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Public Displays of Restraint

Every year we take one - count ‘em - ONE, family picture.

I remember the first one was pretty tame. We only had one new little guy – Mino.



Then we took these fun shots with our busy one year old. Nothing too crazy. A pretty fun time.


And then there were two, but it wasn’t too hard to tame a 10 month old and a 2 year old. One couldn’t even walk yet!

And then there was this:


You could never tell that before these pictures Nelly threw a fit to rival all fits which included rolling on the ground and screaming. Or that Mino was talking so loud I wanted to clap my hand over his mouth. Or that the football was the only thing that distracted Nelly for a full ten seconds to capture this picture!

In fact, Nelly’s antics were so over the top that my husband snatched him out of the pictures and left the studio altogether.

Then there was this at our wedding:


Nelly really hates photos! Here’s his Halloween 2013 picture I had to sit with him to take:


And he wouldn’t even be bothered with Valentine’s Day pictures.

But what takes the cake was this year’s Christmas photo session.


As I stood at the counter to check us in, the boys were quietly playing with daddy. Nelly had a nap before the photos. I just knew we were golden. I even took this I was so sure:


And then we walked into the room to take photos and everything went LEFT.

Mino untucked his shirt, Nelly sprawled right out on the floor and began to holler.  I panicked! Seriously, I didn’t take an hour curling my hair, doing my makeup and wrestling the small people into clothes just to turn back now! So I wrestled up Mino and threw him in front of the backdrop.

And do you know what he did then? He turned right around and ran into the white backdrop. Nelly thought this was absolutely hilarious. I was MORTIFIED.

They brought out a Christmas tree for effect. I started to sweat. In 2.5 seconds, Mino and Nelly were having an ornament fight.

Now I didn’t want to lose it. I really didn’t. No one wants to be that screaming-in-public mom. 

Meanwhile, my husband, the resident house drill sergeant was having the most inopportune zen moment. Between the kids, my attempts at maintaining composure and my husband’s sudden peaceful disposition (maybe it was hysterical blindness?) this was turning into an out of body experience of sorts.

So Mean Mommy snatched two small people by the shoulders and told the nice photographer to lose the tree and let’s get one last shot.

This was it:


Don’t we look nice? You’d never know what went on in that room.

My point is, next time you see one of these hallmark moments on your friend’s Facebook timeline, do not feel envious.

If your kids are a floppy hot mess when a camera comes out, or they spill crap all over their fresh outfit, or they lie on the ground in protest, my hat comes off to you. I feel your pain.

There’s enough wine for all of us!

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