It's Fall picture day at school already. Nevermind that it's not Fall and we just bought a boatload of school supplies; it's time for buying pictures and starting the Fall fundraiser! Let's jump in with both feet shall we? What recession?
Picture day is not an event we anticipate with excitement, and the kids aren't even approaching the awkward, non-photogenic years of puberty yet.
Just try to get a child who has very little guile, and is still often surprised to see himself in a mirror, to fake a smile for the camera.
Year after year, his school pictures sport the same stiff, slightly crooked grimace. Except for the time that someone evidently told him to "look at the camera!" and he tilted his head and squinted with his stronger eye toward the lens. It looked like he had just been squirted with lemon juice.
I know the whole ordeal is just as frustrating for Orangeboy as it is for me. Afterall, he has to endure the pre-picture day one-on-one "how to smile" class with Mom.
"Just say 'cheese!' cheerfully and be sure and show some teeth. No, don't BARE your teeth! Just smile - like this - 'CHEESE! No, you look like you're in pain!"
"OK, why don't you forget smiling and just make a nice, relaxed, pleasant expression. - Just relax. Relax! Raise your eyebrows a bit. No, don't strain. Just raise them a bit- like this. And keep your eyes OPEN."
Sigh. (from both of us)
"Here, just look in this mirror. Say "hi" to yourself like you are happy and see what that looks like."
"Like you are HAPPY. Oh, good grief."
"Just look toward the camera and don't try to make any faces. And DON'T SQUINT!"
No wonder he always looks so pained in the picture.