Let me tell you, nothing could have prepared me for the wild ride that is parenting. Especially the parenting of my 3 intelligent, rambunctious, precocious children. I've always joked that I’ve heard about laid back babies but I don’t give birth to them. Seriously, not a calm one in the bunch.
Meet Billie. I feel like this picture really captures her little spirit. I took this photo over the summer in upstate New York. My main goal when photographing children or doing family photography is not to make the children sit still and smile, but to get them to let down their guard and show me themselves. Fortunately, this little girl belongs to me. And she shows me her heart daily.
Billie is a little bright light. She sees colors we don’t think about and talks to the trees like my mom does. But boy is she particular. She likes things to go just so. This doesn't necessarily translate well when you are potty training.
The other day Billie made a poop on her potty and we had our usual celebration cheers, but she insisted upon wiping herself. Too much information! - I know I know, but if you are a parent you know that poop becomes a MAJOR topic of conversation from the day they come into this world. And if you're not... now you know. You're welcome. :)
Anyhow, Billie immediately grabbed all the dirty wipes from out of the bowl - to throw them away of course. eww!! ...and I just lost it. ALL of my patience and kindness went out the window. I yelled, I grabbed! Have you been there parents?! I must confess that I really can’t stand poop. Pee as well. But especially number 2. I lose all composure when it comes to the smell, having it touch me, knowing that it is contaminating my child. And then what if she puts her hand in her mouth?! Or her eye?! Before I’ve cleaned it. Anyhow, I digress.
So I got hold of her, by now she is on the floor crying and yelling and I’ve won… sort of, but it doesn’t feel good. I got the dirty wipes away from her anyhow. And I think – how does a person handle this? You really can’t make this stuff up. Never in a million life times would I imagine that I would be in this situation! So as I looked down at my wild eyed little one I became overcome with a mother’s compassion and a little guilt (wink, wink) and I said, “It’s ok baby. It’s gonna be ok.” And I shed a little tear. Then I caressed her cheek and realized with horror that I was smearing poop on my daughter’s face. Are you kidding me?! The only solution is to laugh and get in the bath! Then text daddy and tell him what happened. Because no one else wants to hear about this stuff LOL ;)
And why am I telling you this story anyway? To remind us all to give ourselves a break. Parenting is hard. And those unexpected, never-in-a-million-years moments of craziness can keep us grounded if we remember to laugh. Anyhow, remember the beautiful image of Billie above. That's how I see her. Even when she has brown smudges on her face. <3