Tuesday Photo Op

* This post is long and filled with my frustration with motherhood. Thank you for letting me vent. If you decide to skip this one, I’ll still respect you. – Editor*

The girls received Christmas jumpers from my step-mom over the weekend, and I thought they’d be perfect to have portraits made in. My daughter know that until we are dressing for the portrait sitting, the dresses are off limits. Also over the weekend, I convinced DH to have Catie’s hair cut to attempt to repair the damage done at the Backyard Barber Shop. So, all my girls are looking good (read: none of them has obvious bruises/gashes/road rash or looks like they lost a fight with a weed whacker), and they’ve got pristine new dresses to wear. I figured I’d better get them to WalMart and have quick, cheap photos done so I could have them before Christmas. Oh well. That’s what I get for counting my ‘chickens’ before they ‘hatch’.
I scheduled my girls for 4:30PM today. That gave me enough time to get Halie home from school, get all the girls fed and watered, then dressed and preened before we left for WalMart.
They were all excited to play Beauty Shop at my vanity, complete with curling irons and sparkly Kabuki makeup brushes. The anticipation continued to build as they put on their holiday-colored jumpers, opaque tights, and jewelry. On the drive to WalMart (5 minute drive @ 4PM) we sang Christmas carols and talked of the real story of Jesus crucifixion. Yes, my daughters brought up that particular topic. BTW, we’re not a family that sticks to ‘light’ topics.
So we get to WalMart, and head to the portrait studio. We’re greeted by a young woman who tells me that she is our photographer (surprise there, since she was the only person present), adding that she was ‘good and fast’. I thought to myself: You haven’t met my kids, but we’ll see.

We headed back to the actual ‘studio’, consisting of a pile of beer cases with a fake-fur blanket draped over it. Okay. It. wasn’t. that .bad. It was a real platform to position my daughters on, but it was quite tiny to squeeze three wiggly, hyper children on. Halie has been a ham from the moment she began the transition from fish to human, seven years ago. No problem there. That’s where the enjoyable part of the story ends. Catie, who feigns intolerance for the photograph-taking process, refused to smile. When she did smile, she ducked her head behind Rosie. Then there was Rosie, who refused to sit still, look at the camera, OR remove her beloved fingers from her mouth. Texas laws require that I sit to the side of my children, just out of the frame, so Rosie kept leaping off the platform and into my arms. Grrrrr!

I put both my hands in my hair ( I. resisted. the. urge. to. pull. it. out, thank you) and said aloud, “These are my own children, and they are frustrating me beyond reason. I cannot imagine what you are feeling right now.” She did not respond, so I asked her to reschedule for another day. An HOUR with nothing to show for it! We left WalMart, and Catie’s right foot was conveniently ‘injured’, so she was the straggler in the parking lot. We loaded into the SUV, and I spoke through my clenched teeth, “Not one word until we are home. I will tell your father the kind of experience we just had here.” Absolute silence on the drive home, which at 5PM was a 10 minute drive.

I pulled into the garage, as DH was coming out the door to tell me that I had left my purse at the studio. RAWR! So, he took the girls, and I drove back to Wally World, which at 5:15PM, is a 20 minute drive. The photographer had turned my purse in at the Customer Service desk, so I asked there. Two young men stopped thier conversation long enough to tell me that they would ask in the ‘official office’, where they count the money. This meant ‘we’ll yell through the open slot in the wall’, which they did. Then, the guys resumed their conversation about my ‘giant tah-tahs’, about six feet away, just loud enough for me to hear and be quite uncomfortable. I was kicking myself for leaving my jacket in the car and regretting not having plastic surgery sooner, while also wishing that men had to wear their testicles on the front of their body to be judged by strangers. It took me a long time to get my purse, and ended with me having to sign away parental rights to my kids, but I left with it, 10 minutes later.
I walked in at 6PM to find three starving kids, and three sets of Christmas dresses, tights and shoes in piles in the floor throughout our house. I thought my head would explode. Nah, just another huge mess I’d have to clean up. Not worth it.
Needless to say, we won’t have Christmas portraits of the girls this year. Enough said.



  1. Valerie said,

    December 14, 2005 at 11:42 am

    I am so sorry your photo op turned bad. As for the idiots working at the customer service desk please call and speak to a manager. That is sexual harrasment and needs to be stopped. I freaking hate walmart morons! UGH. I hope today is better.

  2. Erin said,

    December 14, 2005 at 7:18 pm

    Aww, I’m sorry the pictures didn’t work out for you today. It is not unusual though. I won’t even go into how my two and my nephew acted for their Christmas picture. Let’s just say mama needed a stiff drink after that one! (And I don’t really drink!)

    And, I’m sorry to hear about those a$$es at WalMart. If I were you I’d call a manager. That is completely unacceptable and needs to be dealt with swiftly. It doesn’t matter what a person looks like, what they are wearing, etc. – everyone must be treated with dignity and respect.

    I hope things got better for you hon!

  3. Buffi said,

    December 14, 2005 at 11:31 pm

    This is probably why we still don’t have studio pictures of all three of my kids. Bug has NO studio picture of just him. Only about eleventy jillion digital pictures. I figure it all evens out.

    “wishing that men had to wear their testicles on the front of their body to be judged by strangers”

    LOVE IT! I may cross stitch it and make it into a pillow for you for Christmas.

    One last thing. My word ver is “ygetdaxl.” Looks like someone is saying “ya get da extra large.”

  4. Zephra said,

    December 15, 2005 at 6:58 am

    Poor Erin. I hope blogging it helped to make it a little better. My mom keeps telling me that I will laugh about those kinds of things later. I ain’t laughin yet! I took Zakary kast week and got 7 lovely photos of him crying. I bought the least teerful one and hoped for the best.

    And as a woman with enormous breast…they SHOULD wear their sacks in front of their bodies in little uncomfortable holsters lined with underwire.

  5. Jenn said,

    December 15, 2005 at 2:18 pm

    Why is it that they never sit for pictures? It would take 2 seocnds if they’d sit still. Did you complain about the a-holes talking about you? Walmart is usually good about taking care of those things.

  6. Anonymous said,

    December 16, 2005 at 11:30 am

    Try getting FIVE kids to do a picture. I’m glad my BIL is our photographer, then some stranger isn’t watching my frustration.

    Julie – http://julie.marzhillstudios.com

  7. Jenny Bee said,

    December 18, 2005 at 10:28 pm


    Oh, you need a professional photog and a great big Calgon moment. Oh, why didn’t you say something to those guys or better their boss? I would be so ticked (I suffer the same DDD ailment) That is so rude!

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