Saturday, September 26, 2009

How to survive school picture day

It is picture day at my son’s elementary school. I found out about it two weeks ago, but because my memory sucks I completely forgot until my son came home from school with a “SMILE! Tomorrow is picture day!” sticker on his shirt.

beautiful boyHe really needed a haircut, but it was nothing that a little product couldn’t tame. I laid out his most adorable outfit and even decided to put him in improper shoes but pack his light-up sneakers in his backpack for gym. (There would be no recess again, as the rain is never ending.)

The thought of school pictures makes me nervous, I suppose because I’ve never had a decent picture taken of myself. Thus, I’ve learned to hate the camera. My son seems to love it. (Must get it from his dad.) Images 4 Kids, a school portrait company, had some tips on how to prepare your child for picture day.

First, be sensitive to your child’s emotions and needs.Springing picture day on your child may “tax” the child. Images 4 Kids suggests talking about picture day as if it were a family tradition of sorts.

Bathe or shower your child the night before school picture day. As opposed to in the morning, so that the morning schedule isn’t disrupted and you’re not rushing to get ready in time for school.

Pick out what your child will wear the night before. Again, this speeds up the morning getting-ready-for-school process.

Get an early start on picture day. This buys you time for those little disasters that arise, like the “one missing shoe” or the “bed head tragedy.”

Try not to dress your child in all white. I have one of those all-boy kids. I buy him nothing white because my precious son is a stain magnet. Surely I’m not the only one who gets this tip!

Keep picture school day in perspective. Do you really think his school picture will be the be-all-to-end-all? So what if his smile is askew or his eyes are halfway closed. What you want the picture to capture is your child’s beautiful personality.

That said, my son woke this morning and announced he was not going to wear the outfit I laid out. “But it’s picture day,” I said. He shrugged. He wanted to wear his green T-shirt with the tiger playing basketball. “No, honey, you have to wear church clothes today for your picture. See?” I held up his adorable plaid shorts with pink-striped dress shirt and complimenting argyle vest. He said, “No. You said church clothes, then I want to wear the blue and black shirt that goes like this,” he drew a design on his chest with his finger. Yes, the collared shirt we got from the Gap. The casual one. Too casual for capturing a photo of my most precious. “But honey,” I said, pointing to the adorable ensemble I had picked out. My son laid on the floor and started crying. “But you said it had to be church clothes and I wore that blue and black shirt to church once.”

I looked at my little boy writhing on the floor. His hair was out of control and just the thought of fighing him to sneak a little product on it wore me out. His nose was red and crusty from the cold he has been harboring. I had just wiped the goo from it and more good immediately came to replace it. I doubted the photographer would take time to wipe his nose before the picture is taken.

I sighed defeat. “Ok, love. The we’ll do the blue-and-black shirt today.” So much for a clean-cut picture of my little boy. At least this photo will be a proper representative of his rough-and-tumble personality.

Photo, JWJourney

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