I have five kids. I’ve become adept at ignoring the whine of youth. My brain tunes out the words and only hears the annoying drone. One day my youngest daughter followed me around whining about something. Finally, a word— divorce—penetrated my consciousness. I started to listen, although the droning whine made it difficult.
“He can’t divorce her. He just can’t.”
“Who?” I asked. I wasn’t aware of anyone we knew contemplating divorce.
“*Leon wants to divorce *Lulu. But Lulu doesn’t want to get divorced. He promised they’d be married forever and now he’s changing his mind,” my daughter said, her whine changing to anger.
She and my youngest son had gotten stuffed dogs from Build-A-Bear-Workshop years ago. Leon and Lulu married soon after. They’d had a beautiful wedding.
My daughter faced my son with her hands on her hips. “You can’t get a divorce. You said they could stay married forever.”
“He can get divorced if he wants, and you can’t stop him.” My son remained icily calm.
While my daughter fumed, I asked my son why Leon wanted to divorce Lulu. He shrugged. “She’s always all over him. He never gets any time to himself. She never leaves him alone.”
It’s true what they say about a woman (or stuffed puppy) scorned. My daughter and Lulu flew into a rage. “That’s not true. She does not. You just don’t want to be married anymore. She doesn’t want a divorce!”
The thing is, those are the exact words my kids used (I knew it was great blog post fodder so I wrote them down right away). They sounded bizarrely real. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was an argument they’d heard daily for years. But they hadn’t. I took Pscyh101 in college. I knew all about self-fulfilling prophecies. So my husband and I agreed that the word DIVORCE would be off-limits (spoken aloud, anyway).
So where did this come from? I think it must be something in the dogs from Build-A-Bear.
* Real names have been changed to protect their privacy.