Family Circus

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. - Doug Horton

Wednesday

Tuesday Photo Op

* This post is long and filled with my frustration with motherhood. Thank you for letting me vent. If you decide to skip this one, I'll still respect you. - Editor*

The girls received Christmas jumpers from my step-mom over the weekend, and I thought they'd be perfect to have portraits made in. My daughter know that until we are dressing for the portrait sitting, the dresses are off limits. Also over the weekend, I convinced DH to have Catie's hair cut to attempt to repair the damage done at the Backyard Barber Shop. So, all my girls are looking good (read: none of them has obvious bruises/gashes/road rash or looks like they lost a fight with a weed whacker), and they've got pristine new dresses to wear. I figured I'd better get them to WalMart and have quick, cheap photos done so I could have them before Christmas. Oh well. That's what I get for counting my 'chickens' before they 'hatch'.
I scheduled my girls for 4:30PM today. That gave me enough time to get Halie home from school, get all the girls fed and watered, then dressed and preened before we left for WalMart.
They were all excited to play Beauty Shop at my vanity, complete with curling irons and sparkly Kabuki makeup brushes. The anticipation continued to build as they put on their holiday-colored jumpers, opaque tights, and jewelry. On the drive to WalMart (5 minute drive @ 4PM) we sang Christmas carols and talked of the real story of Jesus crucifixion. Yes, my daughters brought up that particular topic. BTW, we're not a family that sticks to 'light' topics.
So we get to WalMart, and head to the portrait studio. We're greeted by a young woman who tells me that she is our photographer (surprise there, since she was the only person present), adding that she was 'good and fast'. I thought to myself: You haven't met my kids, but we'll see.

We headed back to the actual 'studio', consisting of a pile of beer cases with a fake-fur blanket draped over it. Okay. It. wasn't. that .bad. It was a real platform to position my daughters on, but it was quite tiny to squeeze three wiggly, hyper children on. Halie has been a ham from the moment she began the transition from fish to human, seven years ago. No problem there. That's where the enjoyable part of the story ends. Catie, who feigns intolerance for the photograph-taking process, refused to smile. When she did smile, she ducked her head behind Rosie. Then there was Rosie, who refused to sit still, look at the camera, OR remove her beloved fingers from her mouth. Texas laws require that I sit to the side of my children, just out of the frame, so Rosie kept leaping off the platform and into my arms. Grrrrr!

I put both my hands in my hair ( I. resisted. the. urge. to. pull. it. out, thank you) and said aloud, "These are my own children, and they are frustrating me beyond reason. I cannot imagine what you are feeling right now." She did not respond, so I asked her to reschedule for another day. An HOUR with nothing to show for it! We left WalMart, and Catie's right foot was conveniently 'injured', so she was the straggler in the parking lot. We loaded into the SUV, and I spoke through my clenched teeth, "Not one word until we are home. I will tell your father the kind of experience we just had here." Absolute silence on the drive home, which at 5PM was a 10 minute drive.

I pulled into the garage, as DH was coming out the door to tell me that I had left my purse at the studio. RAWR! So, he took the girls, and I drove back to Wally World, which at 5:15PM, is a 20 minute drive. The photographer had turned my purse in at the Customer Service desk, so I asked there. Two young men stopped thier conversation long enough to tell me that they would ask in the 'official office', where they count the money. This meant 'we'll yell through the open slot in the wall', which they did. Then, the guys resumed their conversation about my 'giant tah-tahs', about six feet away, just loud enough for me to hear and be quite uncomfortable. I was kicking myself for leaving my jacket in the car and regretting not having plastic surgery sooner, while also wishing that men had to wear their testicles on the front of their body to be judged by strangers. It took me a long time to get my purse, and ended with me having to sign away parental rights to my kids, but I left with it, 10 minutes later.
I walked in at 6PM to find three starving kids, and three sets of Christmas dresses, tights and shoes in piles in the floor throughout our house. I thought my head would explode. Nah, just another huge mess I'd have to clean up. Not worth it.
Needless to say, we won't have Christmas portraits of the girls this year. Enough said.

CAST & CREW

Erin: 31, Emcee. Witty redhead, handy with a whip.

DH: 30, Strong Man. Comedian, defender of virtue.

Halie: 7, Chimpanzee. Pulls teeth, loves bananas.

Catie: 5, Leaping Lemur. Gentle and cuddly, loves grapes.

Rosie: 2, Cappuccin. Flings poo, loves carrots.

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