So it turns out it costs almost £30,000 more to raise a girl than a boy. This latest research from Moneysupermarket will shock absolutely no one with boys and girls in their family. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually far more than that in the long run- and my daughter is only 3.
I will happily and readily admit to spending far more on my daughter's wardrobe than my sons. Why? Because I enjoy it! I get a huge thrill from shopping for her and if I'm honest so does she.
I'm not sure if I've made her this way or if she's naturally a lover of fashion - probably a bit of both.
Even before I had a girl I wanted to buy clothes for one. I would walk longing around children's shops looking at all the trendy, pretty colourful outfits and then trudge dutifully over to the dull boring boys section to pick out clothes for my sons. I took little pleasure in it and remember thinking how similar all the gear was from one season to the next.
It's a rare week that goes by now when I don't buy something for her. Even if it's just socks - or hairbands - I just can't stop myself. Her little face lights up when I come home with shopping bags -asking with delight if it's something for her. I don't shop in expensive places but there is definitely a volume thing going on.
According to these latest figures even at toddler age girls cost nearly 37% more than boys and during childhood female clothing can cost as much as £11,720 - almost double that for sons at just under £5,890.
We are living proof of that statistic. My daughter has 3 winter coats and 8 pairs of shoes ( to match her many outfits obviously!) My boys have 1 winter coat and a pair of trainers each (plus footy boots of course). To be fair they destroy theirs far quicker than she does. Boys stuff is functional and occasionally smart if necessary. Girls is whatever you want it to be. Funky, fun, pretty, trendy, traditional - you name you can find it - and in the cheapest of places.
She loves to choose her own clothes and match up her outfits so they are colour co-ordinated. Some days there are more costume changes than Beyonce at the Super bowl. She is very definite about what she wants to wear at all times. My boys aged 6 and 8 will happily stand there like mannequins waiting for me to choose something for them, or if left to their own devices will opt for the obvious football outfit.
My daughter's love of fashion isn't purely self motivated. She notices everything about my appearance. If I'm wearing something new - she comments. Something pretty I get an oo and an ahhh. A new handbag - she's on it. She even asked me recently if - on about to go out for the evening looking a little scruffy - I was going to get changed?
I just bought her a new bed with a pink star curtain trim. I was so excited I couldn't wait to have it built and show it to her. She even asked me- when I did the big reveal why I looked so happy.
I suspect there is a large part of me that is indulging my own girl fantasies. Am I spoiling her? Maybe a little. But she doesn't demand or even expect it. And she really appreciates what she gets - and if it makes us both happy, then it's a small price to pay.