I love getting Christmas cards. I feel slight disappointment any day after about Dec 12 if I go to my mailbox and find no Holiday greetings. I love the pictures of everyone's kids and puppies. (Not really a cat person). I love cards that make me laugh. I cover my refrigerator with them. I like getting cards so much that if none come on a given day, my husband tries to soften the blow by saying " AT&T sent something, along with the utility company and, oh and look the mortgage company!" yay
In the past, I have been even more enthusiastic about having my Christmas cards made so I can send them out to friends and family. I love to show off my kids. In past years I almost bubbled with anticipation as I was dressing my litter to take them to the studio and have their innocence and adorableness captured. Plus, if someone at a studio is doing it, then I do not have to. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get three very young kids to look at the camera at the same time, much less smile?
After the first few years the enthusiasm fades. I have left every "photo shoot" sweating and exhausted. This year I even briefly considered forgoing the Christmas Card, but something inside me said I would regret it later. And hey we have no playdates or doctor appointments scheduled today, so let's do it.
Getting them dressed was reasonably easy. Much easier than when they were all three really tiny and helpless and someone pooped every single time I got them dressed and we were about to walk out the door.
Then we got to the studio...we arrived just before our appointment and the kids moved straight to the Lego table. I cringed. All I could think is that table is covered in who knows what. It is probably a veritable petri dish growing new and unheard of bacteria and strains of virus. But what the hell, at least they aren't whining and asking when our turn is. The place was packed, with kids in their finery running everywhere. The Lego table was getting busy. My kids aren't necessarily the best at sharing. You'd think they would be because they have had no choice but to share toys, pacifiers, mommy and daddy, etc their entire lives. Maybe that is why they don't like to share with others. Maybe they are thinking "I have to put up with enough bullshit from my siblings at home, I am NOT taking flack from the kid in the mini tux with the Tartan plaid bowtie".
Anyway, I whipped out the I-phone and let them take turns playing Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja until it was our turn.
As our photographer for the day led us into an actual studio, the manager followed us in. " You need me", she tells our photographer. "These guys are never easy".
Hmmmmm, maybe I heard that wrong. It may be true, but did she really just say that right in front of me?
And we got started...I was sweating within minutes. B kept spinning around on the swiveling stool used for profile shots. A was unwrapping the prop gifts under the prop tree. C was wandering around aimlessly.
We get them all seated for a few moments, and the photog and the manager decide my kids will look towards the camera and smile if the manager stands over the camera and throws various toys in the air to hold their attention.
"I wouldn't do that". I honestly tried to warn them. As soon as the teddy bear left her arms all three of my kids went charging towards it (and the Photog and the mgr) in a desperate attempt to catch it. It was like a really bad bouqet toss at a wedding. Photog ( who is squatting down to get a good angle) falls down and I hear him cussing under his breath.
Manager tried to rally the kids back under control and move them back toward the tree. B won't go. He sits on the ground kicking his feet and laughing. Photog tries to lift B by the armpits, at the same time that B jumps to his feet and head bumps Photog right in the chin. And B is very hard headed. When they are finally by the tree again, A and B keep yelling the name of any food they can think of rather than cheese. They find this hilarious, as does C.
All finished up and time to review the pics. While waiting for the computer to upload our memories, I hear photog tell a co-worker that it will be a miracle if he got a good shot of these kids. Hello...I can hear you!
As he strolls over a minute later I decided to call him out on it.
"So, my kids are a little wilder than the others you've had lately?"
I'll be honest, I expected a two faced, awkward reply along the lines of how they were no problem, really.
But I will give photog props because he gave it to me straight. He said "You're kids are like 4 times wilder than any other kids I have dealt with."
OK then. At least he was honest. And probably right. And I still (miraculously) got some cute Chrsitmas cards made this year.