First, I'll apologize for irregular posting. I'm still working out the summer routine. During school, I get regular time in the evening to post but that's gone all up in the air for the summer.
I think the wedding went reasonably well under the circumstances. Alex was in the middle of a behaviour burst, with a great deal of difficulty following directions and staying put. He bolted several times in the middle of the ceremony and eventually we let him retreat to the back of the church, rather than continually disrupt the proceedings. I tried to burn off some excess energy at the park while the bridal party had pictures done, but it didn't really help. He still kept bolting during the reception and he and Dave ended up leaving before dinner.
Nathan did better, although he refused to talk to anyone. He buried his head in a toy or the iPad for the entire proceedings. As soon as we were away from the crowd, he perked up and was his usual charming self but as soon as we had more than 3 people around, he got sullen and withdrawn. He only managed 45 minutes during the Friday night mendhi party before Meghan took him home.
The Saturday rehearsal dinner was just sad. My sister told me the restaurant we were going to served hamburgers and pasta, so I assumed things would go well. Unfortunately, it was fancy gourmet burgers and pasta, which Nathan didn't like. The staff made a good try. They brought him French fries, but the ketchup was their fancy in-house ketchup, which tasted like barbecue sauce. They did up plain pasta, but he was already upset. My other sister's boyfriend went down the block to get him an A&W burger, but he got a Buddy burger instead of a Baby burger and that was just the last straw. Nathan burst into tears and I brought him back to the hotel. We ordered pizza and ice cream from room service.
For the ceremony, Nathan spent the entire time watching his iPad with his noise-cancelling headphones on. He enjoyed running around the park and made it through the entire dinner (although he refused to eat). We'd brought some sandwiches and fruit to help tide things over.
People kept coming up to me and telling me how good the boys were being. I appreciate the compliment but part of me kept wondering how low their expectations were to consider it "good" behaviour. I think the boys did an acceptable job and we did an acceptable job of making it tolerable for everyone. It doesn't really qualify as "good" in my books.
Having an aide with us was a great decision. It gave us an in-house sitter who was familiar with the kids and whom we could trust to manage them with minimal instructions. The extra pair of hands came in handy more times than I can count. It's a little unnerving to have someone else effectively living with you for 3 days, but since we got a two bedroom suite, there was plenty of privacy for all.
I knew it was going to be a challenge going into it. I don't push the boys to attend most large family gatherings but this was a special occasion and I felt it was worth it to push their limits. I guess I had my hopes up more than I thought, since I've ended up a little disappointed in how things turned out. But the rational part of me is satisfied. I think I did everything possible with what I had and got an acceptable result.