The Married Life

My eldest daughter is thinking ahead.

“When I get older, Daddy, can I get married?” she asks.

“Of course.”

Well, she’s got it all sorted out. She’s going to marry her brother, who’s at her side. They’re having a wonderful time playing with a toy castle, racing horses and knights, taking them up and down stairs, raising and lowering the drawbridge, and firing off cannon balls.

Then my five-year-old daughter decides it would be swell to play with the dollhouse, with its wooden furniture and finger-sized dolls. But my son doesn’t want to. He prefers the castle and the knights, the horses and the cannon balls. Especially the catapult.

“Come on,” she says to her future hubbie.

“No, castle,” says the three-year-old boy.

“Humph!” says the bride-to-be. “Well, if you’re not going to then I’m going to play on my own. That’s what I’m going to do. And I’m not going to marry you when I grow up.”

My son looks up at her and then down at the catapult. He slowly twists the catapult round and puts a red ball on it and then drops his hand down. The red ball sails across the room and into the living room of the dollhouse, taking out mother doll, father doll and all the kids, the kitchen table, fridge and the couch. And the pretend dinner, too.

War ensues and I think, ah, the married life.

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