Check out the preceding post Wedding One: https://derelictmom.com/2014/07/03/two-weddings-a…-2-wedding-one/
Friday felt like the night after a party rather than the night before a party but the one thing we had to do that day was attend the actual rehearsal at 5pm. I picked Eva and Sadie up early from school and met my sister and we drove up together in caravan. When I got about a quarter of the way to the other end of the island, a little voice came from the back seat.
“Mommy, the wedding is way too far away.” Little did she know we were only a quarter of the way there.
“Yes it is Eva, but we have to go to practice for your Big Flower Girl day.”
Crap I thought, we are only in Devonshire.
A few more miles down the road, the same voice.
“Mommy I need my juice.”
So I pulled over got out of the car for a water break before resuming the journey.
Another mile down the road the same little voice came from the back of the car
“Mommy I feel sick”
“Oh boy.” I thought… and flicked my indicator on.
I pulled into a hotel parking lot, my sister followed me in her car.
“Now what?” Anna Laura asked.
“Eva feels sick”
So we got the girls out of the car to walk around for a bit, when it was time to resume our journey, Sadie hopped in her mother’s car and instead of saying anything at all, Eva just turned around and climbed into Aunty Laura’s car. It was like getting flipped the bird as a mother, my daughter had abandoned me and my fifteen year old car for my sister’s jazzed up new Hyundai.
”She will be fine, “ Anna Laura assured, “I have the fun car”
Sure enough she made it the other half of the way without throwing up or complaining.
An hour plus after our journey began I was reunited with my about to be car sick daughter. Eva ran around the property, trying to find the closest and quickest path to the water. Toddlers have an acute sense of danger and seem to be drawn to it, which is why as a mother it is best not to be tired, or hung-over and we might have been both.
The rehearsal went on for some time, and without the pomp and ceremony of the actual event Eva and Sadie did not ever successfully make it down the garden aisle amid empty chairs. I had high doubts that when they were filled that they would have the courage to make it down without an adult holding their hands, and me walking down the aisle in a hot pink and orange dress would not only ruin the colour theme but also the whole point. Eva was going to have to make it down the aisle under her own steam. I thought of all the possible scenarios..
What if she has a tantrum?
What if she gets scared and runs backwards down the aisle?
What if she won’t leave me and clings to my leg?
I realized at that moment that there were times in a mother’s life when chocolate was your best friend and not just during PMS. I was going to resort to chocolate bribery, it had to be done, on the wedding day I would be armed with a Cadbury’s twirl.
As most mother’s know a twenty minute window of time can either make your day or the lack of it can break your day, so the hour plus to travel to the wedding was a recipe for disaster, as well as the fact that I had to pack for every two year old eventuality and there were so many, the mind boggled. I brought a full dinner and extra in case she pukes. I brought an extra dress and pajamas in case she puked, I brought wipes, a stroller for her sleep in, a blanket, her bunny, books, a hair brush, five juice boxes, milk etc etc. I bathed her before her nap, and stuffed her, Daddy and my suitcase of supplies in the back of a taxi.
“Wait, “ I said as the taxi started to roll out of the driveway. “I forgot something,” I ran inside for my iphone and a fresh set of clothes- for me, in case Eva threw up. I hung her bridesmaid’s dress on the hanging rack in the back of the taxi- no way would she be wearing that until we got to the other end of the island.
“Why do you have so much stuff?” Chris asked with the air of inneccessity.
“In case Eva, Throws up!” I yell back at him rolling my eyes, wondering what he would do if she puked all over him because I had not brought him an extra suit, but men had a more laissez faire attitude to eventualities, that is until they eventually happen.
“Wait,” I yell again.. and run back in the house and grab my concealer.
“What is that for?” Chris asks.
“Have you seen your daughter?” I say pointing at Eva.
“She went down for her nap and woke up with a spot above her lip. We will need to cover it up.”
As I dabbed my finger in the makeup and Eva fought back as I came near her with my finger. I suppose at two, the point of makeup is not subtlety or concealment it is drama.
“What is that?” Chris asked going in for a better look at the blistering spot above her lip.
“I fear that it is the tropical disease otherwise known by its clinical name: impetigo.”
