Monday, January 19, 2009


Benjamin ponders whether or not there more to life than being ridiculously good-looking.

Every mother thinks that her baby is the cutest baby in the world, and I am no exception. Actually, scratch that: When Benjamin was born, I thought he was incredibly bizarre-looking. It took a good six weeks for his mug to really grow on me. I think it was because he'd put on some weight and stopped looking like a shriveled old man. In any case, my little boy had become the most beautiful thing in the universe to me, and I decided that it was time for me to pimp his good looks in the name of the almighty dollar.

A few months ago, my friend Julie had sent out an email notifying a bunch of us Playa Vista SAHMs about a casting call for Graco Baby Products. The company was looking for mommy and baby models, so on a whim, I sent in a few snaps. To my surprise, we were asked to come in for a casting call, and a few days after that, I received a phone call letting me know that we had booked the job. Hooray! The only downside was that I was asked to let Benjamin's mohawk grow out. Guess it's not really in line with the Graco look, but no problem - anything for money!

After scrambling around setting up a special bank account in Benjamin's name, getting him a work permit, and working out a shooting schedule with the photographers which fit with his naps, we were ready for our close-up. As we arrived to the set in Malibu, I couldn't help but feel apprehensive. Would the photogs freak out over my tattoos? Would I be the only model until 5'9" there? Would Benjamin behave? How would I keep him awake and happy for four straight hours? This was my first time on a modelling set, and I had no idea what to expect. Benjamin, on the other hand, was completely relaxed. In fact, he was maybe a little too relaxed; he had no qualms about dropping trou and relieving himself in full view of everyone. The shame!

The four hours on set positively flew by. After nearly a year of letting myself go, it was a treat to get fussed over by the hair and makeup wizards. Benjamin had a great time making friends, too. He and fellow baby model Jack had fun playing with the toys and trucks. Benjamin also made a friend in wardrobe gal extraordinaire Tatiana. When it was his time to shine, Benjamin had no problems hamming it up for the camera.

All in all, our baby modelling experience was a lot of fun. I guess I really had nothing to be apprehensive about. Because it was a baby modelling photo shoot, I was not the only model under 5'9" there. My worries about my tattoos were eased by the photographers, who assured me that they could digitally clean me up. And as for keeping Benjamin happy, there were special people on set to do just that. They're called Baby Wranglers. Baby Wranglers!!! It's a stay-at-home-mom's dream come true. The second I started looking peaked, one of these wonderful women would appear at my side. "Do you need a break? Why don't you let me take him for a bit so you can get something to eat?" It was unreal. At the end of the shoot, I asked one of them if she would come home with me, and she laughed. I think she thought I was joking.

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