United States of Motherhood: It's Picture Day and I'm Gob-Smackered!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It's Picture Day and I'm Gob-Smackered!

You know it's going to be a stellar day when you wake up at 6:30 AM totally unprepared.


Yes, unprepared at 6:30 because you have done nothing. Nada. Not one ounce of preparation for picture day.

Yes, my friends.

It's Picture Day!

Oh, for the days of picture day at business days the week before school started.

This year, our illustrious PTA went back to the traditional groom child only to have pictures taken immediately after PE and with a lunch of ketchup smeared on child's gob for you to get an overpriced passel of pics that you forget to send to relatives and which then takes up residence on your desk with the other envelopes full of pictures. Sigh.

I guess I can't complain since I eschewed being on that very same PTA board, eh?

So today?

I sheared my squirming 6 year old at 7 AM while pushing him to drink his milk, nosh on the bagels and strawberries I gave him, but for the love of all that's holy, please don't get hair in your cream cheese which will cause you to cough fur balls and hack hairy cream cheese gobs like a cat.

Then I threw that little beast in the shower and became a hair-wrangler extreme with my daughter's thick locks. We finally went with a head band which I am sure will get all sorts of screw-y before her picture time whence a evil volunteer will help arrange her hair so that said volunteer's daughter will look prettier.

Volunteer picture mom sabotage, my friend. It exists. (Nodding my head.)

You think I jest.

I've seen it.

They take their provided combs and with an evil glint, brush out a mom's hard work and extra spray of hair lacquer in one fell swoop. Evil I tell you!


Then I came to the realization that we had no outfits designated. I scrounged for new clothes purchased for Li'l Man everywhere before ten minutes later finding all those brand new clothes with tags still on that we purchased weeks ago, stuffed in a corner of his closet under dirty boots.


Yep, get out the farking iron. Pant, pant.

Usually I am so on top of these things. As we clothes shop before school starts, I always earmark an outfit specifically for pics and deem it verboten to wear until said pic day.

This year?

Ehh...meh! I am loosing my super mom touch. Eldest wore a shirt I bought two years ago and was too big. It had never seen picture day, so I was okay with it.

I remember buying a collared shirt at one point for Li'l Man and after searching madly for it and ironing the crumples from the closet, it worked.

PB? Eh, she wore an pretty, but not new, sundress. This would never have past muster two years ago. People, I am losing my touch.

So there I was, madly ironing, while packing lunches as kids brushed teeth. We had 30 minutes until school. Did I mention PB's friend across the street ceaselessly rung the phone wanting to walk together.

Briiiinng. Briiinggg.

Girl? Are you crazy? Uh, Picture Day! Walking will immediately humidify all hairspray and uh, duh, breezes tangle. I ignored the phone until CG finally became so frustrated he answered and said, "No! No walking today." Nope. Nada. Zip.

PB confirmed lip gloss check, teeth check, and earring selection. CG was urged, with much hysteria, to help Li'l Man put on shoes, so ironed shirt wouldn't rumple. I heard sirens in my head. I threw on some clothes and might have run a brush once through my own bedhead. Maybe.


We left the house with hair clippings all over the floors, dirty knives laden with jelly and cream cheese in the sink, and crumbs littering the counter. No coffee graced my hand.

I grabbed all backpacks and swim bags, so nothing would wrinkle on kids and staggered to the car. Kids followed like baby ducks. We roared off. One block passed before I realized we didn't have the as-yet-uncompleted picture packet envelope. Remember to breath...


U-Turn, rush home, get packet, drive back to school, slamming on breaks to sedate 22 MPH in school zone. Heheh! No ticket for me, especially since my registration expired 2 weeks ago.

We get to the front of the queue and I realize I must make choices. What background? !

I wildly squint at kid ensembles and coloring. Yep, blue and gray. No wild emerald green here. Tasteful, we are.

But ho? What's this? Pose choices? Sitting? Standing? Bent over? Close up? We were prepared for pics from the waist up, my friends. The "uncomfortable and itchy" collared-shirt worn by Li'l Man was brokered as a deal by being paired with a favorite pair of ratty khakis and no belt since I THOUGHT they wouldn't show in picture.

Yep, no brainer. "Close up, sitting."

By now, I'm blocking the queue and have to spin around again because there are still forms to fill and checks to write.

Two minutes until the SECOND AS IN FINAL bell.

The buzzing in my ears has reached crescendo. So winded. Oh, I am holding my breath.





I grab backpacks of kids, and wild eyed, we run to crosswalk of parking lot to school front only to wait for crossing guard lady who will not be hurried. Kids rush to classes while I implore them to carry, not sling backpacks, and dang it PB, no bouncing. Your fluffy head-banded, curled, teased, and pimped hair will fall.

We made it. One minute to spare.

No worries now. Mission completed.


I immediately go from high urgency to aftershock. My blood pressure drops. My racing heart slows to a trembling, twitchy pit-patter. The tunnel on my vision begins to open. My eyes dilate...

...Suddenly I realize I am in the middle of trophy-wife central with moms getting ready to have coffee or meeting for tennis sets in cute work-out outfits with perfectly highlighted high ponytails or tailored tweed business casual and leather riding boots attire for the local country club.

Me? Here I stand in too big jeans, flip flops, frizzy bedhead, all wild eyed without an ounce of makeup. Damn if I don't have bagel teeth as well.


Pictures days are stressful.

Then something niggles my subconscious. What's worse than ketchup face?

Yes, my friends. I packed a lunch with PB&Jelly?


JELLY! WTF was I thinking?! We won't even discuss the repercussion of possible yogurt spilled on black dress or chocolate milk explosions. Not a word about not checking Li'l Man's chompers for bagel teeth.


Ah well, at least I have these pictures:

The First Day of School: Fall 2008


imhelendt said...

Doooooddddeeee. ALWAYS do the teeth check. ALWAYS. ;D My OCD just forced me into the bathroom to check MY teeth. lol.

Amelia said...

Oh my goodness you're a brave woman. I would have to be excused due to a nervous breakdown. At home they just rubbed some dirt on us and off we went.

Your own pics are awesome!

Zuper Zee said...

I count my blessings. I only have one child to deal with on picture day, and they wear uniforms. Although I remember going to Catholic school and we would get a reprieve on picture day and get to wear an OUTFIT of our choosing that day. Not anymore. So one less hassle for me!

I feel for you! I hope you were able to relax after such a tiring morning!

carrie said...

Dude, you need a drink.

That was exhausting, but hilarious as I have been in your very same shoes! And I know what you mean about those "volunteer" photo sabatogeurs . . .they are so evil!

onegeekspeaks said...

Wow. I would have totally said screw the bell, we will be just have to be late.

As for photoday I am the photographer at my kids school, and I have totally seen the "Volunteer picture mom sabotage" in action ... now I have something to call it, VPMS.

Shana said...

I will definitely be hounding my son about his teeth...and his glasses. This will be the first school portrait taken with glasses and that kid has such a problem keeping them clean!!!
I don't have to worry about my daughter's teeth...since she is now sporting quite the toothless grin.
Great story!

Beau said...

I think all those pictures look good!

And for the record, I didn't have Parker sit on the dog couch when I tied his shoes. I made him sit in my chair, as it probably less hairy.

Not a Granny said...

I snorted my iced coffee all over the key board...

Gawd..I hated picture day!

Just a Girl in a Port said...

Seriously, thanks a lot. No I'm in panic mode. Picture day for us falls during next week. Watch I have all this time to prep and I'll still screw it up. Oy.

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