I've traveled with toddlers and I've traveled with teenagers. I always just assumed it would get easier as they got older. It's the parenting myth we delude ourselves with in order to survive this parenting gig. But guess what? It's a lie. A BIG FAT LIE. Bigger kids equate to bigger problems. And their clothes are also bigger, requiring more luggage we require they carry because they're big enough, but small minded enough to whine about it. Oh, and when they were little? They loved to get their picture taken. Now, every shot requires their photo approval. And that's if you can even get a picture of them to begin with.
I mean, you'd think they'd want photos of themselves on vacation for bragging rights or whatever. Apparently not. Because I had to beg for every single solitary photo opportunity. And after making them walk all over sweltering Bangkok listening to them fight and beg for food every 5 minutes, begging them for photos got extremely exhausting, extremely fast.
If you zoom in on the photo, you'll see the resentment and coercion all over their faces. And this was just the beginning of the trip.
2. Artistic Back Shots.
If they won't let me take a photo of them, I'll take a photo of their ungrateful little asses when they're not looking. Which I also have in the photo, cause back shot. Who knows? Maybe this is their best angle.
3. CIA Operative.
So they turned around and caught me taking back shots. Forcing me to go all CIA operative on them. In this covert maneuver, they're wheeling and dealing for some sweet souvenirs in the marketplace. Together. All team-like. How come they can deal so well with strangers, but not their own siblings?
4. Candid Camera.
No worries honey, I'm just taking a picture of the mountains out the window. Oops, I guess I missed the mountains entirely.
5. Ants in Legoland.
All four of them are in this photo. Somewhere. You just might need a magnifying glass to see them.
6. Making Stupid Faces.
Ok, I reverted to begging. Again. And even though I mustered up the energy to do it, at least one kid ruins it by making a really stupid face every time. (Conversely, this is probably the most realistic representation of our family in photos.)
While I can't take a photo of my kids with my camera, if I give the kids my camera they will selfie until they run out of memory and/or battery, whichever comes first. Look closely, they are in fact riding an elephant. I hope they have the zoomed out image stored away in their memories somewhere.
8. The Approved Shot
It was near the end of the trip, when I got one photo approved picture of all the kids together. It was a very precious minute and a half out of the entire two week trip where they all got along.
In other words, it's not an accurate depiction of our vacation at all!
And the kicker? On the long journey home from vacation, one of my kids got on instagram and saw a family friend's photos. "She takes such amazing photos of her kids!" Whhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaattttttttt did you just say? Thanks Hillary.