Mix the following together:
— 5 female cousins, ages 12, 6, 3, 21 months, and 13 months.
— 4 matching dresses for the youngest 4 cousins, and a coordinating outfit for the 12-year-old, that took me over a week to make (so much for my original time predictions — I was VERY wrong about how long they’d take me to do)
— 13-month-old who has had a fever for more than 2 days now, and who scratched her forehead in the car on the way to the photo session
— 3-year-old who is catching whatever her sister has had
— 3-year-old who fell asleep in the car on the way to the photo session (and this is a child who wakes up S.L.O.W.L.Y. and grouchily from naps)
— 21-month-old who tantrums very easily when she doesn’t get her way, and who is not very verbal (well, not intelligibly), so there’s a lot of non-directed screaming. My mother has had to remove her hearing aids while the cousins are here because she can’t take the little one’s tantrums.
— small, black bugs that really like to bite
— photo session at 11am, when little girls are getting hungry
— 100F temperatures, full humidity
— poison ivy
And the KEY INGREDIENT? Unreasonable expectations.
Hopefully we got some good ones. But it was a total nightmare. Alice and Maya (the babies) only cooperated for about half of the roll of film. Helen would NOT smile, and only looked at the camera sometimes. Most of the time she just stared off to the side, refusing to make eye contact with anyone. Maya had a shrieking tantrum because I wouldn’t give her the whole bag of Goldfish crackers — just a few crackers was NOT acceptable. Sucked to be her, because I did NOT give in to her tantrum, mostly because I didn’t think that the bag of crackers would add anything to the picture.
So there are about 10 pictures of the 5 girls, and maybe 2 or 3 of those are okay. Then there are a bunch of the oldest three. And then some with everyone except Maya.
And Helen never smiled at all.
I’m going to go have a tequila shot.