Yesterday we took Lil Miss to get her one year pics made - even though today is her 13 months birthday. Whoops! =)
We had an appointment at a local place nearby that has great specials and a big package deal for $9.99. Lil Miss has been there before at 3 months old for pics, and it was a great experience. I had my grandma and mom with me, and we headed out, everyone dressed and a bag packed with extra outfits for Lil Miss. (she wore a little pink tank and white mini skirt - SO cute!!!)
We get there and sign in and go into the photography room. The photographer comes in, all smiles and sweet voices, and Lil Miss freaks. Absolutely will not let the woman and the camara anywhere near her. Like, not in the same room. We were all stunned, since Lil Miss lately LOVES having her pic taken and cheeses for the camara.
Not yesterday. We tried various tricks - nothing worked. For some Lil Miss was just scared of that woman! Maybe it was the funky hair do or the giant camara, who knows. Regardless, we had to leave, with nothing, Lil Miss red faced and puffy and consoling herself with fruity Cheerios. I was pretty frustrated but its one of those things - what can you do? We did some errands and then decided to go to JCPenney and try their portrait studio, just for one more try.
We had to wait almost an hour because of being a walk in and an appt. ahead of us, but it was fine. Lil Miss played and ate snacks and watched the two hyper little kids try to get their picture taken. Finally, the previous appt. is over, and the two ladies come out with their two little kids. They looked exhausted and one of the women tells us "don't waste your time. that photographer is horrible" and other very rude things. We just kinda nodded, puzzled, not understanding what was wrong. Then they're rude to the photographer, who was young and sweet and very polite to them even though these customers surely didn't deserve it. They were threatening to bring in managers and file complaints.
Finally they all leave, and we step up to the counter. The photographer looks on the verge of tears and is apologizing and I said "no, they were hard on YOU. We're going to be nice." And she just looks so overwhelmed and says "they were just so rude..." and then has to excuse herself to the back room for a moment. It was heartbreaking! There is no excuse for customers to behave that way - bringing a young photographer to tears.
She came right back, composed, and we got right to work. It was a fun experience, Lil Miss LOVED the photographer, was very playful with her, and we got some great shots. I can't wait to post them later in the month when they come in!
We were paying and leaving and my mom and I both made a special effort to assure her how great she was and what a good job she did, and she almost cried again in relief just hearing that. I'm going to call JCPenney today and make sure a good report gets filed and try to ward off the bad one for her.
Once we got home, exhausted, Lil Miss cranky then because of missing her nap, I realized that everything yesterday very likely happened for a reason. Lil Miss's random episode at the first photographers, our randomly dropping in JCPenney (where we got a great package deal as well by the way!), being able to cheer up the young girl, etc. I really believe we were there for that moment in time for that reason. Who knows how much worse that poor photographer's day would have been or how much worse things could have gotten for her?
When I thought about that, my frustration disappeared completely at the turn of events and tiring day, and I was honored to be a part of a plan of God's at work - even if that plan was nothing more than just to encourage a sweet woman who needed some understanding words.
So next times things don't go your way or go as planned, look for an opportunity to find something better, something deeper. I know I will!