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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Please Smile in Pictures That Cost Money...Thanks

One of the sweetest things my husband Jason says to me is "You smile with your eyes". Sweet man, I know.  You'll hear more about him later.  The point is, I smile...A LOT.  It's kind of my signature thing.  Those of you that have met me are totally nodding in agreement right now.  To be fair, I have enormous teeth, so that's what you're going to see first. Seriously...close your eyes and picture a horse...and then picture that horse waaay up close.  Now you've got it.  

But seriously, smiling and laughing multiple times daily is how I get through life.  I don't really do negativity or apathy.  If you've been diagnosed with resting bitch face, back away quickly.  I can't deal with you. 

Why is all of this important?  Because, Tuesday was toddler picture day at daycare.  We went through our usual 'will he, won't he cling to me for dear life as though he's never met a single person here after 2+ years of attendance', I kissed his yummy little face and headed into work.  I had chosen the cream background on the picture order form in addition to the seasonal winterscape default, and crossed that task off of the mental list. In a late-morning email, daycare let me know that come picture time, Dallas insisted on taking his picture against the red background.  Pretty sure it went something like this, "Nooooohoooooo!!!  I waaant REEEEDDDDD!" - insert whining and stomping.  To move it along, they went with the red, but it was kindly stated that if I'd like to retake his photos tomorrow with the cream background, they could do that.  Very considerate, but um, has she met me?  If she thinks I would even remotely entertain repeating the disaster that is getting ready for picture day just so Dallas can not smile in front of a different f$%&ing color, she has far overestimated my need for control. Seriously, bring the person to me that would do this to themselves...so I can slap them.   

She also informed that although there were no tears, they weren't able to "pull out many smiles".  Another self-chuckle.  What she doesn't know is that getting Dallas to smile in pictures takes way more effort and patience than a reasonable person should invest.  In 2.5 years, I have taken about a gazillion photos of this boy and what I have learned is that he would rather not smile than smile.  For Dallas, smiling is reserved for occasions where he is either in big trouble or in mortal danger.  I suppose my incessant need to snap significant childhood milestones and tender moments does not fall into either of those categories.  And once he has made up his mind to not smile, there is nothing that can deter him from that goal.  I like to think it's how he challenges himself - a behavior trait of determination and steadfastness that will come in handy down the road when he's cross-examining hostile witnesses or climbing Mt. Everest. See exhibits A-D below. Seriously, a couple of them are just smirky frowns.  Smowns?  

What I actually care about:  Did he take the pictures?  Yes.  Did the planned sweater and pants make it to the photo session (because I'm pretty sure his cubby solely contains a pair of faded sweatpants, two short-sleeved cartoon t-shirts and an expired plastic container of diced pears)?  Yes.  Are all of his limbs still attached?  Assuming yes.  She would have mentioned that.  So then, yeah, I'm good.  Print those suckers up and I will leaf through the smowns, shield my eyes from the other packets of smiling children, and hand over the $79.95.  

You see, "one and done," by definition, means you will not walk away from one set of photos, no matter how ridiculous they look.  Your child could be doing the pee-pee hold, mouth gaping with a booger hanging out, and you would still order the custom-framed 11x13.  Simply put, there are no do-overs.  There is no child #2 to get it right.  It's this beautiful, bittersweet phenomenon of knowing that you are experiencing everything for the first and last time simultaneously.  Also known as nostalgic stupidity.

In the interest of time and parental decorum, I politely replied back to the email with something like, "Haha - That Dallas!  Red background is fine!  No need to retake tomorrow, thanks! :)"  Smiley face included, of course.  

Stay sane and guilt free!

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