The girls were moaning because their friends had gone to their grandparents' house. I explained that they had gone to do yard work and other helpful things. "When I'm an old woman, won't you come to my house and do my yard work?" I asked. "Won't you drag your children and make them help?"
Katie said she would, but she said she would live next door to help all the time. I suggested that perhaps her husband would not be interested in living next door to his mother-in-law.
"Then I won't have a husband," she declared.
"You'd best not have any children either," I reminded her.
So she thought perhaps all would be well if her husband's parents lived on the other side.
"That would be a cozy neighborhood," I said. "Can I pick your husband based on who I'd like as a neighbor? How about the M** boys?"
"Oh," she practically gushed, "Thomas and Anthony are nice boys! They would make good husbands. They won't beat us."
Such high standards. I shall remind her in 20 years when her husband is working 2 jobs so she can stay home with their growing family, and she complains that he never buys her flowers or writes romantic poetry, that all she cared about when she was 9 was that he wouldn't beat her.
"We don't get to pick our husbands," said Jenny.
"Yes, we do!" insisted Katie.
"No," Jenny said firmly, "They have to propose."
True, that it is something you have to work around. And Thomas and Anthony's mother has declared her boys all future priests (although her daughters are available for marriage, a point which I have mentioned is grossly unfair to those of us with girls). Perhaps though, if I assemble a suitable dowry, they can be persuaded...