{at the rehearsal before the show. notice: Cheerios in hand = compliant toddler}

India had her first (and last) modeling gig today. It was a runway show for Simple Shoes at a swanky hotel in Laguna Beach. She had one task: walk down the runway, turn around, walk back. Let’s just say things did not go as planned, and I don’t think we will be asked back.
In truth, I really haven’t pursued any kind of modeling stuff for her, even though people often tell me I should. But I heard about the show through a mommy blog contact, and thought, what the heck? It sounded fun, and I thought India would be a perfect fit. And literally, she was a perfect fit. They were looking for kids who wear size 7 shoes, and she does. Voila. India books a runway show.
I would be lying if I said I had no ulterior motives about the day, though. Of course, in the back of my mind, there was that little dream that she would be so dazzling that a talent scout would walk up to me and offer her a Target commercial that would pay for her college. But alas, that did not happen.

What DID happen . . . well let’s just say it was not pretty. We arrived at the shoot early (as in, I had to set an alarm and freakin’ wake her up). When we got there, wardrobe gave me an outfit for her to wear, which was an adorable wintery outfit with lots of layers and a fleece hat that was as tight as a swimcap on her 97% percentile sized head. It was so tight it pushed the skin on her forehead forward, giving her a kind of neanderthal look. She was not happy with the hat, but I kept coaxing it back on her head. We did a few practice runs, and everything was great. India was adorable, she walked down and back and even pretended to be a ballerina. She was pleased with herself, and everyone thought she was really cute. We had a little breakfast, and then they rallied the kids for what was supposed to be a 9:30 fashion show.

This is where things went wrong. Apparently, there was a little presentation before the catwalk, and this gal was going LONG. So the huddled the kids into a dark backstage area that was seperated from the audience by a curtain and a screen. The presentation was still going on, so we were urged to keep the kids really quiet. This went on for a HALF HOUR. You can imagine how 30 minutes of sitting still and being shushed went over with a tired 2-year-old. Things got so bad that I finally pulled out some Cheerios, thinking I could keep her quiet for a few more minutes that way. The talking lady didn’t seem anywhere close to finishing up.

Oh wait. Turns out she was finished. As soon as I pulled out the cheerios, I hear the lady say, “and now let’s have a look at our toddler shoes”. And suddenly the room becomes chaos, and we’re being told to line up. Which means that I have to take the cup of Cheerios out of India’s hand and try to get her to line up and walk down a runway.

She was not having it.
She lunged for the Cheerios.
She started screamed.
She threw herself on the ground.
She went boneless.
She kicked her legs and banged her head on the floor.

It was a full-blown tantrum. I tried to pick her up to calm her down. I carried her to the stairs of the runway, at which point she starts hitting me, hitting herself in the face, and crying even more loudly. I’m told to please just go back out into the hallway if she won’t cooperate. But at this point, I am determined that we will finish this thing.

I have to carry her down the runway myself. She is still crying, and alternately hitting me in the face and then burrowing her face into my shoulder from embarrassment. Meanwhile, I am walking down the runway with a smile plastered on my face as if to say, “this is fine. This is all fine. Just focus on the shoes, people. Focus on the shoes”.

We escape to backstage and I hand India the Cheerios, at which point she morphs back into a charming, delightful, adorable little girl.

I leave in shame.

Oh well, I guess she will never live out the dream of becoming one of the ultimate runway models:

Just think, this could have been India!! Don’t these girls look so well adjusted?