Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Proof Positive That I'm Trying to Raise a Girl

Anybody who knows the Arby family knows that if Captain Chaos looks pretty, if she is dressed nicely, if her hair is in braids or a bow, that means that the Boss is home from work. Oh, I dress the girl. It’s not like she attends pre-school naked or in rags. Her hair is clean and combed. Usually. I just don’t color-coordinate clothing too well, and I’ve long since given up on trying to braid the hair of a girl doing her best impersonation of an epileptic seizure. The tomboy appears in public happy and presentable and obviously raised by her dad.

Last week, while the Boss was in DC, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and surprise my wife. The Captain’s preschool teacher told me that Thursday was picture day. She told me that the Captain’s school picture would be taken on Thursday afternoon. She said, “Thursday.” In the afternoon.

So, on Thursday morning I gave the Captain a bath. I washed her hair. I rinsed her hair. I put conditioner in her hair, combed it out, and rinsed it out. I deployed the blow dryer on a gentle, cool setting and styled her hair. Once properly primped and processed, I flipped through hangers in her closet, choosing outfits that would look good in a picture. After trying on a couple of outfits, I realized they were too small on me. After trying the outfits on her, I picked shoes that matched the dress I wanted her to wear.

Yeah. You read that correctly. A dress. With matching shoes. All by myself. I added a sweater, a necklace, and turned my tomboy into a beautiful young lady.



Not bad, eh? I was fairly proud of my parenting-a-girl efforts. I looked forward to surprising my wife when the proofs arrived in a couple of weeks. You see, I wasn’t going to tell the Boss what I did. I was planning on changing the girl into play clothes after arriving home from school, sending her into the backyard to play, allowing her to get good and dirty, and proceeding with life as normal. Then, when the proofs arrived, the Boss would be pleasantly surprised.

You will understand my disgust when I arrived at Apathy pre-school last Thursday and saw that the Captain was the only person in her class dressed for pictures. Somehow, I just wasn’t surprise when the para told me that pictures were taken on Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday afternoon, when I took the girl directly to school after playing in the park for 90 minutes. In the dirt.

“We tried to comb her hair,” the para told me. “It wasn’t easy.”

The story behind the story was that school pictures were taken on Wednesday and Thursday. The Captain’s class had their pictures taken on Wednesday, but her teacher planned on having the Captain’s picture taken on Thursday because the girl wasn’t supposed to be in class on Wednesday. Then there was a schedule change.  The para took Miss Chaos down to the photographer on Thursday afternoon, but the photographer refused to take the pictures. One sitting per customer, you know, and the girl had hers the preceding day. It was too much effort to plop a pretty little girl on a chair, snap a couple of pictures, and send her on her way.

So, we have her school pictures, taken when we arrived at home last Thursday.  I kinda like these better than a portrait pose, anyway. 

7 comments:

Khourt said...

You did a great job. She looks beautiful!

CrossView said...

She does look adorable! And you did a great job- I'm sure the Boss is proud. But I can't imagine how frustrating that whole ordeal must have been. Don't you love the great communication?

Kathleen said...

I guess that photographer never stopped to think that maybe, just maybe, you might actually purchase some of the pictures if she retook them? I like your pictures much better than any photographers...she looks adorable. And beautiful. It's always nice of people to inform you of schedule changes. Especially on picture day.

Teacher Mommy said...

Sigh. They can never get it right. We've been told the wrong day twice already, just this year. All that dressing up for no reason.

Of course, I'm always gorgeous. I just feel sorry for the men who don't normally wear ties.

Kellie said...

You did great! I'm sure the ones that were taken will be cute too. Natural is always best anyway....

I'm praying for your family as you deal with the situation surrounding your dad. I just can't imagine....

Linda said...

You did a great job, and you are handling this much better than I would. As a photographer, I can say that school photos are highly overrated.

Nikowa@KHA said...

and you're doing a great job!!!!!!!!!!!