Back in the day when I was a newbie mom, I always made sure that the boys had professional pictures taken. When the twins were babies, I did the obligatory photos at 3, 6, and 12 months old.
I would spend hours planning the “perfect” outfits making sure everything down to their socks matched. The day of the photos I would give myself a heart attack worrying how the boys would, or more likely would not, behave.
It was always a disaster with someone (usually me) leaving in tears.
The years went on, more kids arrived and soon anytime I had to think about professional pictures was long gone! Besides, I had an iPhone so if there was anything I was NOT lacking in, it was photos of my kids – ask anyone who follows me on Facebook or Instagram.
Life went on.
Then this past fall I had an idea. The boys are older, they
sorta listen and I have no pictures of them all together looking “happy” let’s take them to have pictures taken!!!!!! (no I was not drinking when this idea popped into my head).
I booked the appointment for a Sunday in October and tried to block it out of my head – not a hard thing to do with 4 crazy boys, school, soccer and work. My mom and the husband thought I was totally insane.
Why would you do this to yourself? You know that you will be disappointed when no one listens? Well if you are going to do it…just prepare yourself for the worst.
Those were just a few of the little pick-me-ups that were offered in the days leading up to picture day.
Before I knew it, it was the day before the pictures and I had NOTHING ready. In my mind I assumed it would rain and the pictures would be canceled since we had planned to take them outside at a college campus.
Well what is the saying about assuming???
Yeah, here is was Saturday night and the weather forecast for Sunday was going to be warm and sunny – YIKES!
Off to the mall I went to try to find 4 perfect “look at what I just threw together don’t my sons look amazing like they just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren print-ad” outfits.
Needless to say I struck out at every store I went to. Why can you NEVER find something when you really need it?????
Somehow I was able to buy a white button-down for L and a pair of jeans for J. On the ride home from the mall I crossed my fingers and said a silent prayer that the twins had something decent (and clean) to wear in their closet.
Sunday morning I woke up, saw the sun and listened to the boys downstairs screaming and fighting over nothing. I
Immediately began to panic OMG….am I out of my fn mind taking these kids out in public to have their pictures taken????!!!!!!
I went downstairs to make coffee and the husband was checking his phone. Ya ready for today? he asked with a huge smirk. Good luck he said laced with sarcasm as the twins started crying because the 3yo was yelling at them and chasing them with a pirate sword.
All morning I prepped
bribed and threatened the boys. What? Don’t judge.
Hey, I had a lot riding on this and I didn’t want M crying about his hair or J screaming he wanted to go home to ruin the experience AND I deserved at least 1 nice picture of my boys all together god dammit!
The car ride was good, I played some Kidz Bop cd and kept the kids talking and happy. We pulled up to the college and saw Mr. D waiting for us. I took a deep breath before opening the van doors and letting the monsters out.
Mr. D made the boys line up and handed gave them “the rules” for the day. Everything they listened they would get a blue marble. At the end of the day, each boys could turn in his marbles for a prize bag AND candy!
Never have I seen the boys smile so big for a total stranger as they followed him (walking single file) down the path on campus.
It’s going to be fine, stop worrying he told me as he posed them on the steps of a building.
Here is a small sampling of what the boys said that day (please picture it said in a whiney/annoying voice):
L stop touching me! Mom, L is sitting too close to me! Ewwww J’s leg is touching mine and I don’t like it! Mom..there are people looking at us. Mommy…can I have a lollipop? NO I WANT A RED LOLLIPOP this is blue!! Hey look over there…it’s a huge pile of leaves!!!!! I don’t want to smile. I am tired, can we go home? Mom, can I play with your phone? Why does J get to play with your phone and I can’t. Why do you hate me? My mouth hurts, I can’t smile anymore. Can I go play in the leaves? Mom? Mom? Mommy?? Can we play in the leaves? Hey J I bet you can’t catch me!!!!!
At the end of the photo shoot, I was completely drained. A few hours trying to get 4 boys to smile, stay clean and look happy will do that to a grown woman.
Mr. D has assured me that we had at least 1 great shot – and that wrangling 4 kids was WAY harder than he had anticipated (lol).
On the car ride home as the boys played with their prize bags – that contained containers of slime that made fart-like noises when they squished it with their fingers – and congratulated myself on surviving.
A couple of days later the proofs arrived in my in-box. I was a nervous wreck opening the attachment. I had no idea how the pictures had come out and if the boys even managed to smile for one.
The minute I saw the pictures my eyes welled up with tears…the pictures were beautiful!! OMG how my babies have grown up.
Mr. D made me a special mosaic picture which I attached below, it’s my favorite! (his work is absolutely AMAZING!).
Thanks for reading
ps – Thank you Mr. D!!