Today I was feeling brave, John is away this week for training (a fairly regular occurrence) so it’s just me, the girls and the dog. I thought to myself wouldn’t it be lovely to get a proper Christmas photo of the girls together to mark Maisie’s first Xmas as a sister and Luna’s first Xmas full stop. Last year (Maisie’s first Xmas) was a bit rubbish due to me having HG so I wanted to do things properly this time.
The start of the day
Both girls woke up in great moods and I thought “great, I’m on to a winner, I’m going to get some bloody lovely photos taken at the photo place in Tesco” and John will be all “wow you’re the bestest, have some wine!” Okay maybe not quite like that but it would be nice anyway. I had sort of pre-planned this anyway when I bathed the girls last night I really washed their hair and dried it and brushed it all nice. I waited until we were almost ready to leave this morning before putting them in their Xmas clothes and again brushed Maisie’s hair, I even felt smug as I packed the hairband, brush and spare tights in the bag to ensure she would still look nice if she feel over or whatever, (I don’t know why I don’t ever learn about smugness and parenting).
Before we leave
Before we go I do a quick impromptu photoshoot on the sofa to test the water, the photos aren’t great but the girls were happy enough, great I think the photographer will capture a nice one for sure. Leaving the house is somewhat stressful with Maisie trying to roll in Pumba’s bed and Luna having a meltdown because I left her on the mat on the rug too long while sorting the pushchair and the dog thinks he’s coming so he’s going mental running around under my feet. After some tense words (ok maybe shouty words, I get the kids out the house, the dog in the house safely bribed with a dentastick and we head off to the shop. Now the photo shop is in Tesco which is a couple of minute’s walk from my home (both a blessing and dangerous), except with a toddler in tow who refuses to go in the pushchair it’s more like 15-20 minutes to the shop.
We eventually arrive and it’s a bit busy, luckily they have a colouring station to I release Maisie to do her worst whilst I wait patiently to speak to the lady for these photo’s which takes a little while. Meanwhile Luna is getting that glazed tired look, but I remain optimistic, Maisie remains in her designated area and is not destroying anything. I tell the woman I want a nice Xmas photo of the girls on the special offer they’re doing, unfortunately because Luna can’t properly sit up unaided yet all the props have to be removed which is a bit rubbish but never-mind, the photo will be worth it. The woman sets up a little beanbag for Luna with a throw, I quickly brush Maisie’s hair and chuck her headband on and it’s time to do the photo’s.
I stick Luna down, who by now just see’s the bright lights as some trippy thing to stare at such is her tired glazed-ness, and set about trying to convince Maisie to sit nicely next to Luna with her arm around her. Have you ever tried to convince a not quite 2 year old to sit nicely in a certain pose and smile for a photo? Suddenly flashbacks of Luna’s newborn photoshoot come back to my mind, how Maisie did whatever the fuck she wanted and we had to heavily bribe her for most of it. In fact in the only decent photo’s with all of us in Maisie is holding a pot with blueberries. I tell myself that was 5 months ago now, she’s older she can do this.
Except she can’t, she barely stays still long enough to get a photo, she keeps pulling off her headband, she pokes Luna in the face or pulls her hood down then walks off. I’m bribing with all I’ve got, I even pull out the big guns that sprinkles the elf will tell Santa if she isn’t a good girl (desperation is a terrible thing). The photographer says to look at what she’s taken and Maisie can play and have a break and we can try again. I have a look, there’s maybe one that’s ok, she’s half smiling while going to take her headband off, Luna is just staring with a glazed expression with a double chin, the angle is not very flattering for her.
So I decide to try again but this time get Maisie to hold Luna because she loves doing that and being a big sister. So I carefully use my utmost fun mum voice and tell Muj we’re just going to do a couple more photos and would she like to hold Lulu? “No” fuck it. I tell Maisie to go sit on the beanbag Luna was on (the kid loves a beanbag) so off she trots and I dump Luna on her and try again. Maisie is out of fucks by now and we manage to get one or two photo’s before she’s pushing Luna away and Luna is trying to sit up to the camera. At this point I admit defeat, the woman shows me the photo’s I pick the best one out of them (no smiles obviously) for the photo prints then I have the job of picking 10, yes 10 photo’s for the photo CD.
Admittedly I could have left it but I felt so guilty that we had wasted so much of this woman’s time and she has gone out of her way to help me before I felt obliged to stick with what we were doing to I picked my photo’s for the CD, sorted the kids while the woman worked her magic, paid my money and left cursing myself, my optimism and my smugness.
Then of course Maisie hadn’t forgotten about her bribes, of course she bloody hadn’t so I had to go buy those, and walk home trying to find some positives, and do you know what, I’ll be wheeling these photo’s out when they’re teens to embarrass them so that’s a win, and hey I got to tell you guys about my experience, because who wants to read about some smug mum that got the perfect photo of her perfect kids for their perfect Christmas, right?
I’ve put some of my favourite photo’s below, I would love to see your photo fails too!