My sister got married on Saturday. It was an incredible day. The weather, the details and the newlyweds were all stunningly beautiful.
I was a bridesmaid, my 16 month old daughter was the flower girl and my 5 month old son was one of two super cute baby ring bearers.
It is a miracle in itself that I did not end up sedated or medicated for anxiety in the weeks leading up to the wedding. There were a gazillion things to plan, pack and prepare for since I would have to leave the two little ones behind for more than 3 hours which had been my record time away from them up until this point. I had to leave them with Hubby after the ceremony while I joined the wedding party for photos and then with my amazing brother-in-law and sister-in-law who were brave enough to volunteer to look after them for us in a hotel room at the wedding reception venue.
I had nightmares for at least 2 weeks about the 427 different ways my two little babies could ruin this wedding. My daughter had a huge gig as the flower girl but refused to walk until 2 weeks before. Then we had to figure out shoes. I had bought some cute little silver dress shoes online but every time I put them on her, she would collapse to the floor and refuse to walk. I showed my sister when she was in town for her final dress fitting. Again, Miss 16 months buckled her knees and melted into the floor. My sister took the shoes off and held one against the bottom of her foot to measure. My daughter is tall and has big feet but I was sure that they fit her. My sister identified that yes, they fit in length but they were too narrow for Miss 16 months’ incredibly wide feet. Amazing. She basically has hooves for feet. Awesome. So off to Tarjay we went and found a decent pair that allowed for a wider hoof, I mean foot. She walked up and down the aisle in them tripping every few steps because they were still tied together with the elastic that holds the tags on but they fit. Perfect. We found some tights and were good to go. I had already hung her giant tutu flower girl dress in the bathroom while the shower ran to get all the wrinkles out. (I took ballet my entire childhood. I know my way around a wrinkled tutu. Hot, steamy showers are where it’s at!) The only outstanding issue was the giant flower headband that matched her dress. She hates headbands. HATES them. She doesn’t just pull them off her head when you try to trick her into wearing one, she pulls it off, throws it across the room and then looks at you sternly to make sure you know who’s boss. I have put headbands on her head every morning for about 2 months to try to get her used to them. “Not me. Not now.” seems to be the usual outcome.
Then there was my son. My son will obviously wear whatever I put on him which in this case happened to be the cutest grey courdoroy pants, white shirt, grey vest and yellow bow tie that you have ever seen in your life. But he is a boob man. He refuses to drink from a bottle. I have tried 5 different bottles and 1 sippy cup so far and he refuses to drink from any of them. He would rather squeal like a hungry sea gull and go on his own little hunger strike. It’s ridiculous and heartbreaking all at the same time. My sister bought him a bottle that looks and feels just like a boob. Creepy, right? This bottle is supposed to be the one to do the trick. Hubby managed to get him to drink a little from it one day but this kid is stubborn and knows what he wants, and what he wants is boobs. So, I have had many nightmares about him starving to death. Or about him screaming during the ceremony needing to be fed while I can’t go feed him or screaming while I’m at photos not knowing where I am or what this plastic thing is that’s being shoved down his throat. Oh the guilt and it hasn’t even happened yet! Then my dreams move on to the reception where I envision him screaming during the speeches, the first dances and everything in between.
I obviously also picture my daughter doing the same thing. I had nightmares about her refusing to walk down the aisle, screaming hysterically during the ceremony (and her scream is LOUD – pair that up with the acoustics in a church and we may as well let a firetruck barrel through the ceremony with its siren on!) I picture her throwing things, refusing to sit and insisting on walking all over the place. The ceremony was happening during her regular nap time after all so it was fair game and anything could happen. Hubby assures me that he will take her outside (in a literal sense not in a rough her up in the back alley sense) if she acts up. But what about our son? What if he is crying too? What if my daughter is running wild while my son is starving to death because I am basically refusing to feed him for an hour while two very special people to me are exchanging their vows on their special day. They only get one wedding day. I haven’t been to church in a very long time but “Please God! Don’t let my babies ruin this wedding!”
