I thought I was making my life easier, I thought that instead of spending hours pouring over 500 cell phone pics because I never use my real camera I would take the kids to my favorite photographer to get our Christmas card done this year. After all, it’s been awhile since I had a picture of them together because well they’re jerks and can’t pose for a picture without some disaster. I thought I would avoid all that, but I was wrong.
The day of the photos I remembered that I do carpool and couldn’t possibly get the kids to the studio by 3:30, so I canceled the pictures and pushed them forward a day. The next morning I dropped both kids off at school with warnings, I mean gentle reminders, that today was picture day and they better be god damn ready to smile “so have a great day at school!” I drove the half hour home, snuggled into my bed and just as my head hit the pillow my cell phone rang.
It was the girl and she had been sent to the office because she had pink eye. BECAUSE OF FUCKING COURSE SHE HAS PINK EYE. In hopes of avoiding driving back to get her I asked, “Come on, is it really THAT pink? I’m sure it’s fine.” She said her morning teacher highly suggested she go home, and a few kids asked her why she looked like that.
So I picked up my stoned looking daughter and realized I had no other day to move the pictures to, today HAD to be the day. Awesome.
After school I picked the boy up, and he was as delighted for pictures as a parent is when they forget to move that god forsaken elf. Instead of being the eternally optimistic happy/fun guy my husband is I informed him, “to suck it up and the sooner he smiled the quicker this would be all over so act like you like your sister and make it good and believable or you’ll be standing outside for an hour.” Yes, I suppose I coulda blown sunshine up his ass, but lets be serious that wouldn’t have worked and we all know threats work better.
The photo shoot went just as planned, him not smiling me threatening while the photographer tried valiantly to crack jokes to get him to smile. At one point he pushed his sister into a row of Christmas trees so I suppose we had the holiday jeer, I mean cheer, down pat. The entire hour we were outside she looked high, and frozen so almost every photo was me yelling, “try to not look so cold!” while she would whine back, “but I am cold!” My god, this kid would never be an actor because seriously JUST FAKE IT! I reminded both of them to look at the camera, to hurry up and just give one normal smile and this whole nightmare would be over. They didn’t behave and it dragged on like a Christmas death march.
The crowning jewel of a moment was when the photographer pointed the kids to a tree with the leaves that just fell and had a very Autumn vibe. I mean sure the kids were dressed in matching red and black so leaves would look off, but whatever I was trying to go with his vision since he’s the expert. Both kids were done with pictures at this point and frustrations were running high, while the smiles on their frozen face was one click from being permanently etched like the Joker himself was their father.
And that’s when it happened.
My daughter took off running to catch up to her brother for the picture, and in a stroke of bad timing (or luck) he extended his arm with his hand in a ball just as she was about to pass him, clotheslining her in the nose in one swift move. The tears were immediate as he declared, “It was an accident!” to the court that wasn’t hearing it. As her cheeks were frozen with water and her shoulders heaved I cut him a look that could defrost Frosty. What the actual fuck was he thinking?
Sadly the biggest failure of the moment was that the photographer missed this picture, because seriously that would have been our Christmas card.
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, love Jillian the Red Nosed Reindeer and the rest of the damn elves.