Today I earned 100,000 points for bringing my son home from the mall alive.
The mission today was to have his 2-year photos taken. We're not big into professional photos with lots of props and wardrobe changes, but you know, I like a little 5x7 portrait of the milestones for posterity's sake. Six-months and 1-year went fine, I figured we'd go for the 2-year too. Fifteen minute session at 10am, no props, white backdrop, just my kid's bright eyes to make the photo.
Forty-five minutes later, he's crumpled on the floor in a big mess with a tear-stained face shouting "I WANT ALL DONE!" over and over and he hasn't even been on the other side of the camera yet.
(Did I mention that this was the 2-year photo shoot? Yes, that means he's 2. Officially 2 next week, unofficially 2 for many, many months now.)
The photographer (who thankfully also has a 2-year old...) and I tried everything -- Jackson taking photos of Mommy, the photographer taking photos of the orange Crayola marker that quickly became the object of his obsession this morning, flat-out bribery, you name it, we tried it -- but it just wasn't working so I decided to cut bait and sail away while we still had a boat.
He cried "I WANT SARA MAHKAH!" all the way out of the mall ("I want Sarah's marker," that orange Crayola jobbie again) and I had to do the football hold to get him to the parking lot. Not wanting to reward him in the slightest for his display, I had no idea what to do next.
• Go home? But I wanted to get photos of him and have no other time to do it in the next week before his Omi comes to visit.
• Go to another photo studio or straight back to the first one to try again? Yeah, right.
As I slowly meandered the car over towards Grama's workplace (where lollipops live...yeah, lollipops should do it!), I looked into my rear-view mirror and noticed that he had fallen fast asleep. Now, the morning nap has been outlawed in our household for many moons because of it's uncanny ability to screw up the blessed afternoon nap so this was completely out of the question. Yet, he did wake up an hour earlier on his own this morning for no reason and then proceeded to expend all of his energy at the studio through tantrum display so, of course, he was tired.
What's a mom to do? I let him rest. (Let it be known that I had to pee and did not have my knitting with me...)
We arrived at Grama's workplace 30 minutes later, picked her up for "lunch" and then went out again. Yes, dear readers, I enlisted the support of the Grama-Big-Guns. She was armed and ready for this boy. (Indeed, she knows him well since he so closely resembles his momma in temperament.) She had the lollipops.
We went to lunch and hoped that a better-rested, well-fed boy who had his Grama in tow would be better able to manage smiling for the camera. We started bringing up the topic of going to visit Sarah again during lunch, to which he replied "I want Sara mahka...I want all done." At least he was calm, cool and collected this time instead of shouting, but he wasn't much up for negotiating either. Give him the marker, take him home and no one gets hurt was his stance.
Grama and I maintained our stance which was to smother him with cheeriness and get the *&^% photos taken today, period. We made our way back to the studio and, well, let's just say that photos were taken. It was another 45-minute session, we had to use our Big Gun Lollipop Bribe which caused purple lips, chocolate milk had been spilled all over his shirt during lunch* and he was holding the infamous orange marker. To top it off, my kid likes props. Not just any props, but the little fake hot rod car and the huge white teddy bear. I can't tell you how much this disappointed me and dashed my hopes of a simple, white background, smiling portrait. (I did manage to keep the giant rubber ducky out of the scene...).
While most of the photos are less than mediocre, one of them was actually cute. But the studio employees ruined it for me by editing the photo with the words "Hello Ladies! I like fast cars and suckers!" Ohmygod. Yes, he was flirting in the photo. Yes, he was leaning on a hot rod. Yes, he had a lollipop hanging out of his mouth. But anyone who knows me will realize that that's SO not me. I can't hang that on my wall. I just can't.
There may be one photo of the 15 that I will actually be able to use in my 5x7 frame for posterity. I think it has that dumb teddy bear in it. And he's still holding the marker and the sucker and has purple lips. But he's still pretty adorable and yes, I still love him.
I wish I could show you the photos now, but they're all copyrighted so I can't post them yet. Just believe me that they're not that great (not the photographer's fault in the slightest). But I do not believe it is the quality of the photos that determines my points today...
As I stated at the beginning of this post, I earned my points for bringing him home alive.
It's 4:40pm and this is the story of our 15-minute photo shoot that started at 10am today. He's just now going down for his official nap. Thank Dog for advisory council meetings that allow me to run out the door the minute that Dan comes home.
(Does anyone know where I can redeem these points and what they're good for? Do I actually have to just wait until he has kids to claim my prize?)
*Luckily, this sweater vest covered most of the stains except for a little bit near the collar...but still.
Thank you for all of your loving and kind comments on the tribute to Grandma England below. I know that many of Dan's family members have visited the blog recently to read this and must be comforted by the soft words of loving strangers from all around the globe. Thanks for being such good blog friends, everyone.