Taking your child to get pictures taken....

Danielle - posted on 08/30/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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We all love having pictures of our kids... but sometimes it's so hard to get them taken. I'm not talking about just snapshots we take ourselves but taking them to a photo studio. First it takes all day to pack whatever meds/equipment is necessary for a trip to the mall or wherever, then you have to keep your fingers crossed that not only is your child in a good mood but also that they don't have a seizure that just throws the whole day off.

I love my mother-in-law but when it comes to getting pictures of her grandkids, she'll stop at nothing. And she just LOVES to go to Kiddie Kandids! I'm not saying there's anything wrong with Kiddie Kandids, I think for the most part they do a great job- with 'normal' kids. My mother-in-law has 3 grandkids right now and she's always trying to get these great pictures of all three kids looking into the camera smiling wearing coordinating outfits... Well, guess what!? It's just not going to happen! I have one nephew who is 3 and he's not very interested in sitting there how they tell him to sit and looking at the camera with a smile on his face... they try to bribe him with candy but eventually they give up on telling him if he is good he'll get the candy and they give him the candy THEN say, 'ok, now lets take some pictures'. Well, he already has what he wants and he knows it. They also like to try and get him to either sit close to London (or hold her when she was smaller) or hold his little brother... Well, he's not interested in that either. His little brother will be 1 soon and he's much too busy to sit and get his picture taken. I can't blame either of the boys for any of that- they're kids! But soon it just turns into crying and fit-throwing. Then, with London, first I have to explain that even though she's almost 2, she can't sit up, can't hold her head up very well, can't sit in one of those stupid wicker chairs by herself.... it goes on and on. London doesn't even like to be moved around. So then the photographer is completely stumped on what to do with her. And the crying and fit-throwing from her cousins doesn't help her mood. On top of what the kids are feeling and what they do and don't want to do- the stupid camera is stuck on that pole so it can only get one angle- so London not being able to lift her head and look at the camera just doesn't fit into Kiddie Kandids idea of a good picture. And I hate that the photographers (and my mother-in-law) will sit and wiggle things in front of London's face, make funny noises, repeat her name over and over, louder and louder, trying to get her to look in the direction of the camera. She has some vision problems and we're not exactly sure how much she can see. So if she can't see, what's her motivation to look at the stupid red, yellow, and blue dusters they're always shoving in kids' faces? UGH!!

Anyway, the time had apparently come again for us to venture out to the mall and try to get a picture of all three grandkids together. I hate it but I don't know how to say, "no, London's not going to be put through that". I wouldn't mind taking her to our local JC Penney portrait studio because the people there know her, and they know her capabilities and all they have to ask when we show up is, "has she made any developmental improvements?" and I can say, "not yet" and we get on with it. They can move all around London with their camera to get different angles so that London doesn't have to be moved around and posed like a doll. But I think the reason my mother-in-law likes to go to Kiddie Kandids is because you get your pictures in like 10 minutes. With JC Penney, you have to wait a few weeks.

Am I being a complete brat by feeling this way? Does anyone else have this kind of experience? Should I just give up on getting her pictures taken?

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Lauren - posted on 09/03/2009

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Try writing your m-i-l an email or letter, you can get out everything you need to say without interruptions and without saying the wrong thing. Also you can focus on the good things about her relationship with London and yourself, and how much you appreciate her.

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Danielle - posted on 09/01/2009

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Maureen- Thanks so much for your input! It makes me feel better to know that it's not just ME and it's not just MY m-i-l... I'm so sorry to hear about your son's death, I can't imagine the strength you must have!!! I feel the same way you do about writing- it's sort of my outlet when things get complicated and I don't always feel comfortable sharing my feelings with someone face to face. I'm actually going to be writing a book soon- in hopes that I can sorta come full circle about London's special needs and how it makes me feel and how it impacts EVERY aspect of my life. Thanks again!

Maureen - posted on 08/31/2009

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I know what you mean! I love my m-i-l, too. When our first son, Clint, was born no one on either side of our family had actually had a one-on-one relationship with a disabled child. My m-i-l did not know what to do or say, so she and my f-i-l didn't! My parents were very supportive and treated Clint and later his youngest brother Jonathan a lot like they treated their other grandchildren, but not totally. They learned the boys likes and dislikes -- just like their other grandchildren, but also took into account the boys inability to do certain things. My in-laws were afraid of Clint! I guess they thought he might break! We finally talked to my husband's grandmother (a former pediatric nurse) and she intervened on our behalf. After she spoke with them, their attitudes towards Clint changed. They learned what he needed and how to help him and play with him. I never doubted they loved him or Jonathan, but with Clint they had a difficult time interacting with him. Of course, I'm looking back on that time not currently living it and distance does help! Clint died two years ago (he was almost 19) and my in-laws paid for the entire funeral -- anything we wanted. They are really truly wonderful people who love us very much. Jonathan turns 11 next month. The years have not been easy, but they have been full of love and have gone by so quickly!

Anytime you want to vent to someone other than your husband, just post a note here. Sometimes, once you write it down and get out in the open you can move forward. That's how it works for me, but writing is my therapy.

And remember, sometimes we have to hit people over the head with the preverbial hammer! ;D

Danielle - posted on 08/30/2009

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Thanks Maureen! I've tried to drop a few hints here and there about the situation... and I think my husband has talked to her about this a time or two- but she's the kind of person that just doesn't get it! I'm not trying to sound mean towards her, but she treats London either like every other child she's ever known or like a newborn... Like when London was little, and still to this day, when she cried, my m-i-l would bounce her and pace the house... well London hates to be bounced! But her grandsons liked it so in her head, London should too. But when she feeds London, she'll give her only like 1/2 a jar of stage 2 Gerber food- then wonder why London is hungry again 20 minutes later... I'm totally venting right now! I just feel bad telling my husband how much his mom makes me angry- I really do love her and I think deep down she wants the best for London, but she just won't step back and let me show her what that is. Thanks for your advice- the conversation may just have to get a little more direct and serious! :)

Maureen - posted on 08/30/2009

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Danielle,



No, I don't think you are being a complete brat. I wouldn't want to put my child through that experience either. Explain your objections, in a calm manner, to your m-i-l and suggest that because Penney's can better accomodate London that you would prefer to have pictures taken there. Expain that even though she may have to wait for the pictures, in the long run she may have better picture choices since the photogs at Penney's don't have the limitations on their cameras that Kiddie Kandids has. If you don't tell her, she will never know how difficult it is for London and you to deal with people who do not understand London's capabilities are vastly different from her cousins. You have to speak up for London and yourself. Politely tell your m-i-l that if she won't give Penney's a try then she will have pictures minus her granddaughter. It might be a difficult conversation, but she might be more understanding than you think. Give her the chance to see your side of the situation. She may not realize how stressful it is for all of you.



Maureen

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