Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hi, I'm Two. Can You Tell?

What do you think takes more courage ...

1) Giving your two-year old triplets a haircut - when you are home alone - and when you know not the first thing about cutting hair and can barely shave your legs evenly?

... or ...

2) Taking your two-year old triplets in for their 2-year old portraits - by yourself - late in the afternoon, just before dinner time? Keeping in mind that although the kids turned two almost three months ago, I am right on target for their photos, because I notoriously run a few months behind schedule for this kind of thing.

Take a moment and think those two questions over.

Part of the reason I cut the kids hair while I was home alone today, is because Charlie always gets nervous when I take out the scissors, and has explicitly forbidden suggested that I not cut the children's hair. Maybe it's because it wasn't that long ago that in the quest to save a buck - I cut Charlie's hair and chopped off the top part of his ear.

I think I've improved since then.

Now, although a person with an ounce of sense might not try cutting their squirmy toddler's hair when they have no *good* hair cutting experience ... and then, the same day, opt to take their squirmy toddler's in to a professional photo studio ... I did.

I thought I did a fairly good job cutting the children's hair and was impressed that I saved $60.00 and the hassle of a morning out. But when the photographer asked if William turned his head while he was getting his hair trimmed, I gave her a puzzled look. She laughed and said his cut was so choppy, it looked like the person who did it was riding on a rollercoaster.

Nice. Well, maybe there are some times when it pays to hire a professional.

At first, the children were really interested in all the bright lights, big cameras, backdrops and props in the photostudio. When the photographer asked me if I'd like to take a group shot of all three children at first - or individual pictures - I thought that individual pictures might be the best approach.

Carolyn Grace went first. She happily let me put her headband on and the very first shot was perfect. She was smiling, she was laughing - the picture came out great. (These are a little blurry because I pulled them off the website in an effort to save some time scanning the photos we purchased.)

Elizabeth went second. She happily let me put her headband on and the very first shot was perfect. She was smiling, she was laughing - the picture came out great. (Minus William's little hand on the bottom left of the photo. This was cropped out of the picture we ordered...)

William went third. He would have happily worn a headband, but I didn't think that would have been well received by his father. Although, in hindsight, I should have put him in the headband. It would serve Charlie right for making me take all three kids by myself to have their pictures taken.

By this point, the novelty of the photostudio was starting to wear off. The girls didn't want to stay in one spot and took off running around the store. William wanted to take his baba (lovey) in to the picture with him ... and me, being the cruel mother that I am, vetoed his request.

The photographer tried to pacify William with various props. At first she gave him a football with the hope that he would throw it to her, just before she snapped off the picture.

Of course that didn't happen.

As I was looking at the adorable pictures of the girls - and the photo of William holding a football (with the lines facing in as Charlie so kindly pointed out, to which I replied, if he'd been there he could have made sure the lines were facing out) - I thought that maybe, just maybe, we could do better.

So we tried again.

Unfortunately, William didn't like having the football taken away.

The photographer gave him a toy train and a little toy truck. These were props meant simply to pacify him - and once he was happy - she thought that she could take them away. Had I been standing right next to the photographer, and not chasing Carolyn and Elizabeth through the store, I would have told her that giving a toy truck and a toy train to a 2-year old boy and then trying to take them away, is never a good idea.

But then again, she might have thought that a woman who cuts her 2-year old triplets hair and then takes all three of them for their professional portraits, by herself, surely lacks common sense and doesn't know a good idea from a good eye deer.

I was never more than 15 feet away from the photo set, but when I came back with the girls and saw the photographer holding the toy truck while William was in the midst of a horizontal temper tantrum ... I yelled "TAKE THE SHOT! This perfectly captures my life, everyday!!!" The photographer was genuinely surprised that I wanted the picture taken.

She was even more surprised when I paid money for prints of the pose. Apparently, people don't usually purchase professional portraits of their children having temper tantrums.

To which I ask ... "WHY THE HECK NOT?!"

I decided that the picture with the football was the best we were going to do and it was time to move on to the group shot. It took a solid 30-minutes to get the children to sit still.

A solid 30-minutes. That's half an hour. At about the time I would normally be serving dinner to my three children, who had by this point consumed over 100 animal crackers, each.

I was literally flipping cookies at them, like you would feed monkeys at the zoo.

