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
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
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
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.”
Mazel tov to the bride and groom. If kids’ games bear any resemblance
to the real thing, they’re going to need it.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010