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Marisa Mackle: The bottom line is babies aren't cheap

Oh God. My baby is gone. Yes, he is no more. He has been replaced by a tiny terror who takes great pleasure in trying to scribble on my ivory-painted walls. Now why did I think it was a good idea to paint my place ivory when I was expecting him? I foolishly had an ivory dream where my baby played peacefully on a cream carpet.

Now, said carpet is covered in every stain from orange juice to red crayon and my beloved mirrored cabinets that I saved long and hard for have so many grubby handprints on them it's overwhelming.

I found Bob the Builder in the fireplace the other day as my son, obviously frustrated by the fact that he can't drown him in the bath, has decided to burn him alive. Barney was thrown unmercifully from the pram not so long ago. All Gary's toys are living in fear. Even poor Tommy the turtle was beheaded yesterday. Nobody is safe.

The crayons have since been assigned to the bin. The well-meaning and, of course, childless friend of mine who donated the crayons should have the pleasure of my child's company along with his crayons in her minimalist chic apartment for at least an hour to understand the trauma she has put me through. Anyway, Gary doesn't need to learn to write or draw, I've decided. He can text or type. It's far less dangerous. I just hope he doesn't grow up to be one of those annoying ppl who wryt lyk dis.


Lots of my pals are having babies around now. Maybe it's a recession thing with people spending more time indoors and entertaining at home. But babies aren't cheap.

However, there are many ways to cut costs when being a mum. First of all, don't buy any toys at all. Keep your purse in your pocket because everyone in the whole world seems to buy you a teddy when your tot arrives. At the last count my son has 27 teddies. There are so many teddies lying around my place it's a wonder I haven't broken my neck tripping over them. I will never think a fluffy teddy is cute again!

And don't buy clothes. The only things you really need are a good warm winter coat and lots of vests and socks. Get everything else from friends. Most people will be only too delighted to declutter by offloading old toys and clothes on you. Trust me.