Kate Walks the Catwalk

Posted: October 25th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Miss Kate | 3 Comments »

Tomorrow is the local kiddie Halloween parade, and Kate’s school’s Fall Festival and some pumpkin ho-down at a nearby cemetery of all places. Kate, Paige and I will be debuting our 2008 Halloween line of haute costumery. Tonight as I was double-checking every last detail of our ensembles like some OCD Project Runway contestant I told Mark I felt like it was the night before my thesis presentation.

Which is, needless to say, utterly pathetic. And perhaps an indicator that it’s time for me to rejoin the workforce. Either that or resign myself to housewife life and sign up for a Betty Crocker cook-off.

Though our costumes do rock so incredibly hard that we’re sure to stun and amaze all who see us. And if we don’t all I can say is poor Mark will have himself one brutally long ugly night of talking me down off the ledge of irrational female emotions. 

It’s weird that as hopped up as I am to trot the girls (and sure, myself) out on Halloween, in the very same week it became brutally clear how remotely not cut out to be a Pageant Mom I am. Which isn’t to say that I entered Paige into the Little Miss Fatty Legs Northern California Regional Semi-Finals. Though if there was such a pageant and I was the type to enter my nine-month-old daughter, I can assure you SHE WOULD KILL.

My encounter was actually a gazillion times more chill. My gargantuanly talented photographer friend asked if Kate would–well I don’t even want to use the term because it makes it seem like more than it was but–model for a shoot she was doing. No big thing–just some pics for a website (or catalog?) for a Brangelina’s kids level-of-schmancy children’s clothing line.

Of course, while knowing it was so not remotely a big deal there still was one wee part of my being that immediately interpreted the invitation to do this as my friend’s way saying that she’d truly never looked upon a more beautiful and luminous child than Kate. Ever.

And so, knowing Kate has the star power to be the next Brooke Shields but because we’re not the types to do anything about it other than leave a trail of love-struck 3-year-old boys in her wake, I happily agreed to help my friend out and do this it’ll-be-fun shoot. And immediately put Kate on a strict grapefruit and Tab diet… Okay, well not really.

So, two days before the shoot I noticed Kate had a dark quarter-sized bruise on her cheek that appeared in that way that little owies crop up all over 3-year-olds who engage in some sort of Ultimate Playground Fighting all in the name of good recess fun. One day before the shoot Kate and her friend Owen decided to give each other magic marker “tattoos” akin to a prison gang ritual. Kate’s cheek, neck, and the length of her arm were inked in what I was sure was wash-awayable marker, though Mark’s bath-time washcloth dermabrasion had no power over them. And the actual day of the shoot she get a big red ballerina stamp on her hand from dance class like some little raver club girl.

It’s not until you want your child to be free and clear of bodily markings that you realize what a typical week in the world of a preschooler serves up to their dermis. Sheesh.

And the fact that the thought did cross my mind that all these things could affect THE PICTURES scared me into wondering if there’s some latent Pageant Mother embedded deep deep inside me just waiting to bust out like an alien from Sigourney Weaver’s stomach.

Well, suffice it to say that Kate doesn’t seem to have the, uh, temperament to withstand a mellow photo shoot at our good friend’s house where she’s usually comfortable enough to frolic naked in the backyard kiddie pool and raid their selection of sippy cups.

A simple request to try on a pair of tights–this doesn’t even include the dress, boots, sweater and hat which were ultimately required–caused Kate to scream “NO!” in painfully close range of my face, then run off to pry the play cash register away from the hands of one of the other more serenely-natured girls.

Finally, miraculously, the entire outfit did get onto her body, despite the tricky Euro buttons up the back of the dress, and the hysterical crying fit that ended in a series of those hyperventilating quick intakes of breath, a snot-smeared face, and my promise to pack her to the gills with ice cream the moment we got home.

Thankfully the woman who was running the shoot was a mother too, and told me one girl/model recently wouldn’t even getting dressed. That left me feeling like my Ivy League-level aspirations that got knocked down to a good liberal arts school at least didn’t devolve into the community college outcome that that other poor mother walked away with. Misery no doubt loves company, but loves someone who is worse off even more.

I don’t know yet whether the pics of Kate were even use-able. My friend managed to tell little sweet stories to Kate while photographing her, brilliantly distracting her from her satanic crying spell. And since most of the other clothing ended up being too big for Kate, it turned out I only had to wrangle one outfit on her and then we were free to go. Of course, in writing this I realize that was likely the polite way to excise Little Miss Tantrum from the scene.

Whatever the case, as we headed out the woman actually asked if we’d ever want to do it again, remarking that Kate is “really beautiful” and kindly leaving out the “when her head is not rotating full circle and she’s not puking pea soup” part of the sentence. Perhaps she’ll bring some sort of kiddie sedative along next time. Or better yet, something mind-altering for the adults.

Driving down the mountain from my friend’s house I saw Kate in the rear view mirror looking worn out and gazing out the window. I asked her what she thought of having her picture taken and she said weakly, “Good.” Did she think it was something she’d want to do again I asked, mostly out of curiosity about what she’d say. She perked right up, leaning forward with a million-dollar smile (best one of the day) and chirped, “Yes, Mama! Yes, I’ll do it again!”

I’ve no idea what would make her want to re-enter the Zone of Wailing Misery which she was so entrenched in just moments before. Either modeling shoots are forgotten like the pain of childbirth, or the extent to which Mark and I restrict Kate from having sweets is so great it was a small price for her to pay to get an ice cream sandwich.

If we ever do decide to do it again, I just have to figure out what treat I’m going to allow myself to have at the end.


3 Comments on “Kate Walks the Catwalk”

  1. 1 John said at 7:30 am on October 25th, 2008:

    Wow. Modeling is not for everyone, no matter the beauty involved. As a photo director, with lot’s of experience with pre K thru 6th grade kids, I say let Kate decide.

    My story: Sabrina, my oldest, was in a photo shoot for a textbook I was producing with another little boy (the son of a colleague). There must have been a blue moon the night before the shoot because Sab was the picture of compliance and composure, not her normal core competencies. She sat quietly snacking at the Ikea table on juice and cookies while her model counterpart spurted venom at the photographer, child wrangler and stylist. The whole crew working on this shot are my friends. Sab was looking better by the minute. I missed this as I had to work, but Sab says to alien boy, “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

    Back in South Orange, NJ at our local YMCA her pre-school teacher, Miss Ruby, was beaming.

    The crew was in love with her. She was making their job that much easier.

  2. 2 The Subtle Rudder said at 9:23 am on October 25th, 2008:

    I got all excited when I read the post title, because I thought it was about CAKE WALKS and I actually won one of those in third grade. Ahem. So, modeling. I have no kids, but when people have tried to use Stella, my fetching chihuahua, in ad campaigns (or even snapshots) she’s gone all Andrea Dworkin the-lens-is-rape on them. Which, actually, she may have learned from me. I am the original talk-to-the-hand, dive out of the frame, or death rictus of false cheer photograph-ee. In my next life, I want to be either 3 inches shorter or photogenic. BTW: I hear tell the costumes are MAGNIFICENT, and I really hope we get pictures here.

  3. 3 Paige said at 12:40 pm on October 29th, 2008:

    Love this! You will now officially replace Deuce.com on my sidebar — taking your readership up by at least one more new but loyal reader (me) and possibly one of the two other people who read my blog religiously. Nice stalking you…talking to you…today. :-)


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