Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Flattery will get you nowhere, but *bribery*...

will likely get results.

Yesterday was picture day at Girdwood K-8. That meant the older girls competed for shower and bathroom time with me before school, making for a very rushed morning.

It also meant that siblings were welcome to come during lunch and get their photos taken too. (you see where this is going, don't you?) We I thought it was a good time to get the little girls' picture taken, especially seeing as we haven't done any portrait studio trips with them. At all. (yes, those last children really do get the shaft, don't they?)

Because I was working, Jim had the task of getting babes ready for pictures and getting to the school on time. I left him with 'if I were here this morning, this is what I'd do...' kind of suggestions directions (such as: keep them in jammies, give them a mid-morning bath, dress them in the pre-selected cute outfits once worn by Moriah and Susannah for photos taken about the same know, suggestions).

If we wanted to pay by credit card, it meant that we'd have to pre-pay online, something I was hesitant to do in case the girls bailed or balked. But Jim forgot the check book (totally forgivable considering his morning!), so I went ahead and paid online. We did get the okay to have them pose together, hoping to keep stress to a minimum and be frugal all at the same time.

Unfortunately, the schedule got changed around and the sibling time got pushed back. And we were behind four or five other siblings. And the babes hadn't eaten lunch yet. And they wouldn't cooperate. At all. No, I take that back. Bethany sort of cooperated. A little. I knew there had been a good reason not to pay ahead of time. Sigh.

The gal taking the photos tried to get the little girls to sit back to back on a overturned step. Here's somewhat of a running commentary of what we probably sounded like:

Look, girls. You can sit up on this! Can you put your backs together like you're leaning on a chair? Please? Oh, come on Abigail, just climb up. Good job Bethany! Abigail don't you want to be in the picture too? Please? Bethany, can you smile? Abigail, are you sure you don't want to sit up here with sis? Sigh. Let's get down so your friend can get his photo.

(insert small break here while one of their little preschool friends sat and smiled for several photos.)

See girls? It's painless! Can't you smile just like your little friend?? Please? Oh, look! Bethany climbed right up! Abigail, don't you want to play choo choo and sit like you're on a train? No? Okay. Bethany, please get your hand out of your mouth. Can you put your hand in your pocket? No, not in your mouth sweetie. Can't you smile? Abigail? That's right! Climb up...oh, or not. Bethany, you don't want Abigail to be with you? Bethany, let's get down so someone else can go.

(insert another small break while a couple of staff members were photographed.)

{Finally, one of the moms helping suggested bribing them (do you have any chocolate nearby?)}. Why, yes! In my office as a matter of fact! Jim, would you run and grab two mints? Hey girlios...if you climb up on the step and smile, you can have some chocolate when you're done.

What followed that sentence was immediate compliance. Immediate. Two little girls, sitting back to back, smiling only as toddlers/almost preschoolers can: with slightly scrunched up faces. The gal was so very patient through the whole ordeal and actually got a pretty good shot of them together. I think she was willing to try again, but I was so relieved to have at least one good shot that I called it good and the babes got their just rewards. If I had been smart, I would have found a camera to record the after-photo-session choco-mouths, but I'm sure you can all imagine the happy smears of chocolate around their lips.

That same brilliant mom said, as we were happily blocking out the last 20 minutes of our lives, "whoever said you shouldn't bribe kids never had kids." I'm sure a truer word was not spoken that day.

(And yes, Mom helped herself to some chocolate once Dad and babes had gone home...don't know if Dad treated himself to anything, but he sure deserved to! It was a little too early to have a beer!)

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