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When Arthur was eight months old, a chance meeting with Laura in a pub last summer opened up a whole new world to me.
I’d been feeling a bit fed up with the daily monotony of life that a baby can bring, and because Arthur was still yet to sleep through the night, I was far too tired to bother doing very much.
Fortunately, it was the weekend and I was officially off duty, so on arrival at the pub I promptly handed Arthur over to my nearest friend and sat down to enjoy a large glass of wine and some adult conversation.
A short while later, said friend came bounding back over to tell me Arthur had just been ‘scouted‘ by the founder of JoJo Maman Bébé, which, to say was an exciting moment would be understating it a little. (I had seen Laura talking on BBC Breakfast so was well aware of who she was.)
The fact she had taken a shine to Arthur felt almost flattering, but to be honest I was more excited about spending a day doing something new and interesting, rather than harboring any fantasies of Arthur becoming the next David Gandy – or the baby equivalent – if there is one?
That said, when I got home I did what any proud mum in my position would – posted a smug status update on Facebook.
The thing is the world of baby-modelling had never occurred to me. I probably thought of it as something you chose to pursue, with your baby in tow, and I wasn’t really sure how I felt about that. I’d certainly have thought that all babies, despite how cute they might be, would need to have perfect, doll-like features and temperaments anyway.
Well I now know that that is not the case – not as far as JoJo are concerned. A happy baby with a gorgeous smile and maybe just one dazzling feature (in Arthur’s case, dark brown eyes and ridiculously long eye-lashes) are the order of the day.
Admittedly it helps if your baby looks like they’re enjoying themselves – but who can ever predict that? No mother I know.
JoJo’s models have traditionally been babies of our teams and customers – often the store managers are on the lookout for happy, funny babies. They want their models to represent real babies and children with real character. There is definitely no pressure and the best thing about it is you get to spend what is probably one of the first mum and baby times that make you feel really special, at a time when that can be a bit thin on the ground.
The day itself was as enjoyable as I’d imagined it would be. Arthur was ok as a model I think… I doubt he was the best but I’m certain he wasn’t the worst!
He doesn’t sit still for very long so the shots in the pocket high chair were a bit challenging and we had to bribe him a lot with croissants. I never want to forget how adorable he looked walking towards me wearing nothing but a pair of JoJo wellies, a nappy and a big smile, while the photographer snapped away.
Fortunately I don’t have to worry as I got a disc of the very pictures he took. I would recommend any mum give the JoJo modelling competition a go. Who knows what it could lead to…