I remember being excited to get an iPhone mostly for its camera taking capabilities. You mean I can see my pictures, here and now? Sweet (but expensive)! I held out awhile but finally purchased one during the third trimester of my second pregnancy. However, I didn’t tweet my birth.
That was over five years ago and now I’m starting to feel that all the instant seeing, editing, cropping and filtering is too much. Too many pictures are too edited into some idea of perfection and immediately posted. If the lighting on your breakfast croissant isn’t quite right, you can change it. Also, years ago, I had photo albums. Actual books of my photos with pages of that adhesive paper and clear film that never stays flat after you pull it up once. For years I put nearly every picture I developed in one. Now, aside from my children’s school projects, I hardly ever print pictures anymore. I take tons, but I stopped printing them en masse when my first child was around two. He’s eight.
I fell out of love with printed photos because I know what’s in that processing envelope before I open it. That is, until recently.
Inspired by my son’s preschool that gives their “Star of the Week” a disposable camera to document their special status, I started giving both of my sons their own.
“Take some pictures,” I tell them.
I’ve found that when my kids have a disposable camera in their hands they look around. Take things in. They don’t ask to play Angry Birds (as much). And after our Disney trip last year, their developed pictures were a delightful stack of surprises.
My dad lost in Animal Kingdom.
Sure, the camera itself is ugly. As are some of the photos. But for every few not-so-great pictures, you see something that makes you smile. Or laugh out loud. You get a peek at what someone found fascinating at that exact point in time. And not only do you get to see it from their perspective, you have to wait to see it. And once you do, you can put it in a photo album. Well, eventually.
A non-Angry Birds bird. Yes!
Elephant butts = picture worthy
So that’s what I look like speaking to the concierge upon arrival.
I think Giraffes are cool. My eight year old agrees.
And this one simply looks like child wonder.
Oh, disposable cameras, you’ve charmed me. And Lena Dunham, too. She thinks you’re thrilling enough to post on Instagram.
Then put down the wooden spoon, back away from the bowl and check out my 15 Thing I Tell My Kids Not to Do (But Do Myself) post on scarymommy.com.
Here’s to dads!
For the record, those power lines are nowhere near his head like my iPhone photography would lead you to believe. And he ended up knocking the toy airplane down with a Nerf football.
The mother or father who created this is a genius.
The best part? I included it in a client presentation yesterday as visual support for family togetherness. Because everyone who has ever spent the day alone with a toddler can relate.
While I am really proud of my 7-year-old’s reading skills, there are unexpected issues that arise with his literacy.
He has favorite books. He’s writing little paragraphs. (With correct punctuation!) Watching him at bedtime as he reads a story to his little brother? That’s magic. His teachers are amazing and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work. It has really paid off.
However, my use of selective spelling is out the window. “Should the boys have C-O-O-K-I-E-S for D-E-S-S-E-R-T?” I ask my husband at the dinner table.
“Y! E! S!” says my son.
Newspaper and magazine headlines have the potential to start conversations I’m not ready to have yet. And on-demand programming listings are, well, suspect. Particularly the pay-per-view channels. Do Netflix subscribers have the same problem? I have no idea.
I’ve also learned to hide my Christmas and birthday shopping lists. If I put “ice cream” on a grocery list, he knows it’s in the freezer. No surprise there either.
And say you’re in a huge, empty parking lot and realize you’re going the wrong way. Don’t even think about exiting via a DO NOT ENTER unless you want to hear it from the backseat. Same goes for driving one mile above the speed limit if your odometer is visible at a distance.
Also, the humor of this eraser is no longer as funny.
Okay, okay, it’s still pretty funny. But banished to my desk drawer.
It’s a reading minefield out there, people. So be careful. And if you ever text me, please watch your language. My guy will read it aloud to me quicker than Siri — without missing a beat of his Star Wars Angry Birds game. He’s got skills.