Cliff and I choose not to force things onto Joshua. We leave it up to him if he wants to eat a meal, or try a new food, or get a photo with Santa, etc. So far, most things have either worked out well, or are not consequential enough to be a big deal if he chooses to stay away.
Lately, however, we’ve hit a roadblock with hair cuts. I seethed for a while, but eventually I let that one go. If he’s going to look like a wild kid with unkept hair, I can live with that.
The most recent problem (and a big problem, in my mind), is getting his passport photo taken. Now that he’s 3, his infant passport is about to expire. One day last week, Cliff took him to London Drugs to get a new photo taken. He cried and threw a fit, and they walked out of there without a photo. A couple of days later, Cliff tried again, taking him to Lens and Shutter. Before they got there, Joshua was all agreeable about getting his photos done. After they arrived and Cliff paid, Joshua decided he didn’t want his photo taken. He started to cry, refusing to sit on the stool. Cliff tried bribing him with a cupcake, a car, a trip to Taiwan to see gong-gong and po-po, and nothing worked. Again, they went home without a photo.
As a parent, things like this sometimes get to me. Joshua couldn’t tell me why he didn’t want his photos done. All he said was he didn’t like his photo taken. I asked him if he was scared, and he said no. I mean, for a kid who has a camera stuck in his face all day long (by yours truly), you would think it’s no big deal to sit on a damned stool for 10 seconds for a freaking picture.
Not getting a hair cut is ok by me. But not being able to travel is a problem.
For the next 2 days, I talked up our past travels with Joshua, reminding him of all the good times we had and all his favorite places when we traveled. I also took one of his cars named Fillmore, and told Joshua that Fillmore is going to travel with us, so he needs a passport photo too. Joshua seemed to like that idea.
Then on Friday, Cliff and I took Joshua back to Lens and Shutter, and brought Fillmore with us. I also brought my camera, just so I can show him how I take passport photos for Fillmore. We were bracing ourselves for another major meltdown, but had our fingers crossed that for some magical reason everything will work out this time. On our way there, Joshua said he didn’t want to have his photos taken. I said, “Hey, how about if Mommy take your photo?” He paused. Maybe the idea of mom taking the photos is somehow less intimidating than some stranger doing it. He said, “Ok, I want Mommy to take my picture.”
We got to the store, and I asked the photographer if I can be the one to take the photo of Joshua. He hesitated and hummed, and then said, “Well, I guess you could.” Sweet! Joshua seemed relieved that I was going to be taking his picture.
We plunked Joshua on the tall stool. The photographer got everything set up, handed the camera to me, and I took a few shots. Viola! We were done! Easy peasy.
I put Fillmore on the tall stool and used my camera to take a few photos. We’re going to get a printed photo of Fillmore and make him a passport. Joshua was very satisfied that he had his photos taken by Mommy, Fillmore also had his photos taken by Mommy, and that they are going to be traveling together.
Phew. Crisis averted. Just another day of being a mommy to a three-year-old.