Friday, March 2, 2012

Love and Marriage and a Baby Carriage? I'll pass.

My daughter, S, slept in our bed until I was about eight months pregnant (roughly the size of a beluga whale) with my second daughter, B. We eventually persuaded her to move into her own bed which was wedged between my side of the bed and the wall. She would start off in her bed every night, but would crawl in between us in the middle of the night. One night, S declared that she would no longer sleep in our room and promptly moved into her own bedroom with her own bed.  Since then, she refuses to sleep in our bed with us, even when she has a nightmare. We couldn't figure out why she went cold turkey on the co-sleeping, but the hub and I were happy to get our bed back.

Now, fast forward about six months later...

One afternoon, while B was napping, S and I were flipping through my wedding album. I told her all about my wedding day. I described how sweet the flowers smelled on that hot summer's day. I told her the flavor of each tier of our wedding cake. I explained all the little traditions performed throughout the ceremony and the reception. I pointed out who was in each picture:

"That's my family from Chicago and Florida."
"That's your daddy's uncle and cousins from Boston." 
"That was mommy and daddy's first dance."
"That's Pops giving a wedding toast."
"Look at how pretty Aunt J and Aunt D look in their bridesmaids' dresses."
"I don't know who that guy wearing the American Flag necktie was, but I'm pretty sure he had a great time."

S said I looked like Cinderella and daddy looked like Prince Charming. After we turned the last page of the album, she flipped back to the first page and looked at all the pictures again. It was one of those moments that I dreamt about when I discovered I was having a baby girl. I pictured myself showing off a younger me in my perfect wedding dress with my hair perfectly styled telling the story of the day I married her daddy. And then, she said something that I had hoped she would say:

"I wish I had a dress like your wedding dress, Mommy."

Fantastic! It WAS a good idea to preserve my wedding dress. 

Me: "Well honey, I still have my dress. It's in a box in the closet. When you get married, you can wear it."
S: "Nah, that's ok. I'm not getting married. (pause) Or having kids either."

Record stopped.

Me: "You're not ever going to get married?"
S: "Nope. B can get married and have kids if she wants to, but I'm not."

Really? You already know you're not going to get married? You're four! Well, that's very progressive and independent of you. In fact, I think that's awesome. You don't have to get married. You can do whatever you want, my lovely daughter. You are only four years old. Why should you feel the need to play into the social norm that a little girl should want to be a bride or a mommy someday? It's not in your scope. You should focus on what you want to be when you grow up. You should focus on becoming an artist. That's what you always say you want to be... that or a rock n' roll chick. Wow! We are so different. When I was four, I'm pretty sure I told my mom that I was going to marry my dad when I grew up. I loved pretending to be a mommy to my dolls. But, you my love, you are different and I am proud that you are not all caught up in the Disney Princess life plan. You will be an artist, painting somewhere in Paris, living a fabulous life. I'll go to your art shows and brag about you to all my friends. Baby, I'm impressed. Good on you!

Still... why not? I'm just curious. Usually little girls your age are pretending to walk down the aisle and exchange their vows with their imaginary fiance. I wonder why you are so certain that you will never meet someone, fall in love,and  make it official. Gasp! Wait. Am I responsible for this decision that you made so early in your life? Did I do something to make you think that being a wife and a mother is not something you would ever consider? I bet I scared you off the whole idea. I know I'm not the ultimate soccer mom or Betty Crocker in the kitchen. I know I am grumpy in the morning before my coffee. When I get upset with you, your sister and your dad, you do realize that I'm just kidding about eating your faces off, right? I live in my pj's. I know it's not glamorous, but it's comfortable. I make sure I wear nice pj's. I do dress up from time to time. I probably shouldn't complain about cleaning toilets or folding laundry as much as I do. It's not THAT bad. It would be better if we had a maid, but it's really not that bad. Do you think I'm bored? Do you think I'm boring?! Do you think my life is not fun and exciting? Oh, but it is! It is fun and exciting in a simple, family, homebody way. Your dad and I are best friends. We always have so much fun together and we love each other very much. I can't imagine my life without him or you or your sister. Please tell me you came up with this decision all on your own and that you have a plan and I didn't do anything to repel you from the married / mothering life style.

NO! This is silly talk. I'm thinking way too much into this. It doesn't matter why you don't want to ever get married or have kids. It's your life. I only request that you do what makes you happy. Married or not, mother or not, I know you will do just that. You are a strong-willed girl and no one can convince you to do anything you don't want to do. So, ok. You don't want to get married or have kids. I'm more than ok with that.  Besides, you're only four and you have plenty of time before any of this even matters. I mean, your father and I have already said you won't be able to date until you're 30 anyway, so why am I even thinking about this?! But, if you ever change your mind about marriage, I would like to be there to witness it. You can wear my dress. I also wouldn't mind being a grandmother in about 35 years or so. Not that I'm placing any pressure on you. 

Oh hell, I've got to know...

Me:  "Why don't you want to get married someday, honey?"
S: "Because husbands fart in bed."

Ah ha! That explains why you don't sleep in our bed anymore! 

S does not like dutch ovens.


  1. wow what a build up!! I laughed for a whole 3 minutes. My dad even came in and asked what was so funny. :):):)

  2. Not ALL OF US fart in bed!!!!!!

  3. So funny. Raising boys, that would be a reason TO sleep in our bed!


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