Do not take your child to a portrait studio in the month of November. If you choose to take your child to have his or her portrait taken this month or in December, then you should be prepared to have to wait longer than you planned to, listen to other people's children howl and misbehave for no reason other than that they are bored and tired of waiting, and then wait some more.
I did not get Lukas' pictures taken in September as I have every September since he was born. I finally got the appointment made for today, and we went to JC Penney at 11:00. This was perfect planning on my part because I knew that we could get the pictures done, play on the playground in the mall, treat the kids to lunch, and head home in time for naps. That's right...I said it was perfect planning on my part.
When we walked into the portrait studio, there were probably 20 moms and kids already there. Somehow, they were only running about 10 minutes behind at that point, so we waited as someone's poor little 9 month old wailed at the photographer. Ava was begging to get out of the stroller, but with all the chaos, I was a little concerned for her safety. They were showing Aladdin on the television, and Lukas is terrified of the part where the sand turns into the leopard and asks in that super-scary voice, "WHO DESTROYED MY SLUMBER?" We don't watch that movie at our house yet. Why were they showing it in the morning when most of the kids there were pre-school age? I have no idea.
Our portrait session was relatively short. Afterwards, they told me to return in 20 minutes to see the portraits and make my purchase. We headed to the mall to play on the playground. I made the promise before I left the house that we would play on the super-cool space playground after the portrait studios, and I told Ava over and over again that she could get out of the stroller at the playground.
Guess what? Santa Claus has overtaken the playground. The entire play area is now covered in red and green with statues of Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and the gang, and Santa, of course, is in the center of all of this. People were actually getting Santa photos taken today. It's not even Thanksgiving, yet there he was taking the much-needed playground from my children. They were not happy about this. Not in the least.
So we shopped a bit after that. I got some good deals off the clearance racks at the Children's Place (one of the few stores that sells pants that don't fall off Ava's tiny little bum). Then we headed back to the studio. 45 minutes had passed. And yet...
We still waited when we got there. It was another 20 minutes before they got to us. It took me about 20 minutes to make my decisions, and then we had to wait 10 more minutes to pay for our pictures.
After our trip to the mall was over, we dropped Lukas at the office with Daddy. Ava and I came home and snuggled on the couch for a while, and then we went upstairs to play. We had a tea party and played with her babies. That was the best part of my day. There is nothing better than a cup of tea shared with the sweetest little girl in the world, especially after our mall experience.
Oh...so please pray for the many, many people working in portrait studios across America. It really is a crazy place, and I'm sure that many, many people are not remembering to be patient. I have a new appreciation for what these people do, and I truly am going to pray for them! Join me! I think they'll appreciate it!