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This week both of my kids have school Picture Day. And I am now officially freaking out. I am usually an otherwise rational human being. Even a rational parent much of the time. But Picture Day totally stresses me out.

Let’s start with my second grade daughter, because, believe it or not, she’s the easy one. Last year my idea of a great outfit, in my head, turned out to be a complete mess in reality. The outfit had 12 different layers, an untested hairdo, and was a big mess walking out the door. This year, I have an untested outfit, no idea what to do with her hair (it’s usually in a pony tail, but I feel like it should be more “down” for photos), and all that pressure of looking good for the class picture. On top of it, you have to shell out your money in advance for photos that you haven’t seen because they haven’t even been taken. It’s an absurdity.

My son’s daycare, on the other hand, has switched to an awesome photo vendor. No money paid out in advance, and you get several proofs the day of the actual photo shoot. That’s great. What’s not so great is that, as I may have mentioned in a previous post, my son will not wear any shirt with any kind of fastener. No buttons, no snaps. no zippers. OK. So I bought three of the nicest t-shirts I could find. Why three? Well, in his child care center, they do the photos over two days, which is smart, but it means they have to look good both days. Plus, you need a back-up outfit when they’re only 3 years old. But on top of it, last week my son fell. On his face. And smashed up his nose. He looks like he was in a bar fight with a cat. It’s not pretty. I’m seriously considering putting makeup on him for his photos. Yes. Seriously. I can take photos of my son any time, but those school pictures always come out better than anything I could do.

I know I’m ahead of the game. At least I remembered early enough to have clean clothes. At least I can try a few hairdos on my daughter. At least I can do a trial makeover on my son. No. Not seriously.

And at least I should be able to realize that I always love the photos when all is said and done. And I never do anything with them. But maybe this year I’ll order myself a nice mousepad or a coffee mug. And start looking for next year’s perfect Picture Day outfit.

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