We had our first-ever family pictures scheduled today at a photography studio. The morning began at 6 AM with a very crabby son. He stayed up two hours later than usual last night, but still decided to get up extra early this morning.
I am not dealing well with toddler whining. I hate to admit that, because it feels like a personality flaw, but several hours straight of whining to be carried - NOT carried that way, carried the other way, NO! why are you carrying me? DOWN! DOWN! Why are you walking away Mama? I need to be CARRIED!!! - wear me down. All the way down.
In the midst of this, I need to do Norah's hair so that it's camera ready. She'd been walking around with an Al Sharpton hairdo for a couple of days and it wasn't something I wanted captured on film. Norah doesn't like having her hair done. Now she's whining because I'm doing her hair and Atticus is whining because I'm not doing his. Awesome.
It was Paul's morning to sleep in, and when he gets up he is greeted by a fair amount of screaming. Mostly from the kids. I'm getting nervous about getting out the door on time because I hate to be late. I still haven't had a shower. Norah refuses to take off the Ethiopian dress I was trying on her. Atticus has put on Norah's pink glitter shoes. This makes her quite angry and he's unhappy that I'm trying to take them off. I give up trying to get a shower and flatiron my hair instead while applying extra deodorant. Atticus whines to be picked up. Paul discovers a flaw in the sweater he was supposed to wear. The phone goes unanswered four times. The dog barks. There's more crying about needing to be carried.
At this point I go out to the backyard and sit in a lawnchair for five minutes so that I don't yell or do anything else I'll regret. I contemplate jumping in the car and driving away, but that would involve going back upstairs to change into real clothes instead of the boxer shorts and T-shirt that I'm still wearing. Instead, I go back in the house. I use my Nice Mommy Voice, kiss the kids, apologize to my husband, decide it doesn't matter if our clothes get ironed because surely a professional photographer can airbrush out any completely unsightly wrinkles. If we don't color coordinate we can just buy black and white prints.
Things begin to turn around. The kids are suddenly in a great mood. Paul and I exchange pleasantries in the car. It appears we may actually be able to demonstrate our normal happy family status for the camera rather than producing photos in which most of us appear to have been crying.
We arrive at the photography studio at 9:40 - only ten minutes after the 9:30 time we'd been aiming for. The thing is, it turns out that we're not actually late - we're nearly 168 hours early. Our appointment is for next Saturday.