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Wow, everything costs a lot of money! Have you noticed? For starters, the price of wine is up – way up – which is a low blow to a mama like me. Crackers are $3.00 or more per box now – yet all the boxes are getting SMALLER! Have you noticed? Cereal, laundry detergent, it’s all the same – the price goes up, while the quantity goes down.

It’s symptomatic of life right here in these United States nowadays – you get less than what you expect. You just do, everywhere you turn. Yet somehow it costs more than you ever dreamed possible.

In the last two weeks our tire blew out on the minivan, the kids all went back to school (a $40 supply fee? $30.00 per month to rent an instrument? $150.00 for a mandatory choir retreat???), Jacob started college, and geez – money just flies out the window.

Obviously we can cut costs by having the kids skip all of these activities. That would save money, right? (Mostly, we do…”No sorry, girls, chess club is $80.00 per kid.  Annalise – after-school yoga is $50 but that is for eight weeks only. We’ll have to skip that. No, Eli – I don’t have $80.00 for you to pre-order a yearbook, not after I’ve just given you $45.00 to buy prom tickets….yes, I know you’re the only kid in America to never have bought a yearbook, but, oh well….”) Still, it leaves me wondering –  in this land of milk and honey and uber-competitiveness…where the free-market reigns king – how do you get your kid ahead if you can’t afford to buy them any skills? Tiger Woods did not become a phenom by hitting golf balls for free in his back yard, you know. Competitive sports cost an arm and a leg, and if you want your kid to play, you have to pay. The youth symphony wants $900 per kid, per season. These skills we are supposed to be instilling in our young people are not just bestowed upon them freely – they cost a fortune! Have you noticed?

So far, in our family, our money’s gone to the oldest kids. The little ones at the end I take to the park. That is why I have so many pictures of my girls frolicking in the wilds, and almost none of my boys. Because we have spent all of our extra money on their extracurricular activities, while the little girls must wait their turn. This fall I thought we might have the extra money to enroll the twins in drama but it was $800 per show, per child. Can you believe that? Who can afford that? Another school offered a one-day a week class for $200 a kid. But when you have multiples, everything multiplies. And, like I said, when you’ve spent more on every box of crackers, on every bottle of wine, on every tank of gas and every loaf of bread – well, you don’t have any extra for drama. Your daily life is dramatic enough!

Obviously the answer nowadays is to have only one child. (Two, maximum). Then, if you are lucky and skilled, you might just stand a fighting chance. Yet even as I type those words, rich politicians want to strip women of their access to birth control and almost all reproductive choice. Right when there are too few jobs, when most people can’t make enough money to scrape by, when most folks can’t attain the education or health care or job prospects they desire and are indeed willing to work for. It’s curious how all of these men are overlooking a simple truth – most women are vastly happier when they have less brood and more money, not the opposite way around. Have you noticed?

I predict soon there will be oodles of babies, and gazillions of wild-eyed, crazed mamas that can’t afford any wine. These poor souls (myself included) will once-again learn to cook everything from scratch because the pre-made stuff is too expensive. We’ll have to home-school our litters of children because all the schools will be private or business-based. We’ll be barefoot, pregnant, and hopefully the weather will be warmer than we could have ever imagined!

My honest opinion is these men won’t actually dig this nifty little scenario they’ve created after a time. Because, after all, their women will have no extra money to color their hair or get their nails done, let alone keep up at the gym. They probably won’t want to have much sex, either, seeing as how they’re pregnant, or nursing, or pregnant, or nursing, or, oh yes – pregnant again! These modern-day women will parade through their days as docile and doe-like as the women of yore – you know, those ones who fought to the death for voting rights, birth control, reproductive choice, and equal pay?

Has anyone noticed that the polar ice caps are melting at a rate never before chronicled? Has anyone besides me noticed that having lots of children is incredibly time-consuming, product-consuming, and expensive? That children raised without skills, without science, without health care are not all that great to be around? That one day we’re going to have grown people wandering around this country wondering why airplane windows don’t open, why certain roads can only be driven on by people who can afford them, why the NFL won’t pay their refs even as they sit atop a mountain of money blacking out home games to people who can’t afford to attend in person and charging upwards of $250.00 for a mere mesh replica jersey that was made overseas for a pittance?

Oh, forgive me, I guess you haven’t noticed….

No worries, though…good times are ahead, indeed! Be sure to vote….let’s get this party started already!