I remember buying our first digital camera, a few months before our first child was born. The technology was new then, and we were excited by the huge collection of beautiful portraits were were going to gather over the years without having to worry about film, developing, or stacks of envelopes full of rarely-viewed pictures.
Throughout life with one kid, our goal was being met. We found lots of opportunities to snap a candid here and there, and often came up with great creative poses, beautiful smiles, and shots that would make any grandparent vaklempt.
Then squirt #2 came a long, and all bets were off.
The term "herding cats" comes to mind when trying to get a toddler and a preschooler to synch up for a good photo. we have hundreds of shots where one kid looks perfect while the other has her finger up her nose, is looking at a bright and shiny object behind her, is crying, is walking out of the picture, has her eyes closed, or is attempting to beat the other one up. And we have thousands more where both kids look like complete bozos. I truly believe that professional child photographers who can get a good portrait of two kids together are truly and artfully skilled, and also possess unnatural powers of hypnotism and mind control.
Last night we made one desperate attempt to get a decent pic for our holiday photo card. You know, those cards that all parents are obligated to send out to relatives and to other families with kids, because a)no one is allowed to have an exposed surface on their refridgerator during the holidays and b)if we don't send them out we will be shunned by our peers for the rest of time. I cleaned all the toys off the fireplace hearth and pointed every lamp in the room in the right direction to set the mood. Hilary dressed both kids in their matching cloud jammies after a long session of showering and primping. 97 shots later, we have one picture that is almost good enough to use. Between my 5-year-old and her inability to sit still, and my 2-year-old's complete disdain for authority, we were very lucky to get both of them in the same frame for half the pics, never mind both smiling. Add to that the constant requests by Natalie to take a turn behind the camera, and the repeated demands from Jessica for teddy grahams, and you can start to understand Scrooge's point of view.
So consider this blog entry your holiday card. Print it out and paste it to your fridge. Then, find two separate pics of my kids on our photo web site, cut print them, cut their heads out and tape them to this printout. Merry friggin' Xmas.