We bought a toaster and a new kettle this week. They cost me hundreds of dollars.

When I say "they" I should elaborate a bit. The toaster and kettle were among a host of household items we have suddenly replaced. All up it cost a chunk and left me both bewildered and a little peeved.

Even more so when I considered that when I awoke Saturday morning I was looking forward to a lazy day doing nothing. Definitely not zapping the credit card so fast and furious it threatened to melt.

Let me explain.


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Excitingly, the Boomerang Child and Builder Boy, her partner, managed to buck the national trend and find a way to buy their first home.

Naturally the Bank of Mum and Dad came to the party with a contribution to get them across the line and that was it from us. Or so I thought.

I have since discovered I was not made aware of the Mother-Daughter Law which basically requires mums to give all their existing household stuff to their daughters and get new stuff for themselves.

And somewhere in the fine print it apparently says husbands/dads have to pay for it all.

Naturally this has come as a bit of a shock to me and it would be fair to say there was some serious discussion going on as Mrs P wandered around our little piece of paradise on Saturday morning sorting out what we could give to the kids.

Now don't get me wrong. I am all for giving the kids a kick start. I mean that's what you do, don't you. When I think about it, when No 1 Son bought his place I managed to get together a few bits and bobs from here and there. Tools, that old shelf from the garage. Nana's old couch.

Mrs P even found some long since forgotten pots and pans, plates and kitchen stuff from that cupboard down the bottom on the right. You know the one. It's like the third drawer down from the top. Full of stuff you never use but you keep "just in case".


So I get it. You help out with a few things. But it's a question of how far you go.

I maintain not so far that it ends up costing you even more money and heart palpitations.

Naturally, Mrs P had an opinion. And it seems it's not down to her love for her daughter but more the fault of those governing our nation.

Things are so tough that young people can't afford to buy their own home without some help from the Bank of Mum and Dad, she says. But what many people don't realise is that these kids have to put so much in they often have nothing left over to fit out the house.

That's where mum and dad come in. Again. We can give them some of our own furniture and stuff.

We don't need it. They do, is apparently the line to follow.

I was tempted to trot out the old "we had nothing when we started and used an old beer crate as a table and we did fine" adage but decided I would sound too much like my granddad so I went for the pity angle.

"Well what are we going to use then," I wailed.

"There's nothing wrong with that toaster and kettle and I like my old chair. It's become moulded to my fine physique [ahem] and offers appropriate support and comfort in certain areas I can't see unless I twist round."

"We'll buy new ones," came the firm reply which carried a hint of the "don't mess with me if you still want cuddles" side of my beloved.

So off we trotted to Rip off Merchants Ltd where Mrs P replaced our toaster and kettle for a price equivalent to the gross domestic product of a small Pacific Island nation.

As we headed towards the furniture section of the same outfit to get a new chair my sulking had obviously taken its toll and Mrs P let rip.

"For goodness sake. They were old and battered and we needed new ones anyway. I'm giving them to Boomerang Child." (Obviously she used her real name but the cherub in question will sue me if I use it here).

With that I stuck my nose in the air, turned on my heel and headed in the other direction.

"Now where are you going?" she asked, exasperation breaking through.

"I'm going to buy some new undies," I said, intent on making a point.

"My old ones are old and battered. I'm giving them to Builder Boy."

■ Kevin Page is a teller of tall tales with a firm belief too much serious news gives you frown lines. Feel free to share stories to kevin.page@nzme.co.nz .