Friday, April 21, 2006 | Parentally Incorrect
When you’re a parent, you’ll do a lot of things to make your kids happy. Last night, I married my daughter – with my wife’s approval.
It’s not as “rural” as it sounds. It was just playing and I don’t believe it’s legally binding.
Ever since we found out we were going to have a second child, I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible with Alexandra in order to make up for any perceived lack of attention she may not be getting from her mother.
Most of this means taking her to the park, to the movies and the occasional baseball game and playing numerous rounds of Hungry Hungry Hippos in between peeks at American Idol.
But last night, she wanted more. She wanted me to be the handsome prince who falls in love with Cinderella. Tall order but, hey, you do what you gotta do.
This meant I had to wear a toy tiara and dance with her while on my knees. Since we were supposed to be dancing, I figured there should be music so I started humming a waltz but Princess Alex had other ideas.
“Daddy, don’t sing.”
So we sort of went in circles while I got itchy knees from the carpet. Then she told me that one of her plastic glass slippers fell off and she was going to run away before midnight. Then she hopped on the bed.
“Now, go find me.”
So I pretended to look for her saying, “Oh where oh where is my princess? All I have is her shoe.”
“Here I am.”
Now, here’s where my talent for improv comes to fruition. I asked her, “Are you sure you’re the princess? Because it was dark and there have been a lot of phonies who are claiming they can fit the shoe.”
“Yes, I’m the princess. Put the shoe on.”
“Okay, but are you sure? Cause I don’t want to be disappointed. I’ve been hurt so many times before.”
“Put on the shoe.”
So I put on the slipper, which is actually a plastic shoe masquerading as a high heel (but not as comfortable). It’s a tight fit and if I were really the Prince, I might think otherwise about considering her as my princess (based on the fit, that is).
But for the sake of the game, I say, “It fits. You must become my new princess. Will you marry me and live in my castle?”
There’s a pause.
“Uh, sweetie. That means we have to get married.”
“I’m not Sweetie. I’m Alex. Have Mommy marry us.”
Great. I’m about to be a make-believe bigamist – with the help of my first and hopefully only wife. I yell to her while she’s tapping away on the computer on one hand, while trying to hold our newest child, Owen, in the other.
“Honey, Alex wants us to get married.”
“Uh, that means you gotta marry us.”
So I drag my child bride over to my wife, who says, “By the power invested in me by the city of La Mesa…..”
“No honey,” I tell her. “You have to do the ‘Do you take this man to be your lawful husband’ part. The best pretend stuff has a basis in reality.”
My wife gives me the “What do you know about reality?” look but continues, “Do you take this woman to be your wife?”
“Do you take this handsome prince to be your husband?”
Silence. So I whisper to Alex, “Say ‘I do.”‘
“By the power vested in me by the city of La Mesa, I now pronounce you man and wife.” That’s when Alex and I go back to her room to dance (or a close proximity).
A few seconds later, she loses her shoe and says “Go search for me and have me try on the shoe.”
We do the whole thing over again and then she says, “Now, we have to get married again.”
This time I put my foot down.
“Sorry, kid. I’m only getting married once.”
David Moye is a La Mesa-based writer who hopes that his 3-week-old son won’t ask to marry him when he gets a little older (not that there’s anything wrong with it). He can be reached at