The Tiny Elephant In The Room

It’s no secret I often find myself wondering if I am a different species altogether from some other human beings: WAG’s and other TOWIE-types, sports fanatics, women who don’t wear makeup. And, of course, children.

Lots of my friends have children. And considering the calibre of the people I choose to surround myself with, the children they have produced have proved to be awesome, well-behaved, clever and all-round impressive little people.

It’s the other children that are the issue.

It’s not that I don’t like them. I just think that 95% of people under the age of eight should be permanently sedated don’t understand them.

Just like they don’t understand the concept of a wedding ceremony. (It’s not even that – they just don’t care. Grown ups get married. That’s what they do. So what? I’ve just eaten a handful of stinging nettles. I have other things ON MY MIND more vitally important than your stupid, boring church thing with loads of stupid, boring talking!!)

And so many parents don’t care understand that their child doesn’t care understand. And it’s those parents I have long lost patience with.

Kids. They don't give a crap about your wedding.

Kids. They don’t give a crap about your wedding.

When I reflect on the past five weddings I’ve attended, I realise that all but one have been interrupted by a small child restlessly protesting his or her boredom, just as the readings come to a close and the good bit starts. (You know, the rings, the cheering, the “I pronounce you” bits). The parent of the offending child sits there in oblivious anticipation, not wanting to miss a moment. If you’re lucky, they may attempt a useless “shhhhhhhh”, expecting everyone in the vicinity to empathetically understand how it is to have kids. After all, it’s their adorable offspring. Who could possibly stay angry at that little face?

Contrary to this, the acoustics inside the giant stone bubble of a church magnifies the child’s voluminous shrieks and prompts all other guests to shake their heads and wonder “Why don’t they just take them outside??”. The angelic bride gazes into her groom’s eyes and serenely maintains her countenance, leaving me to take bets on whether she plans to throttle the child’s parents afterwards or if these nails-down-a-chalkboard sounds act as an inexplicable aphrodisiac, taking her to a magical place of future family contentment.

Either way, clearly, there is something wrong with me.

So what is it with parents that think it’s okay to bring small children to weddings? Are people openly inviting children to their weddings? Do they want them there or are they too embarrassed to request that they are left at home? Are other couples so endowed with disposable funds that they simply don’t care that their ten thousand pound once-in-a-lifetime-event is just that teeeeeeeny bit ruffled at that moment of the most teeeeeeny bit importance?

I think there is something wrong with me.

A few years ago, a bride even told me of a guest who was completely against child-minders, no matter how close to the family, and refused to attend the wedding without her children. All hell broke loose amongst the bride’s family. Opinions, chairs, bibles and all manner of foodstuffs where thrown over the issue.

Fine, I say. I’m not about to begin a commentary on how to raise children, because I have none. But I will invite you, most enthusiastically, to get back in your caravan and do your new-age parenting elsewhere. Just don’t bring your screaming, bored, question-asking, seat-protesting toddler to the event I spent three years paying for!

And who are you anyway? How’d you get on my guest list?

Geeeeetttt oooooouuuuuuuutttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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