Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Divorce Court

In the evenings my husband and I watch a string of courtroom television. I’m not sure whether our enjoyment of the nightly trash is to make ourselves feel better or worse. Half of me can’t believe people like that exist. You know what I’m talking about, the kind of people who destroy others’ property and act like it’s no big deal, the kind that beats each other and fights over petty amounts of money.

The cringe-worthy experience is good for the children too. We get to explain why one person is right or wrong and what not to do as a grown human being. Sometimes the topics go way over their heads, driving the kids to boredom and eventually to their toys. I don’t mind those times either.

We were sitting around the dinner table last night when Kid #1 peeled off a piece of his bread and held it in his fingers, ready to pop the yummy goodness in his mouth, then turned and looked at me. “Mommy, when people are married and don’t want to be married anymore, why do they have to go to a judge?”

Crap. Explanation time. Think quick, Krystal, think quick. “Well . . . .” Do I really want to tell him because people are immature and stupid and can’t agree on anything? “Well, because you are married by law. So the law has to unmarry you.”

He nodded then went back to eating.

That was easy.

Kid #1 stopped before taking another bite. “Why do they fight about it though?”

Not as easy as I thought. “When you’re married you buy things together. You share money. You have kids. These things don’t change because two people don’t want to live together anymore. People have a hard time making choices, so a judge has to help decide who gets what.”

Kid #2, looking for any excuse she could find not to eat, perked up, brown eyes wide and a smile on her face. “Who will I marry?”

No one! “That’s a discussion for when you’re thirty, Abby.”

She smiled, melting my heart with her innocence. “Will I marry Ethan?”

“Eww! No!” Kid #1 piped in.

“You don’t marry your brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, or anything like that.”

Kid #2 bounced in her chair. “Will I marry Jaden?”

Not if I have anything to say about it. That little boy has a major crush on my daughter. Might have to have a discussion with his wonderful parents. “Probably not, but it’s possible . . . when you’re thirty.”

She giggled and Kid #1 cringed. It’s funny how boys and girls view marriage differently. Kid #2’s question sidetracked the original intent of the conversation—thank God—and we finished our meals in peace.

So does anyone else have any nightly rituals that spark funny conversations with your kids? I’d love to hear about them.

17 comments:

  1. First! Well... Kids have a way of understanding things that makes me often wonder why the heck life gets so complicated when you reach adulthood.

    Oh well. That's the beauty of childhood.

    Great post!!!

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  2. You're right. Kids are really smart. What the heck happens? Their innocence is what makes them so wonderful!

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  3. Courtroom dramas? I probably shouldn't admit this but I'm prone to watching Judge Judy from time to time! I blame it on my late grandmother who was a sucker for Judy's lethal one-liners

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  4. Haha, loved this. I'm guilty of watching trash TV sometimes, too. Would love to see trying to explain something like Hoarders (the non-animal ones - those are too intense) to kids.

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  5. Hmmm...I'd say our nightly ritual is watching science-fiction shows and movies from NetFlix and then laughing about how they got the science wrong or poking holes in the plots. Geeky fun for all!

    Cute questions from your little ones; and you handled it so well!

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  6. Admit it Emma! We watch Judge Judy every night. :-) She's a smart cookie. lol

    Oh, those hoarder shows creep me out. Makes me want to run around and clean the house!

    Ooh, I like that, Teresa. We watch a lot of Discovery and such, but don't have as much fun with it. ;-)

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  7. My little one comes home from KG with a whole string of new words everyday and then I get to attempt to explain what they mean and WHY WE DON'T SAY THEM LOL So our tradition is a simple discussion of what went on each day at school:) and elicits some laughter, but usually more fear on my part LOL.

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  8. Tania, I think I'd skip the conversation with the kid and have a serious conversation with the teacher! ARGH!

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  9. Cute post. So glad I have dogs.

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  10. Anonymous12/07/2011

    This made me giggle Krystal. It took me back to when my daughter was 4. We were sitting around the table, having dinner with her Grandparents one Sunday when she asked very loudly, "Mummy what is Sex?" Grandad choked, Grandma flushed and her Dad pretended he was on another planet... My mind raced, my neck burned... So, it was left for me to say - "We'll have a chat about that one later, Sweetie.. Now, anyone want custard with their apple pie?" Why do they always ask the awkward Qs at mealtimes?
    Jane Isaac

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  11. Yeah, I wouldn't trade these convos for the world, Dawna. :-) I know you love your puppies.

    Now if my Kid#2 asked me that I'D DIE! Just die, Jane! Can we say awkward? ;-)

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  12. My daughter trades off between two different boys and Thor each week. She's five. But she has asked me to arrange the marriage already. It's cute in a crazy sort of way.

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  13. I thought you write every night?! What the hell are you doing watching Judge Judy? :) Funny post. Brought a smile to my face after a long day.

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  14. Debra, it's amazing they WANT to get married at this age. ;-)

    I do write every night. Judge Judy comes on around dinner time. :-)

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  15. Since my wife and I both work, we let our 4 1/2 year old pick out a show, either on demand, like pre-school nick stuff, or a dvd. He loves Team Umi Zumi and Dora, we don't.

    But we just like to spend time with him because during the week we see him so little. At his age his favorite thing is "again", and lately he likes to discuss what he will be for halloween next year, even while he's asking how can Santa be watching him all the way from the north pole.

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  16. I got a great laugh out of this one. Made me think of my three when they were young, so many questions. I remember when my oldest daughter first started reading. She was so excited, she read everything, and if she didn't know the word, she would spell it out for you to tell her. I cringed one day when we were out shopping and she cried "Mommy what does V - I - A - G - R - A mean?"

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  17. JK, Team Umi Zumi drives me nuts, too! It is nice to spend time with the kids in all ways. I think that's where balance comes into play. We have to balance our hopes for our own lives with that of our children's.

    The viagra thing is hysterical! I'd die. Just fall over with laughter. I don't let the embarassment get the best of me! :-)

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