The last time I took a road trip around Texas to visit relatives, I collected old family photos from several of them. My mother had created photo albums for all four of us sibs many years ago, but mine had gotten lost somewhere along the line. I asked all of the aunties to come across and they obliged. Funny thing was, every one of them had pictures of me as a toddler eating dirt, usually dressed in nothing but a diaper or a pair of training pants. Apparently it was something of a family joke that I was the best mud pie maker ever, and that no one was fast enough to keep me from eating them. Judging by the number of such pictures that exist, I think it's safe to assume that this was because they always had cameras glued to their faces. So I was amused when I came across the picture above. My mother made the dress. Can you see the little flowers hand embroidered above the hem of the skirt? There's a big satin bow peeking out from behind my elbow, and the gathers and lace are clearly visible. A careful study also shows that everything except the collar is lined, probably with cotton to protect tender baby skin. It would have been hand washed and ironed with lots of starch on the collar in preparation for the big picture day. The hair styling probably wasn't very time-consuming, but still, Mom must have spent hours getting me ready to look picture perfect. I was a pretty baby and it's a pretty picture. But all I can think of when I look at it is that, cheerful as I look, that little hand was already reaching to rip the fluffy dress off so I could get comfortable enough for the next mud hole.
Labels: children, family, humor