Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh, what to do?

We had a major marriage-related drama in our house today that wore on the whole day, and I'm guessing it will resume tomorrow, because no amicable resolution was reached. No, I'm obviously not talking about my own marriage.

Miriam (3), who has been pretending to be John's (5) wife for the last year and half, today decided she wants to be married to Isaac (7) instead.

John could not be any more distraught if he were actually going through a real divorce. He has been "married" to Miriam since he was three, so pretty much as far back as he can remember. He has been a great "husband" of sorts, such as always sharing things with her, helping her, letting her go first, etc. even if he didn't feel like it because he was trying to be a nice husband. Seriously. They have like 20 "kids" together (stuffed animals), and he knows all their ages, names, and personalities inside out. He has cried for hours about this issue today. Then he got so into it that he started yelling at Miriam, saying: "Why do you want to marry someone else and do wrong and commit fornication?"

Miriam just wants to be married to Isaac now, who so far has been pretending to be her dad. She likes to be a tease and a bit of a rebel, so the drama is only fueling her fire. I was trying to reason with her, as well as John and Isaac, about how this is all just pretend, etc. but John argues that she should not be allowed to pretend doing wrong.

Isaac, sweet as he is, has never met an opportunity to dish it out to John that he didn't embrace wholeheartedly, so trying to reason him into continuing to pretend to be the "father of the bride" has not worked so far.

Solomon is on John's side and is refusing to officiate the wedding. But now John is worried that Isaac and Miriam might get my husband to do it, which I'm sure he won't consent to seeing John's almost-nervous breakdown.

But even if he won't do it, John is offended that Miriam WANTS to marry someone else, even if she isn't able to. I can see his point.

Becky is "off the market" as a wife since she has been "married" to Solomon for several months now, so she can't be a stand-in wife for Isaac.

Where did all this go so terribly wrong???!? And what's the solution? I mean, I have been telling them all along that they were not really married, that it was just pretend, and that in real life you can't (or won't want to) marry your relatives, etc., but I think because they are little they took it a bit more serious than I thought.

I guess it beats the 10 and 12-year olds I see making out in public these days - no joke! Today was my second time witnessing that. The first time I saw it, the mom of one of the kids in question was standing right there, watching as her son, who looked hardly any older than Solomon, and his girlfriend, were walking around the park holding hands and hugging, with another couple of the same age right behind them (their friends, I'm guessing). Even the punked-out and obnoxious-looking older teenagers next to me turned their heads in shock and couldn't believe it. Something tells me that if kids that age act in such a way, they are watching things they shouldn't be on TV, and do not get enough age-appropriate cuddles and affection from their own family at home. Very sad, really.

Which brings me back to the problem on my hands. I am not looking forward to trying to mediate more marriage problems tomorrow. Ideas, anyone?


  1. Now that has got to be the funniest and cutest dilema I have ever heard of! I am sure everything will work out... Maybe Miriam just wants to renew her vows and have another wedding?

  2. I know I shouldn't laugh, but am LOLing over "Committing fornication!"

    I'm a parent of an only child, so I have no idea what to tell you from a parent. As the oldest of 5, my mom used to distract us from the issue to help emotions calm down. If they start playing the marriage game, redirect them to another activity which they find enjoyable.

  3. I think it may be time to put an end to this game. When emotions get this involved it is no longer fun.

    Plus even at this age what are you teaching the kids with this game?

    Your daughter must think it's ok to just walk away from things and not think anything of it.

    This would be a great lesson for all the kids and a great way to end such a game.

  4. That is so cute and so funny! I just love their little imaginations. Hopefully today there will be peace among the new marriages around the house. You need some more girls to make up for this. I do too!!! Poor boys only have 1 to choose from here!! :)


  5. I don't know,I would've have probably never even let them pretend play they were married...there's tons of other things they can pretend to be.JMO.

  6. My 5 year old still claims she is going to marry my 7 year old. It really bothers him. We have tried to tell her a million times she can't marry her brother. She just laughs and says, "I know" and goes about her business. I think it is good that they use marriage in their role playing. It sure does beat playing boyfriend and girlfriend to ten different people. I have actually saw that with my own eyes. That is the ones that worry me.

  7. I think you shouldn't have allowed this to ever go on. And, for a child to even mention fornication is concerning. When he grows up and realize what it means, he'll be upset. You don't have to teach them everything in the Bible until they are old enough to hear and understand it.

    I've never heard of siblings pretending to be married.

  8. I think it's time to end the game. If you don't allow your kids to pretend wrong or pretend sin, then perhaps pretending to marry their siblings wasn't such a good idea since that is not something they can do when they are older. They now see firsthand the horror and pain of divorce, far younger than they ever should have, and in a more personal way than they ever needed to. The game has turned into negative lessons so it's a good time to put an end to it for ALL the children. You could tell them all about their future spouses traits and suggest they start praying for the spouse they will marry for real one day. I always tell my son he doesn't want to marry his sister, he wants to marry a nice girl who loves God/Jesus, works hard, and is pretty (whatever pretty means to him). He was pretty easily convinced. :)

  9. Ha. Reminds me of growing up with the other kids in the apartment complex. We used to play "being married" too. I remember when the girl from a few floors up decided that she wanted to "divorce" the little boy she was "married" to. He didn't like that very much.

    Sometimes I see stories like this on your blog and it makes me smile. I didn't grow up in any way similar to the way your kids are growing up, but sometimes there are similarities. I guess kids everywhere are kind of the same, yeah?


  10. I'm pretty disgusted that your 5 year old knows what fornication is.

    And you think public education is indoctrinating kids?

  11. Thanks for the comments. I'd like to clarify a few quick points.

    - I do NOT think it is wrong for siblings to pretend to be married. In fact, I think that "playing house" is pretty much the most normal universal game kids play the world over.

    - When John used the word "fornication", he really meant to say "adultery", since he knows that the Bible teaches that if a divorced person remarries, or if someone who has never been married then marries a divorced person, they are committing adultery. I don't think children are ever too young to learn Bible doctrine. Of course, he doesn't understand what the actual sin is, he just knows it's wrong to get divorced for any reason, and/or remarry, and I'm glad he does.

    - John does tend to take things way too seriously and dramatically in general, it really didn't have anything to do with this game specifically. It's an area of behavior that he needs to work on, which is why he is only five and still living at home.

    - None of the kids have even mentioned this issue once since the day that I posted about this. In the mind of a child, what is an emergency today may very well never be remembered again the next moment.

  12. Well, you don't know how much they may just remember, so be careful. Sounds like your children spend much time together! Have you considered socializing them? (I'm putting on my fireproof suit here!)

  13. I'm late to the discussion. I think it's normal for kids to play house or play marriage and I'm pretty sure this will blow over especially, as you said, if John tends to be dramatic. He seems to be a sensitive child and, in the course of play, children will get their feelings hurt. Whether they're playing school or playing house or playing cops & robbers, sooner or later someone is going to end up at loggerheads with someone else. From that they learn to resolve conflict and learn what is real and what is fiction. You seem to already know that, but I can see why, after a day like that, you'd be at your wit's end! I felt so sorry for John.

    When my daughter was little she was going to marry me, her dad, her friend, everybody. She didn't really know all of what marriage is about; she just knew she wanted these certain people in her life!

    - Sally

  14. I'm divorced.

    I guess I don't have to worry about committing "adultery."

    I wouldn't remarry unless someone offered me an immediately five million dollar bonus.


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