Monday, September 21, 2009

Picture This: The Reality

Well, the photo session for the church directory went pretty much as I predicted.

The day started out wonderfully, with all three boys sleeping in until 7 a.m. Of course, their timing was terrible, as late wakeup meant late nap and I needed to keep things moving. But church directory be darned, I was NOT waking them up. I've had enough of 5:30 a.m. wakeup calls to last me a lifetime.

In order to make our 12:10 appointment on time, we had to start lunch at 10:30. So I'm waking babies up and strapping them in their high chairs half asleep so they can eat before we go. And Amelia's still in her pjs so we don't have to worry about her spilling lunch on her photo clothes.

So there we all are at 10:30 a.m.: Three semi-awake boys who are being force fed, a three-year-old who just finished breakfast and is now lunching in her pjs, and two adults who suddenly realized they are at T-90 minutes and counting and are running around like crazy people.

We're throwing things in the car, packing the diaper bag, loading the stroller, making bottles for later, and I grab the clean shirt I'm planning to wear. It came straight out of the laundry basket, and it was still dirty.

Seriously? Could I get a break over here?

I spot the stain, chuck the shirt in the washer with the ever-present load of clothes, and rush back upstairs to continue the force feeding. About halfway through the meal, the boys wake up and decide they are HUNGRY. They eat and eat and eat, and I begin to realize I'm going to have to cut them off if we are going to make it to the church on time.

(Cue music here. "Get me to the church on time...")

By now it's 11:30 and we have 15 minutes to load everyone up to make our 12:10 time slot. And by God, I am NOT rescheduling and going through this again!

So with 15 minutes until wheels up, we've got three boys covered in lunch, a child still in her pjs, my shirt has just been transferred to the dryer, and Jeff still has to get dressed, too.

Am I the queen of good planning or what?

I start diapering at lightning speed and tossing clothes on the boys, then handing them off to Jeff to strap in the car without even fastening the bottoms of their shorts outfits.

Sam has smeared food in his hair and my attempts to get his hair clean leave him looking like a koala bear -- flat on top with curls springing out on both sides over his ears.

Oh, what the heck. He'll probably never see this photo anyway. And he looks better than Isaac, whose cowlicks completely defy description.

We're almost ready to roll when I turn around and realize Amelia is till in her jammies. I hastily shove her into her clothes and run her out to the van sans shoes, then sprint to the dryer to retrieve my shirt. It's still damp.

Necessity trumping reason, I put it on anyway, even though the color clearly shows that it's partly wet. It will dry by the time we get there, surely.

We screech out of the driveway a couple minutes late and head for the church. Park, load the boys in the stroller, and try not to look too harried as we run into the parish hall.

That's little tough to pull off when your children are half dressed and you're wearing a damp shirt. But I mentally adjusted my tiara and went with the illusion.

Our time slot was only 15 minutes long. Sam was pulling hair. Alex was trying to crawl away. Isaac kept standing up. Amelia was crying. Jeff and I were smiling through gritted teeth. And the photographer kept saying, "Great!" "Perfect!"

Bartender, I'll have what he's having.

The guy enthusiastically took 11 pictures. And reviewed the digital images. He was thrilled with his results. So you'd think we'd have choices.

You'd be wrong.

The sales guy goes slowly through each photo as if it's hard to choose. Hmmm, that photo has three screaming kids in it and I look like my head's about to start spinning ala The Exorcist. Really. You can move on without giving us five minutes to ponder.

Photo 10 out of 11 turns out to be our only hope. No one is screaming. The tears on Amelia's face are not apparent. Jeff and I don't look like we want to abandon the children then and there. Someone might even have been smiling.

We make the choice and prepare to run off even as the sales guy is trying to show us the last photo with a different background in case we want to buy extras. Jeff's eyes are partially closed, making him look drunk (which would be perfectly understandable) and I'm clearly hissing at the kids, none of whom are looking at the camera or smiling.

I'm sure it's only a matter of time before that treasure finds its way to

Ah well, at least our photo shouldn't scare our fellow parishioners away. It may even garner us some sympathy and an extra prayer or two. And we'll take all the help we can get.


Aunt Mary said...

Very Funny! I can just see it- How did our mom get 8 of us ready for photos? Maybe thats why we only had 2 taken or why Paul had those red sox on.
Can't wait to see those pictures!

Suz said...

ROFL - the only way we could keep the chix from screaming the 1st parish photo was to grab their hands (while they sat facing away from us on our laps) and play "patty cake". We ended up looking like idiots, but the chix had wicked cute grins on their faces.

Of course, we had the advantage of man-to-man defense.