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January 19, 2003

He Dreams of Cthulhu Don't

He Dreams of Cthulhu

Don't ever give a toddler a can of Pepsi. If you must give a toddler a can of Pepsi, don't give her a can of Pepsi at eight o'clock that night. If you must give a toddler a can of Pepsi at eight o'clock at night, make sure she has something to eat first.

If you do give a toddler with an empty stomach an entire can of Pepsi after eight o'clock at night, expect the worst. Simply put, caffeine is toddler crack. First they're exuberant, and then they're exuberant and bossy. Then they'll do anything to get more. Since everyone who is not actually the parent of said toddler thinks this is cute, it's an extremely hard behavior to get rid of. It leads to a toddler who thinks nothing of running up and down fifty yards of hotel hallway until she's exhausted. Physically exhausted, that is. Mentally, she's doing a Bas Lurhrman Moulin Rouge can-can, which leads to her tossing and turning in hotel bed, falling into light dozes, and then having, if you judge them by her scream upon awakening, William Burroughs' dreams. This lasts until about two o'clock in the morning, after which she only calms down if she has a parent beside her in the bed. Said parent doesn't sleep, because said toddler kicks in her sleep.

The rehearsal itself was....survived, which is the best I think anyone not in the wedding party can hope for. I wasn't present in any official capacity, so I didn't have to look interested in the wedding director's manipulation of the wedding party. My job was kid wrangling.

Once we got to the Methodist church the wedding was to take place, I let Ngnat roam all over the sanctuary. I figured it was marginally more possible that she would walk down the aisle the next day if she was at home in the surroundings. She padded down pews, and ran down the choir pit, and colored the donation envelopes with the tiny little pencils handily placed nearby. Then we read a book, and colored some more, and ran down some more pews. The pews were padded, so she was not as quite as loud as you might think. I got a couple of warning glances from the Sainted Wife, but for the most part we were free to do as we wilt.

Meanwhile, the other little flower girl sat primly beside her mother, a bridesmaid, or lay down on the floor nearby, until Ngnat gave her the Boo doll she had gotten from Santa. After that she sat primly beside her mother and talked to Boo. Occasionally cries of "Mike Wazowski!" would echo through the sanctuary. I was jealous of the extra incentive she would have to get down the aisle come ceremony time, and plotted on how to overcome that advantage. I wasn't sure that the M&Ms the Sainted Wife's cousin had promised to Ngnat if she got all the way down the aisle were comparable to having a mother waiting at the end of the journey . Ngnat gets M&Ms from her Nana just for breathing, so I didn't consider it real likely that she would face down an audience of 300 strangers just to get some. A trail of quarters leading down the aisle would probably work, but I didn't the bride would approve of that particular stratagem. From the look on his face, I decided that the father of the bride would have hoovered them all up before Ngnat ever stepped foot in the sanctuary.

Both the girls successfully made their way down to the altar and back a couple of times during the rehearsal, though they required the assistance of the seven-year-old ringbearer to get back each time. He held their hands, and they walked solemnly back up the aisle. It was very cute practice, but, as it turned out, fatally flawed.

As you know, flower girls carry little baskets on the wedding day, and scatter petals from them on their way to the altar. We had no baskets, and we had no petals, so when Ngnat and her companion were presented with them upon the morrow, they alternated between dumping the contents out en masse, or declaring "Don't Wan Baket! and bursting into tears when the undesired bakets were forced upon them nonetheless.

Wedding Tip: Avoid any actions that stress your flower girls during the hour before the ceremony at all costs. Sadly, this can only be accomplished by deciding not to have flower girls in the first place.

Posted by Bigwig at January 19, 2003 01:24 PM | TrackBack
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