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by Abigail Van Buren

Alzheimer's Association Helps Families Desperate for Advice

DEAR ABBY: My 4-year-old daughter will be the flower girl in my brother's wedding. Since it is an adult reception, she and the ring bearer are being asked to leave the reception after they have been introduced and eaten dinner.

We spent $70 on her dress and contributed money toward the shower. I cannot believe she is expected to leave before the festivities and, frankly, we can't afford a sitter in addition to all the money we've already spent.

My husband and I have decided to go home with her when it's time for her to leave. Am I overreacting? -- SISTER OF THE GROOM

DEAR SISTER OF THE GROOM: A reasonable compromise has been proposed by the bridal couple. Your daughter and the ring bearer will have a chance to enjoy their dinner, and everyone will get to meet them. There will be no other children there for them to play with, and at their tender ages, they will probably have had enough excitement by then.

A day of joy is not the time to make a personal statement; therefore I would not advise leaving with your daughter. If you can't afford a sitter, consider sharing the cost with the parents of the ring bearer.