School Picture Day: A Communications Farce in Two-Acts

The Cast:

Sunny . . . . . . . . . an eight year-old

Jane . . . . . . . . . . a twelve year-old

My Husband . . . their father

My MIL . . . . . . .  their grandmother

Me . . . . . . . . . . . . the mime (I assume)



Last Night

Sunny: “It’s Picture Day tomorrow! I’m going to wear my new pink dress!”

Me: “Good idea! Do you have clean tights for it?”

Sunny: “Yes, Mommy.”

Me: “Go make sure. If you need something washed, bring it to me and I’ll wash it right now.”

Sunny (running off): “Okay!”

Me: “Jane? What are you wearing tomorrow for Picture Day?”

Jane (poking at her 2DS with the stylus): “No idea.”

Me: “How about your blue sweater with the tank underneath?”

Jane: “I guess.”

Me: “Or that lace wrap you bought that looks so good over your blue top?”

Jane: “I guess.”

Me: “Why don’t you go figure it out. If you need any laundry done, let me know.”

Jane (wandering off, still poking): “Okay.”

Time Flies


This morning

Sunny: “Mommy! Where are my tights?”

Me: “You don’t have any?”

Sunny: “You said you would wash them!”

Me: “You didn’t give them to me.”Pink tights

Sunny: “Yes, I did. The pink ones!”

Me: “The ones next to your fish tank? The ones you didn’t give to me?”

Sunny: “I thought you would see them there.”

Me: “. . .”

Sunny: “Can I wear these ones instead?”

Me: “Good idea. Jane? Are you dressed, yet?”

Jane: “Yeah.”

Me: “You’re wearing a tee-shirt for Picture day?”Laundry hamper

Jane: “What wrong with it?”

Me: “Nothing. You just usually like to dress up.”

Jane (shrugging): “Everything I wanted to wear is dirty.”

Me: “I told you I’d wash whatever you wanted.”

Jane (shrugging): “I didn’t know what I wanted.”

Me: “Are you wearing a bra?”

Jane: “YES, Mom, I’m . . . Oh. Be right back.”Hairbrush


Me: “You have beautiful hair. Look, we’ll just brush it under a little. . . See?”

Sunny: “I want bangs.”

Me: “Okay, but we’ll have to wait until Friday.”

Sunny: “But that’s AFTER Picture Day!”

Me:  “Yes, it is.”

Sunny:  “My hair is all POOFY!”

Me: “It’ll settle. Do you want a headband?”


Me: “Okay, no headbands.  Maybe a pony tail?”

Sunny:  “NO!”

Me:  “All right.  Your choice.  But I promise, your hair will settle down.”

Sunny: “Hmmph.”

Me: “Go take your school stuff to the kitchen. Jane! Did you brush your teeth?”

Jane: “Yeah.”

toothMe: “You brushed your teeth?”

Jane: “YES, Mom, I . . . Oh. Be right back.”

My MIL: “Sunny’s hair looks like it hasn’t seen a brush for days!”


Me: “I brushed it. It looks fine. It’ll settle down.”

My MIL: “Maybe a headband would help?”

Sunny (bending over to dig into her backpack): “ALL RIGHT, I’LL WEAR A STOOPID HEADBAND!”

My MIL: “Well, I didn’t mean to upset anyone . . .”

Me: “Sweetheart . . . You can’t wear a yellow headband with a pink and black dress. It doesn’t go. I’m sorry.”

Sunny: “It’s the ONLY ONE I HAVE!”

My MIL: “No it isn’t, you have some very nice ones in pink and black. Where are they?”

Sunny: “In my room somewhere.”

Me: “We don’t have time to find them. We’re late already. Her hair is fine. Jane!”

Jane: “I’m tying my shoes!”awesomeshoes

Me: “Did you brush your teeth?”

Jane: “YES. I mean, after this.”

My husband (to Sunny): “Oh, don’t you look pretty!”

My MIL: “I just wish someone would do something about her hair!”

Me: “I brushed it. Twice.”


My husband: “It’s not. It’ll settle down, Mom. Maybe we should buy her a pick.”Volcano Eruption

Me: “That won’t settle it down. Jane!”

My husband: “No, but she can get at the underside herself. She’s only brushing the top.”

Me:I brushed the underside this morning.  JANE! WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!”

Jane (from offstage): “Ah’m bruffing ma feeff! Ya WANNAG me coo bruff em, wight?!”

My MIL: “Maybe a ponytail?”


Me (giving up): “I’ll be in the car.”

Sunny (several minutes later): “Here you are, Mommy!  Aren’t we going to be late?”


Cover Me . . .

Sunny at 16mo

It’s School Picture Day today for Sunny, and miracle of miracles, we had no arguments over her outfit or her hair—the child is stylin’—nor did she sustain damage from the Wesson Family semi-traditional, pre-Picture Day, concrete faceplant this weekend, as was so lovingly captured in her 16th month photo above.

She said her tummy hurt, but I decided to go with my mother’s patented No Fever, No Excuse policy, in the hopes that if her discomfort actually exists, and is caused by a more pernicious bug than butterflies, any repercussions of my parental Blinders o’ Optimism will hold off until the photographer snaps the shutter.

We’ll see.

But tomorrow is Janie’s Picture Day, which is a potential concrete faceplant of a completely different nature.

There’s a standard equation for these things, and the math isn’t pretty:

Picture Day + Precocious Pre-Teen + School Dress Requirements + Responsible Parents = Armageddon

You could argue that every kid is different, of course, and that I’m weighing heavily on the side of pessimism.  And I won’t argue.

I mean, Jane’s already chosen her favorite dress, which looked stunning on her last Christmas . . . when she was four inches shorter . . .  and only just starting to wear training undergarments that have since lost their amateur status.

So there’s that, plus weather predictions for tomorrow that appear just a tad too Brazilian rainforest for woolen knit—and an overheated Jane is not  a Sweetness & Light Jane®, whom her teachers much prefer.

I’ve been gently suggesting alternative outfits all week, but I’m not sure I’m getting through.

Shoes might also be a problem, since her best pair of black flats disintegrated immediately upon contact with her feet—or so she claims—and the heel of one of her dressy-enough-boots fell off at the beginning of summer.  Her barefoot state is all the fault of her neglectful parents, of course, as we didn’t immediately go hunting for new winter boots among all the sandals and flip-flops.

In other words, those of you who live in our hemisphere might want to close your windows between 7pm and 7am CST, in case we get a little loud.