You have a one-inch square localized rash on your cheek right next to your mouth. It’s red and approximately the color of strawberry jam. Give it a good rub for some added color. It’s time for school picture day.
I will fix your hair till it’s cute as a bug and you’ll want to do something about that. It’s usually pretty effective to rub your head back and forth across the headrest in the van, creating bubbles in your ponytail. But if I happen to see the mess as you’re exiting the car, I will probably get out and redo your hair. On picture day, it’s probably safer to take the bus so I don’t have a chance to en-slicken you.
Don’t worry though. If you make it to school with your hair intact, you will likely have a raucous P.E. class directly before your class is scheduled to meet with the photographer. That should do the trick.
Speaking of the photographer, when she asks you to “smile,” what she really means is, “Grimace,” or “Smile like a demented robot,” or, “It’s all or nothing. Either show no teeth or make sure all your teeth are visible, including your molars.” You can smile a natural smile any day. Picture day calls for a picture smile. Blow our minds with your avant-garde facial creativity.
If she asks you to cock your head to the side or rest your chin gently on your dignified clenched fist, by all means do it. There is a reason these classic poses have been littering yearbooks and mantelpieces for decades. Some things just WORK. So tilt that face to an insane angle so you look like your neck is about to snap off. This is for posterity.
If you have a favorite logo t-shirt, wear it. If it’s got a prominent hole near the neckline or a gigantic stain, wear it times two. Under no circumstances brush your teeth this morning. Trade your apple for a blue lollipop at recess. Use your tongue to make your loose tooth protrude. Don’t wipe your nose.
Above all, remember safety first. Flash bulbs have been known to sear children’s retinas so, right as she takes the photo, be sure to close your eyes.