A May wedding for Spot

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It may not be June, but it’s wedding season in the Oh So Feisty One’s third-grade class at PS 321. Spot, OSFO’s favorite stuffed dog, and Kate, the stuffed bear of her classmate, are engaged. Kate is a divorcee with a young baby bear named Bob, Jr. Spot will be his stepfather.

This is not a first marriage for Spot either. He was previously married to Annika, another stuffed bear. But Annika kept bossing Spot around. Finally, Spot told OSFO to tell Annika’s owner that he wanted a divorce.

Two days later, they signed the divorce papers. It was a bitter ride to Splitsville. Annika wanted to stay married to Spot, but Spot refused.

Interestingly, not one of the girls involved in these weddings is from a divorced family. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t seen a marital brouhaha or two. This is Brooklyn, land of divorce and joint custody. (Full disclosure: Smartmom and Hepcat rarely raise their voices and NEVER fight, but Smartmom hears that that sort of thing does happen in other homes.)

Chances are, most kids in Park Slope know at least one kid whose parents are divorced, if not more. OSFO seems fairly nonchalant about the whole thing. Just the other day, she told Smartmom, “Blondie is staying at her father’s girlfriend’s house this weekend. Can we have a playdate?”

Or she’ll ask, as she did last year, “How come Groovy Grandpa and Manhattan Granny [Smartmom’s parents] got divorced?” Smartmom, a bit taken aback, didn’t really know what to say, so murmured: “They didn’t get along after being married for 20 years,” and quickly changed the subject.

Needless to say, there’s plenty of divorce and marital disagreement on television, the movies (“The Parent Trap”) and in chapter books (“Amber Brown Goes Fourth,” by Paula Danzinger and “It’s Not the End of the World,” by Judy Blume).

For kids growing up nowadays, divorce is in the air they breathe. Even in enlightened, kid-centric Park Slope, where there’s no shortage of child psychologists, divorce is as ugly as ever.

So while OSFO and her friends play bear break-ups, the kids whose parents are divorced opt out; they’re living it first hand, coping with custody arrangements, parents’ boyfriends and girlfriends. No wonder they’d rather play dodgeball or hopscotch than divorce.

Smartmom knows what that’s like. Nearly 30 years after her own parents’ split-up, Smartmom is still scarred by the divorce.

While everyone did live happily ever after, it took its toll on her emotional life and relationships. (But she and Hepcat NEVER, EVER fight).

Maybe there is some sort of cachet about it for OSFO and her friends. Perhaps, as scary as it is, divorce sounds exciting, risky, and even interesting.

That’s a sad thought. But, since when are children’s games totally wholesome?

The wedding date has not been set. But Spot will wear a spiffy tuxedo, shoes, and top hat, that OSFO’s aunt, Diaper Diva, was willing to buy for over $20 bucks. He looks very dapper in it. There’s even a white rose on the lapel.

Kate will be wearing a blue tea dress (no white for this divorcee). OSFO created a wedding bracelet out of colored wire that Spot will give her on their special day, Judge Emmie, OSFO’s best, best friend, will marry the two lovers. “It’s going to be a bear/dog wedding. That’s their religion.”

The animals and the girls had a rehearsal last week in the school’s backyard. At the rehearsal, Spot’s ex, Annika, who will be singing at the wedding, kissed Spot and told him that she wants him back.

OSFO has high hopes for the marriage and thinks that Spot and Kate are a good match. “They are planning on having three more children in the future. Spot will be a very good stepfather to little Bob, Jr.” she says.

Mazel tov to the bride and groom. If kids’ games bear any resemblance to the real thing, they’re going to need it.

Louise Crawford, a Park Slope mom, also operates “Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn.”
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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