Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Tomorrow is RaggedyAnn's very first preschool picture day. I'll admit to a lot of trepidation here. For the past several months, Ann's reaction to having her picture taken has been a classic example of the "confusing smiling with dentistry" phenomenon so aptly described by PsychoToddler.
So of course I'm nervous. Our best shots of Ann are when she's being caught off-guard and doesn't have time to squint her eyes closed and open her mouth in a demonic way.
Lately, I've been going about it almost in a fashion-shoot kind of way: "Ann, tell me about where we are today." Snap, snap. "The Botanical Gardens with you, and me, and Papa, and Andy." Snap, snap. Sometimes in that moment where she's thinking of her response, before she contorts her mouth into saying the words, picture magic happens.
When she was a little younger I used to say, "Where is my face, Ann? Look at my ears/eyes/nose," etc. The trouble with this approach is that nowadays, Ann will just point at the part of my face I mention. To further complicate matters, Ann has the funny/not-so-funny habit of pointing with her - ahem - middle finger, no matter how many times we show her that it's not her "pointer." After half a dozen or so shots of my kid flipping the bird, trust me when I insist that this approach needed to be abandoned, and fast.
Three-and-a-half year olds are not the neatest of eaters, and every Wednesday, her preschool orders kosher pizza for lunch from across the street. Ann's teacher allayed my concerns that pictures would be taken of crusty-pizza-cheeked kids. No, no, she insisted, as soon as they come in we get it done so they can relax the rest of the day. The photographer even hands out little combs to each child. I told Ann's teacher that she might want to lightly wet Ann's hair first, since my daughter's hair tends toward the wispy and fine, nothing like my own long, thick braids at her age.
I wish I could be a fly on the wall tomorrow and watch these goofy three-year-olds get their pictures taken. I wonder what the kids will be thinking. What the outtakes will look like. What in the world the photographer (and his assistant?), with nerves that must be made of steel, will say or do to make it all happen. What a massive effort it will be to pose the whole gaggle of them for the group shot. Let's hope for some beautiful smiles tomorrow! Cheese!
**Update** Ann and her teachers told me that Picture Day went smoothly. Ann said that the photographer was asking her about what she loves (apparently bananas, cookies, and ice cream) and helping her style her hair. Ann's teacher also combed her hair. The photographer climbed on a big ladder. He took two pictures of the whole class. Seems like she found the whole thing fun and interesting. We'll see the final product in a few weeks!