Smile for the…oh, never mind.

Today is class picture day at Carter’s school.  The night before, I chose an outfit for him and hid his dirty yellow duck boots in the closet so he would not ask to wear them.  I thought up clever tricks to cajole him into wanting to wear my outfit of choice instead of jeans and his favorite red shirt with the pirate on it.

It was all going so swimmingly.  I did not even have to tell him the green plaid button-up shirt and tan corduroy pants were magical picture day clothes, designed to make him look ultra handsome.

me:  Gushing – Carter!  You look so handsome in that.
carter:  Never one for modesty – I know momma, I handsome boy.  So handsome.

I remembered to brush his hair.  (The poor kids has literally gone days without getting his hair brushed.  What can I say, it is a flaw of mine, I simply forget to brush my children’s hair.)  After getting his hair brushed, in true Carter fashion, he swipes his hand through his hair from back to front a couple times purposely messing it up.  Then he looks at me with his angelic face as if daring me to to fix it.  I smile back and while helping him into his brown shoes I gently caress his head with my hands, stealthily fixing his part and taming some out of control curls (take that!).  He gets his jacket and back pack on and then, grabbing my stocking cap off the entryway table, he yanks it over his head completely covering his face and removing any signs of order his hair once had (touché, Carter, touché).

We head out the door and the boys let out a holler.  There is frost on the ground and the mud puddles are frozen.  Such a treat!  I simply can not take away from them the joy of poking a stick through the ice and watching it crack.  They make icebergs and laugh.  Carter gets mud splattered on his tan corduroys.  I sigh and wipe the remains of his peanut butter toast off his face with my thumb as he boards the bus.

I almost asked him to smile big for the camera, but then thought better of it.  Just let it be, momma, let it be, because after all Carter is right when he says “I handsome boy!”  Yes you are my handsome boy, mud splatters and all.

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About shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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14 Responses to Smile for the…oh, never mind.

  1. Trisha says:

    “Just let it be momma, let it be.” I think this is my new mantra. Sometimes it’s so hard just to step back for a minute and let it be but so often it’s exactly the right thing to do. Great post!

  2. Alex says:

    I love all your stories about your children. They always warm my heart… slighty mushy. Perhaps its a mom thing.

    • shoes says:

      Ahhh, thank you, I enjoy writing the mushy, cute stories about my kids. They are just so stinkin’ sweet and awesome (usually) that I feel I need to share. 🙂 And I think you are right, it totally is a mom thing.

  3. Jodi Stone says:

    LOL Carter wins again! I’m sure his picture will be wonderful.

  4. Connie says:

    I always think that the pictures are better because of the mud splatters- right up there with missing teeth. It’s a snapshot of where they are now. My oldest was always a mess but now that he’s 15 and he cares how he looks the school photos seem more generic. Great post!

    • shoes says:

      I never thought of it that way but you are absolutely correct. The mud splatters, missing teeth, disheveled hair, and other various little kid traits are what make the picture. I texted Husband about Carter’s muddy pants this morning and he wrote back “That’s Carter!” And it is and now it will forever be in a photograph for me to look back on and smile at.
      Thanks for the comment!

  5. No flaw whatsoever…the right haircut will afford us busy moms of boys a get-out-of-brushing-free ticket for weeks. Feel no guilt: I believe one of our boys managed to go a full 8 weeks without needing his hair brushed. Just like boys are easier to shop for, they’re easier to groom, too 😀

    • shoes says:

      I like the way you think! Our cut-the-hair-short-let-it-grow-long-and-slightly-scruffy-so-there-is-no-brushing-needed technique is really a great time management skill instead of a flaw. Wow, 8 weeks?!? Well, now I have something to strive for. 🙂

  6. muddledmom says:

    Aw. Love it. For a long time I would be disappointed with my kids’ pictures. They weren’t cute and great like I wanted them to be. Now, years later, I look at them and love how imperfect they are. They’re funny or they’ve caught some facial expression that I loved. You’re right, just go with it.

    • shoes says:

      When Cody was in preschool he had this smile he used whenever a camera was around where he would close his eyes, scrunch up his nose and bare teeth in a grimace. It was cute but frustrating when trying to get a “good” photo of him. Now I am glad to have it captured on “film”.

  7. My son had his first class picture this year. Two days before he conked his head and had a big scab on his forehead. I covered it with makeup but it still stuck out. Despite the big “gash” on his head, he smiled perfectly! Go figure. 🙂 Thanks for the post!

    • shoes says:

      Ha, nothing like child head flesh wound a day or two before picture day. At least you got a cute smile from him!
      Carter face planted a couple times into the snowbank when we were sledding over the weekend and scratched his face in a few places. I was sure it would look awful for picture day but miraculously it healed in time.

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