Tag Archives: photos

A Study in Disappointment

The disappointment around here comes in frequent and heavy bursts. My daughter does not know why we limit her so, given her clear preference to have all things upon request. Do we not understand her pointing her index finger so sharply at the TV? Do we not register the stern “mmmmm!” sounds escalating to the furious “MMMMMM!!!!!” sounds that issue forth from her little mouth? Is this most primal of communication over our heads? Should she be forced to learn how to do everything herself? How then shall she attain sufficient height to reach Those Things That Were Placed Out of Reach for a Reason?

She wants to play with the camera. She wants to eat “Hello Panda” for every meal. She wants to dump her beverages on the floor so that she may point to the spill and then, aid us in the critical mission to clean it up. She wants my laptop to link her to entertaining people via video chat instantaneously. She wants to nurse whenever it crosses her mind. She wants to kiss the cat. She wants to read this book, no this one, no that one. She wants to be pushed in her cart. She wants both of us to get up and dance. She wants my phone. Oh, god she wants my phone. She wants to look at pictures of leopards in the May edition of “Vogue” and WHY ARE THERE ONLY THREE? THERE SHOULD BE MORE LEOPARDS IN THIS LEOPARD CATALOG.

But most of all, she wants to watch videos on TV.

It starts early in the morning with refusal to eat breakfast if someone doesn’t turn on something. We appease her by putting music on through the Apple TV, so there’s sound and a screen saver slide show of my husband’s flicker photo-feed. By mid-afternoon she has usually had one or two minor fits about the lack of quality programming. And at dinnertime, she will also refuse to eat and point mercilessly at the TV making whining sounds.

Oh the pointing.

And if you try to explain WHY she can’t do a particular thing right now, you get the index finger of “just one minute” or “shut up,” whichever seems to fit best at that moment. The best you can do is to distract, distract, distract. You just come up with random things and hope that something else will temporarily exceed her laser-focus on her current fixation.

Yesterday, she was sitting next to me on the sofa having a moment because I wouldn’t let her press random buttons on the camera. I was therefore able to capture this brief sequence that I call:

“A Study in Disappointment and Distraction”






And here’s one last picture of the cat looking smug:

The Fringe Curtains

When I am in Chicago, as I am usually once a year or so, I like to stay at The Hotel Palomar since they have ridiculously nice bathtubs. You have now all learned something important about me.

Anyway, the Hotel Palomar has special significance for Julia and I because we had our baby celebration there back when we were only 4-5 months pregnant. During that weekend, my sister fell in love with the fringe curtains in the lobby lounge and insisted we take photos in front of them. The tradition sort of stuck:

April 2010, 4 months pregnant (I miss you, waistline!!)

November 2010

January 2012

Family photo fail

When my darling baby was just a wee newborn, I attempted to take some photos of the three of us (myself, my husband, and her). We got dressed, got out the tripod, set up the timer on our camera, sat on the sofa, and tried to look like we weren’t as stressed about this as we really were.

It didn’t work.

The resulting photos were a disaster; one person is looking away, the baby’s dress is completely bunched up, one person is in focus and the others are not, someone blinks, the baby moved, and so on. Within just a few minutes of trying to get one decent picture, the baby decided she’d had enough and there was no getting her good mood back.

We called a professional. She came to our apartment for 3 hours. She was delightful, so talented, and we promptly received a huge batch of gorgeous photos. It made sense, we needed a family photo while our baby was still tiny and since we hadn’t paid for any other photos since our wedding, it seemed like a reasonable expense even though it was expensive.

That was just over a year ago.

I decided about a month ago that we needed a new “family photo” for our holiday cards. I thought to myself, the baby is older, she likes to smile, we can go outside (the cold not being as problematic for a 14 month old as it is for a 3 month old), and this will totally work! This time it will work!!

I must truly be a masochist because HOW could I forget that my toddler never stops moving? How could I forget that even when I want to take pictures of her myself, I have to wait, patiently, for just the right moment and then snap 30 times quickly? I would like to tell you that I’m capable of learning from my mistakes, but apparently I’m not.

We started out with getting everyone fed, dressed, and set out for the park. My daughter was in an excellent mood. When we got there, she quickly transitioned from happy to obsessed with roaming about and picking things up off the ground. My husband forgot the thingamajig that connects the camera to the tripod (he claims this is my fault because it WAS on the camera). So after he ran home to get it, failed to find it, and returned, my daughter was in NO mood to sit still for a picture. She was, however, in the mood to throw cheerios out of her cup onto the ground.

We did the best we could. We have a small tripod that attaches to the camera without the whichamacallit and then can be gripped onto a bench or post. We used that. We took some quick photos. My daughter squirmed and whined. We eventually set her free to go play on the slide. I took some cute photos of her, small consolation as I have a MILLION OF THOSE.

I have learned my lesson. Next year, I will find someone else to take these pictures. If I cannot afford the fine skills of a professional, I will at least recruit a willing friend. There may be some people out there that can set up a shot, scramble to their spot, and pose themselves and their very collected child. I would like to be friends with these people so I can figure out what sacrifices they’ve made to which various gods.

Anyway, my husband did manage to get a few nice pictures of me and the toddler, in her more docile moments, so it wasn’t a complete waste of makeup.

You may take my picture while I swing, but I will not be in focus. Suckers.

Modern Mom Problems

Problems with parenting this generation of kids:

My child keeps inadvertently emailing me articles from my web-linked alarm clock.
My baby photos are all in folders on my laptop and I keep forgetting to take some to print at the drugstore so that I have some to put in my baby book.
My photo albums are all digital, but the site that I used to create them dissolved, so I can never reproduce my work.
Whenever my toddler sees someone with an iPhone on the subway or whatever she lunges for it, knowing full well that it is capable of playing Sesame Street YouTube videos.
Trying to come up with clever comments on your friends’ facebook baby announcements
Trying not to post all the time on G+, Facebook, or Twitter about your child and their amazing amazingness so you don’t become “that mom.”
Pre-pre-school classes.
Web-MD’ing your child’s symptoms and the panic that ensues.
Coordinating Skype-sessions with the grandparents.
The mommy wars have gone online: not only do you feel you need to justify your decisions to the people around you, you now get to do it to a bulletin board of thousands of strangers.
And last, this:

Yeah, that’s my credit card and lipgloss. I figure I have about 4 more months before she figures out how to type numbers and then another 3 before she figures out how to buy stuff online.