Rule #87: Don’t Bother Photographing Your Kids

in Rules of Parenting

awkward kid photo

Stop this tragedy before it starts.

Identity is so overrated.

Everyone is always saying shit like, “Oh, your child’s identity needs to be nurtured from the minute he’s born. Take plenty of pictures. You’ll be glad you did.”

Nonsense.

Your child knows who he is the minute he can focus on your face and put two and two together to comprehend God’s cruel audacity at giving him your genes, which means the lack of a strong chin and an overbite.

Hey, it happens—trust us, your kid has an identity, and he doesn’t exactly want to be reminded of it every day for rest of his life. Which is why we suggest a complete moratorium on photographing your children.

Sure, some of you might be saying, “But photography, much like the grand tradition of family lore via storytelling, is about fostering memories—not only for my child, but for the extended family and the generations to come.”

Sweet sentiments, indeed—but no one is actually buying it.

In fact, recent studies in Stockholm (where people are generally much hotter than those in, say, havens of good-looking-ness like Des Moines) revealed that the best-looking lab rats usually defecated on photos of themselves just as much as hideous lab rats.

The study’s author Stefan Johansson noted, “It’s clear the rats weren’t interested in photography of themselves—in fact, they showed a true distaste for photographs in general. But they did enjoy videos of steel-cage wrestling. They didn’t crap once during the matches, especially when we supplied them with tiny cigarettes and piped in ABBA tunes.”

There you have it. Are you going to argue with the Swedes? We’re certainly not.

And then there’s the issue of time management. Think about how many hours are wasted capturing a first smile, first touchdown, homecoming dates and elective cosmetic surgeries. Photograph these precious moments, right? Waste. Of. Time.

When other parents are mindlessly snapping pictures during kindergarten graduation, sit back and relax.

Instead, you can spend your time focusing on the stage, noticing the glorious nuances of the moment such as how extraordinarily attractive your neighbor is and—wait a second—how he kind of smiles at you a certain way when it’s clear you’ve been staring at his backside the same way the Swedish rats enjoy the steel-cage wrestling match.

Only this is real, and in your mind’s eye, the picture is perfect and tells one hell of a good story.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea September 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Your blowing my spot up!!!!!!!!!! Love them all but Vacation in a third world country & give your kids trophys for everything are in my top 5!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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billy October 16, 2010 at 1:41 am

I choose not to take photos of my daughter either. What a waste. I know that at thirty years old I’m never pulling out old photos from my childhood, nor are my parents. If there is a day in the future where she wants a photo of her baptism or birthday party, simple enough. All the pictures I could ever want are on the internet. I just Google “first birthday photo” or “Baby gives the finger,” and I find exactly what I’m looking for.
Plus, starting this rule young will give me reason to disable/destroy the web-cam, so I know my daughter won’t be running a porn site from her bedroom.
The logical extension of this rule is to remove all the mirrors in the house. The amount of time she spends in the bathroom will shrink immediately and she won’t be cursed with paralyzing vanity like the rest of the kids her age.

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Christine R. February 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Hilarious! As the mother of 4, my picture taking skills has dwindled over the years and the little one has barely a photo of any major milestones. Now I know I can troll photobucket for said pics. Brilliant!

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