Sunday, November 17, 2013

As we are approaching the end of the year and Christmas is fast approaching, it was time to arrange Christmas cards. A portrait studio was having a decent sale, so, actually being rather on top of things, I went ahead and made an appointment. I even bought X-Man a shirt and Gestated Cinco a sweater in the grey and blue color combo I was working with.

The clothing was where my control began and where it ended.

I scheduled the appointment late in the day to accommodate futsal schedules. It also ensured that X-Man got a nap, and therefore, one would hope, be cooperative. We got there just a few minutes late and waited and waited. They were running behind, as per usual. X-Man was getting restless, so we went for a walk and observed the “mis-mas” decorations that were up. X-Man was very impressed. And he was completely uninterested in returning to the photo studio. He expressed his displeasure very vocally.

If X-Man was going to be forced to return to the studio, it would be on his terms. His terms included hanging out in the photography room itself, never mind that others were using it. Again, he was very vocal in his displeasure. And physical. The concept of restraining him was degrading. At least in his own mind.
And so it was under these circumstances that the Christmas photo session began. X-Man was annoyed at life. Cinco was only interested in eating my chin and not having her nose wiped and Baby was crying. See, I made her button up her sweater, so that she was wearing it the way it was intended to be worn. Quite cruel and unreasonable on my part. I know. Just ask X-Man, I was being cruel all over the place.

In my focus on keeping X-Man corralled, and in a passable mood, I forgot to instruct Mac on how to behave. Mac is a good kid who wants me to tell him he did a good job. I’ve learned that if I clearly spell out my expectations for him, he will almost always measure up. He knows what I mean when I tell him “Don’t be silly.” But I didn’t remember to say that.

So there we were, in front of the camera, Cinco focused on chewing on my necklace, X-Man harrumphing, Baby pouting and Mac gleefully repeating “stinky socks!” back to the photographer. As X-Man stopped arching backward, the tone of Mac’s voice registered with me. “Don’t be silly Mac.” The photographer smiled and said “well, it might be a little late for that.” At that, X-Man decided he was completely done with the process and began to bellow so that there was no misunderstanding.

I mentioned that I wanted to individual shots of Gestated Cinco, so that she didn’t end up with a complex when she discovered that there were plenty of pictures of her siblings and none of her. For some reason, maybe because she had never seen a family of this size or contemplated life with a fifth child, the photographer completely lost it, not unlike X-Man, although she was laughing not crying. “You’re a riot.” I guess she’d been listening to my muttering the whole time.

So I left with some nice pictures of Gestating Cinco, could not find a picture of Mac where he didn’t look high and X-Man, well it’s X-Man. An appropriate glimpse into 2013.

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