We have been to a handful of weddings since we became parents. D’s first flight was to Alaska for Kristin and Adam’s wedding. He was just under three months!Other than that, I don’t think either boy has attended any weddings. We have always found a sitter so we could enjoy the event and avoid messing with our sacred sleep schedule.
Recently, we traveled to Gainesville to celebrate the wedding of a dear family friend. We left early because, well, we have children and they do not sleep in. Ever. Somehow we missed the memo that April 1st was the official departure day of all snowbirds, so traffic was a bit heavier than we would have liked. We made it safely and early enough for nap time. The hotel was able to check us in early (Thank you, Jesus) and we got settled in our room. With all of the commotion and excitement, D had no intentions of taking a snooze. Cam took a short one. I knew we would be in for an interested afternoon.
As with all attempts to go anywhere with children, chaos ensued and we were almost late to the wedding. I have to give my husband a big shout-out because he held everything together and got us there in a cool and calm manner while I was freaking out.
The ceremony was outside at a beautiful farm in Alachua (how do you pronounce Alachua?) My dad was one of the groomsmen and D was very excited to see him walk down the aisle and stand up front. So excited that he decided to yell, “Hi Grand-dad” during the vows. He soon realized that this was getting him lots of attention so I had to literally hold my hand over his mouth the rest of the ceremony. He could not be trusted.
Meanwhile, Cam was beginning to get antsy, so thank goodness we had puffs. Or, so I thought. The moment D saw the puffs, he wanted them too. Which would have been fine if he hadn’t started whining and yelling about needing puffs that very moment. Again, I am trying to keep my children as quiet as possible so we don’t disrupt the entire ceremony. Eventually, a battle ensues over said puffs and they have to be put away.
From what I saw of the ceremony, it was beautiful. Matt and Debbie looked so happy. The farm was amazing and there was so much space for the boys to run around and there was cool tree right in the middle. It was nice to be in an area where I knew that we could let them roam while still being able to keep an eye on them. It was a bit warm so Doug and I traded off trailing the kids. I probably would not have encouraged the tree climbing while in dress clothes, but I guess that’s what Dads are for.
The reception was held inside and we snagged a table on the edge. I knew we would be up and down a lot. D instantly found his way to the dance floor and was totally content to dance by himself. It was pretty adorable. I did need to step in to remind him to be gentle with the other children, but overall, he was too busy being a dancing fool.
My family was a great help through it all. They took the boys outside and danced with them. They helped with dinner and were the extra eyes and hands to help us.
Bedtime is 7pm sharp. By 7 we had just finished eating dinner and the dancing had just started. Cam did a few rounds on the dance floor and by 7:30 he was asleep in Doug’s arms. D, on the other hand, was full of energy and was running and dancing inside and outside. It didn’t take too long to realize that with one already asleep, that the other would soon crash and we had a bit of a drive ahead of us to get back to the hotel. We aren’t usually the first to leave, but by 7:45 we were out the door.
I packed pjs and had both boys ready for bed as we got on the road. You would think they would fall right to sleep in the car. Not. You would think they would fall right to sleep when we got back. Nope. Finally, around 9ish they gave in.
Overall, the boys did really well. Even without good naps they managed to make it through the wedding without any major meltdowns. I still think that weddings are more enjoyable when you do not have to chase after your children, especially while being dressed up. I find that when you expect your children to behave like adults in social settings, you are usually setting unrealistic expectations. Everything is novel and exciting to them and they have no clue what is socially acceptable. They just know what their wants and needs are and running in a field, climbing a tree, and calling out to their loved ones are exactly what kids their age should be doing. And, that is ok! As parents, we teach them how to behave in those settings, but we also have to be realistic about how long and how well they can handle being outside of their norm. For us, it is always ideal to keep sleep schedules as close to regular as possible. It just gives you a little extra assurance that they are rested, which means they should be better able to adjust to the new situations. At least my dress was super easy to nurse in and the next morning the boys slept in! Until 7:30 am.
From Me To You