20 October 2013

My First Wedding

Don’t mind us. We’re just those people who brought their kids to a wedding. Yep, that’s us. (Relax. They were invited.) And they weren’t the only kids there. But two minutes into the reception, the wife turned to me and said, “I think we should’ve left them at home.”

You think?

So, in the end, it turned out to be the shortest wedding ceremony I’ve ever witnessed. I feel as though it could be counted in seconds, rather than minutes. Insanely, it still wasn’t short enough to get the Doozer and Little Brother to sit still for its duration. After a seemingly endless loop of chasing and picking up and chasing our 1-year-old across the community center lawn (run, scoop, repeat), we resorted to strapping him into his stroller and taking him for a cruise.

(I say “we,” but what I really mean is “I.” Because the very first time he bolted away from us, my wife said, “I wore heels. I can’t chase him. I didn’t think about that.” To which I thought, “Sure you didn’t think of it. Or maybe you planned on exactly that.”)

Anyway, it was during that stroller ride that the entire wedding ceremony happened. I didn’t even see the bride go down the aisle. I wheeled Little Brother maybe 25 feet away and turned to wheel him back when suddenly the entire gathering burst into applause.

Thanks, kid. You made us miss the whole thing. All he said was, “Cho-cho!” (In other words, demanding that I make quick with the snack cup full of Cheerios stashed beneath his ride.)

As we made our way into the reception, I overheard someone say that dinner would be served at 5. I glanced at my phone. It was a few minutes after 4. Panic set in. We are never going to make it, I thought. These maniacs are going to destroy this lovely event and an entire roomful of people, hundreds of people, are going to have their evenings ruined by us. They’ll hate us.

Maybe we should leave, I thought. But the catering was from a really good restaurant and I really wanted to eat. Plus, there’s always cake at weddings. How can you leave before cake?

It was about that time that the wife made her comment about leaving the kids at home.

Little late for that now.

At least there was music. The music was pretty much our salvation. We got the tiny terrorists—I mean, our children—to sit still for a few moments only and munch on some appetizers. But then they got restless. The Doozer at least acts restless before actually doing anything about it. Little Brother just hops to the floor and takes off like Usain Bolt, headed for the exit or just anyplace that isn’t where we are.

But like I said, there was music. And soon enough, our two necktie-clad boys were the sole inhabitants of a small dance floor, rocking out like they were in our living room, oblivious to the roomful of wedding guests that was their unwitting, impromptu audience. At one point, Little Brother was bopping to some song or other, while double-fisting sippy cups of milk and water. It was quite a sight to behold. Don’t get me started on the poor little girl in the blue dress who he became infatuated with, following her around, making puppy dog eyes, and offering her a swig from his milk. (Or maybe it was the water.)

I had no idea he was going to be interested in older women.

In the end, though I didn’t count, I think there were more compliments about our children than icy glares or rude remarks. Of course, we spent the entire time being absolutely mortified about every noise they uttered, every move they made, paranoid that we’d be held responsible for ruining an entire wedding. I did have to carry Little Brother outside during one of the toasts. Apparently he wanted to give his own speech, loudly, made up of completely incoherent babble.

I think he was drunk. Cheers!

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