Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Capturing the Moment (Or, New Ways to Torture Your Child!)

So here's a quickie for you. I know I already blogged like two days ago, but bear with me 'cause I have no life.
This is an ode to the photographer on duty at a certain portrait studio I took Addy to today (I won't tell you the name of the place, but it rhythmes with "Benny's." "KDBenney's," to be exact.) I have never had a bad experience at this place before; granted, of course, that could be due to the fact that my child is just naturally gorgeous and photogenic and endlessly cooperative. Or was anyways, when she was seven weeks old and not yet mobile enough to crawl away from the photographer, crying in terror.
Because that's what happened today! But I would have cried too, if I had had a cloyingly patronizing voice cooing out my name so loudly that the entire second floor of a department store could hear. Also, I probably wouldn't enjoy having a total stranger shove a ratty, germ laden bunny in my face at random intervals while bellowing, "Who's got her nose? Who's got her nose?"
Really, this woman was just not a baby person, if you get my drift. She was all business while we were hammering out the details of the package price (so grimly that you would have thought we were negotiating a prisoner exchange, in fact,) but when it came time to take the actual pictures, she suddenly morphed into this chirpy little derranged clown. Some people seem to operate under the delusion that children are not small people but are in fact some completely foreign species that responds positively to behaviors which we ourselves would find insulting and annoying. This lady, she was one of those people.
But of course, Addy pulled through for me and managed a few weak smiles, and then I got the heck out of there as fast as was possible while lugging an unhappy twenty-pound child, a diaper bag, and various and sundry toys brought along to amuse said child.
Anyway, the point of this rant is just to question why I feel portraits are some important rite of passage. Why do I need a new 8 by 10 every six months or so- am in some danger of forgetting what my own baby looked like at any given age? Are regular snapshots not enough; I need a shelf of dressed-up poses?
I don't know. It's a little superficial and shallow of me, I suppose, but I really do love how her professional pictures turn out, though- somehow I see her in a little different light when it's just her beautiful, cherubic face aglow against the black velvet backdrop. I spend so much time wiping applesauce and just plain old goop off those cheeks that I seem to forget sometimes how angelic they are. It's the old missing of the forest for the trees problem that I think even the best, most in-the-moment moms fall prey to at times.
So I guess those fancy, overpriced, phoney portraits do serve a purpose for me. No matter how burnt out I am on taking care of a baby who's been yelling and pooping and smearing up her high chair all day, I can walk by the portrait shelf and remember that somewhere in that grumpy monster baby is that same sweet, clean, smiling baby in the picture!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would HATE to have to make a list of all my mistakes or things I would do differently, but I DO hope I did (and continue to) assure my children of how individually created and special they are in God's eyes (and their parents'!). And hopefully, YOUR mistakes and realizing that parenting IS NOT always easy will help you appreciate your parents and forgive them for THEIR mistakes and "laziness" at times. Any guess who "this" anonymous comment is from????????? And do you now know why I used to chuckle at the "list" on your refrigerator when you were pregnant with Addy???