I was seriously a walking zombie in the days leading up the wedding because I had nightmares about every possible situation where my babies could ruin this special day. I had nightmares about my son refusing to eat. I had nightmares about my daughter throwing her flowers across the church and refusing to walk down the aisle. As bridesmaids, our dresses were knee-length with pouffy skirts and we wore the highest heel I have ever worn in my life so while dreaming about my daughter throwing herself on the ground or tripping and falling, I also had nightmares about trying to pick her up off the ground while standing on 4″ heels with a pouffy skirt and essentially showing the whole church what’s happening “down under.” Or falling over myself. Timburrrr!
I am definitely one of those people who has to go through all of the “what ifs” just to make sure everything is covered and to create an action plan so I’m prepared for the worst case scenario. Kids amplify this craziness inside me. Especially since kids make for at least 500 extra things that could potentially go wrong. There is no reasoning with them. If I’m thirsty during the ceremony, I can easily wait until after it ends. If my daughter is thirsty during the ceremony, every single person in that church and within a 5 mile radius of the church is going to know she is thirsty and no one – NO ONE is going to carry on with what they are doing until she has a drink in her hands. Thirsty is just one of many needs that could need to be dealt with during the wedding. There’s also hungry, tired, bored, wet, hot, cold or with my daughter: not being the centre of attention. She sure loves a crowd and is quite the little entertainer. If an entire church full of people is giving the bride and groom their full attention and not her, she is not going to be happy. We just have to plan and prepare for all of these things and then we’ll be fine. Deep breath. We will be fine.
The thing is, with kids in the picture, even if you obsess and dream about every single thing that could possibly go wrong, they are much more creative than you. They are going to throw an obstacle at you that you didn’t see coming. I’m pretty laid back to begin with but could definitely loosen up a lot more to not let my fear of the “unknown” eat me alive and cause me countless sleepless nights and anxiety attacks.
At the end of the day, the wedding was beautiful in every way. My daughter did not wear either pair of dress shoes. She sported her white and purple Adidas runners instead. She did not wear anything in her hair and she carried her sippy cup of milk down the aisle instead of her flowers. (If you were at the ceremony and heard 5 long seconds filled with screams of panic from the back of the church as the bridesmaids walked down the aisle, that was me trying to get her to put her sippy cup down. She walked into the bridal room and threw it in the garbage when we arrived but at “showtime” she wasn’t going to part with it!) Both babies fussed during the ceremony but what I always forget since I am alone with them the majority of the time is that I had lots of helping hands willing to take them. My cousin is a baby whisperer and comforted my son while my husband ran in and out of the ceremony each time our daughter got a little rowdy. Miss 16 months did really well and was one beautiful flower girl. Her worst crimes were ripping the flowers off of my mom’s corsage as soon as we sat down in the pew and then later ripping my mom’s necklace off from around her neck. Not good but it could have been much worse.
My son ate from the bottle a little but also held out waiting for mommy. He didn’t magically start drinking from a bottle like I had hoped but he was fine and didn’t starve to death after all. He just isn’t ready. He will be someday but the more I stress about it the harder I am going to be making it for both of us. We made it through the day and had a great time thanks to lots of awesome hands on deck to help with our babies.
It’s a tough lesson for someone who likes to be super organized with events that once babies are involved, it’s all out of your control. You can pack and prepare as much as you want to but something you didn’t anticipate happening will still happen. You just have to think on your feet and not let the little details rattle you too much. In order to not have a breakdown over how things go or don’t go, you need to let go just a little.
Sure, I asked my husband to bring our daughter’s black dress with the daisies on it for her to wear to the reception and she showed up wearing her pink, black and white Easter dress from when she was 10 months old so it was super short and wasn’t the right colours. He just doesn’t know his flowers. That dress had lillies on it and he thought they were daisies. It’s all good. She still looked super cute. I’m over it. I’m not even thinking about it anymore… I’m over it. All in all it was a great day!
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