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The Everything Guide to Kids

Ketchup Stains and All
Three ways to keep the kid chaos at bay.


Illustrations by Dan Woodger  

How to:
Get a Child-Inflicted Ketchup Stain Out of a Wedding Dress

“The ketchup fingerprint is a kid specialty—on themselves and others. To treat one on a wedding dress, start with dish or hand soap mixed with water and a clean, light-colored sponge or cloth. Get the cloth sudsy, then wring it out and blot the stain, rinsing and wringing as you go. Because it’s delicate fabric, go slowly and use as little liquid as you can.” —Jolie Kerr, author of the forthcoming cleaning guide My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbagand Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha


How to:
Get a Ham to Stop Stealing the Spotlight

“Make sure there’s one adult who’s in charge of gently reining in tiny dance-floor superstars. Then, distraction is key. If there’s a photo booth, those props can come in handy. A good precautionary trick: Exhaust them early on. Play Bieber and ‘Call Me Maybe’ during cocktail hour so that kids can have their dance time while the adults are busy doing other things. By the time the adult party gets going, they’ll be wiped.” —D.J.’s Abby Klein and Tom Shiner of Play Something Good


How to:
Tell Your Guests “No Children Allowed”—Period

“An invitation that does not include the names of the children means they’re not invited. Of course, not all couples know this, nor do they know it’s bad manners to ask the bride-to-be if they can bring kids. If pressed, say you’re having a formal or ‘grown-up’ wedding or that there are financial reasons why kids can’t come. Etiquette dictates, however, that the ring bearer and flower girl be invited to the reception.” —Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder of the Etiquette School of New York

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