In a few short months, two of my best friends in the world are getting married. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I cannot wait. The very night he asked her to marry him, they asked me if Ebony might like to be a bridesmaid. What an honour! These two friends have played such an important part in my life, in my relationship, and now in my daughter’s life. They were the first people ever to be trusted as late night babysitters, and they have always been wonderful with Ebony. I was so excited when they invited her to be a bridesmaid.
As the day draws ever nearer, however, I am starting to feeling slightly terrified that my daughter may not live up to the idyllic flower girl stereotype you see in movies. My concerns are as follows:
- She likes to messily eat brightly coloured food. A lot.
There has not been an occasion in her entire history where she hasn’t ended up coated in neon orange crisp crumbs, chocolate, ice-cream and pasta sauce. The crumbs and smears end up everywhere. All over her face, neck, hair, dress, tights and hands. And everything she touches after that.
- She does not like to wash her face.
She is not one of those adorable messy kids who become angelic again in a few mere swishes of a baby wipe. Oh no. She will go to all manner of drama to avoid having her face washed. She will hide, run really fast (probably head first into the bride and her beautiful wedding dress), cry, barter and outright refuse. The only way to guarantee a clean face is to try and get her to wash it herself, which she will only do with (at least) 18 litres of water and a hell of a lot of hand soap.
- She is strong-minded.
This is feminist parenting code for “won’t ever do what I want”. Unless she happens to wake up on the morning with the random idea of walking calmly down an aisle, being quiet during a ceremony, and having her photo taken a lot, I am screwed.
- She is only in it for the flowers.
Her main motivation as bridesmaid is to have flowers. This would be fine if the flowers came at the end of the day, and acted as a sort of bribe for getting her to fulfil all of her contractual bridesmaid duties, but they don’t. She will get those flowers before she’s even put a toe on the aisle. And then there’s no telling what she’ll do.
- She smears things on me.
Most days, the bottom half of me is covered in food, bodily fluids, stickers and felt tip. And that’s fine, because I’m her mother, it’s not the biggest day of my life, and I am not wearing a wedding dress.
- She does not like to accesorise.
Scrap that, she loves to accesorise. In theory. She will demand all manner of hair clips, necklaces and bags, but she will never wear them. Well she will, but only for a maximum of two minutes at a time. After that period she will announce they hurt and take them off. This annoys me, and I only ever spend a few pounds, I wouldn’t like to imagine how I might feel if I was paying bridesmaid accessory prices.
- She threw up at the last wedding we attended.
On the table. As they brought out dessert. I don’t think I will ever recover from the horror of that moment. But, you know, at least it wasn’t all over the register at the wedding, or all over the actual wedding cake, or down the aisle…
- She does not like having her photo taken.
This is pretty much reason for her to be sacked on its own. Flower girls are supposed to stare into the camera with their beautiful big eyes, hold their flowers and pull the most adorable smile ever. My daughter won’t do that. She will make like a celebrity and hold her hand in front of her face while shouting “NO PHOTOS!”
- Her hair.
Look, I didn’t want this to get personal, but I feel I have to mention this one. I’ve looked on Pinterest, I know what flower girls are meant to look like. They have long, blonde ringlets tumbling down their backs. They have heads of hairs that can hold flowers crowns and glittery clips. My daughter doesn’t have this. She has short hair. Or, if we’re being honest, a bit of a mullet.
- She will talk through the ceremony.
Believe me, I know this from experience. She will talk, and this time, thanks to her bridesmaid status, we won’t be able to hide at the back ready to sneak out at a shout’s notice. We’ll be upfront, near the action. She will start talking, and the absolute best we can hope for is that she doesn’t swear.
- She doesn’t understand the role.
A key part of any job is understanding exactly what the job is. I have been reading her books about bridesmaids for months, trying to let the message subtly sink in. And yet, here we are with just a couple of months to go, and she thinks that one of a bridesmaid’s main duties is “to eat all the flanks.” What are flanks, I hear you wonder. They are “sort of like dresses that monsters wear.” Apparently.
- She comes from a long line of terrible child bridesmaids.
I was a bridesmaid, aged three, and I showed my special Minnie Mouse knickers to everybody. Everybody.