I love Groupons. They’re great coupons you buy the day they’re offered & use any time before the expiration date. We’ve gotten huge discounts at restaurants, the aquarium, the bouncy house place, the spa….. quite nice. About a month ago I went into a manic Groupon-spending-spree. After all, I had purchased these great things & I needed to use them before leaving! Well, there was one very important one left: A photo session with Black and Geauxld Photography. We were set to take pictures of the girls at the really cool City Park pavilions on Monday.

And then Peanut was diagnosed with walking pneumonia & I was diagnosed with bronchitis. We rescheduled for Wednesday.

But that day rolled around and Peanut was still sick and Beanie was starting to run fever. We rescheduled, went back to the doctor and Bean was diagnosed with strep throat. (Peanut was declared well.) We are not sure when the Black Plague entered our home…. 3 different big illnesses? What’s up with that?

So, Friday came…. the last possible day that the girls could have their picture taken before they leave town….. and we were all deemed healthy enough for photos. I got them dressed, got myself dressed, and looked outside to see the rain pouring down. But I am a crazy woman, so we pressed on. After all, we would be at these gorgeous pavillions built in the 20s & 30s that overlook the water…. and they’re covered. Because they’re pavilions. And that means that they have columns and a roof. Problem solved for this crazy woman who couldn’t reschedule again and was determined to get these pictures done….

Taken by WallyG on Flickr(I found this beautiful picture of the Popp Bandstand — one of the pavilions — on Flickr & taken by Flickr user WallyG. Thank you, WallyG for letting me gank this image under the Creative Commons Agreement.)

What I didn’t count on: 3 bus loads of school children. They apparently had a field trip to the park today and decided they needed to hang out in the pavillions. That’s fine! They’re rather large. But, what wasn’t fine is that these kids wouldn’t share. They kept getting in the shots, running in between me & my little ones, & freaking my kids out. I was really angered because the teachers did nothing. I was asking kids to move over and play just a few feet away and they just watched the kids laugh & jump in the shots. Grrrrr…..If you are from NOLA & know anyone from Ames Montessori School, you can tell them that I am hereby publicly calling them out for bad behavior. I was a school teacher for this same age of kid & we made it a point to teach them manners & consideration for others. I needed about 4 feet of space to take a picture and they wouldn’t give it. I don’t blame the 7 year olds…. I blame the teachers who were not even trying to control their group. So, let’s all take a moment and furrow our brow and tsk the teachers of Ames Montessori for their rudeness. Ready? Brow furrowed? Ok…

TSK, TSK!

By this time the rain was almost gone, so we went venturing out under the huge, stinkin’ old trees. I didn’t really want to have lovely pictures of my kids with random strangers in the background, so this seemed like a good idea. But, Peanut decided it was time to hold on to me and never ever ever let go. I was not exactly dressed nicely & didn’t want to be in pictures. Therefore, Bean has about 1,000 shots & Peanut has 3. Did I give up? No! We will carry on! We will get photos of my girls! We have braved rain! We have braved rude teachers & kids! We will now brave drizzles and wet ground!

We went over by the train tracks. These aren’t ugly huge industrial tracks…. they’re for the tiny little fun train that rides through the park & winds under trees covered in cool moss. Bean was all about it. Peanut was still not happy with anything. So, we moved over to some of the cool trees whose branches reached down to the ground & formed some great places to sit. Bean was climbing & jumping & hamming it up for the camera. Finally Peanut decided she would sit on the branch & smile for the camera. Finally we were getting somewhere! The rain had let up, both of my daughters were happy, and we would end up with great pictures!

(Here’s a pic of Bean on one of these trees when we had an Easter Egg hunt at the park. These branches are huge!)

And then Bean announced that she had to go potty. “Ok, honey… we’ll walk over to the potties in just a second,” I replied. Approximately 1.3 seconds later she said, “Too late, Mama… I’m tee-teeing now.” Sho ’nuff. The fabulous photographer, Geovanni Velasquez, has a 5 year old son, so he was not freaked out or completely grossed out by my kid peeing all over the park. I was thinking “Really? What else can go wrong?” See, this is funny because I couldn’t think of anything else that could be distracting/stressful/non-picturesque. But I forgot to factor in one wild card….

Fornicating ducks.

Peanut is obsessed with ducks. So, right after Bean peed everywhere I saw 3 ducks come out of the water. I pointed them out to her so she’d see them, clap her hands, and smile. We’d get a few more good shots and after 30 seconds we’d be on our way out to change Bean and get all of us some ice cream. But, these ducks were not out there to make her smile. One of them basically attacked the two others and, um, well, this is a family friendly blog, so I’ll just stop the description there.

(Here’s a picture of Peanut a few years ago with the ducks & geese. They are eating, not getting it on. Just in case you were wondering.)

“What are they doing, Mama?” says Bean as she stands there awkwardly in her wet clothes.

“Ummmm… they’re just wrestling!” I say in a very upbeat way. “Now, let’s all go to the bathroom!”

I may be stubborn, hard-headed, persistent, and ridiculous about getting pictures in bad weather with barely-recovering-still-on-antibiotics kids, but eventually I know when to quit. And a kid in a wet dress and another one freaked out over, well, wrestling ducks = time for ice cream & going home. Still, I saw some of the shots Giovanni was able to get — and they are great! We’ll have to get some to put up in the new house. Except for the fact that I won’t be able to look at them ever without thinking of pee and dirty, dirty ducks.

The lesson for you in all of this: Don’t wait until the last day you’re in town to spend your Groupons!

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