Like every other parent on the planet with access to a camera, I lined my kids up for the requisite first-day photo. The "final product" turned out like this:
Say it with me: awwwwww.
But that was approximately the three-thousandth photo I took. Here's how it went down.
Me: Boys, get up there on the steps so I can take your picture, please.
Boys run around the front yard yelling at the neighbor kids who are also heading to school.
Me: Boys! On the steps. NOW.
Boys slowly make their dawdly way toward the steps.
Me: Stop scuffing your new shoes on the pavement! GET on the STEPS!
Boys finally arrive at the steps I told them to get on, like, five minutes ago.
Me: Okay. Good. Now stand beside each other. ... No, get on the same step.
Boys: He's pinching me!
Me: Stop pinching your brother. Now scoot closer together. ... Closer! ...CLO-SER. I can't get you all in the picture if you're a mile apart.
Boys: But his backpack is touching mine!
Me: It doesn't matter if your backpacks are touching. Let's just get this picture taken so we can get to school. Okay, now smile!
Boys look like this:
Boys put on forced smiles resembling constipated chimpanzees.
Me: Can you just - can you please look a little more natural? Just think of something that makes you laugh.
Me: Whatever. Okay, smile! (I plaster a wide grin on my face hoping they'll imitate.)
Boys get sidetracked by neighbors pulling out of driveway.
Me: Boys! Look over here! Look at me. Right here. ... No, right here. Look. At. The Camera. Please.
Boys: Are we done yet, Mom? The neighbors are leaving.
Me: We'd have been done ten minutes ago if you'd just stand up here and smile normally and look at the camera like you're supposed to and can we PLEASE! JUST! GET! A PHOTO!
Boys sigh grudgingly.
Me: Good. Now say "cheese!"
Boys: Can we say "dirty buttholes?"
And then my head exploded.
At least we weren't late on the first day ...
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