{Disconnect}

There was a disconnect between what I meant in my head and what came out of my mouth.

A good friend of ours was getting married and things were not going as planned. We showed up to the church five minutes before the ceremony began…did I mention that Elijah and Cora were in the wedding?! Stressed!!

Then, during the ceremony Josh sat up front to make sure Eli and Cora behaved, while I sat in the back with Ezra and Silas, who were periodically squawky.

Everyone mingled outside the church, after the ceremony, while the wedding party and family took pictures. Street, large crowd, three mobile tiny people, and a momma in heels. This is not a laid back situation. If you don’t continually scan the crowd and roadside, along with calling out to your children every 3 minutes, one of them could get squashed. However, your constant state of alert rubs your nerves raw and makes you look like a controlling jerk to all the other wedding guests.

On the way to the reception, we got lost, twice. The children used that time to scream, yell, sing and fight. My head ached from the stress and hyper-vigilance of the previous few hours, along with the unbalanced ratio in my intake of caffeine to food. Add to that the pain I felt in my toes because my flip-flop feet were not happy to be in heels.

I don’t know what it was that made us think the reception would be easier. Maybe it was our last shred of hope that things would turn around. Maybe it was the promise of food and the ability to take our shoes off. Whatever it was, it was a false friend.

We started placing bets on how many times water would be spilled on the table. The children happily discovered the candy-coated chocolate pieces with the bride and groom’s faces printed on them. Every jar within their reach was opened and the contents spilled out across the sopping wet table and floor before we could stop them. Some were sucked up off the carpet (please let it be recently steam cleaned), while others were dropped in as-yet-unspilled water glasses to make colored water.

They danced, they wrestled, they whined, they ran. Mayham and chaos abounded in their best dress up clothes. Josh’s newly dry-cleaned suit was quickly covered in punch, candy shell (which does melt in the hand) and baby spit up.

The wedding photographer had set up a photo booth for guests to take pictures of themselves, which could then be pasted into the guest book. A cute idea, that sounded fun. Josh and I decided to take a family photo, you know, to capture the memory of this night. Trying to get six people all to smile at the camera at the same time with a three-second warning is just comical…

As a last-ditch effort to control the reception craziness, I grabbed my phone, put on a cartoon for the kids and told them to sit against the wall. Soon, my oldest three and two of their friends were huddled together watching the Three Little Pigs on a teeny, tiny screen. They were still.

So, where did the disconnect come in?

At some point in the evening, the wedding videographer came around to take footage of the reception. He’s a friend of mine, and I asked him if the video was sound too, or just pictures. To his reply that it could include sound, I said the following:

This is what you have to look forward to.

Cora was in the process of knocking over her water-glass for the third time. Eli was doing the twist in the middle of the walkway. Ezra was crying because I took away his bubbles, and Silas was sitting in my lap sucking on my thumb because he hadn’t eaten for five hours.

I was exasperated, tired and overwhelmed. And what I meant as a joke, came out as more of a curse.

This was just one evening. In fact, the kids did really well, considering the circumstances. Weddings, any social event for that matter, are difficult with young children. Face it, they’re sometimes difficult for adults.

Sometimes I forget that kids are kids.

And, this is what our friends have to look forward to:

  • Cuddles in bed, when sleepies are still in the eyes and everyone has death-breath.
  • “I lu-loo”s from toddlers, just learning to string words into sentences.
  • Pride in watching your babies as they achieve new levels of accomplishment – whether that’s rolling over, learning to read or walking down an aisle nicely with their sibling.


I really need to work harder on thinking before I speak, especially when my comments are being recorded for posterity.

Here’s hoping they edit that out.

Everyone always loves to share their wedding nightmare stories…

What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you at a wedding?

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19 Comments

  1. melmcrill says:

    I couldn’t sleep. So what do I do… Read my friends blogs. ;) Thanks for sharing your social edit. I do hope your blooper makes it to the video and that you print this page on nice stationary to be included in their wedding album ‘for posterity’. That way they can look back and know how much that moment really meant to you. Love you Melissa Rae!

    1. Melissa says:

      I miss you. :( Can’t wait till you’re back here with us again.

  2. lara says:

    Oh this has been so me! I have to remind myself of the same. Kids will be kids. Wanting to see the blessings even amidst the chaos. (Your kids are adorable, by the way.)

    1. Melissa says:

      Thanks! They clean up pretty good. Haha!

  3. Lynnette says:

    we went to a wedding a close friend back when we only had two kids and they were 1.5 and 6 months old. the night before the 6 month old fell down the stairs to a basement at a friends house taking out the 1.5 yera old along the way. the 6 month old ended up with a trip to the er and a huge nasty bruise diagonally from one side of the face to the other. My husband was taping the wedding and I had to watch the two little ones. they were screaming so I had to take them out and did not even get to see the wedding. I mean we only drove 15 hours to get there. Then the reception was so full we were expected to sit at a table with the kids on our lap. after the first glass of punch spilled on someone elses lap, we opted out, grabbed drivethru and went back to our hosts house.
    to top it off we drove home the next day and got coaught in a huge snowstorm in the mountains, about 15 minutes ahead of the closure signs and it took us 12 hours to go about 5 hours away.
    I have not been to a wedding with the kids since

    1. Melissa says:

      After that experience, I would never do it again either. :) Wow!

