Picture Day

Since we got our tax refund in, I decided that we were way overdue to get professional pictures made of our girls. The last time we had any made was when our younger daughter was slightly past age one; she’s now two and half. Needless to say, she has changed a lot in the past year and half. So, I made the appointment to get their pictures made, and prayed that we could keep their faces relatively scratch and bruise free leading up to the day. (We had a few close calls thanks to a few bonked-head incidents and stray finger nails.)

We have always been really bad about getting pictures made. We usually wait so long between visits to the picture studio because it is so stressful, time-consuming, and expensive. And of course it’s more stressful mentally, physically, and financially because we wait so long that we end up having lots of poses taken and buying lots of pictures. If only we could get in the habit of just a few shots every six months, it would probably be a bit better.

So, I managed to set back all of their picture clothes from being worn before the big day. That morning I gathered props and snacks to take with us. I managed to find the balance between feeding, bathing, and dressing time (you don’t want them getting food all over their clean bodies or clothes yet you don’t want them hungry and fussy when you get to the studio). It was a tightrope walk, though, especially when a last minute grab for fresher tights made me forget to bring the water bottle.

It doesn’t help that my older daughter, age five and a half, has always been extremely concerned and opinionated when it comes to her wardrobe. Picture day sends her into alternate fits of rapture and hysteria. In her mind “Picture Day” is a holiday and deserves an entirely new wardrobe. And so the battles began. We had a lot of negotiation over what she would wear, as I didn’t want her to completely clash with her sister and refused to buy her something new. Then she thought she had to use twice as much soap in her bath or she wouldn’t be clean and shiny enough. She decided that she wanted braided pigtails (she also chose her own hairstyle last year) but didn’t want to sit still while I put them up. We argued because I wouldn’t let her wear any of my lipstick. Then she got upset because she thought her dress made her neck look too long. And don’t even get me started on her shoes; I finally had to save that battle until we got to the picture studio so we could get there on time. She had also devised her own pose for the photographer.

Once we got there things ran pretty smoothly. Older daughter jabbered away to the photographer during her portion of the shoot while the younger daughter watched. The younger one was really co-operative when it was her turn. And they were so sweet together. My husband and I tried to stay out of the way while everything was going well; we did get a little teared up watching, though. We also got a few shots of the girls, me, and my big belly together.

We had to wait for about 20 minutes while the photographer processed everything, and that’s about how long it took for the girls to fall apart. They started getting thirsty for water. The younger one started getting tired and fussy.  If only I had not forgotten that stupid water bottle!!!  There were so many pictures it took us an hour and half to narrow it down and place our order while the kids grew increasingly whiny (which is probably why it took so long to begin with). We promised the kids that if they could just hold together for a little bit we would stop by the local ice cream parlor on the way home.

By the time we got home, we were all starving and exhausted…and in no hurry to do that again for a very long time. Part of me is tempted to try to go in when the new baby is six-months old and just get a few shots of the baby and a group shot of the three girls together. Something tells me, though, that we’ll end up waiting until the new little one is one and then we’ll feel like we need to catch up on pictures of everyone. And next time we’ll get to wrangle with three of them. Right now the thought of going through another day like yesterday stresses me out more than the thought of going into labor again.

Deep down I know it will all be worth it as our girls grow up to be able to look back and remember them the way they are today.  Or maybe in ninety years someone will show their great-grandchildren these pictures and those children will be awed to think that the person they always thought of as so old was once a little child like them, as happened today when my older daughter looked upon a childhood picture of my grandmother who just passed away.  Now if we can only get around to developing all those photos from the digital camera….

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One Comment on “Picture Day”

  1. Kelly Says:

    I’m telling ya, just take little Mad-Eye down to Wal-Mart when she’s 6 weeks old or so. You’re in and out in 30 minutes, and you get a ton of pictures (all one shot) for about $6. Then you’ve got that, and you can save the “perfect” and expensive pictures for next year.

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