Had an interesting discussion with the children in the bath this evening. I should say they were in the bath, I was just paddling nearby, after a flannel fight got out of control.
Me to five year old son: "So darling have you made friends with any boys in your class yet."
"So how many girlfriends do you have now?"
He looks at the ceiling as he considers.
"Only Helena wants to marry me. But I told her I'm not going to."
"Oh... what about the little girl from church who had her arms round you when I dropped you off this morning."
"She's not my girlfriend. She's just annoying me. She keeps saying she wants me to be her boyfriend and chasing me."
"Oh, I thought it was Mabel who did that."
"No Mabel chases me and then makes a grrr sound and sometimes I chase her back."
"Right... her mum told me she talks about you a lot. I must say she's very pretty." She's gorgeous - like a model for childhood. I'm secretly or maybe not so secretly extremely impressed that she likes him and favour Mabel in the girlfriend stakes. Shallow I know, so I adopt a serious and concerned face, "but what about Lizzie and Katie from nursery?"
"Oh yes, well. First Katie said she wanted to marry me, then she said she wanted to marry somebody else, then somebody else, then somebody else, then somebody..."
I cut in: "Oh yes you told me, sorry, are you upset about that?"
"No, she wanted to marry me first," .....he pauses for more serious consideration. "Can you marry someone if you are already married to somebody else?" Clearly the kids do not read the Daily Mail or Hello magazine.
"Well, not at the same time, not in this country - although you can if you get divorced from the first person first."
They look puzzled. "What's divorced?" pipes up five year old. I groan inwardly, how did a bit of lighthearted banter about playground sweethearts take this turn?
"Divorced is if you separate from the person you are married to," I explain. I know, not legally accurate, but they got it.
Seven year old daughter's face crumples.
"But I don't want you and Dada to separate," large eyes fill with tears.
"Well we have no plans to do that darling, so there's no need to worry." I smile reasssuringly.
"But I don't want you to," she repeats
"I do," says five year old son, smiling sunnily, "then I can marry Mummy."
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