PARMA, NY--Following a night of shouting, tears, and slamming doors, Deborah and Mark Leet took the time to tell their daughter April that they both loved her very much, and the reason they were getting divorced was because of her and nothing else.
"I know this must be hard for you," sources reported Mark Leet telling his daughter. "But I just want you to understand that this is absolutely because of you. Mommy and Daddy are mad at each other because you're in our lives."
"Divorce is usually a very complicated thing, honey," Deborah Leet told her 9-year-old child. "Usually. I'd like to tell you that you won't understand until you're all grown-up, but that's not true. You are the entire reason this is happening. There is no infidelity, no drug or alcohol addiction, no abuse, [and] no pattern of lying and stealing. You are everything that is wrong with our marriage."
Citing the financial cost of raising a child, the couple's diminished sex life, April's unruly behavior, and the negative impact having a child has had on their professional lives, the Leets agreed that their daughter had made it impossible to enjoy life together, and had likely destroyed any remaining love in their relationship.
"This won't be easy to hear, sweetheart, but I think the straw that broke the camel's back was the temper tantrum you threw last Sunday about not wanting to go church. I think we both knew that our love for each other was long gone at that point," said Deborah.
"It wasn't always like this," Mark told reporters earlier today. "Deborah and I were so in love once. I thought she was my soul mate. But raising a child together has ruined all that. April has so completely stripped away my energy and enthusiasm for life, that I look at Deborah and feel nothing. Just emptiness."
"We could have had happy lives," Mark sighed.
In addition, Mark and Deborah reportedly painstakingly explained to April that the traits they most disliked in one another were strongly exemplified by their daughter.
"The way your mother nags, honey, you've copied it to a T. You're almost worse, in fact. I can't even imagine what you'll be like as a teenager," sources have quoted Mark.
"And the shrill way you laugh, April, my god, it's the most repulsive sound I've heard other than your father's snoring," Deborah reportedly added.
Despite laying the blame for the dissolution of the marriage at their daughter's feet, both parents emphasized their love for April has not changed.
"We do still love you very much," Mark insisted to the fourth-grader. "Of course, that love will always be slightly shadowed by the fact that you single-handedly ended marital bliss for your mother and I, but yes, we still love you. We always will. You might take a backseat to the step-children Mommy and I will have in the future, but we will still love you."
Mark went on to explain to April what would happen to the family going forward.
"Well, honey, what's going to happen first is your parents are going to meet with a lot of lawyers. Then we're going to sell the house--April, stop crying, this isn't helping--and Daddy will move to one place, and Mommy will move to another, and you'll stay with one of us. Luckily for Daddy, it will probably be Mommy."
"Don't worry, honey, you'll still see Daddy a couple of times a month, and for holidays too," Mark quickly added. "That's if Daddy doesn't take a job far away from here, which he might."
"And you don't have to worry about the toys and dresses you constantly demand, either, sweetie," said Deborah. "Daddy will send a fixed amount of his income--an amount that he will consider highway robbery--to make sure you always have what you need, as well as the many things you don't, but will never stop requesting."
"This will be rough, kiddo, I know," said Mark while absent-mindedly stroking his daughter's hair. "Sometimes life isn't fair. But I want you to remember: this is completely your fault. If you feel like blaming somebody, blame yourself. If you had been a little less spoiled and demanding, and a little more cost-effective, this wouldn't be happening. I hope that makes you feel better."
No comment was offered from next-door neighbors the Pinkertons, who recently told their son John that he would grow up to be short and emaciated regardless of whether he ate his vegetables or not.