Being a parent is expensive.
Especially when your child has caught onto the latest fad.
When something – whether it be an action figure, TV show or even a type of food – is temporarily in fashion, it drives people into a frenzy as they try to get hold of it.
We all had them, every generation something new.
Maybe yours was the Cabbage Patch doll which came with a birth certificate but in reality was just an over-priced stuffed toy.
Or the Slinky, the spring toy that could walk down the stairs.
The advert on the TV made it look amazing but after seeing it walk down the stairs 10 times it became dull.
When I was really little it was anything to do with Thomas the Tank Engine.
Just watching the TV show wasn’t enough. I wanted the Thomas train set and the videos too.
Later it was all about those round circular discs called POGS.
I remember visiting 10 separate newsagents around Portsmouth and every one had sold out of this new craze.
Eventually they got banned from the school playground because they would cause arguments amongst the pupils and, like the rest of the world, I got bored of them and moved onto something new.
Of course, at this time I was just a child and my weekly income would come courtesy of mum and dad.
Saturday morning would arrive and so would my £2 pocket money and over to the shops I would go.
But now I’m the dad and as far as I know my daughter Caitlin has yet to find employment.
So responsibility for funding the latest fad now falls on me and her mum.
First it was Barney. She’d only pay attention to the TV when the big purple dinosaur was on it.
So to reward good behaviour, I would pick up some Barney-related merchandise every so often.
And as friends and family learned of her love for the TV character they would also drop by with a bowl, cup or DVD, all starring Barney.
The contents of Caitlin’s toy box has now changed in colour from purple to pink as she’s forgotten about Barney and loves Peppa Pig.
She’s eating her dinner from a Peppa plate, brushing her teeth with Peppa toothpaste and falling asleep under a Peppa duvet.
How long this fad will last for is anyone’s guess but Caitlin has a baby sister and her first fad is probably only a few months away.
I’m hoping that my youngest daughter Alyssa will be happy for the contents of her toy box to start off as a shade of purple and then move onto pink.
Well, I want to get my money’s worth.