Mawiage. Mawiage is what bwings us togethew today.

Yesterday Thalia raced through the door after school, far happier than she was when she came home last week. (And by the way, your advice and consolation in comments meant the world. Thank you. I’m happy to say she’s recovered quite nicely and has a shiny new friendship bracelet to show for it, courtesy of last year’s teacher.)

“L said he wants to marry me!” she exclaimed, describing one of the boys in her class.

A reminder: Thalia is four.

 “Wow, that sounds very interesting, sweetie. How did that make you feel?”


“And what does it mean to get married?”

“Um…it means you’re married then you have a baby.”

“Yes, that is often true. But some people get married and don’t have babies. And some people have babies but don’t get married – like me and daddy. And some people wait a looooong time to get married. Like 30 years.”

“Well we’re going to get married. In Spain. And his brother is going to marry Sage.”

“I DON’T WANT TO GET MARRIED,” Sage shouted from the other room.

Atta girl.

I’m not going to go all ragey feminist on Thalia and I don’t want to dampen her excitement, but still, I want to make sure her happiness is about about getting attention from a friend, and not necessarily attention from a boy. I want her to feel good about herself whether or not a boy wants to marry her – or a girl invites her to a party. Or gives her a friendship bracelet, for that matter. You know, all that stuff that we swear we’ll say to our girls when we first have them, only to discover that it’s way tougher when you’re presented with the actual opportunity to do so.

But also, I remember how we played marriage back when I was a kid in the 16th century. I remember dressing up in my mom’s wedding headdress or whatever that thing is called. (Veil. That’s it.) I’m sure it’s normal and healthy and fine and dandy in all sorts of ways. Although I’m fairly certain I was 8 and not 4. Ack.


To make matters more complicated, Nate brought home the original Snow White DVD last night and I had to explain why Snow White ran away and hid when the prince jumped the wall because she didn’t think she was worthy of his attention, and why the queen thought that a woman who was pretty should be killed, and why in the world Snow White was cleaning up after all those dirty old dwarfs.

Fortunately it was bedtime at that point in the movie, buying me another 24 hours to come up with answers. I might even be willing to pay the late fees for an extra day.


45 thoughts on “Mawiage. Mawiage is what bwings us togethew today.”

  1. CJ got engaged over the summer too. She refused to kiss the guy and subsequently broke the engagement. I can't say that Kyle and I were disappointed.

    Those old Disney movies are messed up. Bambi scared the crap out of me for years.

  2. Somehow the subject of marriage came up yesterday, and my 4-year-old son asked, “Can I marry Mommy?” My husband cut him off with no mercy:”No. I already married her and she is mine.” I have to say I was incredibly flattered that my son wanted to marry me, Oedipal-complexes aside 😉

  3. Love the Princess Bride quotation!

    Maybe Ever After should go on the movie list? What's not to love about Drew Barrymore the not-princess rescuing herself and winning the romance and the friendship of Leonardo da Vinci?

    (Ok, maybe she'll like it more older than 4.)

  4. Stella and Sarah both seem to be enjoying the freedom of being single, because they haven't mentioned marriage yet. Which is just fine with me 😉

    Of course that doesn't mean I'm safe from tough and embarrassing questions. Those come with the territory 🙂

  5. While I LOVED Disney on Ice for the beauty-factor (and the beer) – watching the stories and how they were arranged in the program reminded me of how narrow they are.

    (The stories are told one after another up to the point where each girl dies/faints/sleeps – then ALL the prone girls are on the ice together, and are awakened with THE KISS together)

    And of course poor Mulan got but seconds for her story to be told.

    My son wants to marry me. So we have different issues to discuss.

  6. Snow White is my least favorite of all the old Disney Movies. Her voice- really everything about her annoys me!


  7. I was married at age four as well–there was even a ceremony, at which I wore my father's “Oh No it's Mr. Bill!” t-shirt and a nightgown on my head for a veil. I took it very seriously, and in all the pictures am looking solemn with my hand over my heart.
    But later I was never the sort of girl who wanted to get married or fantasized about weddings, and my now-husband and I were living together and trying for kids long before we decided a wedding wouldn't be so bad, maybe. So don't despair just yet.

  8. Boy are you brave. I haven't introduced Snow White yet or any of those Old School Disney flicks. Too many questions.

    Half the girls in my kids preschool want to marry my son. When I ask him if he wants to marry them his eyes glaze over and I'm positive he tunes me out and starts thinking about transformers. I think that's a no.

