It was Friday afternoon, the day before my good friend was getting married. My son was almost three years old and my daughter was almost three months old. The wedding was to be my first outing away from my baby and I really thought I had remembered everything. I prepared myself emotionally for the separation, coaxed my baby to accept a bottle (not easy when you are nursing) and arranged for my parents to watch the kids. I was even coming home between the wedding and reception to nurse! I don’t know exactly what caused me to remember, but it eventually occurred to me I had nothing to wear!
The wedding was taking place in the month of November and I had never been to a winter wedding before. In Canada, November can get pretty cold! My baby was only three months old and I was pretty sure nothing in my closet would fit. I didn’t even know my size! As my friend was actually a coworker and people from my work were sure to be attending, I felt I had to wear something spectacular. Unfortunately, my husband was on the afternoon shift, had already left for work and would not be home until after midnight. Having no other choice, I decided to drag the kids to the mall.
After packing the bag with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, snacks, toys, soothers and blankets, I headed out the door. We had purchased a double stroller that could accommodate my daughter’s car seat in the back and allow my son to sit facing forward at the front. I was barely able to lift it into our van and was sure I would forget how to assemble it at the mall.
To my surprise, I actually unfolded the stroller properly and was able to strap my kids inside along with the diaper bag. As every parent knows, shopping with children is a challenge when you know exactly what you are looking for. Wedding dress shopping with a three year old and a baby is damn near impossible. The double stroller barely fit through the store aisles and placed all the clothing racks at an incredibly tempting reach for my son. Sweating buckets, I picked a store, grabbed a handful of different size dresses and looked for a fitting room.
Entering the change room, it became apparent that my over-sized double stroller was not going to fit. I didn’t know what to do. I eventually dumped a handful of Cheerios into my son’s tray and parked the stroller where I could see the wheel underneath the door. Leaving my daughter in her carry car seat, I dragged her into the fitting room with me. Trying on dresses, I rocked the car seat with one foot and held a rather loud conversation with my son outside in the stroller. I can still picture it today.
By the time I found a dress that fit, my daughter was crying hysterically and my son had tossed most of his Cheerios onto the storeroom floor. The entire ordeal probably lasted a mere five minutes, but it felt like an eternity at the time. I wasn’t sure I even liked the dress, but it fit okay and that was good enough for me. How I wish I had remembered to buy a dress before my husband left for work!
In the end, the dress worked out fine and I even managed to borrow a nice pair of shoes and a fancy purse from my mom. It’s amazing what parents can accomplish under pressure and what they have to endure for the simplest of tasks. My wedding dress fiasco makes me smile now, but I hope I never have to repeat it!