Sunday, September 09, 2007

It’s Not a Wedding Reception, but for Tonight It’ll Do

My daughter just turned five, but from the conversations she’s been initiating these days you’d think she had just turned twenty. Here are some things she’s asked me lately:

“Will you come to my wedding?”
“Can I wear a black dress to my wedding?”
“When I get married will you buy me a necklace, earrings, a ring, and makeup?
“When am I grown up enough to get married?”
“Can I drive you to my new house when I’m grown up?”
“Can I borrow your makeup when I’m grown up?”
“Some day will you give me a diamond? Just the jewel, not a ring.”

Okay, so my neurosis is showing here, but is she preoccupied with marriage and being grownup because her father and I are currently failing at both? And is this an “issue” that needs addressing? If so, how do I address it?

As the hub and I have worked through this separation, we’ve encouraged the kids to be open with us about their feelings. The tricky thing with children is, sometimes they don’t know enough about what they’re feeling and why they’re feeling it to share it with anyone. So we’re seeing separation residue seep out in strange ways. The million-dollar question becomes: which behavior is caused by a pending divorce and which is just typical childhood development? Some argue that it doesn’t really matter which causes it. But as the mother, I’d like to know. Oh, for a live-in Freud. Scratch that. Oh, for a bowl of chocolate ice cream.

But I guess if I’m going to worry about Leah’s recent obsession with marriage (since I’m worrying anyway) I should also worry about this big shindig she’s been planning all weekend. With her birthday over and Christmas an agonizing 4 months away, she’s decided to throw a party, complete with cake, invitations, and a gift-registry. She wanted to hold said party tonight but I explained, “No, Britney Spears is opening the VMA awards and I’ve gotta watch that train wreck.” Of course I didn’t say that, but I did say, “Sweetie, you can’t have a party just to get presents.”

But you know, maybe she’s got the right idea. Not the presents, but the party. The mood around here has been heavy and sad lately. A party with cake, ice cream and noise-makers might cheer us all up, at least for the evening.

So excuse me while I watch Stuart Little 2 and eat popcorn with my kids. We’re not following the itinerary Leah has outlined (in duplicate with a purple Crayola), but it’ll do, at least for now.

[Uhm, by the way, did anyone else realize that Stuart’s “father” is Hugh Laurie from House? Strange, right? Okay, back to the party…]


pinks & blues girls said...

Leah's got spunk! I like that. Seriously, though, I personally wouldn't worry about the marriage obsession. I think every little girl goes through the marriage fascination thing. I know I did. That's why you hear so many bridezillas say, "I've been dreaming of this day since I was a little girl!"

In other news, I hope you DID get to witness the train wreck that was Britney Spears. Yikes. If I was a betting girl, I'd say that about finished her comeback.

Jane, P&B Girls

Anonymous said...

Hay Leah....Grandma wants to come to your party. I will bring the black dress and makeup (maybe I can look slimmer and more glamorous) How funny kids are, their minds going 90 miles a minute. Got to love them!!! I am in my own dream world of South Pacific musical. Love Mom

Rachel said...

I would say that it is good that she is still focused on marriage (the wedding) as a positive thing.
You and your husband sound as if you have built an awesome foundation for your children It may feel a tremor during this separation but ultimately will stay strong.

JaniceNW said...

Hugh Laurie, the blue eyes of hotness and lust? He's my new single obsession because Clooney's dating some 28 yo twinkie and I hate when men date women 18 years younger than themselves and do PDAs at the Venice Film Festival. UGH. Hugh is Dr. House and I LURVE me some Doctor House!! Not because he's so charming and friendly, but because he's damn hot even with a limp!
(What? You expected serious from ME? HA!)

suburbancorrespondent said...

I agree - lots of little girls talk on and on about their weddings and being grown-up. Don't sweat it.

Mama Zen said...

Baby Puppy is four and she is pretending, planning, and talking about her wedding constantly! I wouldn't worry about it.

shauna said...

Phew. I'm feeling better already. Thanks!

my minivan is faster than yours said...

I would be more concerned on whether or not she's role-playing my paying for the wedding!

Mrs. Smith said...

My four year old reasures me that after she moves in with her husband I will still be her mom, even though I won't live with her. My six year old is now repeatedly asking me just how bad it hurts to have a baby. All part of growing up. BTW, I would like to see Hugh Laurie in something where he can use his British accent. I think it's cute.

Alex Elliot said...

I agree with Rachel that I would think it's a positive thing that she focusing on marriage. I used to obsess about my wedding when I was a little girl. In fact for my 5th birthday my parents got me a toy engagement ring because I was so into it. My older son was a ring bearer this past May and has already informed me that he's going to wear sweatpants to his wedding. I don't even touch that one!

Anonymous said...

So glad you decided to kick back and have a party with the kids. It's so nice to just toss aside all the "stuff" that we should be doing and indulge in something childlike - Kaela and Sarah and I played Mother May I in the front yard yesterday, much to my husband's amusement. It's amazing how many humiliating forms of movement my children can devise for me. Should a 44 year old woman attempt to crabwalk? I think not. But it was fun. More fun than the dishes which I ignored.

Shauna, we love you. If you ever want to get away, toss the kids in the van and come see us. Our dirt farm is always graced by your presence. And I think the kids would have fun chasing the chickens.


LikeAstaR said...

THat is a great attitude way to go!

Gustogirl said...

Kate was feeling left out a few months back and she decided to throw a party. I made lemonade and popped some popcorn. Then I put crepe paper all over the swingset. She most of the kids from the neighborhood over to play on the swings! It was fun.

shauna said...

Gustogirl, what a great idea! Leah's still talking about this party of hers. I think I'll make cupcakes, turn on some music, and sponsor a mini-party with the neighbor kids tomorrow.

Shauna Loves Chocolate said...

Don't beat yourself over it. She's trying to make sense of it. Better that she talks about it than shuts down. Take care, sweets.