Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Documenting It All

Parenthood isn't always picture perfect.  I don't want to idealize and remember it that way either.  Parenthood is hard and there are days full of whining and tremendous tantrums that just won't stop no matter how many times you just ignore them.  I want to remember these times too.  I want to remember it all.  That is one of the reasons I like to take pictures during the crappy times.


Taking out my phone and documenting it all also helps me.  It helps me to get a different perspective on the situation at hand.  It isn't exactly like war photography or anything, but it does separate me from the action enough to change the way I'm feeling about it.  Taking pictures and videos of the craziness of my kids helps change me from being angry at them to understanding that they are really just upset and need to work it out of their systems.  They are tiny humans with big feelings after all.


When we were in the rain-forest section of the zoo recently, a bird pooped directly on Annika's arm.  It is a little hard to see in this picture, but I just had to take a picture.  I know it is good luck in many cultures for a bird to poop on you, but it is also really gross.  I whipped out my phone to document the disgusting-ness, and then quickly realized that I wasn't carrying any wipes with me that day (an oversight that will surely never happen again).  Luckily, there was another mom close who was more than happy to help a girl out in trouble.


This is my technique for dealing with kids just being kids.  It keeps it all in perspective.  We always look at the pictures and videos later and laugh together.  I'm not sure if this helps them at all, but I always love it.  Sometimes when they are really frustrating me in the moment, I employ the technique of another mother from some message board way back.  I say to them, "Oh my goodness you are being so insert age of child!"  This also helps remind me that they are just acting their age.  I don't enjoy these times by any means, but I don't want to forget them either.

These sour parts of parenting are what make the sweet so much sweeter.  
When we remember our children as small beings learning the ways of being human, will we only remember the sweet parts?  Am I the only parent that takes these kinds of pictures?  Are my children going to kill me one day for putting these pictures on the internet?  

Go check out some other fun posts over at the link-up party on Gfunkified and Sunday Spill.


GFunkified

8 comments:

  1. If parenting - or life, really - was all sunshine and roses, we wouldn't fully appreciate the sweet, fill-your-heart-up moments as much. Also, I appreciate the reminder why we should always carry wipes. (She looks so calm in the photo, though!)

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    1. The poo did not phase her in the least. She just turned to me and calmly said, "Ah mom, that bird just pooped on me." I mistakenly thought 2 girls in underpants meant no more wipes necessary. Lesson learned.

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  2. She is so cute, even while tantruming (is that a word? It should be.) And yeah, except for childbirth, remembering the bad stuff makes you appreciate the good so much more!

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    1. Exactly. Apologies to my future teenage girls for this post though.

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  3. what great shots. as they get older, they'll probably be amused by them, too - "I really threw a tantrum over XYZ? Wow..." In fact, they probably won't even have to be that much older before they'll find these memories intriguing - it would be very interesting to bust these photos out a couple years from now when they're having a meltdown over something and see if they make the connection (e.g. "that was pretty silly to be so upset over that when I was littler...I wonder if I'm doing the same thing right now?")

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    1. I wonder how reflexive they'll be about this stuff, or if the embarrassment-factor will outweigh it. Only time will tell I suppose.

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  4. I'm going to start doing this tomorrow! Cranky kid pictures crack me up! (It's not really the lesson you were going for, but you know how I roll...)

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    1. Seriously, they make me laugh too! Please don't take any of my writings as lessons, unless I'm writing as an anthropologist. I have no idea what I'm doing as a parent! Do any of us?

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