[NOTE: If you followed a link over here from The Pioneer Woman's article about layer masks, I was referencing the color-on-B&W photos contained in the entry below, so feel free to scroll on down if you'd rather skip the story and just view the pictures.]
There are those of you, I’m sure, who think that this blog is nothing more than one big digital shrine where I can stroke my overinflated ego for all the world to see … and if you are among those who think that, all I can say to you, my woefully cynical friend, is … well … um … yeah, you may have a point.
That’s not all it is. Oh no, it’s more … much, much more.
For example, it’s also a place where both new and prospective parents can come to get highly valuable insight and advice about some of the lesser-known things that parenthood has in store for them. Insight and advice that I offer freely and without the expectation of anything return … you know, other than your continued patronage so that I can one day leverage my audience for some serious advertising dollars and a lucrative book deal … but, other than that? Free of charge.
Because I give. That’s what I do. I’m a giver.
So gather ’round, ye new and prospective parents (and anyone else in the highly desirable demographic of those ages 25-45 with an annual household income of $100,000 or more, particularly those likely to purchase a big-ticket item sometime in the next 3-6 months) as I regale ye with a tale steeped in the harsh reality of parenting … with a little dash of hope thrown in for good measure.
One day, your child will be in preschool … and one day that preschool will have a Halloween event during which all the children will model their costumes for the many parents to see. And you will think to yourself, “Oh, this is going to be so fun and adorable! I can’t wait to see my little girl wearing her costume while smiling and laughing and marching happily by with all of her little friends!” And you will go to the preschool armed with your various photo- and video-taking equipment while dancing in your head are the visions of the many priceless images you believe you’re going to capture. Images like this:
Doesn’t she make a lovely Snow White? What’s that? You can’t tell she’s supposed to be Snow White? What are you, blind?
See? Clearly a beloved and charming Disney character. Yes, I know: the fun and excitement and joy she emotes are kind of overwhelming, aren’t they?
And maybe you’ll bring with you to the parade your mother-in-law, whom your child hasn’t seen in three months, and who will call out to your child, thereby causing her to momentarily come out from behind the protective shield she has created around herself …
… until she realizes you’re still pointing the camera at her …
… at which point she will again retreat into her fortress of solitude …
And you might try to convince yourself that perhaps she’s just far too enamored with her shoes to do anything other than look down …
… but that’s probably not it. No, most likely, the problem is that you’re a shitty parent and you’ve done a horrible job of raising her. Yes, it’s all your fault. You’re an asshole. Nice going.
And if the child in question is your first child? Well, hell, you’ll probably believe that previous paragraph.
But don’t fret, parents and potential parents, because a child who reacts like this …
… to his first preschool parade, then bursts into tears, breaks from the pack and runs into Mommy’s arms (yes, that’s what happened) can go on to look like this …
… when his first-grade Halloween parade takes place.
And it’s also entirely possible that your preschooler — who, at the beginning of her parade, somehow collapsed her entire body in on itself so that she practically disappeared — could, by parade’s end, creep out of her shell.
So maybe you’re not the world’s shittiest parent after all. Don’t count on it … but maybe.