I have finally discovered how to get a two-year-old to “say ‘cheese!'”  The TYPICAL routine involves me realizing that RIGHT NOW is the perfect opportunity for a great picture.  RUUUUNNNN!   GET THE CAMERA!  Got it.  Run back to the scene.  What?  It’s over!  He’s done?  He’s taken the hat off?  He stopped dancing?  He ate the watercolor paint?  Noooooo!!!  Now he’s trying to take the camera!  “Meeee, cheee” he screams.  And if a picture IS taken, it’s of the aftermath, and HE is usually taking it.

The highest pitch you can go!

Lens Shattering!

Like every discovery, mine was purely accidental.  As usual, I saw the perfect picture happening while he was sitting on his indoor bulldozer.  He was wearing my favorite brown and blue striped shirt.  This is it!  Get the camera!  I wasn’t surprised that he was up by the time I returned.  So I begged and pleaded with him to “Please get back on the bulldozer and say cheese for mommy!”  Did he yield?  No!  He RAN!  “Say cheese!  Say cheese!”  We ran from family room to dining room, dining room to kitchen, camerawoman after subject.  It was like working for Animal Planet with a digital camera in a cage with a monkey.  By the third picture I realized I was onto something!  Animal Planet would be giving me a raise!  The subject was looking straight into the camera lens.  Click – Click -Click. 

The cage…


More like Beep – Beep – Beep.  Picture after picture it was only getting better, I just had to learn how to aim and run at the same time, cutting sharp corners and making the subject feel like the chase was still on.  By now, I’ve decided I don’t need to go to the gym today, I am working out with a monkey in my own home.  Tired.  Can’t click anymore!  But I must keep running or monkey boy will attack!  No time to review camera shots for Animal Planet.  I might not submit the pictures in time for the deadline.  I’ll probably get fired.  But that’s okay… I’m in it for my own satisfaction.

Is he saying cheese?

And that’s how I discovered that two-year-olds who don’t stay still for long, such as the current subject, naturally do well running, and I might as well run with it!