  9. I am considering suing the Disney family for my daughters' future therapy bills. Seen Peter Pan lately? Teeny Tinkerbell actually looks at her fairy bottom in the mirror and shakes with fairy disgust about it's perceived hugeness. Then Wendy and Tink and Tigerlilly fight to the death for the rest of the film for Peter's attention. Lucky Peter is, of course, too busy having various adventures to notice the ladies' efforts.
    What the hell? No Disney. Hate Disney.

  10. Ah, it's times like these when I love having two boys. The other day I was telling my stepson that when he has a girlfriend he should always be nice to her and he cut me off with, “No! NO GIRLS!.”

  11. Well, you might not have been 4, but I was. My mom gave me her pink pumps and put me in a white dress and gave my dad some dead flowers and said, there, go ahead and play to your heart's content.

    Then she took blackmail pictures.

  12. My 4-year-old informs me on a daily basis that she is going to marry her brother. I have chosen not to correct her, assuming that she won't want to marry him anymore once she is of marriageable age. I'm not sure if that's better or worse.

    And you're right – it is SO MUCH harder in practice than it ever was in my mind. So much.

  13. My son also wants to marry his brother. And sometimes his friend Ali from school. But not until their bigger. And have more hair. What?

  14. Oh, snow white. I had to skip the rabbit heart scene. Gah!

    (I love the P.B. That's one reason I couldn't get married in a church; I would have been cracking up thinking of that scene.

  15. I love my sister's perspective on the disney princesses – if a man can't catch up with a girl running in heels and a ballgown, he's not worth my time.

    And what about that story on Free to Be You and Me? There's one about a princess who doesn't want to get married, wants to travel instead. So she sets up that race and I could go on and on here, but just google it. It's a great story, and Marlo Thomoas tells it well. 🙂

  16. After being flower girls at my sister's wedding this summer, my two girls (age 2 & 5) were obsessed with playing wedding. They each took turns being the bride and groom. I laughed watching my 2 year old trying to carry my 5 year old over the alter when she was playing the groom.

    Five months later they are both over it.

  17. Yah, as a little girl I loved the Disney movies and mom was always trying to explain why real life isn't like that (or shouldn't be anyway). As an adult I am not really into them at all, except Mulan and maybe Beauty and the Beast. Snow White and Cinderelle are the worst!

  18. We have yet to cross that mud puddle. But I know I should be ready for it. I'll consider it practice for the sex talk later.

    I know I got married when I was 5 to the boy across the street. His mom performed the ceremony, his dog was my maid of honor, his baby brother was the best man, and we exchanged plastic rings from the corner dime store.

    And then when we realized we had to kiss at the end, we ran off and played a game of baseball instead.

  19. Such a great subject. Have you seen the Fallen Princess photo series yet?

    She's amazing, and I don't just think so because the Rapunzel one makes me laugh in spite of the fact that I'm battling stage IV breast cancer with four young daughters. It's just great art. And it's a great way to continue conversations with our daughters about where they want to go, who they want to become, and what constitutes “success.”

  20. The Free to be me and you song/story about the princess is Atalanta. So very good and tells the story of a father who wants to marry his princess off to the man who can run the fastest in a race. Atalanta herself starts to practice and practice until she can surely beat all the men who want to marry her. Young John also practices and when the race occurs, the two tie! John does not want to marry Atalants and the two decide that “maybe they will marry and perhaps they won't but it's important to see the world and find out who you are first!” soooooo very good and has Alan Alda narrating!

  21. I am so glad to hear of mother's that actually do want their girls to grow up as their own persons. I have two boys and I want just that for a daughter in law someday if I am so lucky to end up with one. Mainly because I live in the south and the exact opposite is the trend here – too often it's either girls that are taught to serve or girls taught to attract – and I certainly want my kids not to be distracted by all that nonsense! (even if I kinda was at 23) We all know the boys are hindered by their hormones, right? 😉 I vow to raise mine to control their's or suffer consequenses at my hand – how's that!?

  22. I never looked at Snow White like that before, but you're right! Snow White is the complete opposite of a feminist. Not only did she need a man to save her but she was the housekeeper for a bunch of little people. Shame on you, Disney!

  23. Rowan talks about wanting to get married often – although lately her desire is not focused on any particular person. I usually respond that if she finds someone she really likes, and that person really likes and respects her back, AND she is at least 30 years old, it would be wonderful if she wants to get married.