By now, the novelty of the photostudio had completely worn off and the girls would not let go of the teddy bears that they had swiped from the neighboring photo booth. There was no way they would let me put their headbands back on ... Carolyn was beginning to sob ... Elizabeth was beginning to scream ... and William was reeling from not only losing the football, but the toy train AND the toy truck.

Following our photo shoot, I loaded the children up in their stroller and briskly walked around the store. When I returned 10-minutes later to pick up the pictures, I could hear Elizabeth yelling, "Mommy, BOOGIE!!!" repeatedly, behind me. When I finally turned to look at her, she was excitedly holding out her tiny little finger for me to inspect. Atop her tiny little finger was the largest, slimiest booger I've ever seen. If I hadn't seen it myself, I never would have guessed such a large booger could have come out of such a little person. Incredibly, she chose this opportunity, while we were out in public and she was looking perfectly precious, to learn how to dig boogies out of her nose. The photographer laughed and said, "Seriously. I don't know how you do it!" Seriously. Neither do I.

Really, I couldn't be more thrilled. Although, I suppose it could have been worse. She might have picked that winner just before her picture was taken.


  1. The pictures are adorable!! What an adventure!

  2. Thank you for making me laugh. I am amazed at how you are able to handle a bunch of them! -- ok three of them =)

  3. Jen- I'm not allowed to EVER cut the children's hair again. I accidentally gave Gregory a reverse mohawk. Who knew clippers are that hard to operate? I love the photos. We've never had the nerve to take ours for a proffesional shoot. You are BRAVE!

  4. You are a brave woman. I was crying when I read the line "I was literally flipping cookies at them, like you would feed monkeys at the zoo".......that absolutely cracked me up. I'm SO guilty of that very thing too!

    They turned out absolutely adorable and you will treasure them forever! They're only this age once (THANK GOD!).

  5. 1.) you are amazing to cut their hair yourself.

    2.) My favorite is when he's lying down wailing. That is priceless.

  6. Those are great shots! I need William, Elizabeth, and Gracie to come up here and show Shayna how to smile for the camera!!!!

  7. Oh so brave! Good for you for saving a buck and venturing the photo studio. I love the pictures!

  8. I loved this post! Professional pictures always stress me out and it is amazing the crazy things I will do to get them to smile. Great job on the hair cuts too! I hate spending all the money to get hair cuts done. I might have to try and cut my kiddos hair.

  9. Beautiful pics.! The props are NO BIG DEAL; the smiles are precious. Tip: next time, let him hold his lovey. It's part of who he is right now.

    You are soooooo brave. GREAT JOB!

  10. Ha! I have a photo of my two - the oldest smiling blithely at the camera while the younger is writhing and wiggling off the platform (bottom right corner) with a twisted grimace on his face. They thought I wouldn't buy that shot, but I did. Because it is life.

    And their haircuts are not too bad. You are a brave, brave woman. Of course, the alternative is taking all three to a pro hair cutter, which may require even more courage than the most super of heroes could ever muster, in my estimation. Cutting hair at home is not about saving money so much as it is about saving face and sanity. :)

  11. OMG.. I can't stop laughing!!:) I'm a photographer is my *spare* time and love the real life shots. When trying to get pictures of my trio I always say my life and my pictures aren't always perfect ...but they're always fun!! For the kids one year picture my little boy was in the middle pulling one sisters hair and hitting the other on the top of the head...all while he had the biggest smile on his was perfect...exactly how my life is!! Thanks for sharing yor adventure!! ~Jen

  12. You are so funny! You are also very brave!!!

  13. You are my blog hero. I am always laughing hysterically at your posts. Part of it is just because it is so dang funny, the other part is to keep the tears away, knowing mine aren't far behind yours! Thanks for the continual laughs!

    P.S. I went with an imaginary triplet friend (she claims that it never happened and has wiped it out of her memory) to see Santa. My kids just had the blank stares for their photo. Her kids (the imaginary ones) started crying. Santa got behind the chair and hid. The boys were seated on the chair, and then Santa poked his head out from behind the chair with a shocked expression! I thought it was ADORABLE! I would have traded her photos in a heartbeat! Sometimes we just need those pictures to show them down the road!!

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  15. I am so glad I found you! I can come here for comic relief and it makes my day!

    Have a great weekend!