So we did the seemingly insurmountable task of getting our family pictures done. Over Camera Guy’s dead body, we went to a studio in Sears.
Thus is the curse of being the photographer’s family. Everybody else gets amazing portraits, but we can’t get our own young-ins to sit still for a second to smile. Luckily we had a coupon for a free portrait so I dragged Princess for a haircut, got Chubbers in his Dockers and off to the mall we went.
So we had an appointment. But when we got there, the studio was dimly lit and no one was around. It was eerie. If someone had whistled and beckoned to us from behind the hallway wall I wouldn’t have been the least surprised.
We got a late start, about a half hour because the photographer was late. A half hour , I’m learning, is very valuable on toddler time. They were fed, changed, clean and happy. But the closer we crept to naptime, the more fiesty the troops became.
Finally the girl (who had to have been like 19) gets us into the studio room. Everyone is set. We all are matchy matchy, feeling good, there’s no one in the waiting room, and I’ve got a bag of tricks.
Then I look at Chubber’s hair and realize I forgot to comb it. I assumed the studio had a box of disposable combs for things like this. Nope. So a 15 minute scramble through the diaper bag ensued… resulting in tilting the bag upside down & shaking it, determined that amongst the cheerios, raisins and diaper cream there HAD to be a comb! A half hour elapsed again, and no comb was found.
So we licked our hands and pushed his hair the side. Que Sera….
Onto photos. A big letter “x” appeared on the studio screen for the kids to sit on.
“Now make sure they sit right on that “x’ ” photo girl stressed.
I almost burst out laughing.
“They’re 2 and 1….um….. I can’t get them to sit in the tub, let alone sit on that 3 inch “x’ ”
But we tried, we tried for oh, about…. let me not exaggerate here: 2 hours.
Totally. Not. Kidding.
Yes, believe me. We tried very hard to make it work. Things just kept preventing blissful family picture from occurring. Sometimes the barcode on Princesses shoe was showing, or Chubbers was holding the football in front of his face, or lipstick was on my teeth, or Camera Guy was looking like he was in a coma, or Chubbers decided to play peek-a-boo with his forehead fat.
Exasperated the photo girl cried out “Mom & Dad, you’re going to have to make them smile”
Exasperated I cried back “If we could do that, we wouldn’t be here!”
“I have an idea” She reached into the toy bin and pulled out a baseball bat.
I gasped in horror and started to throw raisins at her bald head. But then she just used it to tickle their bellies…so…
Either way, it was overly strenuous for all of us. And when we finished (more like quit emphatically) we realized there were 4 other families waiting in the lobby and she was the only photographer scheduled for the day. (I made sure I took the bat away from her before she saw the line)
In the future I am going to be much more leery of those free portrait coupons.
2 hours later and we had come away with the following :
1. One empty exhausted bag o’ tricks: snacks, toy medicine dropper, toy car, ballerina bunny, rubber duckies, umbrella, football & lollipops.
2. Two red-eyed kids from crying
3. Zero photos of them together. In that lovey dovey sister brother cuteness, that we never see anyway, but would have been nice for the picture.
4. Two near-migraines
5. One family photo where husband looks Asian.
6. 2 huge laughs from when they tried to sell us the “Gold” package that started at $1000, but would offer us at a special reduced rate of ONLY $800 ( how kind, we’re supposed to pay you
400 bucks an hour to drive us loco? I don’t think so, the kids know how to do that already for free…)
All in all it was a learning lesson. Which I learned nothing from immediately and was instead suckered into buying the $10 portrait card which was good all year round for a free 8×10 any time I came in! As much as I wanted! (Oh goody! Now I can accelerate the speed of loosing my mind at an even faster and more concentrated rate than I was already doing!)
You wouldn’t believe what happened when I got home, either.
I found the comb in the front pocket of my diaper bag.