The last professional photograph we had taken of our family was over 3 years ago and it was for our parish directory. Pumpkin was about 3 months old and Sweet Potato was 6 years old. Go ahead. Do the math. That would be six Love Bugs in six years. No, we were not crazy and yes, we do understand how that happened.
Sorry, I digress.
A few years ago, while we were at my sister's house for Easter, my mom suggested that we take a few family photos since we were all dressed up. The stairway seemed to be the best place for all of us, and thus a new family tradition was established: Easter family photos on the steps.
Some years, the kids cooperate with ease. However, there have been other years where we have experienced tears and tantrums. There was even one year where one of the kids was in the "potty-training" stage and had an accident. Not wanting her to be the only one in jeans, we forced her to sit for the photo-shoot, wet dress and all.
Each year, after Easter Sunday Mass, in the van on the way to my sisters, the kids get lectured about taking this family picture. I explain how I expect them to sit still and smile nicely. I beg them to refrain from giving their siblings bunny ears and to keep their hands to themselves. I am ashamed to admit that in the past we have stooped to bribery. I may even guilt them by saying, "this is the one chance to have a nice picture of all of us. Remember, it will hang on our wall for a whole year!"
This year was no exception. I was busy lecturing and the kids were busy tuning me out. To really drive my picture taking points home, I said;
Me: I don't care what is going on around you, please keep your eyes on the camera. Even if Uncle Buddy walks by naked, DO NOT TURN YOUR ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE CAMERA!
Yes, in hindsight, it was a total parental faux pas.
Conversational chaos ensued.
Gummi: Ew! I do not want to see Uncle Buddy naked.
Sweet Pea: (laughing) Uncle Buddy naked. That's so funny!
Pumpkin: Yeah. Uncle Buddy is going to be naked.
Sweet Potato: Wait. Uncle Buddy will be naked? I don't think that's o.k.
Me: No, no. I'm just saying. . .
Cucumber: Will anyone else be naked?
Me: No. No one will be naked. My point is to just focus on getting our picture taken.
Gummi: Well I'm leaving if he's naked.
We arrived at my sisters and proceeded to our places on the steps. While my nephew and niece were snapping pictures of us, Uncle Buddy walked by, fully clothed and completely unaware of the conversation that had preceded.
That is, until, Pumpkin ran up to her uncle, busting us all by asking, "Uncle Buddy? Why you wearing clothes? Mom said you would be naked."
Life with kids. It's a humbling experience.