Monday, November 7, 2011

First Comes the Baby Carriage, Then Comes Marriage...Wait, What?

I’ve been married now for a week and two days! I promise that soon I will stop talking about it. Not because I want to stop talking about it, but because I know that even here on the Internet, I’m turning into that friend that everyone hates because she won’t shut up about her wedding. Soon, it will end. Just not today.

Last week, shortly after the ceremony ended, my grandmother came up to congratulate me. She said that when the Reverend announced us as husband and wife, he said “for the first time,” but she thought it would have been more appropriate if he had said “it’s about time.” If you knew my grandma, you wouldn’t think that was mean. She is hilarious, really. Because although she is ninety-four and totally traditional and Catholic, she feels that she’s been on Earth long enough to be able to say whatever she wants. And even though she always does say whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and usually repeats herself, she is a very loving woman.

Despite her awesomeness and how much she loves me, she made it her mission during my pregnancy to always list off the reasons why Dawson and I should have gotten married the minute we found out we were pregnant with Thumper. I believe the phrases “legitimate children,” “not living in sin,” and “why in the world would anyone choose to be an unwed mother” were often used. Now that we are actually married, I’ve found out the real reasons why it’s a good idea to get married and then have babies.

The number one reason is that planning a wedding while caring for a toddler is not fun. Or productive. You’ll either need a super awesome blog partner who can watch your child while you try on dresses/meet with the florist/practice one of your many dance numbers, or you need to bring that child along while you “search for reception venues.” I have the phrase in quotation marks because it should really say “desperately bribing your child into behaving while trying to appear capable of functioning at an adult level.” And you might think that being a stay-at-home mom will give you an advantage in getting things done well in advance before the big day, you know, because you can work on the little things while your child sleeps. But let’s face it. If you so much as whisper while that kid is sleeping she’ll wake up, so making phone calls is out. And cutting paper is also too loud a task to undertake during this time. And when she’s awake, she’s scribbling all over your millions of lists and trying to play with the My Little Pony and Optimus Prime figurines that you’re using for cake toppers and doing anything she can to make you wish you’d have followed Grandma’s advice and opted for a shotgun wedding.

The number two reason is that executing said wedding while caring for a toddler is not easy, because everyone you would normally ask to babysit will be at the aforementioned party. And bringing a toddler to a wedding is also not a good option. Although, I did hear a story once about a couple who set up two playpens in the corner of the reception for their little boys and the kids just slept away amidst the festivities. Good on ‘em but that never would’ve worked for my party animal child. You already know that Thumper’s turn as a flower girl didn’t exactly go as planned. Well, maybe it did go as planned, if by “as planned” you meant that she would run up the aisle screaming and crying. And though I was adamant that she not be present for the dinner portion of the reception, Thumper did make a brief appearance during the tail end of speeches and the beginning of the dancing, where she proceeded to run amuck with the ribbons we had used for one of the dance numbers, which included poking one of the bridesmaids in the eye with the baton end.

Having babies before your wedding will also make planning your honeymoon trickier. Not only do you have to find someone crazy enough to want to your offspring around 24/7, but you have to spend ten extra hours packing for your child. And you end up looking like a crazy person because not only have you packed everything your kid owns in four over sized bags, but you’ve included several different lists (I told you- the lists never stop.) The ironic thing is, you’re only packing so much crap and making so many lists because you are trying to make life easier for the babysitter by anticipating any and every possible thing they might need, but really, you’re probably making it harder because they have to keep track of all that shit you packed. So...sorry to the family members and friends who are watching Thumper over the next two weeks. I’m sure if you chuck an empty shoebox at my daughter, she will be amused for at least three days, so you don’t really have to bother with the bag of books and toys I sent.

Really though, I shouldn’t complain too much because I do have an amazing network of family and friends who are always willing to step up and help when they can. So thank you to everyone who watched Thumper during the planning process or who is about to watch her while Dawson and I get to go away for what will probably be the only vacation we’ll ever get sans kids for at least the next twenty-five years. And the truth is, as crazy and hectic as it was having a baby first, then the wedding, I really wouldn’t have had it any other way. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have the amazing photograph of Thumper about to enter the ceremony venue, clutching her stuffed rabbit and bawling her eyes out. A photo that no doubt will resurface on the day of her own wedding.


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