At that time I shall pass all parental responsibility onto my husband. Which will mean they'll probably spend the majority of their teenage years down the pub.
Buying presents for girls and for boys
So I rarely wish I had daughters, but the one time I do is at Christmas. Buying for my nieces is a doddle. Cheap jewellery, glittery nail varnish, copious sparkly bags; clothes, clothes and more clothes. Total heaven. I could shop for them forever and never get bored. And it can still be cheap(ish).
But with boys, it's seems so much harder and more expensive.
When is the right age to buy Apple products?
Once you've exhausted the Lego, the Trash Packs and the Nerf guns, then there isn't much else before you leap into the world of Apple, Xbox and PSP. Which I was determined to avoid until they had hit puberty. But I buckled last year and got our eldest a mini iPad for Christmas.
It was against all my better judgement but he was the only one in his class not to have one. And the look of joy on his face when he opened it was incredible. I think we were both crying.
His brother, though, is only 7. In my mind he's still a baby and therefore not qualified to have an iPad. However, all his friends seem to have the full range of Apple hardware, so he has threatened to call social services and report me for child cruelty if he doesn't have one before he's 10. I've told him I will take that risk.
All I want for Christmas is...
So each year there is a slight feeling of dread when I receive their Father Christmas Wish List. What will be on it? Will it break the bank? Does it even exist?
In the past, my youngest has asked for (in no particular order):
1) HAL, the computer in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. No idea how he even knows about that film, and it was hard to explain that actually it doesn't exist.
2) A polar bear. The real thing, not a stuffed toy.
3) A Bugatti. The Veyron model as apparently nothing else will do. Again, not a toy version but the real thing.
So I was pleasantly surprised by the much more manageable requests we had this year, particularly from my youngest. A bear (stuffed, not real), a Nerf gun (seriously, how many do they need?) and a Minecraft pig (didn't even know what this was, but luckily Google does).
Last minute shopping required?
I was feeling proud of this new and frugal son. That was, until I took him to get his hair cut and happened to pick up the conversation he had with the barber:
Question: "So what do you want for Christmas this year?"
Answer: "A bike. The one I have is too small so I need a big one."
At this point I've fallen off my chair. He has never mentioned that he wants a bike for Christmas, and I'm pretty sure I've run out of shopping days with just a week to go. But, also, he can't actually ride a bike.
Slightly panicking about how I'm going to manage his expectations (the year he didn't get HAL was a pretty bad one), I quizzed him as soon as we left the barbers:
"Oh no, I don't really want a bike. I only said that because I thought he was quite old and wouldn't know what a Nerf gun was."
Huge sigh of relief, both from me and the bank balance.
Happy Christmas everyone.
Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director