Thursday, August 23, 2007

I wish I had evidence.

My mom was in town this week, and I thought her visit offered an ideal opportunity to take the bub to have his picture taken. We went out and found him two really cute outfits to wear. We took him to get his hair cut (NTB, but he was an angel during the haircut. He sat in the yellow car kid's haircut chair very calmly. Never mind that he insisted on holding in his lap the toy vacuum he had been playing with in the waiting area. Never mind that he did not give up the vacuum during the entire haircut, and that when the stylist tried to trade him for a tow truck, that tow truck went flying. Never mind that he refused to wear a cape and thus looked like a gerbil by the end of the cut. Still, he was an angel).

During the two days of Grammy's visit that led up to photo day, we kept asking the bub to "smile." He would respond by offering a really toothy, big smile and scrunching up his eyes. Not the expression I was hoping for for the photos, but still really adorable and, I thought, a good sign that he would respond to direction during the photo shoot.

The morning of the photo session things were still looking good. He fell asleep on the way there, and I thought, "Oh good, a little twenty-minute snoozer and he'll be fresh for the photos." In the waiting area, he played, in the words of Grammy, "just like a big boy at nursery school." Even as we witnessed some poor behavior by some bigger girls at the lego table (alas, young Chloe even received a public spanking for throwing legos), the bub was a prince.

But when it came time for the photo shoot, the bub was not having it. The problem was not just that he would not smile but that he would not stay still. Not at all. The photographer tried prop after prop in a valiant but ultimately futile attempt to get the bub to stop and smile. Does the bub want to play ball? Nope. Sand buckets, a faux piece of boardwalk, and a beach backdrop? Not what I was imagining for the photo, but I was going to roll with it if the bub was game. No luck. What a about a little rocking chair to sit on? No thanks. A miniature blue, leather recliner? Don't think so. How about a Radio Flyer ride-on car? Seemed promising at first but was really only good for about 90 total seconds of photography. Two large teddy bears that the bub was asked to kiss? He did offer some kisses, but I was not able to move out of the frame quickly enough for them to be captured. Not that a photo of the bub kissing two carnival prize-sized bears was what I had been hoping for either.

Now, there were places in the studio that may have worked for a photo, places the bub was especially and consistently enthusiastic about visiting. These places were, in order of preference: the lego table in the waiting room (my mom asked if we could move it into the photo area but the photographer thought she was joking), the water fountain, and the toilet (would have been his favorite play area if I had not closed the door after his first visit).

After twenty minutes and two finished packets of fruit snacks, the photographer, her assistant, my mom, and I were out of ideas and physically spent. I didn't check the condition of the photographers, but I will vouch that my mom and I had both pitted out our shirts, a side effect of the energy expended picking bubby up and wrestling him back to the next prop.

After we waved our white flags, Grammy followed the bub back to the Lego table, where he played happily. Felicitously, a chastened Chloe, back from lunch to pick up her family's photos, rejoined him at the lego table with no further violent incidents. The photographer and I sat down at the big screen to evaluate the 15 shots she was able to snap (just to give you an idea, we looked at maybe 50 or 60 images that the last time the Bub had his photo taken). What to choose? The photo of the bub straddling the Radio Flyer backwards with a look of defiance on his face? The one where he is lifting the Radio Flyer (not that light, by the way) and is poised to throw it while wearing a red face and a look that I would characterize as intense/constipated? The one that captures the bub actually smiling at the two carnival prize-sized bears but that also captures the fruit snacks littering the floor and doubling as pellets of bear poop? The one where he is standing against a plain white background crying and really pissed off?

I had shown up prepared to purchase quite a few photos. I tried to make the most of my options . . . maybe the bear pellet photo because he was smiling . . . maybe the throwing-the-car or riding-it-backwards photo to capture the day. I tried to talk myself into leaving with some evidence of the time and energy that had gone into this visit. But the photographer talked me out of it, encouraging me to cut my losses and reschedule. I am thankful for her good sense and the incredible patience she showed throughout the session. If my mom had not been with me, there would have been an emotional breakdown on my part for certain. The rub is that the bub is, NTB, pretty stinking cute and generally happy and full of smiles. So, in a couple of weeks we'll try again to capture at least a couple of those smiles on professional photo paper. I'll keep you posted.


Michelle said...

Oh my. I can clearly envision this entire scenario! He is so funny and so darn cute. I can just see him being too busy to take photos! Its a shame there are no photos but its a great story nonetheless! ;-)


CJR said...

This reminds me of why I don't have kids. We are cultivating several photography students at NYC schools (you know, the one in FAME, but for photography) and none of them will be ready until 2011 at the earliest. So it would just be SO irresponsible to conceive before we have the right person to document the terrible twos, etc. . . NTB, but we have been knitting the 100 personalized invitations to his/her first birthday since 2005.

Sign me up for a wallet of the Bub though -- I bet he was keepin' it REAL, even if he wouldn't sit STILL!

Love, love -- #1 Stanford Stud

megan s said...

i am laughing out loud right now, and at the same time dreading my trip to the photographer with eli and josie that is planned for next week! i haven't taken TWO kids yet, and i'm afraid it could be twice the trouble. i'll let you know if i get some proof of it...msp

LAP said...

I loved the rundown of events, though I feel for you and the lack of evidence. I must say that I found the image of fruit snacks doubling as bear pellets especially amusing.

Anonymous said...

As a witness and active (very) participant, I would also like to mention that three little kids were cheering him on. They retrieved fruit snacks (bear pellets) and placed them strategically hoping they would be the one to get the bub to cooperate. You got to love a person that knows what he wants and goes for it. I guess I forgot that it starts so young but indeed a bright future ahead for bubby. M

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