Three Kids: The new status symbol


Several things struck me while reading Pamela Paul's child-rearing article in The Washington Post: (a) Children are expensive; and (b) some people spend $13K on diaper bags. But, hey, some people spend the same amount on NBA season tickets, which is no bargain either.

Ms. Paul, the author of "Parenting Inc.: How We Are Sold on $800 Strollers, Fetal Education, Baby Sign Language, Sleeping Coaches, Toddler Couture, and Diaper Wipe Warmers -- and What It Means for Our Children" (a book you don't have to read because the title literally says it all) makes the point that people are not having three or more children these days because they just can't afford it. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average American child costs approximately $204,060 to clothe, shelter, entertain and educate from birth to age 18. And then there's the wedding.