At times it feels like half a full-time job just keeping everybody clothed. The kids’ clothes need to be kept reasonably clean (minor hopeless stains excepted), reasonably whole (almost-invisible holes excepted), about the right size, not too warm and not too cold. As a result there is an almost constant flow of clothes that need buying, name-tagging, washing, hanging, folding, mending, packing, sorting, unpacking.

Ingrid can now wear the same size for over a year, and some warm clothes from last winter still fit this year. Adrian may be able to wear his current gear for about half a year, probably no longer. How easy it is for adults, especially if you’re OK with ignoring the trendiest fashions! I’m not joking when I say that some of my clothes are 10 years old.

It used to be that all of Ingrid’s clothes could be packed away when she outgrew them, to wait for the next baby. Now I regularly have to throw clothes out. Ingrid doesn’t like trousers and greatly prefers tights and leggings, which don’t always survive long when she wears them when playing outside. She also manages to ruin the sleeves on most tops – somehow especially the white ones (which she likes to wear underneath sleeveless dresses) seem to attract paint and other crafts materials.

My shopping list for children’s clothes never gets down to zero. If it isn’t the next size of bodies for Adrian then it’s new socks for Ingrid, or it’s time to buy snowsuits for the winter, or Ingrid’s outgrown her pyjamas, or they need something presentable for Christmas.

I’m very grateful for the existence of Tradera (the Swedish Ebay equivalent). I used to buy new clothes because I was reasonably sure that I could save them for the next kid. But now Ingrid is definitely past the age when I could buy “inheritable” clothes for her. If I try, one of them (or more likely both) will be unhappy with the clothes. I can force Ingrid to wear a snowsuit that she hates, in the hopes that Adrian might be able to use it later, or I can make her happy with a second-hand pink one for less than half the price.