Trying to get a good family picture is challenging. Children aren’t big on sitting still and posing in one position. Getting everybody to look in the same direction at the same time seems to be hard enough, let alone have the clothes and hair looking the way you want to remember it. I took my kids to a store where I had a “portrait package” coupon and hoped to get some good shots to frame and share with the grandparents. Since two of my children have AD/HD and sensory processing issues, we went on a weekend so my husband and I could team up to make this memorable photo a reality. Although we usually let our children select their own attire, that day we picked out their clothes so all the items would match and coordinate. Already, we should have realized that the end result wouldn’t resemble what we saw on a daily basis, but we had a dream. The children were scrubbed and dressed and we were on our way. Unfortunately, the dressier clothes weren’t as comfortable so my children were a bit fidgety right out of the starting gate. We assured them that it was only for a little while, and when we got back home after the photo session they could change clothes. We arrived and headed straight back to the studio in the store. We had failed to factor in the likelihood that going on a weekend seemed like a good strategy to other families as well, and we learned that we were in for a wait. Having to wait 50 minutes might not be a problem for some families, but the dream was seeming more like an impossible dream when my husband and I tried to figure out how we could keep the kids relatively content and clean while we waited for our turn. We thought about buying each child a toy, but that would have pretty much defeated the purpose of going there for the great coupon value deal. We decided to walk through the store at as slow a pace as the kids could tolerate, dragging our feet and hoping to make our store tour last about 50 minutes until it ended back with the photographer. At that point, we hoped our kids would be calm and bored enough that even posing for a picture would sound inviting. At first, Plan B seemed like it just might work. Then we hit a snag. There, directly ahead of us, was a little in-store pizza shop that served flavored icy drinks. Suddenly the children realized they were extremely hungry and thirsty, and I had to admit that the delay in picture taking did push us close to their usual lunch time. I couldn’t see making it through pizza without getting some on the clothes, and I wasn’t willing to take the chance. Instead, we offered them small cherry icy drinks with napkins tucked into shirt and dress fronts along with close supervision. My husband and I felt relieved, because the drinks would curb the appetites until we could return home for lunch and it was helping to pass the time. As an added bonus, those drinks can’t be gulped or the kids knew they would get “freeze brain” so it helped pass the wait time. We were confident once again, that our portrait dream could come true. Having carefully monitored the time, I announced that it was time to make our way back to the photography studio. We should arrive just a couple minutes before our turn with the photographer. The children were happy and ready to go, having consumed their cherry icy drinks with great enjoyment. They turned to me, grinning with pleasure, and that’s when I saw not only cherry red lips, but pink teeth! Getting a professional portrait done had seemed like such a good idea, but it just goes to show that plans need to be flexible and you need to have or develop a sense of humor to get you past those “pink teeth” moments.
We had a random drawing from our subscribers for five tickets to the Heart of the Matter Online Conference.
The winners are:
- TIM MCAULIFFE
- Amy Mason
Please email me with your Name and email address so HOTM can get you the tickets. If we do not hear from you in the next day or two, we will open it up to the first readers to respond.