Tuesday, September 27, 2011

School Pictures

I've never had a lot of luck with school pictures. Too many variables I suppose. When mom's not there, the collar may or may not get straightened, hair is often haphazardly combed, and not often the way it would usually be done. And the photographer has to snap pictures of around 300 bored and wiggly kids all in a few hours during the school day. I get that it's a nice little fundraiser for the PTA, but it often becomes a quantity over quality kind of thing. These pictures sit atop my piano for 12 whole months. 2 grandmothers hang them on their walls. And they are expensive!

Last year I had to work on picture day. I left the house before anyone else was even up, so it was up to the husband to get them “picture ready.” Now, the husband is a great guy, he packs lunches, helps with homework, and I think even makes them brush their teeth and make their beds most mornings. But God love him...this is what came home after last years picture day:

Sweet Jesus, I was not about to put that in a frame and have it follow me around the living room for the next 12 months! So this year, I came up with a plan. Avoid the inevitable argument with the teen about what to wear to school, no worries about boys who are not fond of hairbrushes, I'd let them just be themselves for the school pictures, and take them to the local portrait studio for nice “hang on the wall and give to grandma” pictures. I made an appointment for the end of the summer, when they would be nice and tan and full of fresh air and summer sunshine. After all, we live in the northeast, and if you wait until closer to the holidays, the color in their faces has often faded and then the pictures tend to look like they were taken during the last zombie apocalypse (see above). I made haircut appointments for the morning, picked out nice crisp shirts and ties and gave myself a big pat on the back for coming up with this fabulous idea!

Some of you know what happened next...and if you live in a house full of boys you can probably guess that all did not go according to plan. The morning before picture day the little dude came stumbling out of his room in his Star Wars pj's, hopping from foot to foot with that early morning look of urgency on his face. The teen was in the shower, so I waved him on into my room with instructions to just “use my bathroom, and make sure you flush...” He finished up and headed down stairs to breakfast without so much as a “good morning” and the next thing I heard was the husband SCREAMING “What happened to your eyebrows!!!” Complete and total silence followed...nobody was admitting to anything. I checked the bathroom and the evidence, tiny little fuzzy brown eyebrow hairs, were all over the sink and counter. He had used the husbands razor to cleanly and efficiently remove his eyebrows. Where he once had eyebrows he now had perfectly arched tan lines. When we calmed down I snapped a picture:

The inquisition began during breakfast. “Why on earth would you shave off your eyebrows?” “On what planet would this seem like a good idea?” “What on earth were you thinking??” Slowly, the story began to emerge. It seems that the middle child and a neighbor kid convinced him that he could score 25 large on America's Funniest Home Videos (is that show even on anymore?) if he shaved off his eyebrows then filmed his father's reaction and sent it on in. Alas, as 7 year old boys are not that well organized, he shaved without recording. I briefly considered bagging the whole picture day adventure and trying to take some kind of photos myself, but lets be honest, at best I would have ended up with something like these:

Now, seriously considering why on earth I agreed to spend 8 weeks in a 27 foot tin can with this group of nitwits, I decided to forge ahead and came up with another plan!! We headed to the mall for haircuts, and when the little dude was done I dashed him over to the department store makeup counter. I retold my tale of woe to a VERY Kind young woman who, with a look of horror on her face, penciled his eyebrows back in, we dressed them up in shirts and ties and headed upstairs to the portrait studio. It took a while, but we did end up with some very nice photos. Here's one of the three amigo's, they clean up pretty well:

The tie's a little crooked, but the eyebrows don't look too bad.  I sure hope grandma likes her copy!!


  1. OMG, Sharon, years ago, when we were penciling in the Pleistocene Era on our timelines in the back corner of the library, we could never have imagined such sublime weirdness. I love it! Please give big, gooey kisses to those boys for cracking me up!

    As for "organizing" to show the before and after of the experience, perhaps I need to pay a visit to Williamsville sooner rather than later. ;-)

  2. Sharon .... Your boys are awesome! I kinda favor the pics that aren't perfect cuz when I do look back, they just seem to better capture the awesome craziness of it all!