Monday, July 23, 2012

Princess Misadventures

Chloe had a friend stay over last night- her first “sleepover party”, as she called it. I didn’t bother to tell her the correct terminology is “slumber party”.  Anyone who knows me knows I’ll use any excuse I can to dress my kids up and take pictures of them. Ashton is more resistant in later years, but don’t worry- I’ll catch him. I sense I pirate themed shoot incoming. The girls are more than willing participants to my madness. Whenever they have friends over, my first words are “Let’s have a photo shoot!” Today, I dressed Chloe, Leah, and Atleigh in Disney Princess dresses, did their hair and makeup, trying to imitate Chloe’s famous day at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I fell somewhat short, not having Disney’s limitless supplies or their super glue hair gel, but they didn’t seem to mind.

My plan was less than brilliant. I thought, “I’ll just head down the block with some chairs, set them up in the field, and shoot away!” Right. Well. I didn’t take into account that I didn’t have the car today, so I would have to walk. No problem. Kids can carry stuff, right? Wrong. Kids can NOT carry stuff. We made it to the next door neighbor’s house before the complaints started. “I’m hot! I can’t carry this chair! My arms feel like they’re about to BREAK OFF!” (Those were the kids complaining, by the way, not me) I carried two chairs plus my camera bag. Ashton carried the third chair while Chloe and Leah pushed along Ashton’s scooter between the two of them (less than ideal). On passing the neighbor’s house, I looked to my left and saw a sweet little clearing between his trees, with matted leaves and flower petals for the floor, vines and old rope hanging from the limbs of the trees- perfect! “Let’s just start here,” I said, dropping my chairs onto the grass. I set them up, and hustled the girls to sit on them while I checked my camera settings. Ashton scooted back and forth on the sidewalk on his Razor, bemoaning his boredom and the fact that he was being forced to take even the smallest part in a Princess activity. I started snapping away, until I began to hear quiet shrieks and slapping noises. Turns out, the sweet little grove I had chosen was mosquito hell. I looked down and saw about 15 mosquitos on my legs. The poor girls tried to smile through it all, but their grins came out more like grimaces. Being the coldhearted photographer I am, I kept saying “We’re already here! Just a few more! They’ll look so good!” I finally gave up when both Chloe and Leah wound up with bites on their faces.

But we weren’t done yet. Oh no. I definitely marched them all down the block, carrying my two chairs while Ashton carried one. Atleigh marched ahead with her usual purposeful stride, not being encumbered with props. Poor Leah stopped every few steps to scratch her mosquito bites, and Chloe lagged behind, half pushing, half pulling that stupid scooter. By the time we got to the field (which under normal circumstances is less than a minute’s walk) everyone was done- including me. I had the girls stand in the field and try to show some attitude, but it was hot. And bright. And itchy. And whiny and achy and thirsty. I knew we’d never make it back down the block to my house the way we’d made it there. I figured I would just have to walk the kids back to the Box, and return for the chairs. I was hesitant to leave my props, especially when I saw the lone teenager in his marshmallow vest (Yes. A puffy vest. In July. Obviously untrustworthy.) wending his way down the street in our direction. Not that I thought he’d have much use for a toddler’s sized white rocking chair, but you never know with these hooligans. I turned out to be grossly mistaken and chastised in my judgement, as he saw me struggling with four kids, camera bag, and three chairs, and turned around to come and ask me if I needed help. What a sweetheart! Kids these days are so wonderful! He probably wore the vest to keep his heart so warm. I thanked him again and again, handed him a chair, and proceeded down the street with him trailing behind me and the kids straggling in front. The puffy vested teenager neither stole my chair, nor hit me on the back of the head with it during the whole walk home. He calmly set it in my yard, said goodbye, and walked back the way we had come.

Thus, I learned a few lessons today:

Don’t plan photo shoots with chairs and kids when you don’t have a car to haul them any distance.

Don’t go into nice, cool, mysterious groves without bug spray.

And never, ever, judge a kid by his vest.


(All in all, I’d say the photos turned out okay, wouldn’t you?)




Hot and tired and itchy.

1 comment:

  1. Yet again you had an amazing photo shoot! The girls were absolutely adorable and little miss Chloe could be a model.
    Thanks for sharing this experience and you're right, the girls were troopers.
    I'm glad that young man was brought up to be a gentleman and made his mom proud.
    Keep up the great work with your camera & models.
    Auntie <3