My friend and I were just talking about how expensive it is to raise a kid, but then I realised also that so many things that entertain Sophie cost very little or nothing.
These are the things that Sophie loves to do around our home and with her playgroup friends:
1. Visiting the French library every weekend with Papa and choosing my books
2. Playing Nintendo with Mummy on Singapore Airlines
(Sophie's flights still costs nothing because she's under 2 years old)
3. Finger painting and playing with washable paint (and playing with the colorful soap bubbles afterwards when you wash it all away)
4. Home-made play dough (flour, salt and water)
5. Petting all our neighbours dogs (Mummy is allergic to their cats)
6. The sandbox at the playground outside
7. The big trampoline with all the older children
8. Jumping in the ball-pit at the indoor playground
And now that we've just spent a week in Singapore, I can add a couple more things
9. Playing at the beach
10. Being in the swimming pool at my parent's home
We are lucky because the condo that we live in has many child-friendly facilities - the indoor and outdoor playgrounds are great fun. My one gripe is the swimming pool. After one week in Singapore with a daily swim in the tropical sunshine, I cannot face the highly chlorinated indoor pools of Beijing without feeling very sorry for myself and Sophie.
On the other hand, Spring is here, and the flowers are starting to sprout on trees. Sophie's birthday party is in May, and I hope the weather will be nice. I think we will invite her playgroup friends on a Saturday morning for an hour, and then at night have dinner with some friends. After going through an all-natural labour, I have decided that children's birthdays should also be about celebrating their mother!!