    What bothers me more is her previously stated desire to marry a “prince”. I've told her that there are many wonderful men out there but not too many princes these days. My mother, in her neverending effort to override me, disagreed and told her that there are lots of princes out there. She said Grandpa is a prince. To which Rowan responded, “and Uncle Rob is Ryan's prince”.

    Go Ro! She figured that one out by herself.

  24. I know my little one recently was out at dinner with my family and declared(completely out of the blue) “I get married!” (she's almost 4). It continued on like this for about two weeks, and then abruptly just ended.

    As for Disney, I think my favorite has to be either Mulan or Pocahontas as the girl saves the 'prince' in both those movies.

  25. My 9 year old son has no interest in marriage (so like a man) but he did admit to “having feelings” for a girl in his class (the only girl shorter than he is, natch)… and he did ask me The Question a few weeks ago, which led to a discussion of the birds-and-bees that damn near killed me…

  26. I wouldn't normally post a link to my own blog – but I had a pretty funny conversation with my son about marriage last week. Specifically he wanted to know why he couldn't marry his sister. See it here if you would like!

  27. Weird, I had marriage and Snow White questions from my almost 4 year old yesterday too. She told me that she wanted me to marry her daddy (my EX) and was wondering why the woodsman wanted to kill Snow White and if kisses always made dead people wake up. That movie is awful now that I see it as an adult! But she loves it!! It's a VHS so hopefully it'll wear out soon.

  28. At coop yesterday, one little boy and a little girl got married (they are 5 & 6—an older woman). I think the older kids egged them on. I'm just glad my kids preferred to be “guests” and weren't interested in getting married. I'm not ready.

    And, love Sage's comment from the other room.

  29. This is a really funny, honest post. I've been told who my four year old is going to marry recently as well (his father and I are happily unmarried). I started thinking how almost every traditional story revolves around a 'happily married' scenario.I'm going to start writing some 'happily unmarried' (and happily single) scenarios! Do you mind if I add you to my blogroll?

  30. My good friend Guthrie, age 5, thinks that marriage means he gets to spend all his time with the person he likes most in the world. That's his perception of what marriage means to his parents. So Guthrie wants to marry his best friend, Dave. Guthrie's homophobic teacher told him, “Boys don't marry boys!” Guthrie's awesome mom corrected, “They do in some states.” Now, whenever Guthrie is on a long car-ride, he asks, “Did we drive into another state? Can I marry Dave here?”

    Somehow, this story makes me very happy. Maybe becase Guthrie is defying gender stereotypes, instead of fulfilling them. Or maybe because he's a reminder that when young kids talk about marriage, they're not talking about sex, only friendship.

  31. My five-year-old always says he wants to marry me when he grows up. I've said to him, “Wouldn't it be more fun to marry someone your own age?” But he always says, “That makes no sense, Mom. If I married someone else I'd have to MOVE OUT.”

  32. Sometimes I wonder if because I'm divorced and my kids have not lived within a “normal” marriage, they'll shun it for themselves; yet they will talk about marriage (far in the future) and say “when” not “if.” I think it shows faith in people and in love — because whether or not we're married, it's what is most identified as the way to have a long term union with someone. For Thalia, at 4, I think playing marriage is great, whether you and Nate are married or not. It's a way for kids to label something they know is (supposed to be) permanent.

    Oh hell, at least she wasn't playing doctor. But that's next – and you'll wish she was playing marriage.

  33. phew, I think I dogged a bullet when my step daughter wanted the wig with the curlers in the hair for her costume. Nothin says sexy like a robe, curlers and a cigarette holder.

    On another note, it took me 40 years to figure out who I wanted to marry, I'm pretty sure I didn't think about it,well for just about ever. Then I got a step daughter in the deal.

  34. We live near a river that is in this region anyway well known. Its a floating river with plenty of resorts down the 15 mile stretch of highway between our home and town. This summer I mentioned to our 5 year old that when he gets big he can work there and see the pretty girls that float.
    He said, “no mom I dont need to do that when I grow up I am going to be Lucy's(his cousin) WIFE.
    I carefully explained that no he could be a husband but not a wife and that he couldnt marry Lucy. He said, but I want to be the one to stay home with the baby and the dogs.

  35. I love you for quoting that movie. Awesomeness abounds!

    Disney movies haven't changed much over the years, they're still just as hard to explain to our daughters. Even the new ones.

  36. This is hysterical! 7yo is and always has been surrounded by no less than three girls with long, flowing locks. Maybe he won't be able to choose…

    My 4yo doesn't really prefer to be around anyone but us, so he may be doomed to go the hermit's route like me…

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