There was a gasp from the back seat.
“An impetigo beauty spot .” I said, thinking we could just get away with it. I figured it was too good to be true to imagine that my daughter might actually be healthy on the day of her uncle’s wedding.
My own uncles, and my parents had taken “child free” taxis to the wedding, while we had to pile in three kids, four adults, two strollers and masses of supplies into our “child taxi.” By the time we pulled out of my sister’s driveway with everyone and everything stowed away for the hour journey, I was pretty sure the only thing I had actually forgotten was to shave my legs.
A few minutes in Jake, my sister’s husband decided we actually had forgotten something and so we pulled into the Collector’s Hill gas station and he emerged with a six pack of beer and a four pack of Barefoot white wine minis, which is the housewife version of pulling over for a forty. I think he thought we needed to lighten up the reality of being trapped in a cube minivan taxi with three children for over an hour and there was the Spurling family tradition of the roadie, that had to be honoured on long trips away from the east end homestead.
By the time we arrived at the wedding there were two white wine mini’s left over so we hid them in the bottom of my sister’s stroller, which Anna Laura pushed, rattling with the unmistakable clink of wine bottle against wine bottle usually only noticeable on recycling day on Speaker’s drive. Anna Laura pushed the stroller, like a Trojan horse inside Danielle’s father’s house where the wedding party was dressing. Anna Laura looked innocent but that belied a far more conniving personality and I was sure that two white wine minis weren’t the only contraband she had ever smuggled in her stroller.
Eva did not adjust well to being out of the safety and comfort of her parish so she ran around the grounds in her pajamas screaming, hitting her mother, and being tamed only by the strong arm of her father while refusing point blank to ever wear her flower girl dress, the same dress which she had been begging to wear for the last month while it hung on the back of her door.
While my mother stabbed the groomsmen with boutonnières, the guests began to flood in and Eva was still in her pajamas. Eventually Chris, who had been designated an usher and was neglecting his duties, whipped her Hello Kitty pajamas off and her white tulle dress on and handed her to me in a screaming writhing ball and disappeared at my request to usher people to their seats, while my two year old prima donna tried her best to hold up the wedding. Soon after Daddy disappeared Eva seemed to flip a switch and agreed to have her hair done in pigtails, agreed to wear her wedding shoes and even smiled for the camera. It was then I realized the bullet we had dodged, for the forty five minutes we had been there she had been suffering not only from the onset of impetigo but recovering from car sickness. If we had driven to Dockyard we could have all been covered in vomit. There was much to celebrate.
The Reverend came over to Anna Laura and I to say hello to the little girls and make small talk before the wedding started. I yawned and my sister asked me winking in front of the Reverend,
“Would you like a glass of water?”
“Yes please, I am parched” I winked back.
She reached into the back of her stroller and as if hunting around for a clean diaper, wipe or snack bar she carefully unscrewed a white wine mini and poured us each a glass in a plastic cup.
“Thank you” I said, receiving the offering as if it was Dom Perignon in an overrated Miami nightclub.
We were finally ready for the main event.
Where there was wine for grownups there was chocolate for toddlers, so before the wedding started I slipped Hamma a piece of Cadbury’s twirl and he waited with it in his top pocket just below the boutonnière, encouraging Eva down the aisle with its sweet temptation but with toddlers there is no guarantee.
When it was their cue, my sister and I lead Trystan, Anna Laura’s six year old son, Sadie and Eva to the back of the aisle. Trystan took the little girls’ hands, and Eva tried to swat me with her flower girl basket and whined in protest,
“I want my mommy to hold my hand.” I might have celebrated that on a normal day but it was the beginning of disaster until Anna Laura stepped in, grabbed Eva’s hand and told me to go, as I backed up she did as Aunty Laura said and grabbed Trystan’s hand and marched down the aisle with thoughts of the Cadbury twirl waiting for her at the end. Anna Laura and I ran around the back of the house, and missed the whole thing but evidently they made it down the aisle, pigtails intact. I doubt adults are too different from Kids, and I wondered if it wasn’t chocolate and an older man that tempted Danielle down the aisle with my brother.
Xx Derelict Mom
Stay tuned for next week to find out what happened at the reception: The Witching Hour.