I have this disease where I'm compelled to get professional portraits taken yearly which always leads to a series of unfortunate events. I don't know the exact medical term but it is a mental illness. There is no known cure. No available medication for symptom management. And I won't be talked out of it. This disaster WILL go down, people.
Theoretically, the idea is fabulous. Pictures are great. My family is great. Taking pictures of my family is not great. Any mom who has ever attempted a photo shoot with children is nodding. Perhaps sobbing quietly. The minutia involved in pulling this thing off is maddening. Who will wear what? Society requires we be clothed but when do you put on the outfits? Before the car ride? After? Everyone knows that cute, well-planned wardrobes are destroyed faster than the sweats you've worn around the house all week.
The kids are going to want a snack at some point. What snack do you choose? It has to be small bites so it can be consumed quickly and can't have a hint of chocolate or you have a whole new issue on your hands. On their hands actually. And their cute outfits...
What if they need to vomit? Where will that happen? How does each particular child vomit? Is it typically projectile or does it dribble down their front necessitating extra clothing? As I learned today, this should be on the list of considerations. I can't believe I didn't consider vomit. It's like I'm not even TRYING.
Here's the back story: I saw some pictures with very "pinterest-ing" backgrounds. My eye on the prize, I purposed to get my cute family to that spot on the planet to smile in front of a camera. Theoretically, not that big of a deal.
Who cares that we had to take a road trip?
That the background was on a busy main street?
That it's 104 degrees and humid?
That it is the children's bedtime?
None of those are factors worthy of consideration. See, I told you it's a mental illness. We arrived early enough to get some dinner. That way everyone would be full, relaxed, and able to smile for the pictures. We can't possibly wear the clothes we will be photographed in so we need to carry those. And for Pete's sake be careful. They can't get wrinkled! Oh, and whoops, we forgot the stroller. We get to carry the boy child. The girl child's new pink glittery shoes (that she HAD to have in order to go on living) are giving her blisters and she will simply NOT be wearing them NOR walking at this time. So, the big people (already gingerly carrying ironed clothing for 4) hoisted up the little people as well.
I found a restaurant with live music and served french fries. Up to this point, I had never been to a restaurant that was entirely outdoors and spanned three levels. It didn't occur to me that an establishment would have no indoor seating or that it would be several stories of patio overlooking busy streets.
****To recap, we are carrying humans and ironed clothing, we ordered food at a restaurant that would be very fun for adults but is a death trap for kids and the only choice is to sit outside in triple digit temperatures. Just wanted to make sure you were with me.****
The burgers arrived. For some reason, mine was on a tortilla. I don't know why that surprised me at this point.
I WILL have a good attitude.
I WILL hold on to the children so they don't die at dinner.
I WILL eat my burger-ito.
Desperate for an air-conditioned area and a place to change into the (now-less-ironed) clothing, we descended upon a cupcake shop. Being a stress eater, I just went ahead and ordered myself multiple cupcakes. I ate them in about 57 seconds. This does not get me any closer to winning the money but at this point I didn't know if we were going to survive the evening so I figured I might as well enjoy it. They didn't have a place to change so we changed right in the middle of the shop. A classy move indeed.
What I couldn't see from the pinterest picture that drew us to this spot on the planet was that the awesome background was on a very busy main street of town. It's tricky to keep a toddler out of traffic on a good day. If you've been paying attention, you know this is not a good day. The boy child is in that cute I-wave-at-all-passing-vehicles phase. And he's teething. So we have the sweating, the hound-dog-esque drooling and all the waving.
Then from the girl child comes, "Mommy, my tummy hurts." Of course it does. That definitely fits. Through clenched teeth I pleaded, "Please. Smile. We will talk about your tummy in a second." You never know when kids are actually sick. Her illness was confirmed, however, when she vomited into her backpack on the ride home. The books were allowed to marinate because we were about 45 minutes away. Moments like those make me wish I was hard of smelling. We just rolled down the windows and continued to fly away from our photo shoot experience.
I have to pause and say that our photographer was phenomenal. I first met him at the Declare Conference. Joseph with The Forgotten Stories made the picture part super fun. He has a great demeanor and creative ideas. Dallas peeps should look him up! He's very obviously talented. He made the whole disaster look like this:
So do you have any family picture sagas you'd like to share? I would love to hear them.