This was the picture I used for our Christmas cards this year. I was SO very happy with how it turned out!
As you might guess, getting Vivian to cooperate for a picture is quite a feat. First of all, I cannot let her have any inkling that we are going to take a picture or she will take off her clothes and climb under her bed. Secondly, getting her to wear anything other than a Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians or Curious George t-shirt and her beloved strawberry pants is a Herculean task in and of itself.
For this picture I picked Vivian up from school, and I instructed Will and Dots to clean out everything from Vivian's drawers except for a white 101 Dalmatians t-shirt and some black velveteen pants.
When Vivian and I walked in our house, I pointed out that what she was wearing was no longer clean. Vivian cannot stand the thought of her clothes being dirty, so she immediately headed upstairs to change (I have worked really hard to teach her not to begin changing her clothes until she is in her own room - again no easy task!). Vivian opened her drawer, looked at me questioningly and asked, "What happened to my clothes?" I told her they were all dirty and were being washed. That seemed to satisfy Vivian as she promptly changed into the only things left in her drawer.
I then suggested that we take Tucker for a walk. Vivian liked that idea, so we found Tucker's leash and walked with him and Dots and Will outside. It was chilly that day, and as we walked down our block, Vivian agreed to put on the sweater I had brought only because nothing else was available.
When we arrived at a park near our house (a favorite destination of Vivian's on walks), lo and behold, someone was there with a camera! I convinced Vivian that we should ask these nice people to take a picture of Tucker. Vivian was amenable to this idea and sat right down next to Tucker. She even pulled on Tucker's lips and told him to smile!
Vivian was very cooperative as the photographer snapped off pictures "of Tucker." I thought we were really pushing our luck, though, when the photographer wanted to move the kids to a second spot in the park. Vivian initially balked, but Will and Dots convinced her that Tucker needed her help for his picture and she agreed to move.
For this set, Vivian insisted that Tucker sit right in her lap and she didn't want any part of Will or Dots touching him (I was very afraid Tucker would run off, but fortunately he didn't!). It was in this second location that we got the picture above. I truly think it is one of the best pictures ever taken of Vivian.
To the uninformed observer, these pictures look natural and easy. But now you know the real story!
Notice Vivian's shoes. I had brought some dark shoes for her to wear in the picture, but she was cooperating so unexpectedly well that I dared not rock the boat by asking her to change them. The photographer kindly darkened Vivian's shoes in the picture we used for our card
Married for 25 years to Robert, three kids: Will (21), Vivian (18) and Dots (15) ~~~~
Majored in mathematics at SMU, taught elementary school for six years before Will was born ~~~~
Things I enjoy: playing duplicate bridge, working NY Times crossword puzzles, reading good books, entertaining, visiting with friends, planning trips, TRAVELING, playing board games, spending time with family, cooking, corresponding with old friends
I unintentionally contaminated all of the pictures on my blog when I changed my privacy settings on Flickr. I am working backwards to correct them all, but it is quite a tedious procedure! If you encounter a post with error messages from Flickr where the pictures should be, then I haven't gotten to that post yet. Please let me know and I will update it immediately. Thanks for your patience!