The only problem was that the people who had set up the room with tables and toys were not the same people who were looking after the children. So toys for every age group were on display, and The Tank went straight over to taste the Play-Doh (first choice was the green colour), whilst Magpie thought she might swallow some little coloured plastic balls. When both were confiscated, The Tank went to climb up the unmanned steps to the Portaloo and Magpie thought she would taste a rivet taken from a marquee fastening. This stage of the proceedings (post child-free church service and pre-sit down dinner) was not exactly relaxing.
But I'm not here to tell you about the wedding (eventually we put the girls to sleep in the car, by which point they were beyond exhausted). I want to share with you my watery epiphany the next morning. We were staying in a fancy gastro pub with rooms that were beautifully decorated with colonial-style mahongany furniture. The bathroom (complete with picture-perfect rural views) sported a rectangular, free-standing bath which was perfect for the girls to cruise around standing up.
I let each of the girls have a bath with Big Daddy.
First it was Magpie's turn. Now Magpie is a delicate soul with an acute eye for detail (she chases her hands over beaded necklaces and points at light aircraft in the sky), but in the bath she is a splashing banshee, full of the self-confidence that is usually The Tank's trademark.
In contrast, The Tank, so-named for obvious reasons, goes all 'Zen' in water. She loses her frontline battle carapace and turns into Tai Qi girl, gently making patterns in the air with wet hands, then submerging herself up to her neck and smiling sweetly.
If only water had the ability to change adults' personalities too. Although I doubt it would have made Saddam Hussein less of a tyrant, or Madonna more of a Beta female if decisions had been made under the influence of H20 submersion.
But oh, to notice one's toddlers having a complete personality swap (just add warm water) is incredible. Perhaps another Montessori-trained bride would think of installing a child-friendly Jacuzzi on her Special Day?