Having children is pretty expensive

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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

THIS WEEK IN 1975: Reunited after 30 years – but only thanks to a kind stranger

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This recession is so gloomy that my one-year-old son is losing sleep over it!

The car has become a close ally when it comes to getting little Jack off to sleep. Like most toddlers he can become a little savage by mid-afternoon when he needs some kip.

I’ve tried gently rocking him at home or treading the streets of Portchester with him in the buggy.

But a jaunt in the old Ford Focus is a surefire way of getting him off to sleep.

With fuel prices soaring daily, the days of going for a drive seem to be coming to an end.

It’s got to the point where taking him for a spin around the block for 10-15 minutes a few times a week costs so much that something else has to give.

Feed the dog or fuel the car for silence?

It’s not the only area where the fiscal pinch is starting to make parents wince either.

I’ve been having an earnest conversation with Molly about her further education.

Some may say that at five she’s a little young to be discussing the finer points of her career path, but I like to be organised and ahead of the game.

She’s made it clear that she wants to go to university and to become a chef, doctor, vet and princess – all of them.

Noble jobs, but the word university has the pound signs reeling in my mind.

At present, universities can charge up to £9,000 a year to study.

Should she decide to take that route, you’ll be looking at close to £50k to get through university.

Where is this money meant to be coming from – the Royal Bank of Dad?

Money men say you should be saving £129 a month from your child’s fifth birthday to pay for the tuition fees alone.

Ironically, that’s exactly how much fuel I have to put in the car to drive my toddler around the streets of Portsmouth to get him off to sleep.

Another area of concern is the wedding.

As two billion people focus their gaze on William and Kate this Friday, many people will be enamoured by the whole occasion and some may even think about their own wedding.

Take Molly for example. She is desperate to become a princess (more like Princess Barbie than Princess Anne) and has inquired about any other princes that may be looking for a potential maiden.

Not quite sure that Prince Harry or, more worryingly, Prince Andrew would be a particularly good fit.

The average cost of a British wedding is £21,000 and I’m constantly being reminded that ‘traditionally’ it’s a father’s job to finance his daughter’s nuptials.

Sadly for Molly, I’ve never been much of a traditionalist.