  4. Janelle says:

    The only wedding I can remember being at with a small child was yours! The only real hassle was having to take off half the dress to feed him, but that wasn’t that bad :)

    1. Melissa says:

      Haha! Ours all did pretty good at Darren’s, huh? :)

      1. Janelle says:

        Did I bring Jorja to that? I can’t imagine that she behaved. I took her for an evaluation for special preschool because of her language issues, and I was cracking up as the lady was attempting to do her test as she ran around, touching everything, refusing to sit unless she was sitting with her back turned and arms crossed, and she said, “For behavior, we’ll just put down ‘active.'” I thought that was generous.
        No I’m pretty sure I ended up getting a sitter for her on the wedding day, I remember Savannah bringing a cupcake home for her. But your kids behaved beautifully, as I recall.

        1. Melissa says:

          Haha! Great story. :) No, now that I think about it, Jorja wasn’t there. Luckily Gary was there to take Ezra outside for me, or else I would have missed the entire wedding. And Cora sat on Hanna’s lap because she loves her. They all had fun playing DS at the reception though.

  5. Melissa says:

    um, i’m trying to think why i don’t have any wedding horror stories! i think because my kids are always at the grandparents! ;) but oh yes, i relate!

    i do remember one particular foot-in-my-mouth moment when i stood up in front of all the young married couples and our pastor while a million little kids were running around and yelled, “well this is good birth control!”

    i have to admit getting a few not-so-nice glares from the moms…and then I melted with the pastor prayed, “we love all the children!”

    yeah. i was the only one laughing at that “joke”.

    ;)

    1. Melissa says:

      Hahaha! Yes. That one is perfect. Thanks for making me feel better.

  6. ed cyzewski says:

    That’s the kind of story you can’t make up… Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    My wedding horror story isn’t too bad, just more on the mortifying side. At our own wedding we didn’t want to have all of the special dances and the first dance. We just wanted the band to fire up a set of classic rock and just have everyone start dancing together. I said in a microphone to everyone, “We are not having a first dance. We just want everyone to come up here and dance.”

    No one paid attention. So we started dancing and everyone sat and watched. The song? Keep on Rocking Me Baby.

    About a minute into the song my Dad pulled the nearest female onto the dance floor to rescue us. I can never repay him for that one!

    1. Melissa says:

      Your story had me cracking up, Ed! Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Kelly Sauer says:

    *grin* I have crazy wedding stories…

    Craziest thing though – that was being at a TRAVEL wedding and having my camera quit on me. With no back-up.

    And this was the wedding the groom’s parents had refused to attend, keeping back his siblings from their places in his wedding party.

    Second craziest? Having my bride walk out of the portrait session b/c she was so possessive of her new husband that she didn’t want him to pose with his siblings without her. When my husband went after her, she rather snapped at him that “my husband can come get me if he wants me.”

    Holy cow.

    And then there was the Russian wedding, where I didn’t understand most of what was being said. And they had five other photographers shooting the same thing I was shooting. At the same time.

    They are a clause in my contract now.

    Melissa, I felt for you, reading this post. You are very brave, and your kids are precious. We did a wedding with Pip along last year when I was pregnant with B. Pete chased her, but she didn’t want to have anything to do with anything she was “supposed” to do. We left early to get her home and to bed.

    Really, next time you should leave off the heels. ;-) I bet it would help!

    1. Melissa says:

      Oh, Kelly…the life of a wedding photog. I bet you have some doozies.

      And that comment by the bride…I wish you would have snapped a picture of Pete’s face after she said that to him. :)

  8. Tricia says:

    Considering the level of chaos that ensued, I say that one small comment is AMAZING! I would’ve been crying, screaming, pulling my hair out, and eventually in a ball of sweaty mess on the bathroom floor…begging for mercy. In all actuality, I understand exactly how you feel and I definitely catch myself with my foot in my mouth way too often. I need to remind myself a lot more that kids will be kids, and that someday I’ll look back and regret it if I don’t. I think you are an incredible, amazing, patient and exemplary mom. Give yourself a pass this time :)

    1. Melissa says:

      Haha! I was on the verge of all you described. The only thing keeping it together was that I knew too many people there and didn’t want to embarrass myself any further. :) And thanks for the sweet encouragement. :) Remember that for yourself, as well. Haha!

  9. I discovered your blog today through V.V. Denmen. As I read and read your inspirational thoughts within a hectic life I am tempted to post and post a link to each blog! :-)

    You’re livin’ a Real Life while loving and sharing God with others! Yahoooo! Your blogs are beautiful, honest and inspiring. Thank you.

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