Monday, May 30, 2011

Family photos are a humbling reminder of how we do not have our act together

Today confirms the fact that some days you just want to hide your head under the pillow and pretend that you do not know those crazy kids over there. (But whoever they are, their mother needs to stop letting them be total hooligans).

We had our family portrait done today.

In a professional studio. Not Sears or Superstore.
High-end, their back yard is an outdoor studio, type of studio. (We know a guy, said with Jersey accent)

Now, in the past, these events have been epic gong shows. But today, was going to be different. After all, I have been using Mediated Learning in my home. I now know how to think ahead, how to anticipate change, how to communicate.

Bah to it all.

(My Grandmother used to say BAH whenever she did not believe what you were saying)

First, I planned the event. Let me tell you how ingenious and clever I was.
I had them eat and drink before the photos. Therefore, one could argue, there would be no grumpy children.

Second, I made them all change into their photo clothes after they had eaten. The pre-ML me would have never thought so far ahead. Instead, the pre-ML me would have written a blog post about how her children got sauce all over their photo clothes and that is why they all wore plastic bags as T-shirts.
But not today, my friends. Today, I thought ahead.

All day long, I talked about the photo shoot. We got dressed, styled hair and mentioned that we would be getting our photos taken at least a bazillion times.

I would now like to toss out a very important nugget of truth to all you ML families out there.
And here it is:

When encountering a new situation with your kids, it might be worth mentioning the following statement:
We are about to encounter a new situation.

Yes, that nugget is free. I am handing it out to you all today. I am not even going to turn it into an e-book and write up a fancy spiel about it. It is yours. Right here. Right now. Do with it what you will.

Because, my friends, here is something that I learned today. When my kids encounter a new situation, they are all over it like Wills-and-Kate stamp on an envelope.

My curious trio thought that the studio was a new world to be explored. Why, there were foreign objects to be discovered and named. New things to climb and to test the sturdiness and durability of. It was a time to throw away any and all learning about self-regulation and to return to the former times where chaos abounded.

And in this strange new land, my stink eye Mom look held no power. Neither did my sweet-toned fake whispering voice of Ok, honey, that is enough climbing. Time to co-operate!

The photographer, who has the patience of the widow who dealt with the unjust judge, suggested that we take a husband and wife photo. A lovely, idyllic pose where we gaze lovingly into our eyes, where the world and its troubles fall away, and all that remains is us.
Beautiful in concept. Only reality showed that we had a child, who shall remain nameless, who refused to let go of her mother.

And so we created an all new sort of photo. A husband and wife shot where they looked deeply into one another s eyes and said the same message: Let us get out of here as fast as we can with as much dignity as we can scrape together.

And so we did.
We sat in the car and decided that we were not going to discuss what happened in the studio until we had driven for ten minutes and we could collect ourselves.

Sometimes, it does not matter how often you have gone over the Mediated Learning principles. Sometimes, your kids are going to
Curious, clingy, unco-operative kids who somehow know that whenever you look at this family picture in the future, there will easily be 1000 words to describe how it came to be.

1 comment:

Peter said...

I was there. I witnessed the whole thing.
~ 5 Minute Dad