same streak of independence as Robin has always had, and I recognise that they probably get it from me. It is true that the four of them have all now banded together and the generation gap is more apparent than ever. In any sort of contest be it physical, intellectual or financial, I now recognise that I am probably going to lose, unlike my wife, who still seems to think she has a chance of winning.

The BBC news website has a story which estimates that the cost of raising a child is now in excess of £300,000. Given that there has to be some sort of economy of scale for having 2 at once, it would appear to have cost us around £1m to raise our 4. It occurred to my beloved wife some weeks ago that we have been going to Parents Evenings at schools for 27 years. Thus this £1m has been spread over 32 years or so, which means an annual investment of £31,200.

So, in a final paragraph aimed exclusively at my sons, I can now confirm that I am looking forward to not being the universal provider some time, and that I expect some return on this investment that we have made.

And we'd like it soon, please.

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