Marriage, As My 3-Year-Olds See It

weddingSutton: “Daddy, did you know girls can marry girls?”

Me: “Yes, I did.”

Sutton: “That’s silly!”

Me: “Well, I don’t think so. If they’re in love, then I think it’s really nice.”

Sutton: “I’m going to marry a boy.”

Me: “Great.”

Bennett: “Me, too!”

Me: “Awesome. You both should marry whoever you fall in love with.”

Sutton: “And I’m going to have a daughter, and I’m going to name her Sutton.”

Me: “That’s very sweet.”

Bennett: “And I’m going to have twenty kids!”

Me: “OK…”

Bennett: “They will all be boys, and they will all be named Bennett.”

Me: “Great.”

Bennett: “And I’m going to marry them all!”

Me: “Um… we’ll talk about that, buddy.”

(We’ve actually had many conversations similar to this one. Sometimes, they say they’re going to marry each other, and sometimes, Bennett announces that his 20 Bennetts will have 20 moms, which is also something I hope he’ll reconsider.)

UPDATE:  In the 5 minutes since I posted this, the subject of marriage came up again. First, Bennett said he was going to marry me, then Sutton said he couldn’t because she was going to marry me. Bennett told her she could marry the other daddy, but I belonged to him. They fought over me for a minute. Then Sutton announced that she was going to marry another girl and ran off shouting, “Hooray!”

My point is, we’re all evolving on the subject of marriage.

38 comments on “Marriage, As My 3-Year-Olds See It

  1. Please don’t forget that Bennett sometimes thinks a wife is a mommy, too. For example, when we got to Dave’s house a few weeks ago, he walked right into the house and asked, “Where’s your mommy?” And I’m pretty sure he meant Robin, Dave’s wife — not Dave’s actual mother. Ahhh, kids.

  2. All of this is funny to me, since my three and a half year old tells me he is going to marry me all the time. Since he has been small (and I swear I did not coach him on this) he has a funny answer to gender questions. When asking about boys and girls this is how the conversation goes: JB what is Daddy?
    “A boy”.
    JB what are you?
    “A boy”
    What is Mommy?
    “A Princess!”
    Fist Pump!!!

    He’s still young enough for that not to be creepy right? Right?!

  3. That is hilarious!! When I was little, I remember riding in the car with my family and my sister and I arguing over which one of us would marry Daddy when we grew up. Thank goodness neither of us did, but it’s funny, the saying “you marry your parents” is so true. My boyfriend is a lot like my dad.

  4. Well I am all for marrying whomever – but don’t you worry. They will grow out of wanting to marry each other!!! And, at least I hope, they will grow out of producing twenty Bennett’s! You should read them the Dr. Seuss short story, “Too Many Dave’s” Bennett will love it.

  5. I have had many similar conversations with Alex. When we play the game of Life, I always ask if he wants to marry a boy or a girl and he inevitably says “a boy” since he wants only blue people in his blue car (all daughters are rejected as well). He has mentioned wanting to marry me as well as marry his dad and, of course, his first grade girlfriend, Audrey. When we recently discussed the marriage equality battle happening in the Supreme Court, Alex said “That’s a bunch of nonsense. It’s not the olden times. These people need to stretch their minds.” So, yes, it’s a whole new world (at least here in LA!)

      • I love you guys & your family too – mutual admiration society! I am definitely hopeful about the caring citizens these little ones will grow up to be – our world needs more of those!

  6. Love this. I love children’s innocence and logic. Of course we can love anyone 🙂 it’s so refreshing to hear and see.

  7. Kids say the craziest thing! lol. But why can’t your son and daughter marry each other if they love each other?

  8. And I hope you’ll reconsider your statement ”Awesome. You both should marry whoever you fall in love with.” I was seriously in love 6 times in my life (including my husband). It sounds somewhat tiring to get married so many times 😉

  9. Our kids made me so proud when our local catholic priest told them that gay marriage was wrong. Youngest’s response – “but you get to wear loads of dresses”.

  10. …through the eyes of a child. It’s amazing how all the things we adults argue, hem, and haw over are totally benign to a toddler. It certainly puts perspective on things. Maybe ignorance really is bliss sometimes!

  11. I wanted to marry Mickey Mouse, which was expressly forbidden by my mother (who is a bit less than sane) and then I probably upset her more by changing my intended to Wonder Woman. And let me tell you… 30 years later and I would still love a chance with Linda Carter!

  12. Our conversation went like this:
    E (aged 5): I am going to marry you.
    Me: Sorry sweetie, I am your mum, we can’t get married. Plus I am married to Dad.
    E: Well, maybe Nana?
    Me: Hmmm, no good, she is married to Pa and maybe closer to your age would be better.
    E: Eliza?
    Me: Sorry, first cousin
    E: Jordan? (best friend at school, boy)
    Me: Weeelll not yet for us baby, but maybe one day (Australian Marriage Act, don’t get me started!)
    E: There are too many rules!! How will I ever find someone??

  13. When I was about 3 1/2 and (sadly) had not yet found out about gay people, my mom and dad explained to me all about the baby growing in mommy’s tummy that was going to be my new brother or sister. I said, “I hope it’s a boy! That way, when we grow up, we can get married!”

  14. Oh, and my first grade students play “wedding” constantly. The fact that it’s an all-girls school doesn’t even give them pause – and they’ll go through so many weddings during a single recess that the priest winds up married to the best man who is also married to the flower girl. Then they “eat cake.”

  15. I was just telling someone about how, when I was 3 or 4 years old, I thought my Grandma and my uncle were married. When we had family gatherings my uncle would pick up my Grandma, because she couldn’t drive. Since I always saw them together, I assumed they were married, and I think I even told people they were! Kids are so weird.

  16. My kids always say that they want to marry each other. Don’t you just love having conversations with children? You really get a glimpse into their innocent minds.

  17. Pingback: My Son is Special | Mommy Man

  18. Pingback: How to Talk to Kids About the Supreme Court Decisions on Same-Sex Marriage? | Mommy Man

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