They say you should never work with animals or children and my boys’ performance over the weekend is the perfect testament as to why. So, in my infinite wisdom I thought it would be a good idea to have a family portrait done; this as it turns out, was one of the silliest ideas I have ever had. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of having a nice family portrait of the four of us is a lovely idea but let me put emphasis on the key word here, ‘nice.’ I am fairly certain that when the photos are returned to us there won’t be anything nice about it.
The photographers first mistake was in asking my boys to give me the ‘tightest cuddle they could.’ The photographer is the mother of only girls, which is obvious, otherwise she would have known what would happen after giving the boys an instruction such as this. My boys heard the words ‘tightest cuddle’ and took this as an invitation to crush the life out of me. I had each son on either side of me and both of them were pushing and grabbing at me like rugby front rowers in a scrum jostling for the ball… if you haven’t worked it out already, I was the ball! I was being pushed, pulled and squeezed until eventually I was pushed and fell (rather ungraciously) onto the ground. In my boys’ defence, neither of them were trying to hurt me, in fact quite the contrary, they were both trying to give me the biggest and best cuddle as proof of who loved me the most.
The photographers second mistake was assuming that my children could sit still for more than two seconds at a time, (once again evidence that she is the mother of only girls, for any mother of sons would know that boys constantly twitch, jerk and spasm like they have a colony of ants in their pants)! She instructed us to all sit nicely in a line and huddle together. To be fair the boys’ bottoms did remain planted but their hands hand a mind of their own. Every two to three seconds one of them would have to scratch, flap, flick or swipe at something. Not because they needed to but rather because they could.
Sadly, my story only goes further downhill from here. Next the photo session was brought to a grinding holt for not one but two toilet stops -both for a number two. Naturally we were on the beach and nowhere near a toilet, the nearest one being a good 10 min walk away. (In the spirit of keeping this G rated, I will not divulge the words that were coming into my head at this moment) What is it about children (boys particularly) and their incessant need to visit every bathroom toilet in every location that they have ever visited? There isn’t a lot of things in life that I can count on but my children’s inability to visit a new place without using the toilet at least once is something I can be sure of!
After checking out the amenities they return some twenty minutes later only to announce that they are hungry, no, starving in fact. So, starving, they claim that they couldn’t possibly continue without having something to eat. Aarrrgh!!! (I hear the phrase ‘I’m hungry about a hundred times a day and it drives me crazy!) Knowing that this is a battle I will not win, I hand them both a snack and urge them to eat it quickly as the daylight is now starting to fade.
Finally, we get back to the task of taking photos and the photographer instructs the boys to hold hands and walk off towards the dunes. In theory, this is a lovely idea… white dunes, pink and purple tones of the sky, my gorgeous cherubs holding hands… The reality is nowhere near as perfect or romantic, I look over at my boys to discover that Master 8’s free hand is flapping around furiously like a bird trying to take flight. When instructed ‘not to do that’, he does stop, to only moments later engage in the act of scratching his behind instead!
The sun has now set bringing our photo session to an end. To say I am frustrated would be a major understatement… Seriously, I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m not sure what kind of photos I am going to get but if I want ones where my sons are trying to imitate a flapping bird, or look like some feral grot, scratching his bum or if I want one where they look like they are trying to kill me then I might just get something good!
As for working with animals or children… for now I think it is best that I just keep writing about them ;-)
About the author
So, who is the Princess in Steelcap Boots? That’s me; shopaholic, chatterbox, book lover and collector of pink things. I am the girliest of girls, who happens to live in a house full of boys – my husband, my two sons, even our dog is a boy! Life in my household is hectic, loud, messy and most of all smelly! When I’m not immersing myself in reading or writing, I can usually be found wielding an electric drill and donning a high-vis vest and a pair of steelcap boots, whilst at work in my husband’s business. (For evidence click here)…