Taking Ridiculous Holiday Photos Of Your Kids Is Mean And I Am Totally Guilty Of It
When I was in college, I worked at a children’s photo studio. I can remember how desperate the parents would be to get the *perfect* holiday picture of their special snowflakes, no matter the conditions. The kid has been crying for 20 minutes straight and wants nothing to do with the dumb Santa hat you are making them wear? Keep trying, bring out every dopey prop. They have a fever and a runny nose? Press on, we need to get our photo cards out before December 24th. I can remember how annoyed I would get, how bad I felt for those kids and the many silent pledges I made that when I became a mother, I would NEVER be that big of an asshole. That a picture to show off to my friends and family would never be so important to me that I would be willing to subject my kids to the torture that is unwanted holiday photos. Well folks, that time is here- and I am not only guilty of it. At times, I have probably been even worse.
From the time my little girl was born, I have made a habit of sending out a holiday card with an adorable photo of my kid/kids. In the beginning, while still in my new mom haze, I would go to any and all lengths to make that happen. I had precious babies and I desperately wanted to show them off. It only got more difficult when she was 20 months old and her baby brother came along but I remained undeterred. That is, until this:
I suppose this photo could be called my turning point. We had waited in line for over an hour for this picture because the year before, we did not get a Santa picture due to the boy being so little and my being nervous of flu season. In 2010, I was effing determined, regardless of how my 18-month old felt about it. I know this picture is pretty funny. I treasure it because it perfectly captures them at the time- my son, disagreeable and toddlerly, and my daughter, the always happy preschooler ready for her close-up. It made me laugh but it also made me feel as though I had become one of those mothers I wanted to strangle during my tenure at the children’s photo studio. I decided this photo would be my very hilarious reminder that I should never force my kids into ridiculous holiday situations just to get that perfect photo. It made me look like a jerk and it made them miserable.
Now, when I see the pictures popping up on Facebook of pissy babies wrapped in Christmas lights or angry toddlers screaming on Santa’s lap I shake my head knowingly but I try not to judge. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to want that perfect photo, at all costs.