Sunday, May 12, 2013

Do You Really Need to Bring Your Toddler to a Wedding?

This is not a post with answers. This is more of a rant post, with a simple question: is there really a need for a toddler to be present at a big event at a banquet hall?

Last night we went to an important family event, a wedding. Santino's uncle got married, and according to the Italian tradition, a big celebration was planned, with 200 closest relatives and friends attending. It was a beautiful event, a great escape from our daily boring lives, and an excuse to dress up. There was lots of food, music and dancing after dinner.

First, Santino (2.5 y.o.) didn't want to be there. He got very irritated by all the people, unfamiliar premises and the fact that he still had to go, even though he said many times "I don't want to go to a party". Now, that last statement might not mean a lot, as he also stated that he'd rather wear his dinosaur suit instead of the light-colored suit with a vest his grandparents got for him. Nevertheless, he did express his will, and was ignored. All above accumulated into a big tantrum, when Santino cried non-stop, refused to be inside the hall, refused to say "hi" to people and all he wanted to do was getting back into the car.

Yes, he warmed up to the situation later on, relaxed and had a great time running around, blowing off candles and stealing chocolates and cookies. In fact, he had a bit too much fun, and couldn't stop running for 6 hours straight, disappearing from time to time from my sight in the forest of dancing people's legs, all under the outrageously loud music.

That's another thing: loud music and hundreds of drunk people dancing, is not the safest place for an excited toddler, running away from his mother.

No, I couldn't just let him run around. The place is not really designed for toddler's safety, and multiple burning candles only made the situation worse. Yes, one time he almost set a table on fire. He thought it would be fun to hide a candle under the table. Luckily, my husband spotted it on time.

Yes, I'm his mother and it is my responsibility to watch after my kid. Yes, I understand it's hard work and I shouldn't expect to have fun when my toddler is awake and is not safely tucked away in his bed. But, really, the big events like this one are not quite suitable for kids and, I think, are quite damaging. Maybe, because they do not occur often, it's not that bad, but I consider these events unsuitable for little kids due to loud music, disruption of the sleep and multiple potential dangers, like marble floors (easy to break little teeth, if fell on), burning candles (all kinds of dangers), high heels that can step on a little foot, loud music (way, way too loud), hot drinks served, drunk people who are not paying attention, etc.

I should have insisted on leaving Santino at home, but I'm not his only parent, and my concerns were "over-voted" by other relatives' insisting on him being there. Because he is family. I was told that many other kids went through the same thing and other parents bring their kids, and it will be O.K. My mother's instinct told me it was not O.K., but I gave in this time, avoiding tension within family.

What do you think? I learned my lesson and will be more insisting on leaving the kid at home. But, what if it would upset grandparents and other relatives, who might think that I don't want my son to socialize and be with the family? Is there a "happy medium"?

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3 comments:

If you dont mind being a little cheeky, say "well this type of event as lovely as it is is not quite suitable for my little one at this stage , but i am going to have a get together at the house in a week or so so that anyone who would love to spend some quality time with my little man can come by". Happy medium? He can even wear a cute suit for his special day��

A less cheeky compromise is that you ask the sitter to bring him all dressed up to the event so that everyone can see him all dressed up and then after a short visit he is taken home to calm and his zone, while you continue on to enjoy the event. I wish i had thought of this years ago when my son also screamed through a wedding. I had to walk to a local coffe shop to get him out of there. Didnt want to ruin the event. Its very difficult at times when they are out of their comfort zone.

yes! that's exactly what i should've done. live and learn :)

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