Tonight I decided to look at family photos with my kids. I asked them if they were interested and they seemed to be into it. So, I got out the “picture books” and sat down in the middle of the couch, with room for one kid on each side of me.
I have to say, I have forgotten many things from my childhood; and the childhood memories I do have, have a corresponding picture. The pictures reinforce the memories. This is one of the reasons I think pictures are so important, and one of the reasons why I take so many pictures.
It has, unfortunately, been years since we have taken the time to look at old pictures together. Most of our pictures are digital these days and even though I have a digital frame, it’s just not the same.
I have been thinking about this activity for days and really thought it would be a good way to reconnect with the kids. I am so thankful that God gave me a sense of humor. If He didn’t, my spirit would have been crushed tonight.
The first problem with my “picturesque” activity was that there were too many pictures of my daughter and not enough of my son. The fact that she was alive for six years before he was born was irrelevant to him. It was obvious that I like her better and therefore have more pictures of her.
I also found out that I really hurt my daughter because I didn’t let her carry my son around when he was a newborn. She was only six, but that was beside the point. It took her a long time to like babies because of my heartless ways. I tried to explain that she was my first six-year-old and I had no idea how capable six-year-olds are; If I had, I most certainly would have let her carry him around. But alas, the damage has been done.
Earlier in the evening my son told me how cruel I was to make him eat lettuce when he was little. He even performed a reenactment. My daughter sat on a stool and played the part of my son. My son played me and held a white plate in his hand that represented the lettuce plate. I made him try lettuce with ranch, lettuce with italian, lettuce with honey mustard and plain lettuce. Apparently, he would be an avid lettuce consumer, but because of me, he doesn’t eat lettuce to this day! What child can stand in the wake of my recklessness?! I ask you?
During our pictorial travels, we came across a picture of a little black shitzu that we kept for a weekend when the kids were little. It was then I learned that I have ruined the kids lives because I didn’t keep that little dog. My daughter was eight at the time and my son was two. The little dog was sweet, but I am not an animal person. The dog pooped in the house and then my son picked it up! That was it for me! He had to go! (The dog, not my son.) The next picture was of our trip to the pet store to buy our first pet…clown fish. “See, kids! We bought you pets! Clown fish!” “They are dead,” said my daughter.
And as if their lives were not tragic enough, somehow, the topic of breast-feeding came up. My daughter has admissible proof that she is NOT the favorite. Why? Because my son was breast-fed and she was not! Because of this, she did not get the nutrients that she needed as an infant! This, my son pointed out, is the reason he is smarter than her!
This love fest made me declare that I am obviously a horrible mother and if it wasn’t for the fact that I cook and clean, I would have to go! My son was quite perplexed and asked me where I would go. I assured him that there were plenty of people who would take me in. Then he said, “Yeah. But who would drive you there?”
A few shoulder punches were thrown and we laughed so hard we cried.