Even with four boys, I’ve proudly managed to keep a consistent portrait schedule for each of them. They all have a portrait for 3, 6, 9, 12 and 18 months as well as one for each of their birthdays. Fortunately, the mall near here has a Sears Portrait Studio. I’ve mostly used Sears because it’s been close to our house and I can usually get a good deal on a portrait package. Recently, Sears went all digital and you can always get a package with 1-8×10, 2-5×7, 16 wallets, and 16 minis for $9.99, no coupon needed. I’m a little perturbed that they don’t include the 3×5 in this new package, as they were always the perfect size for grandparents. The other caveat is that you can only get one of these packages per day, and when you have several kids this sometimes requires back-to-back trips.
We haven’t really settled in to our new home, but my mommy guilt was getting to me regarding a couple of delayed portraits, particularly an 18 month one for our youngest (kids change so FAST at that age). It was time to get to Sears, so yesterday the four boys and I headed to the mall. It was mostly a pleasant experience. Our 18 month old is very attached to me and shed a few tears, but with a little effort the young lady taking the pictures managed to capture a few sweet smiles. Phew! I chose the pose for the package and proceeded to the counter to pay up.
By this time, the other boys were getting rather rambunctious. Our four year old has not been acting himself for a while now. We’re pretty sure it has to do with the move. In short, his behavior has been horrible — he purposely misbehaves TO THE EXTREME!
On this particular day, I’d already taken away most of his privileges. One of his new misbehaviors is flashing his brothers. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve told him “Keep your privates private!!!” Unfortunately, I was paying more attention to the card swipe at the check out than to my boys. “Maybe if I just ignore them their behavior won’t seem as bad”, I irrationally thought. Then it happened. One of the young ladies behind the counter gasped and threw her hand over her mouth. My oldest son yelled, “Mommy! He just showed us his wenis!” (Their funny name for a wiener/penis). I was mortified! My son had dropped trou in the middle of the portrait studio.
It seemed to take FOREVER for my receipt to print out. I wanted to take it and run out the door as fast as my legs would carry me (and hope that the boys could keep up). Instead, I begged their forgiveness, explained that my son apparently had some sort of schizoid split because of the trauma of our recent move. The worst part is that we were scheduled to return the very next morning for another portrait session for my 6 year old. Maybe as we were leaving I should have promised to keep the peep show at home. But then again, you never can tell with a four year old, and I didn’t want to get their hopes up.