Today was picture day at school and since it was not SS's regular day I had the opportunity to be with her at school. On special occasions like today, the parents can choose to pay for an extra day (if the kid is not full time and it is not her day), or if they remain with the child there is no charge. After two such special days (Halloween which was her day and Christmas, which was not) we have decided that SS needs one of us to be able to handle the crazy that goes on when that many kids have a change in their routine. It was chaotic and funny at the same time.
SS was all smiles until it was her turn, and then she clammed up. The set up was in the junior classroom and the juniors were in the middle of their session. Plus, there were a lot of parents and grandparents there. As soon as they saw SS they gushed over her and thus began the clam up. I tried my best, as did everyone there to get her to smile, and she attempted a few half hearted smiles. The only good one had her with her eyes closed. Oh well, I have always stated that the best pictures are the imperfect ones. Besides, P is the one who always gets the money shots. As we waited in SS's room for the group shot I texted P about what happened.
There were a lot of boys in her class today and a lot of them I had never seen before, The kids were understandably curious because I was the only other adult in their room. They asked questions, tried to get my attention and one little boy rushed over to me and gave my legs a bear hug. I was so glad that SS was distracted because otherwise he'd be dead or hospitalized. The girls would talk then move on, but the boys would not leave me alone. It was funny how they took turns talking, asking me if I liked cars, dinosaurs, etc. I guess I just give that boy vibe.
When things got a little too wild the teachers defused the emerging riot by playing music, so the kids could dance their sillies out. When the music began, SS moved, but was rather stiff. Not the same kid that dances up a storm. I thought about the contrast with SS at the wedding reception and began to film to show P. Then this little boy with an obvious death wish walked over to SS, held her hands and began to dance. All I could think of was "Dude, her Baba and her brother are going to pulverize you." I asked Ms. M the name of the boy and she asked which one. Helloooooo, the one all over my daughter. His name is T and Ms. M stated that he adores SS, is always playing with her, and frustrates the other boys by monopolizing SS's time. T is a few months younger than SS but in the sophomore room due to immaturity. Great, Mr. Immature Alpha is not going to do for our daughter.
There is nothing I look forward to more than watching my children grow. We are from the school of thinking that they are ours on borrowed time. There is no greater joy than watching them grow, develop and become their own person apart from us. Thus no drama about making them bend to our will, act as though we are God like creatures, and feel entitled to determine when they move on and with whom they move on. That being said, I could not help but have a flash forward to SS's future and it was all kinds of scary. Thoughts of dances, parties, boy (or) girl attention (or both, gulp), dates, AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH! Deep breaths, very deep breaths...
That is when P made an entrance, he left work to come and coax a smile out of his daughter. We asked the photographer if we could have a reshoot and she agreed. P set out to fix SS's skirt, hair, get her to cross her feet, stuff I normally suck at. I will post that video when we get the pictures. SS was very excited to see her Baba, but for some reason the setting made her uneasy. There were a heck of a lot less people than when she had her picture taken with Santa, but somehow SS was still overwhelmed. We did get a good picture. Dude, who knew picture day would be so exhausting. I hope when SS looks back at her first school picture day she appreciates that her Baba skipped out on work to make her smile. I really love that about P.
At lunch time I had another glimpse of the SS that attends school, a different creature than the SS at home. She held her spoon with her right hand, and I could not help but comment that she is 99% lefty (when eating) at home. Then as if to throw me a bone (she did not hear my comment) SS switched hands. The second glimpse occurred when the teachers urged SS to eat her vegetables. WTF? The kid had two servings of green beans and one serving of sweet peas for dinner last night. What is with shunning veggies at school? At home SS won't eat unless she has a napkin nearby to indulge in her obsessive compulsive mouth wiping. Sophomores do not get napkins, the teachers or Ms. Cookie wipe their faces after lunch. Not a peep out of SS.
They were running behind and we waited almost an hour for the sophomore group shot. When we returned to the room I was impressed by the photographer using the children's names. Asking Director D to move one child away, to straighten another, and telling SS to make sure to smile big. I complimented her on learning the children's names so quickly and she said "Only the active ones and your daughter's." The photographer asked each teacher to choose a child to hold on her lap and Ms. M shyly asked me if she could hold SS. I had seen that one coming and agreed. I think it will be a nice memento for SS, since she seems very close to Ms. M. By this point the photographer was frazzled and I felt for her. Herding cats is exhausting as those were the most scattered cats I have ever seen. At a point she handed me a hand puppet and that caught me off guard, upon noticing my clueless expression she hastily said "put it over your head, do something." Uh, I am not wearing a MU staff shirt and I am not your assistant, so chill the heck out. Although we initially found the $28 fee for the paltry photo package (they offer only one option) stiff, if we were the studio we would charge a heck of a lot more. There is a lot of work involved. We can't wait to see the group picture.
Here is Mr. Smooth putting the moves on our daughter.