I really wasn't looking forward to this. Things are really crazy at work right now, and I am always looking forward to coming home for the night. Today, however, I was not so lucky.
Its time to update the church directory, and tonight was our scheduled appointment. I rushed home after work to find my wonderful husband cooking our dinner. As I went in to pick out the kids' clothing for the picture, I found Pumpkin Pie in his bed, eating some kind of candy that had turned his face green. I was able to get a lot of it off, but not without making it look like he had a large light green healing bruise all around his mouth. Faaaaaaaantastic.
We sat down to eat a quick dinner, which is where our the frustrations really started. In between mouthfulls, we told the kids to "Hurry up and eat!" and "Be quiet and eat!", which only caused them to eat slower and talk more. Finally, we knew we couldn't prod them to eat any longer, so we told everyone to exit the table and get changed immediately. Cutie Pie and Pot Pie got changed into the outfits I picked out, but Pumpkin Pie couldn't be convinced to change out of his Mickey Mouse shirt...in hindsight, today probably wasn't the best day to let him wear his favorite shirt to school. We were finally able to convince him to take it off, and Cutie Pie helped him to get dressed so that Sweetie Pie and I could finish, which resulted in the following conversation.
Sweetie Pie: Which shirt should I wear?
Me: The white one with the slate blue stripes.
Sweetie Pie: The collar isn't flat and I don't have time to iron it.
Me: Its not that bad. Just put it on.
Sweetie Pie: Then I'll look like a big DORK. What about the green one?
Me: The boys are all wearing red or slate blue. You won't match.
Sweetie Pie: Well, what are you wearing?
Me: A grey dress. Just wear your silver shirt.
Sweetie Pie: Why are you putting on panty hose? They are only shooting from the waist up.
Me: Well, if you must know, I haven't shaved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day when we were at that water park.
Sweetie Pie: WHAT?!?! That's disgusting!
Me: Hey! Its cold outside!
Sweetie Pie: So? Are you growing a winter coat?
Me: (Fuming) Just worry about yourself and the kids so I can finish getting ready. Can you do that, please?!
Sweetie Pie: *Making Wookie noises*
Finally, we make it out the door and load everyone into the truck. Miraculously, we made it to church on time for our appointment, and even more miraculously, they were running ahead of schedule so we were able to start our session immediately upon arrival.
The first shot of the family went very well. All of us were smiling at the photographer as she waved her little bear at us. She kept telling the boys that her bear was a "bad bear" so they always had to keep their eyes on it. But then, when we moved onto the next shot, things started to go downhill. In the first shot, Pumpkin Pie was in my lap, but for the second shot, she wanted to move him and at that moment, he decided to be a momma's boy and wouldn't move out of arms reach, so she had to plan all of the rest of our family shots around Pumpkin Pie and I being together. These family shots became increasingly more difficult to obtain, because Cutie Pie would make sarcastic remarks about her "bad bear" and Pot Pie would draw his arms up into his shirt, making it look like his hands had disappeared, to which he would react with fake surprise. Finally we were through with the family shots, and we breathed a sigh of relief, but as we were gathering our things, the photographer said, "Now, let's do some shots of just the boys and then just some shots of mom and dad."
I wanted to say, "Seriously? Do you need a reason to take up drinking? Because these boys could quite possibly succeed in driving you to it." But I didn't. I knew she was just doing her job, and so we put our things down and I let her begin the torturous job of positioning the boys for their shots. Cutie Pie and Pot Pie followed direction well. Pumpkin Pie, however, was another story. The poor photographer spent so much time running back and forth between the camera and arranging Pumpkin Pie that she was sweating! She would get his arms folded just right, and then when she got back to the camera, he would move them back down to his side. She would tell him to plant his feet, look directly at the camera and tilt his head, but he would quickly move and give her a perfect profile from the side that would rival any mug shot. Once we finished the kids' shots, we moved quickly through three poses of hubby and me.
And then the sales pitch started. She began to go through each picture to see which ones we liked better, but by this time I was ready to take up drinking, so I quickly pointed out the best shot for the directory and a cute one of the boys because I definitely didn't want to make that poor woman feel like she had done all that hard work for nothing, which in hindsight is probably one of their sales tactics...but anyway, we made it through the appointment fairly unscathed (though I don't know if I can say the same for the poor photographer...). I'm glad its over with, and additionally I am glad that these things only come around every 3-4 years. The only regret I have is not signing in under a false name because now when our children act up in church, everyone will be able to find out who we are by searching the faces of tired parents with three boys in the picture directory...