Monday, October 20, 2008

Worst. Mother. Ever.

Ok. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it's how I felt last week. And all this over school picture day. In the last six weeks, we've had several hundred dollars in fees (in addition to tuition) at the kids school. This weekend is the big fundraiser. With the volatility in the stock market, three kids at the school, Nick working in an industry tied directly to the stock market, my paycheck being directly tied to having enough new work come in the office and Suze Orman squawking about the end of times, I thought it was prudent to take a look at how we are spending money.
I have never framed a school photo. In fact, I don't know a school photo has ever made it into the kids scrapbook. They just get tossed into an expandable file with some exemplary artwork, etc. and stored in the closet. Unlike some, our school photos are generic backdrops. The kids get a yearbook, so we will have their classroom photos anyway. I never minded paying for the pictures in the past, because it is a rite of passage. But, the multiple of THREE is starting to pinch. These stow-a-way pictures are expensive. I reasoned that I could take the $60 plus I would have spent on the cheapest package & put it toward the fundraiser.
Little did I know that Ella has been planning her outfit for weeks. Nor did I know that when you don't order pictures, they don't take your picture. I tried to make the day special by setting up a little "photo booth" in our front room for portraits. She was so cooperative & I thought we had made it (the day of Charlie's pictures, we left too early for the morning sun & I didn't have time to set up the tripod, so his are blurry. But, he hasn't complained).

What I did not consider was that Ella would be the ONLY KID IN THE ENTIRE SCHOOL WHO DID NOT GET HER PICTURE TAKEN (this hasn't been verified, but it is certainly how Ella felt). I felt so badly that my effort to save some money was that emotionally damaging. She talked about the experience for DAYS. It was so bad that I am considering keeping Ella out of school the day the pictures are passed out. I just can't handle the guilt.
Ella's photo last year was cute, but the twins are at the age where you never know if they will look at the camera or smile. Chances are, they would be crying or otherwise uncooperative. Much like our recent Christmas card photo attempt (everyone look at Mom & say "cheese"):

Now I know, it's worth the money to avoid the trauma. But, because of my faux pas, Ella & her therapist will refer to 2008 as "That Year You Were the Joke Of The Playground Because Your Mother Was Too Cheap To Buy School Pictures."


Stephanie said...

Just so you know - Connor refused school pictures. Third year in a row in fact. But, I can totally identify with making a decision that seems pretty nebulous, but ends up disastrous! That's pretty much my thing.

Anonymous said...

too funny Krista, Ethan hasn't had school pictures for two years! He doesn't bring me the form. I guess that's the difference between boys and girls, girls care about that stuff, I know I did! I am saving the money and having their photo taken professionally, as I also haven't had this done in years... And talk about mother of the year, Brenden is 4 and I have never taken him to a professional. Ug.

Poozoe said...

Best. Mother. Ever.
nuf said.

Monica said...

I CANNOT BELIEVE they don't take the kid's picture if a picture package wasn't ordered. In a school. Where peer pressure and conformity rule. They should know better! And they didn't even warn you. Like it would really cost them any extra to let the kid sit in front of the gray screen and say cheese. Unbelievable.
I'm with you on keeping poor Ella home on the day the pictures come back, I would feel so bad about the whole thing! It's true what they say about the best intentions...
(Which reminds me of a favorite Far Side cartoon--a road crew paving the road to hell with a construction sign that read, "Your good intentions at work.")

P.S. Your kids are gorgeous!

P.P.S. Oh yeah, thanks for the shout-out!