When I was four, I imagined that I would become a doctor and marry my next-door neighbor, Matthew Marlow. We would live in a white colonial and drive a station wagon with awesome wood-paneled sides (I’m not sure if this is because that was the very height of grown-up coolness in 1981, or if it’s because that’s what my aunt drove). We’d have a little boy, and then a little girl. From time to time, I attempted to persuade him to wed me in our townhouse complex’s big sandbox. Occasionally, he agreed.
My daughter Maddux is slightly more ambitious. No neighbors or suburbs or sensible cars for her. She plans on marrying a prince and living in a castle. Her ride will, naturellement, be a coach.
Her most recent royal fixation is Sleeping Beauty, on whom she insists dressing as for Halloween. But is dressing as a princess enough for our little girl? Nope. ‘Fraid not.
“Mommy, after we go trick-or-treating, I want to lie down in my Sleeping Beauty dress,” she told me today at breakfast.
“In your bed?” I asked, thinking she was so excited about her costume that she didn’t want to take it off. (Silly me! Nothing is ever that simple with Princess Maddux.)
“Yes,” she replied, “I’m going to lie in my bed and wait for my prince to wake me with a kiss.”
Seriously? Seriously? Is there some kind of home DNA test I can get to make sure they didn’t give me the wrong kid?
“Should I put Thomas in your bed and let him give you a big slobbery kiss?” I asked.
“How about Daddy, then?”
“No, it has to be a real prince,” she insisted.
Great. I will just call up my old buddy Prince William then.
Luckily, her definition of prince is very loose and includes boys who sleep in castle beds or who pretend to be princes with accoutrements found in the preschool dress-up box.
“I think Prince Alex or Prince Mason will come and kiss me,” she said after thinking for awhile about it.
I kind of doubt it. I can just imagine calling another mom and saying, “Hey, what’s your son doing after Halloween? Maddux wants him to come kiss her and get married immediately afterward, and have two sets of twins.” And what little 4-year-old in his right mind would dress up as a prince, climb up in a dollhouse bed and plant a wet one on Sleeping Beauty?
Then again, in a playground in the Denver suburbs, I may still be considered legally married to Matthew Marlow. Twice.