Don’t Take a Toddler to a Wedding

by Abby on October 14, 2011

"No, David" by David ShannonMan, it’s been a tough week. How about I lighten things up by telling you about last weekend’s wedding fiasco festivities? While this story needs no embellishment, it occurred to me it would actually make a great children’s picture book. I’m envisioning David Shannon-style illustrations. Here’s how it plays out.

Don’t Take a Toddler to a Wedding
By Abigail Green

page 1: The boys are dressed in their Sunday best. They’re sporting matching blue blazers, ties, khakis, and—in what turns out to be a flash of brilliance by Mom & Dad—plaid Vans. Cute, comfy, and practical.

Spiffy brothersp.2: We arrive at the church and are seated in the second row. I am wielding a ginormous mom-purse stuffed with snacks, books, crayons, and even some candy in case of emergency.

p. 3: The ceremony begins. Mere minutes into it, 2yo Riley becomes fidgety. The woman behind us tells her seatmate that she never brought her children to weddings when they were little. Smart lady.

p. 4: Only 20 min. into the ceremony, we’ve been through a granola bar, 2 books, and the crayons. Riley’s shirt is untucked and his tie is askew. He keeps asking for candy. I keep saying, “IF you’re good, you can have some AFTER.” He keeps replying, “I AM good NOW” while kicking the pew in front of us.

p. 5: I carry him out of the sanctuary for the first time. He sprints around the lobby and runs up and down the stairs. I peer through the doors to make sure I’m not missing anything. After a few minutes, we go back in and sit down. I give him some candy, hoping it will shut him up.

"I can't sit still!"p. 6: He’s done with the lollipop in about 3 seconds. He wipes his sticky hands on my dress and clambers into his dad’s lap. The only time he sits still is when someone is singing. I wish fervently that they had opted for an entirely musical ceremony. Up on the altar, the tiny flower girl stands quietly, perfectly behaved in her pristine white dress, as if to mock us.

p. 7: We’re getting to the vows. I’m starting to panic. My kid is NOT going to be the one who spoils the bride’s big day by shrieking, “That’s MY book, Miles!!” I decide to take him to the back of the sanctuary where we can still see, but hopefully not be heard.

p. 8: As my father-in-law reads an Irish blessing, Riley finds a pencil, pulls off the eraser and puts it on his nose.

p. 9: As the bride’s parents sing a duet, he grabs my necklace and bites it.

p. 10: As the happy couple exchange their vows, he hangs upside down and backwards off the pew and sticks his finger in his belly button.

p. 11: As the minister says, “You may now kiss the bride,” Riley says “I kiss you, Mama” and plants a sticky wet one on my lips.

p. 12: After the ceremony, we stop for a pizza on the way to the reception because the snacks didn’t cut it. Riley knocks over my soda, narrowly missing my dress.

p. 13: At the reception, I continue toting around my huge purse while trying to juggle a drink and keep a hand on Riley’s collar so he doesn’t escape into the crowd. Every conversation goes like this: “Hiiii! How ARE you? Wasn’t that a beautif—excuse me, I have to grab him!” Cut to me chasing Riley into the ladies’ room, behind the bar, or under the buffet table.

p. 14: As I’m congratulating the father of the bride, Riley spits out a candy he swiped from the ladies’ lounge into my hand. When will he learn he doesn’t like peppermint?

p. 15: As I’m chatting with a relative, Riley pokes his head between my legs and nearly knocks me off my high heels.

Breakdancingp. 16: The kids find another little boy, also rocking a suit and Vans, and they all sprint around the dance floor in the center of the room.

p. 17: Dad takes the toddler for a walk so Mom can eat her salad. He misses the maid of honor’s touching musical tribute.

p. 18: Mom takes the toddler for a walk so Dad can eat, and misses the best man’s speech. Outside, Riley mistakes an ashtray for a telescope and gets cigarette ashes in his eye.

p. 19: “Daddy, I have pooooop!” Somehow we forgot to pack diapers and have only the 2-sizes-too-small one we filched from the church nursery.

p. 20: In a struggle over a butter knife, Riley knocks over a beer, dousing me from neck to knee with imported ale.


LabradoodleAfterword: Mom leaves Dad and 5yo — who is having a blast on the dance floor — at reception and takes toddler home to grandparents’ house. Upon arrival, their 70-lb. Labradoodle escapes, knocking down Riley and taking off down the street. Mom runs after him, as fast as she can in her tight, beer-soaked cocktail dress and heels, until a kind neighbor comes to her aid.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Basi October 14, 2011 at 6:48 am

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!


Abby October 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

I did both. 🙂


Bertha March 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm

I don’t know who you wrote this for but you helped a brethor out.


Kris-Ann October 14, 2011 at 8:57 am

The “I kiss you Mama” act kind of makes it worth it…kind of. They did look cute though. We rock Converse Allstars as our “dress up shoes”.


Abby October 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

I don’t know why I never thought of “dress sneakers” before. We’ve got a closet full of outgrown bucks worn only once or twice.


Lou Mello October 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

This is so funny, it’s hard to believe all that could happen in just one wedding. Too bad there was no video of all of it, you could show it to them when they are teenagers just so they will know what you went through and to NEVER, NEVER cross you again as a teen. Because you will get even with them and go with them on first dates and spill things all over them and embarrass them to death.


Abby October 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Now that you mention it, I’m a little afraid of how much of it the wedding videographer DID get on film!


Malia Jacobson October 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm

They may not be great wedding guests, but they sure are cute! LOVE the Vans. 🙂


emc October 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Yep, sounds like a pretty hellacious night. Thanks for warning me before we consider taking our monkeys to a wedding.


Shannon @ AnchorMommy October 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I am DYING over this…sorry to laugh at your expense, but this is HILARIOUS! I can just picture you running down the street in your beer-soaked dress after all those shenanigans. I hope you were able to actually enjoy a drink (or several) later.


Abby October 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Oh, don’t apologize. Knowing that someone can have a laugh over our sordid tale is one of the few benefits. 🙂


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