Toddler Courtship

One evening during these past holidays we had a few friends over. Among them was a little girl who is just about the same age as C. They played together pretty well, with N trailing along after them, while the adults mingled, chatted, and watched a little football.

Eventually, however, things broke down. The little guy came running to the table of adults where I was sitting. He was crying. We asked what was wrong.

“She won’t marry me!” he wailed.

“Um, what?”

“She won’t” – snuffle – “marry me! I said we were going to” – snuffle, snuffle – ”get married, and she said no! She doesn’t want to marry me!” He resumed his crying.

Understandably, there was a bit of chuckling around the table. I called him over for a little quiet talk. “Listen, big guy. You don’t have to give up, you just have to be a little more subtle. Wait a bit. Get her to want to marry you before you ask her again.”

He looked at me, wide-eyed. I think he expected a lecture and not a “this is how you do it” sort of speech. Then he nodded. “Okay, daddy. Okay.”

And off he ran. A short while later, he came out of his room, dragging a big blanket. “Hey! Want to build a castle? Hey everyone, want to build a castle?”

We had a brief huddle and decided that since no one was using the couches anyway, sure, we could build a castle. J and I took the blanket and stretched it between the couch and the ottoman, making a blanket fort. Or castle, as the case may be.

As soon as it was done, he clambered inside. After inspecting it a bit, he climbed back out and ran to find his friend. “Hey, want to come in the castle with me?”

“Yeah!” She said.

He stopped her. “It’s a king’s castle!”

“Yeah!” She said.

They climbed inside. I was standing at the corner of the castle while all this was going on, trying to pile pillows on the edge of the blanket to keep it from falling. So I was close enough to hear when he whispered to her inside the castle.

“Wanna marry me?” he whispered.


“Awww…. man!”

Good try, little guy. Good try.

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