I can still remember dreaming of the magical moment we’d introduce our first child to his new baby sister. We’d of course capture it on camera—this beautiful bond being born. Only instead, his first words upon meeting her were, “Take baby away. Bye-bye sister.” So yeah, not all of us have that picture-perfect scene of introducing a new sibling to our kid. Deb Biondolillo, the Connecticut mom and writer behind Stamford Mommy, had a similar experience recently, as she tried to capture that “magical moment” of telling her son Tristan he’s going to be a big brother.
Deb and her husband Adam thought they’d make the delivery of their exciting news memorable — in a frame, to hang inside their house. They hired Veronica Green of Veronica Green Photography to take the shots, and set up the scene at a Christmas tree farm (because holidays cards, obviously). The outfits were perfectly coordinated and adorable chalkboard signs were made by a Stamford company called The Printed Society.
This year’s card was going to be perfect.
“I had a vision of Tristan holding the sign with a big smile with us blurred in the background to use as a Christmas card/Baby No. 2 announcement,” Deb tells Babble. “I mean how cliché, but perfect!”
Before long, Veronica started snapping photos. Click, click, click. And 4-year-old Tristan, fashionably dressed in a cream-colored sweater and red pants looked the part, smiled — blissfully unaware he was about to get some pretty big news.
But as the photos now show, the big reveal didn’t exactly go over well …
In addition to some tears, Deb tells Babble that Tristan blurted out some last-minute protests, including, “You already have one child right here; you do not need another child!” and “I don’t even like babies,” and “I never asked to be a big brother!”
It looks like Deb and her husband Adam did finally convince sad little Tristan to take a photo with the “Merry Christmas to me! I’m a big brother to be!” sign they had created, but he was clearly NOT merry about it. Not even a little.
Deb tells Babble that the morning was actually off to a rough start before they even arrived at the farm. (Because of course, the day you actually have plans, your kids can’t possibly cooperate, right?)
“Tristan has a great demeanor and is a generally happy kid,” she shares, “but very clearly woke up on the wrong side of (our) bed that day. The morning started off terrible when I got him dressed for the photoshoot. The adorable sweater I picked out for the shoot was not to his liking (shock). He complained because it had buttons and pleaded with me to take it off, but I won the battle with a candy bribe.”
Deb explains that Tristan continued to complain about things pretty much the whole way to the farm, saying things like, “‘My pants are itchy’, ‘I want to go home and watch a show’, and ‘Why don’t we do anything fun?'” (Isn’t 4 such a fun age?)
When the family arrived, Deb and Adam thought that breaking the baby news to Tristan would turn his mood around. LOL — unfortunately, they were so wrong about that one.
“He broke down crying on the spot and the drama never died down,” says Deb. “He cried the entire time. We tried reasoning with him, bribery, taking a walk, taking deep breaths, ANYTHING to get one decent photo. NOPE.”
I’m willing to bet every parent reading this right now just let out a knowing sigh of relief, because we have ALL been there at some point.
Deb tells Babble that she was initially frustrated that Tristan had ruined the entire plan, but later changed her tune.
“Once I received these photos, I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of this entire event and decided to keep them,” she shares. “After all, this is real motherhood.”
I’m gonna go ahead and call it right now: For everyone receiving the Biondolillos’ holiday card this year, this will be their favorite, hands down. I mean, how many times do you get a perfect holiday card in the mail with a bunch of kids in coordinated outfits, hair perfectly coifed, and smiling with joy? I’m always internally wondering “HOW DO THEY DO IT?!” Well this year, the Biondolillos’ card is real. Like, really real. And I love it.
Deb and Adam, will you pleeeeease do a “meet the baby” photo shoot when Tristan’s little sister arrives next year, and share that one with us too?