Sunday, May 3, 2009

Olivia, Electra

My Olivia has gone and got herself a nasty little Electra complex. On the way home from our anniversary celebration Thursday night, Liv piped up from the backseat and asked when it was her turn to have an anniversary.

"Well, you'll have an anniversary when you grow up and get married."

"When I grow up I'm going to marry my dad."

"Oh honey. Daddy is already my husband. You can't marry him because he's your daddy. You'll find a boy of your own to marry when you get big."

"NO! Daddy is my husband. Not yours. Daddy is my husband."

I don't even know how to respond to something like that. I know it's just a silly little whim on the part of my daughter. But it kind of freaks me out. I don't remember ever having these types of feelings about my father. I recall the first time I read about the Freudian/Jungian Oedipal theories and how I laughed dismissively. Penis envy? For real? Why in the hell would I want a piece of flesh dangling vulnerably between my legs? I like my tucked in, protected genitals just fine, thank you very much. I'm not so crazy about the aesthetic quality of the vagina, but the containment is just divine.

I don't claim to know more about the human psyche than Freud or any other great mind of human psychology. Obviously, based on my daughter's feelings and behavior, there is some truth to the theory that little girls have over-attachments to their fathers at some point in their early development. It's comforting to read that her feelings are completely normal and temporal.

"Liv, I have a feeling you might change your mind when you're grown."

"No, I won't."

Sigh. She's only 3 1/2. It won't be long before she's a teenager and hates her Dad and me with equal venom.


  1. Jake is obsessed with finding himself a wife. It's funny, because I don't even think that he knows what that means- he just knows that I am one and he wants as much of what I have to offer as he can get. For now, you're totally right about that...

  2. Oh, my 3-y-o nephew cried and cried when he realized I was marrying someone other than him. So upset, in fact, that he announced that if he couldn't marry me he was going to marry my dog.
    "You can't marry a dog!" my mother told him.
    He was hysterical for the rest of the day.
    Sheesh, mother! Give the poor little guy a break!
    Now? He's 14 and pretends he doesn't know me.

  3. Your last sentence or two sums it up perfectly. It's a phase. Little girls love their daddy's more than just about anything else in the world!

  4. My daughter has concluded that she can never get married because she cannot marry a relative (we taught her that after a period of her alternating between my nephew and myself) and she can't talk to strangers. Therefore, she will never meet a man who isn't her relative.

    I may have forgotten to correct her logic.

  5. When my daughter was two, I don't think she would have been very interested in marrying me -- I was the rule enforcer, and her pet name for me was "Mean Daddy".

    She's sixteen now and doesn't think I'm all that mean anymore. In fact, just the other day she informed me that she doesn't wish me dead!

  6. I'm pretty sure my daughter is in love with me, and she's 7. She's never expressed any interest in marrying me, though.

    And I refuse to believe that she will hate me some day.

  7. ahahaha! that made me smile.
    yes those three pieces are all alexander wang's for the gap.

  8. Not only does my son want to marry me, he wants to be a dad when he grows up. Which will make him his own father. This could get confusing.

  9. I'm with 'a free man', its just a phase.

  10. All three of my girls have gone through that phase as well. One just recently. I'm just happy that it's considered normal as it kind of creeps me out!

  11. I wanted to marry a cousin. Don't judge me.