He was the favorite for it, and indeed, he carried it away last night. In his speech, that went something like this: “Noooooooo!”, he did not thank his mother.
Coincidentally, our photo shoot was planned for Oscars night. I’ve been wanting to have professional photos taken of the Bots but put it off and put it off and finally realized that if I put it off much longer, we’d have to Photoshop out the acne. Then I met a professional photographer, and the rest is history. Very, very recent history.
We had two choices on meeting times: 7:00 a.m., which is a good time for light but not particularly for toddlers, or 5:30 p.m., which is a good time for light but not particularly for toddlers. We chose the latter. I packed snacks, and two Cookies of Bribery.
At 4:00, I completed wardrobe preparations. I had found three alternative outfits for Gbot, who, as students of history know, isn’t fond of sweaters, despises anything that zips or buttons up the front, and prefers nudity above all else.
My first choice consisted of matching wool sweaters that Nanny had knit–that the Bots have worn many times before (before Gbot developed his sweater allergy), and red wide-wale corduroy overalls for Gbot. The overalls were half way on when the wailing began. “Noooo! I want to be Diego! These are not my Diego overalls!” For those of you not on intimate terms with children’s television, Diego is the star of the animated show, “Go, Diego, Go.” In each episode, he and Baby Jaguar save a different baby animal from some terrible fate. First they hear the baby animal shriek. If Diego had been listening to us, he would have swung immediately through the jungle and across the desert to rescue Gbot from his mother’s fashion choice.
Gbot’s rebellion was fortuitous, however, because although I was willing it to be sweater weather, the temperature was hovering at close to seventy.
I moved on to Choice #2: cute jeans and the aqua t-shirt with the cardigan sweater Nanny knit two years ago, the one with the cables and the bears on it. Mbot wore it probably forty times and would wear it again but it no longer fits him. I got Gbot into the jeans and t-shirt. I got the sweater on over his head. As I secured the last button, the wailing began. “Noooooo! I do not want to wear a sweater!” And he actually removed it himself–at least he pulled it back over his head so that he was stuck with his arms still in it and most of the sweater behind his neck.
I was not wearing a sweater but at this point, I had started to sweat. The clock was ticking. The sun was moving inexorably across the sky. Meanwhile, Mbot was lounging on the sofa in his Captain America underpants, completely deaf to my repeated requests that he add to his ensemble from the pile I had laid out neatly (the third pile, the pile that would coordinate with Gbot’s third pile).
Gbot’s third pile included a striped long-sleeved t-shirt. The coordinating shoes, however, were apparently unappealing and he insisted on wearing boots. Since I am all about having photographs of children whose faces are not puffy and red from crying, I stifled a sigh, tied the laces and called him ready for the red carpet.
I helped Mbot into his striped terry hoodie, which looks good in evening sun, and stifled another sigh when he pulled on his dusty Batman crocs.
At last they were strapped into the back seat. I shifted into “drive.”
“Nooooooo!” This time it was Mbot. “Where’s Thomas! I only ever wanted my picture taken with Thomas!”
That would be Thomas the Tank Engine. He never, ever plays with Thomas. But he had, for five minutes before he got into the Midget Mobile. I circled the car back to the curb (see the paragraph about being all about photographs of children without tear-streaked faces). The sun was slipping down the sky. Thomas remained in hiding. I returned to the car with the news that we would just have to make due with Junepbear and Spruce Bear.
Once at the park, Mbot stripped off the crocs, along with his socks, to run barefoot in the grass. It turns out that bare feet are very photogenic when they are three years old.
Gbot got chocolate from the Cookie of Bribery on his shirt. It turns out that you can Photoshop out chocolate.
After the shoot, which I’m sure went as smoothly as these kind of things usually go, I opened the car doors and chatted a few minutes with the photographer. The Bots scrambled into the front seat. I had the keys. What could go wrong? When I turned to buckle them in, I found that, in true Oscars style, they were both wearing my lipstick. Mbot on his mouth, kind of, and Gbot on both cheeks.
When I look at these photos, on the day the Bots go to college, will I remember the chocolate stain from The Cookie of Bribery? Will I remember the mad rush for Thomas? The lipstick? Or will my memory Photoshop these things out? I kind of hope they’re just gently pixelated, like JLo’s nipple.
How will you remember the 84th Oscars?