I hate taking pictures. Not just because I am horrible at it, although it is true that any photo I take looks like it was taken by an intoxicated monkey. I hate taking pictures because in order to take good pictures you have to be two things that I am not – lucky and patient. Either you get lucky and just happen to have a camera handy when your little one decides to plant a wet one on the cat or you have to patiently wait around for two hours or two weeks until the urge to kiss a feline returns. Since I would rather enjoy these moments than miss them because I am hiding behind (or trying to find) a camera, my photo albums are mostly empty.
However, being the typical mom that I am, I feel very guilty about this fact. Sure, I personally have very vivid mental pictures in my head that I cherish, or in some cases wish I could forget, but my kids will not have these memories to pull out at their leisure in the future. So I thought I would take this opportunity to describe some of the very memorable mental photos I have taken so far this holiday season so that my kids can enjoy them in the future and you can enjoy them right now - and so I don’t have to feel so damn guilty.
In this first picture you will see a close-up of the face of a man wearing a blue tuque. This man was standing behind us at last week’s Santa Claus Parade and, just as I slid a poopy diaper out from under Simba’s bespeckled bum, I happened to look up to get a whiff of fresh air and caught a glimpse of this man’s face. Mr. Blue Tuque was recoiling slightly as if he had been physically hit with Simba’s poop instead of just by its smell while his eyebrows attempted to find refuge in his touque. I don’t know if his reaction was because this was Simba’s third poopy diaper of the day, or if it was because I had the audacity to change said diaper in a stroller on the side of the road while surrounded by a couple thousand people. Who knows – maybe the Coca-Cola polar bears that were passing by on the float behind my head were doing something really shocking. Hey, it’s possible. But whatever provoked it, his look of astonished disgust made me realize what a superhero I am for being able to deal with these diaper disasters on a regular basis - and that some people really shouldn’t wear tuques.
The second mental photo I am sharing with you shows a quiet street lit by lampposts in the evening, as seen from above. This is how I saw our street as I attempted to string Christmas lights on the tree in our front yard. Though the picture would probably be more accurate if you shook it side to side while looking at it, because that is how I viewed the street while clinging to the tree trunk in a desperate attempt not to get blown out of said tree. Apparently, the higher off the ground you get, the windier it becomes. I wish someone would have told me that before I climbed up to the top most step of our ladder (the step it says not to stand on btw) and stretched out to my fullest extent to secure some lights to a branch just a huge gust of wind came barrelling down the street, knocking me off balance and causing me to wrap myself around the tree in a very tigger-like fashion as my ladder plummeted to the ground. This is when Prince, who was watching me from the safety of the front porch yelled out “Mommy, don’t break the ladder!” His concern for me was so touching that I will always remember this moment, and the fact that you should never step on the top of a ladder.
The background of our final mental snapshot is filled with boxes of Christmas decorations, while in the foreground Simba is being pursued by a Santa doll riding on a cookie. This doll was a gift from my parents last Christmas and is simply one of those annoying Christmas toys that sing and dance around. However, from the look on his face, Simba has got St. Nick confused with Old Nick because he is running away from that thing as fast as his chubby little legs can carry him. Now anytime he hears jingle bells he starts to cry. But on the bright side he no longer eats cookies.
So what have we learned in Mommyland today? One: there is a reason that you are not supposed to stand on the top of a ladder. Two: musical dancing Santa dolls are not a good gift idea for children under 2. And three: some people should not wear tuques. See? Who needs intoxicated monkey photos when you have mental pics like these!