MODELING, FOUNTAINS, and BALLOONS


last week we took a trip to the mall. between the weather being everything but sunny, and chloe having a sniffley nose and barkey cough, we had not been out for a while. i like to make an attempt to get out of the house once a day, and if i don't i start to feel as though there is something wrong. after a few days of being in, i can feel myself become a tiny bit anxious, my body starts to fill with both energy and exhaustion, and i guess this is the definition of stir-crazy, cabin fever... whatever you would like to call it. chloe and i both had it. we needed to get out.

it was raining, so i put her in the car and took her to the mall. i didn't have anything in mind that i needed there. i did have a coupon to a make-up store, but chloe wouldn't really give me much time to shop for anything. she was too wired and had been cooped up for too long, so we just strolled the mall. i bought her some french fries, and myself a coffee, and she ran through the mall with me following closely behind, an deserted stroller in front of me holding a few stray french fries. every so often we would come to an escalator where she would slow down and wait for me to catch up. we would ride the escalator up and down in a loop, no less than six times, before i would tell her it was our last time and grab the stroller to drag behind us with my free hand as we would make our final voyage either up or down. 


in the middle of the mall was a kiosk with large black and white glamor-shot photos of children. their arms crossed with one leg sticking out and their back propped up against a wall, close-ups with their hands framing their chubby cheeks, a teen sitting on a stool with her legs crossed and her hands on her hips wearing jean shorts and a huge white teethy smile. chloe was taking a break in the stroller as we passed by. a thin girl in her early twenties wearing all black quickly approached me, "AWWWW!!! SHE IS TOO CUTE! have you ever thought of modeling her?"

i didn't even slow my pace. i don't think i even looked her in the eye. i just quickly replied without hesitation, "thank you, but no, no thanks".

the girl made a quick, but futile effort, "you don't need to sign up for anything! it is really quick! are there any questions i can answer for you?"

"no, no thank-you"

i continued through the mall towards the fountain where i knew chloe would want to get out and run around. chloe is hardly cooperative with letting me take pictures of her. if you were to look at the photos on my memory card, or cellphone you would see the few pictures that i have put on this blog or my instagram, and then five times as many photos where she is a blur, or blinking, or throwing a tantrum. but don't think i said no to the black-clad girl in the mall because of this. there are great photographers out there who i think can get great shots of even the most wiley and wirey of toddlers. 

i know there are many parents who do model their children. they might advocate that it is good for self-esteem, that there is nothing wrong with making a little money by having your child being cute... and honestly, i don't have any problem with these parents. but i just don't feel comfortable with this for my child.  do i feel as though i would be exploiting her by modeling her?

yes. however, to be fair i need to ask myself if i am exploiting her by writing about her, photographing her, and posting her photographs for the world to see. and these questions are ones i have thought long and hard about. these are the questions that limit what i do post, what i write, and help me edit just how much i share on here. because you don't need to know every bit of what chloe does, everywhere we go, or see every photo that i take... and there will come a day when chloe will make decisions regarding her own privacy that i will respect. for now i post photos of our family and keep this blog to show a sliver of our real lives, to relish and remember bits of our days, and to perhaps be a small voice in a big world that proclaims, in my own way: life is very beautiful.

i want to avoid chloe ever being "posed". i don't want her to feel as though her behavior, her appearance, what she is looking at, the things she is learning, or any bit of her is meant to entertain other people... and i guess that is really my issue with modeling my child. when i photograph her i take pictures of her doing whatever she is doing. sometimes this works out and produces a really sweet image that i feel someone else may appreciate, and sometimes i get a blur, eye-lids that are half-shut, and more often than not i do not get a smile. it is fine for her not to smile all the time, and she doesn't need to smile for every photo i take. i don't want her to have a fake smile that she uses for photos. i want her to be a kid, to run around the fountain in the mall, to ride the escalator several hundred times, to play in the dirt and to enjoy the world around her. so yes, i see a big difference between what i do when i take photos of her and share them, and commercial modeling. 

in fact, i don't think chloe understands smiling for a picture.

anyways, chloe is not going to be america's next top model and you will never see her on a tlc special wearing fake teeth and tulle.


i let her run around the fountain, drop every penny from my wallet into it. she loved it. other parents with toddlers stopped by the fountain and chloe greeting them all by walking right up to them and saying "hello". she ran in circles around the fountain, and i watched standing close by. at one point she became a dinosaur and was growling... she growled at a cute family stepping off the escalator. i laughed the tiniest laugh while apologizing... inside all i could think is how much i love this kid and her wildness.

she ran into a department store where balloons were tired to various kitchen appliances. i chased after her and escorted her out. she asked for a balloon and i told her we could go to the party store across the street to buy a balloon. she took my hand and we walked out. on the way out we passed the girl wearing black at the modeling kiosk... she started to approach and then stepped back and smiled. i smiled back.






























8 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you, they're kids and no objets. My man made some modeling when he was younger and he always regrets it.
    I wouldn't feel good making my little girl modeling for money (nor even for exposing her even if i think she's the greatest... she's my baby!!!!!) It's kind of a selfish attitude...
    And i also have my doubts about blogging, but in the end they're also exposed to people when we're in the city... i mean, my neighboor is maybe the craziest man, and in the net normally the people who look at baby blogs are just another parents.
    Have a nice day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks wendy - i have heard parents who model speak from both sides of the argument: some would never encourage their child to model, and others feel that it can be a very healthy and positive experience. i think it probably can be done in a healthy way, but it would probably take a whole lot of work.

      i agree with you, i think that most people who look at blogs like ours are usually other parents, or people with alike interests...

      chloe has actually taken an interest in some of the blogs that i read - any ones with photos of babies that are younger than her are favorites. yep, my kid creeps on other people's babies via the web!

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  2. great post. your chloe girl has such a great spirit. i know I've said this before, but I think our kids would get along great! I often wonder exactly how much money (in pennies) we've dropped into fountains. ;)

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    Replies
    1. thanks katie! i do think our girls would be good friends. i guess the pennies do add up after a while, but fifty pennies could keep chloe going for a while - she likes to drop them one at a time and count them as she does.

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  3. your blog is fabulous! i am so thrilled to have found you.
    xx

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    Replies
    1. thank you! your blog is beautiful and full of so many dreamy photos!

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  4. The photo where she is climbing into the fountain is so cute!

    S&R

    New Post!
    http://www.cattaildown.com/my-blog/2013/07/cosmetic-pouch-essentials.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank-you! and thank you for stopping by my little blog!

      Delete

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