Herding cats would be easier

We wanted a family photo, or at least one of the children, to put into our Christmas cards.  (Yes, I know it’s already December, and 90% of my cards have to cross at least one ocean.  Think of them as a lovely mid-January surprise.)  So we looked through our recent archives and sure enough, no family photos, not even one of all three children together.

Time is marching on, and we decided that we’d just have to take one tonight.  In the absence of a spare pair of hands to take a family photo, it would have to be kids-only.  As soon as we got home from work/daycare/after-school care, we looked for a setting.  In front of the flowering red roses looked good.  We stripped the children of their coats and jackets – it’s summer, let’s pretend it’s more than 10’C (50F) outside, kids! – and shepherded them out.

Pearl and Fainjin were more-or-less in place, but Babess immediately took off across the lawn to get a ball, and the other two followed her, laughing.  So we rounded them all up.  I put Pearl in place and begged her to stay put.  She did, pretty much.  I scooped up Babess while their Dad grabbed Fainjin.  Fainjin was standing nicely but oh-so-briefly next to Pearl while I tried to get Babess in place.  She cried and struggled and kept walking off, so I lifted her into Pearl’s arms.  They were both thrilled with this arrangement and were wreathed in smiles.

But now Fainjin kept wandering off, he wanted to see the camera.  He would not stand beside his sisters, and kept begging to be picked up.  Babess, seeing me occupied with him, protested at not being the centre of attention.  She wriggled, and poor Pearl was in danger of dropping her.

The Dad was hovering with the camera the whole time, hoping for a miraculous clear shot.  Finally I decided that, given the chilly weather and light clothing, and the fact that it was dinnertime, we needed to get it done.  I went down on one knee and Fainjin sat on the other knee.  Babess lunged and I caught her, propping her up against Fainjin in front of me.  Pearl, bless her!, moved around so she was directly behind all of us.

You’d never know from the photo just how much yelling and wailing and face-pulling had immediately preceded it.  The Dad certainly timed it just right.

But with all the manoeuvring to get everyone together and looking at the camera, we had moved.  We’re not in front of the flowering red roses after all.  And of course the Dad is missing from the picture.

Nonetheless, there was no suggestion of making another attempt.

3 Responses to “Herding cats would be easier”

  1. Ginia Says:

    I look forward to this lovely mid-January surprise! and think, next year, they’ll be older and more inclined to sit still for a minute…maybe…

  2. Tammy and Parker Says:

    I had to smile at the title of your post. Except for me herding cats usually pertains to trying to get all of Parker’s doctors on the same page.

  3. Stimey Says:

    I am honest to God, using a photo for my cards where Quinn has a black eye, Jack isn’t looking at the camera, Sam is the only one smiling, and everyone is filthy. But I think it’s going to work for us. It’s a fun photo.

    As for you, you only need that one split second of good photo as long as you time it right. Glad it worked out for you!

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