Picture Day F*ck Show

Picture Day equals drama in my house. It all began with a shirt, a boy who hated the shirt and ended with a Mama who lost her shit. Well, that’s the short version at least…

On normal occasions, I am allowed to pick out clothes for the boys, provided I stick to the regimented jeans or athletic pants- but not sweat pants- a tee-shirt with stripes or a solid color- no plaid- and a long sleeve shirt, with no collar, or buttons unless I have prior authorization. The dress shirt is known as the Wedding Shirt. Socks need to be ankle height with shorts however length is not an issue with pants. Sweaters are okay, again advanced approval is required. Walk in the f-ing park, right?! These requirements must also meld with mine including no holes, stains or superheroes, without my validating consent (see two can play). Should they be picking out their own clothes? Yup. Am I avoiding a mess, anxiety and fights at 6am? You betcha. If they wanted to pick out their own, I’d surely let them but no one shows much interest…

Until Picture Day.

I have a white dress shirt, with (gasp!) buttons and (double gasp!) a collar with a pair of jeans for each kiddo this morning. Laid out at the foot of each bed with underwear, socks and an undershirt to avoid their chest hair from showing in the photos. Okay, not really. They didn’t laugh at that joke either…

Cue the complaining. Cub: I am NOT wearing that Wedding Shirt! Mooch: Fine. Put it on me. (I always knew I loved him best…) C’mon buddy. It’s the one day of the school year I ask you to wear a shirt with a collar. I am sure all your friends are too. No they aren’t. And I am not wearing that. Yes, you are. All of your friends’ moms will be picking out shirts too. I don’t ask for much but on picture day, I’d like you to wear a shirt with a collar. Now please put it on and come down for breakfast. As I head downstairs, I hear him say No, followed by that uggghhhh noise (I am sure it was accompanied by the signature third grade eye roll). Packing lunches, making breakfast. I call him down again. Cub appears at the top of the stairs with his pants and socks on. No shirt. Where’s the shirt? On the floor. I am not wearing it. It’s junk. Look, I need you to get that shirt on and get down here so you don’t miss the bus. I know you don’t want to wear the shirt but today you are going to because I said so. Got it? (Oh my god.. I am my mother.) FINE. He disappears for a moment and then returns to the head of the stairs with the shirt balled up in his hand. Now as I am sure you can imagine, I am pretty pissed. And I am really trying not to start screaming like a maniac here but I am about to lose it. So what does he do? He looks down at me, right in the eye, and heaves the shirt down the stairs. It hits me in the face… I see red.

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I march up the stairs, take him by the arm and bring him down the stairs (this of course, is not as you are picturing… Okay, it’s actually exactly how you are picturing). I put the shirt on him without a word- or eye contact, his complaining is now drowned out by that new Katy Perry song- the butchering she does of Eye of the Tiger- you know the one- I bring him over to the table and shove breakfast at him. I’m getting in the shower and that food better be gone by the time I get out. I storm into the bathroom. What is my problem…? Why am i behaving this way? I am not going to budge on that shirt but how can I dismiss his feelings of insecurity and embarrassment? Mama Fail. Half dressed, I head back out to the kitchen. Buddy, I am sorry snapped at you. I know you don’t want to wear that shirt. I don’t want to argue with you about it and I am sorry we don’t agree. You just want me to look bad. Why would I want you to look bad on picture day? Because you hate me and you want me to look ugly. I love you. I want you to wear the shirt so that you look a little more dressed up for the school picture. You want me to look wimpy for the picture and you want me to be happy about it. I–ugh… Yeah… Shit.

I do want him to wear it but am I really asking him to be happy about it? Crap. I lean down to him. I am sorry you don’t want to wear the shirt. I know you don’t feel comfortable in it. How about we pack a different shirt to change into after the picture- would that be better? Yes, that would be better. And I am sure all the other boys will have Wedding Shirts on too. Remember last year one of your friends wore a tie. James won’t be wearing at Wedding Shirt. I am sure he will. I think he wore one last year. Okay. Fine. As long as I can change.

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So the fight ended with Cub wearing the Wedding Shirt and me feeling like I made it okay. Until I see that James’ mother has a picture posted on her Facebook page, with her smiling son at the bus stop. And guess what? No Wedding Shirt. Shit. Cub’s gonna kill me. But at least he’s wearing a collar…

Peace, Mamas.

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4 thoughts on “Picture Day F*ck Show

  1. You are awesome. So much to learn from you. I missed your blogs (when you were on hiatus) and didn’t realize how much until I look in my email and see new ones from you – 2 in the past 5 days! That’s like a free pop at Speedway Gas Stations! Keep up the good work!

  2. LOL I know exactly how you felt! My son, since he is already 8 yo has somewhat formed his clothing preference and there are special occasions where I would want him to look like his mother is raising him well (ahem) but guess what, he always has a different plan. I don’t argue anymore (as advised by my husband), as long as he is wearing something clean (good luck on that) and he is not showing his butt is fine by me at this point.

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