MUM’S THE WORD: My girl’s far from perfect...

Kate and Nancy Chapman
Kate and Nancy Chapman
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Whoever advised against working with either animals or children was a very wise man.

And now I understand why. I thought it would be nice to get some professional photographs of Nancy taken as she approaches 18 months and also to have our first family portrait done; we haven’t had any taken of her since she was about eight months old, plus they could come in useful for Christmas presents.

I’m lucky in that I’ve got a friend who’s a photographer, so he agreed to come round to our house to do the shots as he thought it would be far less distracting than taking her to the studio, which is full of wires and lights and other interesting paraphenalia which no doubt little hands would be unable to resist.

So, I made sure she was ready to go and did everything in my power to ensure she’d be on her best form – ie a nap and a full tummy. In fact she seemed in such good spirits I thought we’d be looking at half an hour’s job – a bit of a posing and that’d be it. Boy I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Would she sit still? Would she smile? Every time the camera came out she started crying – the whole thing looked like being a total fiasco and waste of everyone’s time – and this wasn’t even five minutes in. Normally she doesn’t need asking twice to pose for a picture – when I get my point and shoot camera out she’s there grinning away yelling ‘cheese’ at the top of her little voice. And to this day I really don’t know what was wrong with her – maybe it was because there was a stranger in the house or the fact that she wasn’t used to a big camera with a large lens pointing at her, I really don’t know.

We tried everything to get her to sit still – she was passed from my knee to Mr Chapman’s like a parlour game parcel – and no matter who she was with she wanted the other. We gave up in the end and thought if we let her get it out of her system she might eventually play ball; so after a bit of stomping around the living room, chucking toys here and there, shouting ‘tractor, ractor, tactor’ – her new word – at the top of her voice, she did allow us to coach her back, albeit with a bit of help of some bubbles, a couple of teddy bears and a toy car!

The photographer told me she’s not the first and I’m sure she won’t be the last – but it just goes to show she’s certainly got a determined streak. If she doesn’t want to do something, not even a biscuit can bribe her into it! My friend had the patience of a saint, which I’m extremely grateful for – can’t wait to see what the photos look like...