The Joys of Picture Day . . . Insert Sarcasm Here

Every year we as moms encounter a day that makes us dig deep down inside and remember why we love our little angels. And that day is Picture Day!

Our mornings are already filled with breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, combing hair and making lunch. But today we add the enormous task of making our child look their very best because this day will be immortalized on our family room wall for the next year and at the grandparents house for all eternity. Today . . . this ordinary day will live on forever!

So the day begins like any other. Wake up the kid. Check. Eat breakfast. Check. Now the trouble starts. Brushing teeth, getting dressed and fixing the hair. For some reason step one and step two were taking forever. I even had to tell her twice to hurry up. Now she is moving at a snail’s pace and my irritation is growing.

Fixing the crazy mass of hair she woke up with (picture on the left) will take more effort today because normally I brush it and send her out the door pretty much not caring if it looks wild. I’ve seen most of her classmates, and they all usually look like they just rolled out of bed. But today is Picture Day, so I plug in the curling iron and try to tame the crazy. Well that ended up with both of us yelling at each other. The finished product looked okay, but now she is mad and walking even slower. 

Imagine trying to make this . . . 

Girl with messy hair

  Look like this!

Girl on Picture Day


At this point, I realize that it doesn’t really matter what she looks like when she leaves the house. The picture that comes home will look nothing like the child that walked out the door (picture on the right). I have no idea what happens, but we rarely get a decent picture on Picture Day. Sometimes it is gym class or recess or what I can only assume is a random tornado that destroys the beautiful hair that left my house, but most likely it is just my kid acting like she does every day.

I can speak from experience that it does not improve as they get older. Picture Days are horrible during middle school too. Braces, acne and crazy hair are all working against the possibility of a great picture. If your kid is lucky enough to wear glasses that adds a new dimension of hell to Picture Day.

My teenage son only wears t-shirts and basketball shorts every day of the year. Last year I searched his closet and came up with the nicest shirt he owned. But weeks later when he brought home his school pictures, I saw his ratty, dirty sweatshirt that he “forgot” to take off in the picture. I was seeing red that day.

We moms across America spend thousands of dollars on these pictures and the chances are that if you get one decent picture out of the twelve years you are lucky. But we buy them every year because we love our kids and think they look beautiful all the time. Picture day is the worst day of the year!

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