It’s Picture Day – And That’s Nothing To Smile About
It never ceases to amaze me how Picture Day becomes one of the most negative and stressful days of the entire school year. Filled with dramatic twists and turns, it is a wonder how any of us survive.
Really, this should be the day for our Parent Coordinator to shine… this is her big event, her piece de resistance, her organizational coup. (Because really, besides creating type-o filled memos to send home, what else does she have to do? She certainly isn’t planning anything informational for parents or spreading cheer around the building, that’s for darn sure.)
In true form, our original Picture Day schedule informed us that we were to pose for our photos during lunch. And again, in true form, when I informed the Parent Coordinator of this slight problem, she responded by saying, “well, we’re just all going to have to be flexible, aren’t we?”
Um, hi, sister friend? Pretty sure we need to feed the kids…yea, don’t think we can bend the rules and be flexible with that one. And while I acknowledge that having five months to create a schedule must be difficult, and I realize that this difficulty is only compounded by the fact that you must consider the two lunch waves that have occurred at the same time for seven years, it must also be said that you are truly a moron.
After many frantic emails, grunted hallway conversations and a whole shit-load of eye rolling, our scheduled time was changed. Sadly, we were now set for our close ups AFTER lunch. On pizza day.
Cue my pep talk on the beauty of smocks. Not wanting to endure the wrath of parents who are rightfully fuming over their child’s tomato sauce themed photo, I forced each and every child in my class to wear a smock to lunch. Punctuated by fear and guilt, this speech was a thing of beauty and, pat myself on the back, all my friends came back with clean shirts.
We were moments from lining up at the door when, RING!
Angry Voice: “Where are you?? You need to be down here for pictures! NOW!”
Me: “I’m doing well, thanks for asking. And how are you?”
Angry Voice: “NOW.”
Me: “We were scheduled for 1:00. It’s five of one right now. We’re…”
Angry Voice: “Well, we’re ready NOW, so you should be down here!”
My ESP must be on the fritz, because I did not sense that we should be early. Stupid clairvoyance. (Hey new teachers!! Don’t forget…practice that mind reading before you get your own classroom! It sure comes in handy!)
We troop downstairs, smiles plastered on our faces. We enter the auditorium and I am immediately smacked in the face by the stench of our photographer. Now, in reality, I am an adult, and can grin and bear the stench of another person who clearly suffers from body odor/inadequate bathing routines. However, my twenty little friends, fueled by pizza and giddy with their upcoming moment in the sun, cannot. Noses are held, looks are exchanged and I desperately try to send them that “Do NOT laugh” glare that I usually reserve for errant farts on the carpet.
A moment later, I am left wondering why I stuck up for this smelly jerk in the first place as he proceeds to bark orders at me and then man-handle my babies. (And you know I go all Mama-Bear on people who touch my babies!) My friends are lined up in size order, and Smelly VonStinksALot grabs my little Muppet by his skinny little wrist and drags him on stage.
Me: “Um, sir? Can you please not touch my children?”
Smelly VonStinksALot: “They need to be on ze stage.”
Me: (Is he really French? Or is that a terrible attempt at an artsy accent?) “Well, they can get up there without you grabbing at them. We keep our hands to ourselves at this school.”
Me: “Thanks for you professionalism.”
We are finally all in order on stage. I am posed next to the flag, standing next to Big Boy (of all people!) My hair is freshly tossed, lip gloss applied (Hey…who wants to look back at their youth and think, “My teacher was a dumpsite” ? The answer is nobody.) and a smile plastered on my face. My friends look super cute in their little uniforms. We are like a little family…
Smelly: “Hey you! Kid! Take off zose glazzes!”
“But Mrs. Mimi, I really like my glasses. My mom said to leave them on.”
Me: “Sweetheart, then leave them on. They make you look super handsome.”
Smelly: “He looks ridiculous. It eez better without ze glazzes. Take zem off!!”
Me: “He will do no such thing. His mother wants them on.”
Smelly: “He is ruining ze picture.”
At this point, my little friend looks devastated. Seriously, is this Smelly Smelly little man going to start with me?
Me: “Do we have a problem here?”
And finally, Smelly VonStinksALot snaps the picture. Who knows if anyone was smiling anymore…