Today is picture day at school. Last night Em and I were practicing her “Picture Day” smile. She has a smile that she only does when she thinks someone is about to take her picture. It is a smile best described by the terms smarmy and shit-eating. In an effort to produce a picture from school that will be loved by all and not simply her grandparents I thought we’d try to come up with a system for inducing a “real smile.”
Last night after dinner we all read the entire Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. The kind of catalog reading where you go through page by page and you all take turns picking out what you’d buy on each page. Somewhere along the way Em decided she’d choose an item she wanted and an item she needed. From this I learned she has no idea what the difference is between want and need. I also learned that MQD is apparently freezing. If it heats up he wants it. Heated Gloves, heated socks, heated vest, electric blanket … you name it, heat it up and MQD will pick that item. This makes me so happy. It is important to me to try to pick out gifts for my loved ones that they’ll really appreciate. And I am so happy to know that as we drift on towards our golden years together I will always be able to find a Christmas present in the “I have no idea what else to get you” pre-wrapped section in the front of the department store.
It was a nice evening. I like those nights where we all sit at the table after a meal and we “chit-chat,” as Em calls it. It makes me feel like we are doing something right. Like we are building a family that enjoys spending time together. So it was in this vein of feeling all “aren’t we a damn fine family” that I started the conversation with Emily about her “Picture Day” smile. Sometimes in the middle of “parenting” I accidentally forget that she will repeat everything I say. And when I said “So when the photographer says “Cheese” what face are you gonna make? Really? That face? Ok, how about this when they say “Cheese” I want you to think POOP!”
And this is where it gets hairy. I can’t exactly remember if I said “think POOP” or “yell POOP.” I know when we were doing it last night and trying to make a serious face while the other person yelled “POOP,” taking turns cracking each other up, we were definitely not just thinking it in our heads. And this morning when she said about four minutes after waking up “Mom, let’s play the POOP game” she did not indicate that she was going to merely “think” the word. So, yeah… “Picture Day” might be a real gas.
For the record, that’s my kid in the class photo. The one that yelled “POOP” after the photographer said “Cheese.” And yup, that’s the reason every single kid in that picture is smiling.