There is nothing quite like a note telling you it’s time for the school photo to send mothers into a tizzy. Planning for this event started several days ago with negotiations to get Olivia to agree to wear a brown and white dress. There are two reasons she doesn’t want to wear it. One is that the first love of her life, a blond called Quentin, likes “cool” girls and two, Bea is wearing the same one and she hates being the same as Bea.
Last night they all had their hair washed and conditioned. They had an early night to ensure there were no unsightly bags. I had an early night too, just in case I am caught on camera.
This morning the first thing Olivia did was of course march into our room and tell me she was not going to wear that dress. Then Leo came into our bed and Rupert ruffled his hair.
“You’ve made me not lovely any more,” he wailed and burst into tears. Then he insisted on having a bath and starting the hair-care regime all over again.
Bea was a dream. Up and singing and ready to have her hair curled by 8am. “I’m not wearing that dress,” said Olivia for the 100th time. “I’ll take you off my screen-saver and put Bea on it instead,” I said. Rather underhand I know, but it did the trick. “You’re so evil,” she said marching off to find the dress.
I realise now having done the school run that I have gone for totally the wrong look. Most of Leo’s class-mates have gel-induced mohicans. Not his best friend Louis I am pleased to report, he has a rather sophisticated Great Gatsby look.
But I suppose the most important thing is the smile, which we have been practising. Olivia has adopted a rather cool “photograph face” as my stepson Hugo calls it. Whenever you got to take a photo of him he says; “Wait, I don’t have my photograph face on yet” and then breaks into a huge smile. Bea just looks enormously sweet and Leo looks like the Antonio Banderas cat from Shrek when he wants something, all big eyes and a pleading expression.
I will share the results with you when we get them but I can now understand why Linda Evangelista refuses to get our of bed for less than $10,000 a day.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007