Monday, October 22, 2012

Say cheese... again.

Today is picture retakes at Emme's school.  Although, it's probably been warranted in the past (cough cough Emme kindergarten cough) I've never pushed to have retakes done.  My philosophy has kind of been, "well, that's what you looked like on that day and I want to remember you that way".  This year, however, is a slightly different story.  Emme's school pictures... not so great.  It was kind of a precarious situation however.  With this child, one kind of has to walk on egg shells because she takes things so personally and has an extremely hard time with criticism.  It's not exactly like I would say to her, "Wow those pictures are terrible, you look awful!"  I am slightly more compassionate than that, however, even something so harmless as, "hmm, you hair looks a little messy, maybe we should get them done again" could be taken poorly and do some serious damage to an already fragile pre-tween self-esteem.

I kid you not, this is how the picture scenario went down.  Emme came home from school several weeks ago with her pictures in tote.  She was a bubbly happy person.

Emme, "I got my pictures back today!" (with a spin around the kitchen and a little twirl for good measure.)
Me - "Oh, yeah, let's see 'em."
E - "Well, I was feeling nauseous because I was afraid that they weren't going to look good, but then I saw them and I was so happy.  I look great!"
Me - (thinking, oh wow, lots of pressure she is putting on herself, but glad that she is happy) "Awesome, let me see."

Then she pulls out the pictures and I am shocked into total silence.  Here I was expecting magazine cover greatness and I am met with something that I honestly would feel bad making the grandparents display in their homes.  I realize that sounds terrible but really, they were not her best work.  Exercising restraint though, I of course didn't say half the things I was thinking and instead managed, "Oh! Oh.... well, I'm glad that you are so happy with them."
E - "I really am.  I was so worried I wouldn't like them but I really do."
Me - "I'm so glad for you.  Now go downstairs and get ready for soccer."  (So that I can call my mom and relay this whole scene and find out what to do.)

After talking with my mom and Dan we decided that the situation was just too delicate to imply to Miss Emmeline that retakes were needed.  She was happy with them then we would be happy with them too.  I mean, they weren't THAT bad, she didn't have any food on her face or stuck in her teeth, her shirt was clean, they could have been worse...

Then almost a month went by and the pictures were forgotten until a reminder for retake day came home.  This prompted me to bring out the pictures again for a peek - sitting on the shelf for a bit hadn't made them any better.  We really needed retakes.  So, I approached the topic with Emme.

Me - "What would you think about getting picture retakes done?"
E - "Why?  They look good."
Me - "Well.... I didn't do a very good job on your hair, it kind of was falling out and also (in a fast, little tiny voice) your eyes are kind of squinty (which makes you look much less cute than normal).
E - "Oh."
Me - "And also, we forgot to put earrings in and I was thinking that maybe we could put some sort of pretty something in your hair."
E -  (big smile... lovin' the jewelry and hair idea)  "Okay, let's do it."

So, today, after pulling out the hair straightener, putting in some sparkly earrings and flowers in her hair along with a trip to school in the car instead of on the bus, I had one happy little girl ready to give school pictures another shot.
And in all honesty, I really don't think they could end up any worse than the last time...

P.S.  Emme, if you are reading this, well, you should have asked first before checking out my blog, but, please know that I think you are a beautiful and wonderful young lady and I love you to itty bitty little pieces. :)


me/mom/NANA said...

It might just be me, but I love BOTH pictures. Her father had some "special" pictures too. She is a beautiful young lady that is for sure?

Micha said...

I'm completely nervous to see what pictures look like for us this year. I think we're entering that preteen awkwardness... Emme is such a pretty girl, hopefully both she and mama will like the new ones :)

Janet said...

Okay the first ones really aren't bad. It was kind of a bad hair day, so I hope the new ones will make you both happy.

Elizabeth said...

Laurie - not to make you feel bad... just wanted to tell Emme that I think she is awesome and beautiful.

MaKenna had picture retakes today. I won't even post what they look like! (Honestly I can't - the picture place lost them). We've got 1 shot this year. Kyler has a nice big boo-boo on his forhead. I opted to leave them as is - he's a boy afterall...

Heather said...

So loved this post because I'm just waiting for the retake day for Trev. They had pictures RIGHT AFTER PE!!! Who thinks it is a good idea to take kids from a round of dodgeball to the photo guy! She is totally sweaty and red-faced. At least she was on the same page as me--we both immediately said "RETAKES!" :) Honestly, I have a few school pics I wish my mom had burned so I never knew they existed. To this day I have traumatic memories of my 4th grade pictures, the day I did my own hair, forever documented. My self esteem would really have appreciated my mom saying "ya know, that day they just didn't capture how beautiful you are! It just doesn't do you justice." You'll have to post the retake for us all to see.