Tuesday, February 2, 2010

School Picture Day

Last fall the school picture people came and took their pictures.  This is always traumatic; your school picture marks you for the year.  Everyone in your class gets a copy of it on the group photo, and everyone in the school gets to see it in the yearbook.  Did you smile right?  Did your hair go wacky?   I was a little worried about Thing 1...  
I used to think she was very photogenic as I didn't have hardly any bad pictures of her, she was this beautiful pale skinned child with the thick red hair and a sort of ethereal, elfin quality to her.  Then she entered her Goofy Smile phase.  I don't know if all kids go through this, but she has hit it with enthusiasm. 

It became something of a problem in London, that every time she was aware I was taking her picture she would assume some weird pose, some "Look at me while I'm having fun!" expression.  For example, this is my attempt at getting a normal, cute picture out of her at Warwick Castle.  I saw them looking out over the castle, and thought this would make a neat picture, the two of them with the castle in the background.  Okay, girls, turn around and smile.

Okay, Thing 1.  You were talking, you have to stop talking and just smile at me please.

Honey, just stand normal, yes we see the castle.  You're not a tour guide... back off the enthusiasm a little.  
Ooops, now Thing 2, you have to watch me.  Don't worry about your sister, I'll watch her.

Now, honey, we know there's a castle there, you don't have to point at it, yes, everyone can see it.  Back off on the enthusiasm.  Would you mind climbing down off the railing and look at me?  Just stand there...  Honey, you're showing me your back.  And yes, Thing 2 I know you've been smiling nice this whole time and  you're getting tired of it.  Let me try one more, this could be a nice shot...

No, wait, Thing 2, you don't need to wave, we know you're there too... and Thing 1, your eyes were closed.  Would you mind climbing down, and looking at me?  Just turn toward me... and hop down...

Let's try again.

Okay. Yeah, I give up.

When we got her picture back from School picture day the teacher's assistant showed it to me beforehand, and was kind of laughing and commenting on what a classic picture it was.
Yeah, it's classic Thing 1 goofy.
Here it is:

She looks a little... goofy.  Stoned.  Like her head is still vibrating from being struck with a frying pan.  Like she stumbled onto some funny looking little pills and is seeing some BEEEUUUUTEEEFUL colors.  Or Santa materialized right in front of her.

So.  Then comes the big question.  Do I get it retaken?  Would she be any less goofy? what if it's worse? Do you just take what you get and don't pitch a fit (one of our mantras?)  Is it okay the way it is?
Hubby voted retake, I think.  My sister-in-law, who is my go-to-girl for all things kid related said no, they smile goofy, they get goofy.  
I think when it came down to it, I was disinclined to do a retake, and then it fell on an inconvenient day, or I flat out forgot, I can't remember now.  I can't remember if I brought her into the discussion of whether or not to retake the picture.  It sounds like something I might not do, as we've harped on her to smile normal in the past and I hate belaboring the point.
 So we didn't retake her picture.

This is Thing 2's picture, by the way.  Not the greatest, but it's just fine.  It's cute of her.

All is fine and forgotten until yesterday, when they distributed the class picture.  This is a compilation of all the kids pictures, and the teachers on the top, all the other kids pictures all lined up in rows with their names below them and your child's picture about 4 times bigger in the place of honor in the middle.  Or in Thing 1's opinion, in the place of shame as if all the other kids gathered around to laugh at her picture.
I had figured in the grand scheme of things this particular picture doesn't mean much to me, maybe I'll be able to say "Stop smiling like that 2nd grade photo!" and she'll laugh, and look gorgeous.  I figured I'd hire someone to take a beautiful picture of her, because yes, she is a lovely child.  But when she saw her picture, I realized it mattered to her.  She is quite embarrassed by it.  

And now I'm feeling terrible that we didn't have her school picture retaken, and now it's too late and her goofiness will be commemorated and saved, and who knows, trotted out for display at school social functions for the rest of her life...   


  1. I have not laughed that hard in a long time!!!! That is definitely a picture that will follow her...I say go get her a glamour shot! GO HAVE HER PORTRAIT TAKEN WITH THE DOG!!! I think it is good to have the goofy pics from our past. I have a few. It builds character. Thanks for the chuckle. (the frying pan did me in!)

  2. OMG, this is me! In 6th grade I thought my picture was so ghastly. All my teeth had fallen out and only a few had grown back in. My Mom told me they were darling but she didn't buy them. She said that we'd get them taken again next year when all my teeth grew back.l I was sure it was because that's when she really realized that I was an ugly child.

    I know now that she just didn't have the money.

    Go to Target and have them put the soft filter on the camera. She'll be amazed how beautiful she is.


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