We have finally arrived at the portrait studio and they are ready for us, right now. We, on the other hand, are not ready for them. I get Darcy's dress on her and am grateful to see that the dress easily covers up the hole in her stocking.
Until this point, Reagan has been quietly sleeping in her carrier. The Burger King lady was amazed that Reagan never made a peep while we were there. "Now" is a different story. Since it is time to eat, she is beginning to peep. If I attempt to dress her without feeding her, the peeping will morph into caterwauling and pictures will be over. What to do?
Our friends at Sears generously offer the use of the other camera room so that I could feed Reagan with privacy. Four years ago, I would have never even considered feeding my child in public. Period. Privacy or no privacy. End of discussion. Not in any form of public. Ever. But here, on this day, I agree. I know in the long run, it will be easier and I will be more comfortable.
We move in. Literally. Between the bags (4 in all), the carrier, my jacket and the dresses the girls wore there, we needed a porter to get everything in the room and arranged. I find a chair and do what I do best: feed children. I try to be discreet, but Reagan does not want anything covering her face. She does not have to suffer this injustice at home. I do the best I can. Brian had the great and terrible task of watching the other girls which was like herding a basket full of kittens. I know it is great and terrible because I had to watch all three while he went to the bathroom. The balance of power could shift at any moment.
When it comes time to burp and switch sides, I hand Reagan off to Brian and in the interim, try to do something with Lily's hair with our new, expensive hairbows. When I purchased the hairbows, I did not examine to see what kind of barrette or clip was attached. I am now finding that it is the junkiest, crappiest barrette ever. Not the French barrette that I was expecting, but one that was going to be a pain to deal with. This thing was going to be a problem. All the curling of Lily's hair hadn't done much for the waves we'd hoped for, but they did give her hair some volume and it looked right nice down and to the side. Brian decides to try his hand with Lily's hair [he's actually better at half ponytails] and I take Reagan back for Round Two.
After Brian is chastised (by Lily) for pulling hair, it is unanimous to forgo the bow and leave the hair down. I'm ready to flush all hairbows, everywhere, down the toilet.
Reagan finishes and we begin the process of dressing her. Brian is holding her and she is wearing her adorable stockings and her diaper cover. Then the worst thing that could happen to a cream-colored dress, happened.
It started out with a strange sound....a cross between a gurgle, a rumble and another sound I can't identify. As soon as I asked, "What was that?" I was able to see what it was.
Out of her diaper, like a science experiment gone terribly wrong, was lots and lots of poop. It was just bubbling right out of the top. I guess with Brian's arm right there, it didn't have anywhere to go but up. And up it went. I jerked her diaper cover off, saved that from being ruined. I grabbed the cloth diaper that we use for burping and tried to "catch" it, so to speak. Except more kept coming.
Finally, Mount Saint Reagan stopped flowing.
When we got there, the photographer was talking to us about what kind of pictures we wanted. She suggested "naked pictures" since this was Reagan's first official picture. She called it "Newborn Pictures". I vetoed Naked Newborn Pictures. Although, after this part of our adventure, I thought we were going to be forced to have Naked Pictures. I was scared to put her dress on at all. The stockings were ruined so she didn't get to wear her shoes, but the dress managed to escape all damage. We changed her on the floor. Thank goodness diaper bags come with little changing pads or someone (probably me) would have had to haul her all the way to the bathroom holding her out at arm's length. It was bad enough that we had to shove all the nasty things back in the diaper bag and carry it home with us. But thank goodness for that little plastic pouch. Those Carter's people are pretty smart.
Although, I think pooping so much put Reagan in a good humor and she was thrilled to have her picture taken multiple times. She even allowed them to capture some of her open-mouthed, gummy smiles. And miracle of miracles, there was at least one shot where everyone was smiling and looking at the camera at the same time.
We finally finished with pictures at 4pm. The waiting room was filled with people....waiting. We had thrown the whole operation off. Way off. Our whole day was shot, too. There was much to be learned from this experience. But hey, it's okay. After all, this was our first real adventure with three kids. I think the learning curve on this thing is pretty steep.