Last Thursday evening we flew to Denver for a friend's wedding. Gabi had been asked to be the Flower Girl, and not wanting to miss out on the wonderful photo op this provided, I accepted on her behalf. Who can resist dressing their little girl up in a fancy dress for everyone to ooh and aah over? Not me! Even though I had misgivings on whether or not Gabi would be willing to follow along and perform her duties- when asked if she wanted to be a Flower Girl, Gabi said, No, she wanted to be a bumblebee. In short, I was worried she'd end up on America's Funniest Home Videos for doing something outrageous that ruined the wedding, but at least I'd have professional pictures of her looking like a princess. It seemed worth the risk.
Gabi did smashingly during the rehearsal. Her timing was perfect, her confidence high, and she was very thorough with her petal placement. She had been given bright pink fabric petals to practice with, and she was absolutely in love with them. When the ring bearer would get a little too close, she would scream, "No! They're MY petals!" After each practice run, she would race back to the aisle to gather them all back into her little basket, and Heaven help anyone who tried to get to them before her. It's a wonder that people kept telling me how precious she was.
Since everything had gone so well during the rehearsal, I knew something was going to happen the next day during the actual ceremony. My luck is like that. I've learned to accept that Murphy's Law hangs over my head on a fairly regular basis.
Sure enough, Gabi started to fuss the moment we arrived at the wedding site. First, she threw a fit because she didn't want to get dressed. Oh, how could we be so cruel as to suggest she put on the FLOWER GIRL DRESS! Since I'd never seen a Flower Girl dressed in a blue checkered romper with dingy pink crocs, I regressed to bribery. "You can have as many special treats as you want when we get home, but only if you get dressed!" We fattened the deal by agreeing to buy markers, but it wasn't until she saw all the attention the Ring Bearer was getting for looking so cute in his suit that she took us up on our offer. Not wanting to be outdone by a boy, she had finally agreed to get ready.
Once she was dressed, we had to keep her happy and clean for an hour before the ceremony started. For a little girl who wants to skip through the grass and twirl in her pretty dress, being confined is the worst thing we could do to her, and she grumpily let everyone around her know how she felt. Then, right before her walk down the aisle, she decided that she didn't like the new, REAL petals, because they weren't bright pink. She nearly crumbled into a crying heap when I prodded her to just walk and throw petals like she had practiced, despite their color. I remember thinking, is this being video taped? We're safe is there's only a photographer, but otherwise we're awfully close to being on TV!
That's when even more bribing started. I needed something good, and I knew Gabi's weakness. The night before, at the rehearsal dinner (a BBQ at the bride's house), Gabi heard that there was a cake, and she asked anyone and everyone about that cake all night long. Desperate, with only a few seconds left, I told Gabi that if she walked down the aisle, I would give her a big piece of cake. The crying stopped, and she looked at me thoughtfully, but I could tell we didn't quite yet have a deal. I then told her that she could have TWO pieces of cake! That did it. Her face broke out into a huge grin, and if you hadn't been there two seconds before, you would never have known that disaster had been looming. She happily threw petals all the way down to the groom's feet, where she dumped the remaining petals in a heap. She turned around and giggled her whole way back to where I was standing, off to the side. Cake is a very powerful thing!
I was told that during the cocktail reception, when Gabi was whisked away for the professional pictures, she had freaked out when a worker tried to rake up all the petals she had thrown (there had also been petals strewn along the sides of the aisle). They let her gather up all the petals instead, and the photographer has great pictures of the bride in her dress helping. This meant I had to lug a giant clear plastic box full of flower petals with me for the rest of the evening, but it was worth it.
During dinner, Gabi ran around with all the other kids like a wild child. She would come back to the table for an occasional drink of water, or to add more rocks to her wine glass (the tables were decorated with pebbles), and was having an absolute blast with her new found friends. I figured that until someone told me to come watch my kid, I'd let her do her own thing. By the end of the evening she was so tuckered out from running around, she fell asleep in Gilberto's arms as we walked out to the car.
The rest of the trip was spent with friends doing touristy things. Like Boulder Falls, the Irish Festival at Estes Park and the Coors brewery. You get THREE full beers at the end of the tour! I'm not much of a drinker anymore, so when we left, after only two beers, I couldn't feel my nose. Yes, I'm a cheap date.
We had a good time, and ate lots of good food. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to be a part of the wedding and spend time with old friends, one who I hadn't seen in seven years! Traveling always poops me out, though, so I think we'll be staying home for a while.