Our thoughtful friends asked us if we wanted to bring our kids to their wedding. Most of their friends are child-free, so they didn’t care either way about upping the numbers by two. I think they were a little shocked by our vehement negative response. Did we want to go to a wedding, get pissed, and then have to sober up in order to read The Smartest Giant in Town at 7pm? Did we want to bribe the kids to stay quiet with chocolate buttons through the speeches, and then have to deal with the sugar crash instead of getting our Beyoncé on on the dance floor?
I’ve heard of people getting desperately offended because little Ruby and Max haven’t been invited to a wedding. And sure, if you don’t have childcare to hand via a nanny or a granny then it might mean the wedding is ruled out. But come on, you’ve got 9 months notice, pull some strings. And don’t judge me for wanting to ditch my sprogs, put on a fancy frock (ahem, spanx), drink champagne like water and feel like death on the following day. (NB ideally childcare plans need to incorporate this too.)
The thing is, a wedding provides the opportunity to forget the day-to-day drudgery of having Weetabix in your hair, and a stain on your jeans that might be poo or might just be more Weetabix. It allows you to use a handbag that only fits your phone and the lipstick the kids haven’t yet used for painting the cat. Essentially, no room for copies of the CBeebies magazine or packets of raisins.
And you get to talk to your partner! I think it’s supposed to be non-U to sit next to your husband at a wedding but fortunately my mates don’t buy into that bullshit so I get to sit next to him, put all the stuff that won’t go into my micro-handbag in his pocket, and actually have a conversation with him. Of course, it goes like this. “I mish them. D’you mish them too? I just luvs them so much. Pass the wine pleashe. Fanks ver much.” Conversation revolves around them until you become so blotto that you don’t remember you have children, but you do remember ALL the lyrics to Beyoncé’s greatest hits. And the heels you last wore in 2007 don’t hurt anymore, because the slightly warm Pinot Grigio you’ve mineswept from the tables has taken care of that.
Of course the next day is horrendous. You take back your children off the knackered grandparents, who head straight back to bed. Sensing your weakness, the kids clamour for McDonalds/the iPad/a piggyback/all of the above. (Actually, a McDonalds could help right now. Go with that one). And you try and get them to play the “putting mummy to bed” game where they cover you with blankets and their teddies. Sleep is the one thing that would help you, but it’s never going to be allowed. Instead, you have to build a Lego tower.
You should learn a lesson from this, but I guarantee that the next time you are free from your kids, with a free bar and a dodgy DJ, you’ll embrace it, and enjoy it. And regret it 12 hours later. Thank goodness for McDonalds.