Make Up Time. Even though he has now done his fair share of these model jobs, I have never seen them apply make-up before any of Elijah’s modeling jobs. We traveled out to Jimo for this job, about an hour away from where we live, as Eli was requested to model some high chairs. As usual, no one was ready when we arrived, and even worse, we had to wait over two hours for the high chairs to be delivered.
I tried to keep Elijah entertained, but the building was really not suitable for a toddler so he couldn’t run around. Trying to get a two year old to sit in one spot for that long is quite challenging. He sat sit while the make-up artist applied foundation and some blush to his face, and then we continued to wait. Ironically, we had to wait for so long that Eli started to get tired and rubbed his face many times before the photo shoot started. I doubt that much of the foundation reminded. Still, it was cute watching him get ready for his job.
It amazes me how unorganized things are in China, and how this state of being seems so natural to everyone. People don’t mind waiting and waiting, sitting around doing absolutely nothing. Before I had a toddler, I didn’t mind too much, but it is hard to keep a child entertained when they can’t walk around and explore. There are only so many times that they want to read a book and play with the supply of toys you have on hand. Eventually we were moved to the set, and they told me to make Elijah sit on the mini-couch you see below. Sure, I can make him sit for a little bit, but within a couple of minutes he WILL get up. Following that comes the frustrating questions like, “Why doesn’t he sit?” hahahaha… clearly these people are not parents! Next step was to glue him down with a show playing on the iPad.
Finally the chairs were delivered, about two hours after we had arrived. It took another hour for them to set up the chairs, and then cut up various kinds of fruit… all of which I knew my son wasn’t going to eat. These people (and at every set I experience a similar mindset) assume that all kids are the same, and they are amazed when Elijah doesn’t do exactly what they expect. I keep telling myself that they must not be parents, but miraculously, many of them are. Parenting styles are, however, VERY different over here, and the cultural differences come out in FULL FORCE when Elijah and I are surrounded by the Chinese people behind the scenes of these photo shoots.
Many headaches later, the shoot began… and by then Elijah was tired, hungry and plain old annoyed that he had not been able to leave the room or walk around freely. At around 11am everyday, Elijah begins to get sleepy. We eat lunch at 11:30 and by midday he is fast asleep in his bed. At 11am they wanted to start shooting, and he just wasn’t having it. To be honest, I was feeling way too sensitive about what these people were saying. This is always a problem for me. I care too much what people say and think. The truth is that the cultural differences are almost too large to comprehend, so taking to heart the insensitive things that they say is just too heavy of a burden. Clearly I really need to toughen up!
Definitely not a fun model job AT ALL, but Elijah did his best considering the poor organization and lack of urgency. It is on days like that where I really wish little man could talk, because I know he would have told these people that they were too slow. While he was happy and wide away, we were all sitting around doing nothing. Nevertheless, another job done!
Well done on an amazing amount of patience Elijah!