There's a Christmas party coming up for the kiddies of TLM's daycare, and each family has been asked to contribute a $5 gift, to be presented to their child by Santa.
So, if you have to spend $5 on a gift - no more, no less - then there are two obvious places to try. The first place is the supermarket, because the "good" parents will be giving their healthy offspring the gift of fruit (or something equally virtuous). The other place to shop is among the collection of cut-price shops which deal mainly with el cheapo plastic toys imported from Asia.
If TLM is anything like her mum and dad, then she isn't going to regard a bag of oranges as anything more than an appetiser, so I headed for the el cheapo shops.
The thing is, if you only want to spend $5 then you're kind of limited to stuff that's small, breakable and out of bounds for under-3s. Are toys that are both cheap and safe an oxymoron? Yup. The other difficulty is that the stuff TLM would have liked most - the Elmo and Hello Kitty soft toys and bags - was the most expensive stuff in the shop.
But fear not, I did manage to locate something at the right price and the right lead paint levels. I walked out of the Mr Thank You shop with a set of Hello Kitty magic stickers. TLM can paw them while they're still in their packaging, and once they're stuck to her bedroom walls (they come off too - that's what makes them magic) she won't be able to reach 'em.
I guess that means I can tick the problem-solver box on my CV, eh?