I am writing this through the heady haze of sleep deprivation. Luckily, I have found that if I close one eye the screen comes back into focus.
Which is handy.
The Squeaker has decided to come down with hand, foot and mouth disease. Translation: she is spotty, grumpy and a wee bit disgusting-looking. Last night, she decided her sleep quota was completed at around ten. Amazingly, the two hours kip she had had prior to that enabled her to throw an awe-inspiring pity party until 3.30. In the freaking morning.
So I hope you can be understanding when I mistype words and go off on a tangent and forget to finish my…
Heh heh heh.
Anyway, today I’m talking about outward appearances and secret realities. Or in other words, everybody lies on Facebook.
The thing about social media is that we tend to pick the pictures to post that make us look good. The ones where our kids are clean and dressed, for starters.
What can I say, I aim low!
We post up pictures of our kids playing nicely together, or giving each other cuddles.
Not the ones where they are gripping the same toys with fists of steel and screeching in each others’ faces. Or the ones where they are sulking at opposite sides of the room because they can’t agree on the same game to play.
Even though the latter occur much more frequently than the former.
Then there’s the crafty pictures. We post pictures of our kids blissfully painting, sculpting and sticking. And we post pictures of the amazing crafts we have made for ourselves and our children.
I do this a lot.
What I don’t post is:
1. The gagging face Squeak made when she tasted bubble mixture seven times. Yes, seven. And I didn’t stop her. Because she had to learn for herself that it was not tasty.
Also, because it was funny.
2. The time Little Girl painted almost her entire body in black paint. You know, the kind which proclaims ‘WASHABLE’ in big letters on the side, but is in fact more long-lasting than a bloody tattoo.
3. The many phallic drawings and models lovingly made by Big Girl.
Actually, why didn’t I post those?
4. I did post pictures of the cat costume I made for Little Girl for her second birthday. It was awesome.
What I didn’t post was my hideous cat claw, which was a result of sewing at speed through my finger. The needle snapped and became embedded in my index finger.
The nurse at the hospital needed three different types of pliers to get that one out.
I am imagining a load of repulsed faces looking at their screens after that story. Sorry.
Actually, not that sorry. Ha ha ha.
All of this perfect photo-posting, whilst making us feel good about ourselves, does have a not so nice side effect. People can be fooled into thinking that our lives are perfect all of the time. And when their lives don’t match up to the blissful perfection we project on our Facebook walls, they can feel inadequate and like they are failing.
We can’t be having that.
Because it’s not true. We all fuck up at times. We stick the tv on when life gets too overwhelming, and all we want to do is chop some vegetables. And our kids aren’t perfect, either. They argue and tantrum and vomit everywhere.
Not just mine, surely?
I’d like to think that this blog helps to address the balance a little. You guys all know that I fuck up.
I have no shame in admitting that I get stuff wrong. And I’m definitely not claiming that my kids are permanently joy-filled individuals. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to.
Perfection just ain’t that funny.
So I’ll post about the face-smushing,
and the just plain odd-looking.
I’ll consider it a public service.
I have to admit, a good camera with a talented photographer behind it does add a rather rose-tinted vibe to proceedings. Eyes sparkle, skin glows, and you can’t really see those pesky crumbs on the kids’ faces.
But even so, you can only photograph what is happening on the other side of the lens. For every beautiful shot, there are a dozen outtakes.
Or as I prefer to call them, ideal blog pictures.
As evidence, I present this photo:
I love this shot. It’s so rare to get a picture of me, for starters. And to have two happy looking girls into the bargain is more than a little unexpected.
It’s the kind of picture that needs framing and sticking on the wall, in my opinion.
But that is not the only image Mark got on that day. And there is one in particular that illustrates my point about perfection, well, perfectly.
Aw, that’s beautiful…wait, what the fuck is going on with my face?
Today I learned something. I learned that this is what my face does when Squeak throws herself into my arms and stands on my delicate inner thigh skin.
It’s decidedly less loving than I hoped it’d be.
So go on, push the boat out and mess up a couple of times. Then take pictures of it and stick ’em on Facebook!
It’ll stop me from standing out so much.
Time for me to fly. Squeak is standing in front of me with a doleful look on her face, begging for ‘baggies.’ She means ‘milkies,’ as in the breast variety.
And yes, I am a little insulted.