Ahhh, family photo day. Gone are the overly posed portraits of yesteryear with all family members donning the exact same Christmas sweater. Today’s Christmas cards capture a family in casual perfection. Streams of afternoon light making their way onto a wooded scene while Mom and Dad frolic with their little ones. What a delightful occasion to capture the wonderment of our children’s youth and our perfect parenting skills!
My husband and I arrived at Huntington Beach Central Park at 5:00 p.m. on a recent October afternoon with our kids in tow, ready to meet the photographer and show off our stunning progeny. I had spent the previous two days purchasing the ideal outfits for everyone. Black and red accented clothing bought at a local upscale, hipster children’s boutique for the kids. I was wearing a new red sweater which hid the last remaining pregnancy pounds I had been trying to shed. My husband had shined his shoes and bought new jeans to go with his freshly pressed all black button-up.
It was going to be the first photo shoot for our son, H2. Now, I know that “accidents” happen (i.e. diaper blow outs, pants wetting, etc.) so I had doubled up and brought back-up clothing for both of the kids. We were waiting for my son to have a massive blowout (Murphy’s Law, right) so we didn’t even dress him until we arrived at the park. I had bought a bright red tutu for my daughter and knew that something about this material usually triggers her to pee on herself so I didn’t put that on her until we were well into the park.
Once we were at the park, I looked around and saw how truly stunning the autumn afternoon light was going to make these photos.
Our photo shoot time was 5:00 p.m. but we couldn’t locate the photographer. She was working with another family right before ours so I assumed she was just running a little behind. I sent her a text and tried calling but no response. I was worried if we didn’t find her soon, something might happen and ruin our pictures (if you have young children, you know what I’m referring to…it’s like dealing with two ticking time bombs). My husband suggested that I go about 40 yards away and look over a nearby hill to see if I could locate the photographer. I left him in charge of the two little ones and ventured away. Once I was at the top of the hill, I got a call from the photographer. Perfect, she was going to give me directions on her location, she said she wasn’t far away.
I spun around and made my way back down the hill only to see my husband cradling our son and shaking his head while dragging our daughter behind him. Both kids were crying. Loudly.
I looked at my son and saw he had abrasions by his left eye and a walnut sized bump on his forehead. My daughter was walking in the bowlegged way she does only when she has wet her pants.
Apparently, in the 45 seconds I was gone, my daughter peed her pants and then attempted to do a Gene Kelly “Singing in the Rain” type dance number in her urine puddle. In an effort to save the red hipster tutu, my husband reached for her while our son sat on the concrete park bench next to him. As he reached for H1, H2 face planted on the concrete slab below the bench. Oh, the casual perfection of it all.
In a state of shock, I said, “It’s okay, she can photo shop it out.” My husband looked at me and said, “Are you frickin’ kidding me right now?” Yeah, I guess so.
My son was consoled in about 2 minutes. He’s the happiest little trooper. He can take a punch and keep on truckin’. My daughter, however, refused to put on dry pants and proceeded to have the loudest tantrum I’ve ever heard from her. We walked back to the car and decided, for our peace of mind, to take H2 to urgent care. We found one that was open and my husband dropped H2 and me off while he took our daughter home to calm her down.
The urgent care was great. Hardly any line and I only had to pay our insurance co-pay (so far). They checked H2 out for the following:
- Projectile vomiting
- Inability to track objects
- Inability to rouse him if he drifted to sleep
- Trouble balancing
- Oozing from any orifices
- Swelling of the head
As he didn’t have any of these symptoms, we were free to go but the staff asked us to wake him at midnight to check on him.