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Editorial: Laura and Almanzo Are Going to Have to Get Over This Bickering If I’m Going to Keep Avoiding Adding Rooms

Anyone who knows me knows that I didn’t want Half Pint getting married before she was 18 years old. I really protested her attraction to Almanzo. Never mind that I let Mary get engaged when she was thirteen and she actually got married when she was sixteen. Inconsistent? Maybe, but I don’t owe you an explanation.

Now that Half Pint is engaged, though, and there’s not much I can do to stop it, I’m starting to look on the bright side of things. For example, once Half Pint moves out of the house, Carrie can move up into the loft. This really kills two birds with one stone: we don’t have to sleep next to Carrie anymore and I can use it as evidence that we have plenty of room in the house.

Sure, I’ve promised additions before, but somehow I always get out of it. When we had our son, I drew up some plans to expand the house. Since he tragically died, there wasn’t a need to add on anymore. Since then, I’ve been mentioning whenever I can that it doesn’t matter how much space someone has as long as they love each other. Recently when Caroline was all upset at our high school reunion I pulled that line and then really drove it home when we arrived home and pointed out that our many children spilling out of our tiny house was the very definition of success.

Well, since I’ve so recently planted that seed, Half Pint’s engagement really couldn’t come at a better time: not only do we not need more space because we love each other so much, but we’re about to have a daughter leave for the second time. If anything, we have too much space now. I mean, can anyone ever really say that they’re done adopting children? I’m not sure, but at least for now I can point to all the space that Laura’s vacancy will leave.

I’m starting to get a little concerned, though. It seems those two can’t be in the same room without fighting these days. If they don’t get over this bickering and get hitched right away, I’m going to be on some shaky ground. Maybe I’ll try to work this to my advantage on Mary’s anniversary somehow. If that fails, I suppose I could always pull that “cash on the barrel” excuse I use when it suits me but never really actually believe in.

Charles Ingalls, Walnut Grove, Minn.