Monday, February 2, 2009

The Parent Trap

I fell into a classic parent trap yesterday morning, and I'm not talking about the 1961 movie starring Haley Mills (also a classic) or the 1998 Lindsay Lohan redo (haven't seen it, but can't imagine that it, too, is a classic). I'm talking about professional portraits. It's a parent trap. And this rookie parent fell right into it.

Yesterday morning, we took Ruthie and Audrey to get their two-year-old pictures taken. We do this once a year, around their birthday. Any other time, it's digital camera city. This year I had the added goal of getting a family portrait, too. One that didn't involve three smiling family members and one writhing, wiggling, screaming, miserable child. One that didn't have 50% of the members with their eyes closed, or looking off camera, or drooling, or picking their noses. Lofty goal, I know, but I was determined.

I set the appointment for 10:10 on Sunday morning. I was so proud of my strategy. No one else in the city would be going for pictures so early on a Sunday morning. Silly, mommy. The place was packed. Wall-to-wall parents and their dolled up children. And, of course, the appointments were running behind and the photographers were short staffed. Resigned to our fate, we joined the other parents who were trying to keep their neatly-pressed and beautifully coiffed offspring from wreaking havoc while they waited. Finally, it was our turn. The photo shoot went smoothly. The girls giggled, laughed, cringed, and posed on cue. Things were looking up.

But then, more waiting. We had to wait for a computer to open up so we could preview our pictures. We had to wait while our photos loaded. The girls were wilting. They were tired, bored, and hungry. Mark and I were tired, bored, and hungry. The bag packed full of snacks and toys was useless. Another 15 minutes later, it was our turn. The plan: Mark would entertain the girls while I selected photos.

And this where they get you. This is the parent trap. By this point, parents and children alike are so stressed out and tired that they will agree to buy almost anything just to get out of the store. The sales people know this, and they prey on it. But I had been forewarned. My mommy friends had given me a heads up. I had the inside scoop. I was going to be strong. And I was, for a little bit. I cut pictures right and left as if I were the demon spawn of Edward Scissorhands. I showed no mercy, no emotion. But finally, I just couldn't do it anymore. I wanted out. I wanted out so badly I was willing to buy pictures of other peoples' kids.

So, today I'm cleaning a drawer to store the 100 10 X13 "free" portraits, 400 8X 10s and 1 million wallets that I bought yesterday. No amount of friends or relatives could help me deplete my stash. But man, I have some cute kids! Oh, and the family portrait? PERFECT!

1 comment:

  1. Those pictures are great! We still haven't had professional portraits done. I am scared about what my heathens will do while posing. :)