If I’ve learned anything in my time as a parent, it is this: you should be prepared to spend literally years smelling faintly of someone else’s urine. ALRIGHT SOMETIMES IT’S YOURS.
No, not that. It’s this: if you want to capture toddlers on camera, particularly if you want them to hold something, most especially if that something needs to be clearly visible, you better be prepared for hair-tearing and bribery and ignominious failure.
The boys are too young – and, let’s face it, too uninterested – to be constructing Fathers’ Day cards of their own. So we do photo cards. This year I had the idea to make them hold up all the letters in ‘Happy Fathers’ Day’ and put them together in a collage. It was a tiny bit ambitious (read: foolishly insane), but I’ve had enough practice failing to make toddlers hold signs and smile simultaneously, and I thought the signs were the easier of the two.
I prepared so carefully this time. I spent days getting Henry excited about pulling funny faces for Daddy’s card, hauled a stool and a tripod out into the woods to minimise escapes, and called in at a shop beforehand for a massive bag of sweets. Sugar bribery will get you anything with this crowd.
Oh, except holding a sign.
Notice the full mouth? Bribery sweets in abundance.
Eventually T refused to hold anything at all, even for sweeties, so H had to step in for him. He’s pretty sugar glazed by this point too. Dozy look present and correct.
H was the big surprise, actually. He enjoyed himself thoroughly, and pulled the best faces. OMGOSH, do children actually get to a point where they…understand and follow instructions?! Be still my heart.
One more reminder of why getting them in a photo together is nigh-on impossible:
Good try, guys. We got there in the end.