Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Pictures

I have no photo to go with this story. I think I mailed it to my mom. I do have the negative somewhere, and when I find it I will post it. But until then, here is the story.

One year, about 4 years ago (seems like 10) I decided to take a Christmas pictures of all (3 at the time)the kids on a bench in the backyard. Wyatt was 5, Lizzie was 3 and Ben was about 6 months old. I knew a photo studio would be a nightmare, so I decided to go with the backyard bench and a few Christmassy props.

What a freak show. I wrote an email to family members immediately following the incident:

They are plotting against me. Even the baby. Oh sure, they act happy and cheerful. They smile beautiful smiles and are very compliant during the "getting ready" process. They clap and jump up and down while I arrange the Poinsettias. They clamber up on to the wooden bench singing "jingle bells". They snuggle up close on the red and black check blanket and are clearly excited about the whole process. I think, "wow this isn't going to be that difficult after all!" And then I say "OK.....Say "Cheese"....and it's a free for all. The baby starts fussing. Wyatt Henry drools and wipes it on his shirt. Elizabeth suddenly can't keep her eyes open. So I say, "whoa..ok..let's try that again. Say..."Merry Christmas!" Wyatt Henry screams it at me like he's the Hulk. Lizzie is now rubbing her eyes. Ben is trying to eat the blanket. I lower the camera and rearrange them and say, "ok you guys. Now, listen...look at Mommy and be still. Just smile when i tell you to smile. OK?" They all smile (big beautiful smiles) and i quickly raise my camera, foolishly thinking they will keep smiling. Just as i press the button, Lizzie climbs off the bench, announcing that she is going to bed because she's tired. (at 10:30 in the morning). I say, " Wait Baby, we're almost done. Just a few more minutes." She gets back up on the bench. I tell them to smile. That must be their code word for "freak out".

Wyatt Henry acts like it hurts him to smile...his eyes are like dime slots, his brow is furrowed. His "smile" is really just a disply of all his teeth. The child clearly thought I instructed him to grimace. Benjamin is now screaming and is as red as his shirt. Elizabeth isn't even pretending to be interested...she's just looking past her brothers, and sighs. Totally frustrated, I say "Wyatt, that is not a smile. What are you doing, son? Elizabeth, can you please at least look at the camera?" She says, "The sun is hurting my eyes." I explain that the sun is behind her, that she is sitting in the shade." She says "oh." and then shrugs and says, "Well, I'm still sick." and closes her eyes and puts her head back. Ben is just freaking out and Wyatt Henry says, "ugh! Ben is heavey!" I consider threatening all of them with spankings if they don't just smile and be still, and then I realize how counter productive that would be, so I just send them all into the house. Lizzie suddenly is awake, Wyatt instantly remembers how to smile. And Ben magically stops screaming and gives me a big drooly smile and giggle. The only one crying is ME!!!!! Ho, Ho Ho!!!!!!! We will regroup and try again later. ;-)

We never regrouped, by the way. Just so you know.


robin said...

I remember this e-mail well! I still laugh when I think about it (easy to do, I wasn't there!). And I can still see(but not find) the picture. Imagine trying to do that again today?????

Rhonda Jeanne said...


Elysa said...