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Wedding Season Has Arrived! Here’s What To Do With Those Damn Kids

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I recently attended a beautiful wedding in The Catskills. One of the most notable elements – aside from the breathtaking greenery and laid-back-yet-totally-sophisticated vibe – was the number of children present. They were everywhere! It was like a scene from a movie: little girls frolicking in their puffy white dresses with flowers in their hair, boys kicking around a soccer ball in their miniature, grass-stained khakis (total J. Crew moment).

Of course, I say this all from the perspective of someone who very deliberately left my children at home in Toronto so that I could truly enjoy. I love my kids – adore them! – but there was no way I was having any type of adult conversation, or fun, while saving my 2-year-old’s life (as I do many times a day while he attempts to leap off large pieces of furniture).

Anyway, I did notice how well behaved this particular group of kids happened to be and I later learned why: they had babysitters. And not just any sitters – these were full-on camp counselor-types (as in, fun, creative, active, engaging). Brilliant!

Turns out there’s a whole whack of companies devoted to babysitting your kids at events like these. In Toronto, for instance, there’s Little Party-Goers – a company that creates personalized activities for mini guests. They schlep their own games and supplies (for crafts, puppet shows, dance contests, etc), they supply mats and blankets for tiny ones needing to nap, and they even provide cute little participation certificates and party favors.

I’ll admit that it all sounds a bit over-the-top (I mean, can’t kids just be left to run free and entertain themselves like in the good ol’ days?). But, in actuality, things never work out that way (at least not with wild boys). And so I, for one, am a huge fan of sitter services like these and I think that all kid-friendly weddings should include them (cost-permitting). It ensures that guests have fun without worrying about entertaining their kids, and it also ensures that the kids are safe and looked after.

As an aside, any guilt I had about abandoning my children was alleviated by the fact that a good 90% of my fellow party-goers had made the same decision. One dad, who bid adieu to his wife, toddler and newborn to attend the event, joked at one point, totally deadpan: “I really miss wiping shitty asses.” And that about sums it up.

(Photo: Comstock)