The realisation hit P when we were travelling back from Brighton. It started off as a whine, a low moan and soon developed into huge, full-blown sobs with salty, wet tears streaking her little doll face.
"I don't want to give you my pounds!" she screamed "Ooooohhhhh, I've only got two pounds and I don't want to give them to you!" she wailed.
"I don't mind," said the generous A "I will give you my money, I can give you P's too if you like?"
They had both wanted a little trinket from the delectable North Laine shops, shops so full of things you would like but rarely need. I don't give them pocket money, but the children seemed to have accumulated a few quid from teeth falling out, the odd 20p interest when I raid their piggy banks for school dinner money and from coins they have found around the house. A has saved up over ten of these elusive pounds (mind you, she has a gappy mouth right now) and P has two gold ones and a bit of shrapnel which includes a euro and a Kenyan shilling.
They wanted their gifts so badly, A a little elephant notebook and P a stuffed house with a tape measure inside, but it was neither a birthday or Christmas and I believe Father Christmas has sorted their stocking already.
"OK, girls you can have them but you need to pay me for them, OK?"
They agreed readily, very pleased with their loot. Except now, P was not pleased at all.
The crying lasted all the way home and reached new levels as we entered the house, A skipping upstairs immediately to give me her money.
"But I..I..I..don't want to give you my pounds, I only have two of them, ooooohhhh it's not fair..." and so it continued. She knew I wasn't going to give in - it was the stuffed house or the two quid little lady.
She did it eventually, it pained her, it cut deep, but she spent her money and has not put the stuffed house down since.
It's called Kerry and I believe will be with her forever. "How can I get two more pounds?" she asked over her Cheerios this morning.
"Ahhh, you'll have to work for it unless your teeth fall out!" I replied.
She took this information very seriously and in between mouthfuls of cereal wobbled those teeth so hard it looks like her money box will have been recuperated by the weekend.