Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: Goose Poop

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a weekly writing meme intended to foster creativity and help busy moms actively seek every-day moments that show us a glimpse of the bigger picture.

Amid fast-paced lives, sometimes we lose sight of the grander scheme; won't you join us in consciously trying to embrace and remember these moments - however small or large?

Bigger Picture Moment

It was a recipe for Christmas-Card-Photo-Session success.

The temperature was still hovering around 66 degrees, and the perfect-picture afternoon sun was just gently beginning to sweep down toward the western horizon.

So we forfeited play clothes for collared shirts, scrubbed peanut-butter-and-jelly coated faces, smoothed hair that was sticking up like wild turkey feathers on the boys' noggins and headed to the park to capture a beautiful shot amid the lingering fall foliage.

My sister and I even loaded the car with a few cute, photo-worthy toys, some treats {bribery} and a few other props to ensure Operation: Capture a Christmas Card Photo would be a surefire success.

As we began the second leg of our mission, arrival at the park, I had the highest of hopes ... until the moment we freed the boys from their car seat prisons and they began running around like wild squirrels who had just been let of a cage on the first day of spring.

My plan for capturing the perfect picture -- ask boys to sit next to each other and smile in exchange for a bag of pretzels -- imploded.

They ran in opposite directions, squealing gleefully.

OK, I'd thought to my self. I can do candid, action shots.

They were completely entranced by the geese, laughing and herding them like a Shepard would sheep.

I grew a little frustrated at trying to keep up with them, keep up with my camera settings and keep up with those stinkin' fast-moving honkers.

Then they wanted to chase the ducks, G. quacking alongside his little brother who was exclaiming, "Duuuhhhk Duuuuhhhk!"

They were having so much fun, but I suddenly wasn't.

I can do this, I told myself. I love capturing raw, unfiltered emotion in my photos.

Except for when that raw, unfiltered emotion comes in the form of joyful squeals as my 14 month old and 3 year old simultaneously pick up goose poop and begin mashing it in between their fingers.

That, I just can't do.

Enter mommy's raw, unfiltered emotion: "NO! NO! That's GOOSE POOP! Put it down, for the love of all things CLEAN! DON'T SMASH IT UP ... OH, YUCK! NO! For my SANITY'S SAKE, put the GOOSEPOOPDOWN! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!?"

Their smiles and giggles gave way to wide-eyes and stunned faces.

I scooped up Baby E., grabbed G.'s non-pooped smeared hand and began hauling them to the bathrooms, nearly dragging G. behind me.

A few quick steps into our mad dash to the nearest sink and soap, I looked down at G.'s face and saw his chin quivering as he stammered, "I will nevereverever pick up goose poop again, mommy. I promise. Neverevereever."

My heart sank into my gut as he apologized, and I knew that I had so blown things out of proportion regarding the {icky stinky germy} goose poop partly because I'd been frustrated about not getting any good shots.

"Oh, I think mommy needs to apologize," I said as we scrubbed the living daylights out of their hands. "I shouldn't have gotten so upset and yelled. I know you guys didn't know what it was."

"I thought it was a stick, " G. said. "I'm sorry. I will never never NEVER pick up goose poop again."

"I know," I said. "Let's go play now."

We emerged from the bathroom with new understandings, each of us, about goose poop.

G. realized he shouldn't touch it because it's disgusting.

And I realized that my boys find goose poop, like most anything else outside, extremely fascinating and interesting because they are 14 months old and 3 years old.

And that being said, I can't expect them to understand how to sit and pose for the perfect, smiling Christmas card picture at such young ages. I mean, they are so little they don't even know not to touch the goose poop because they don't even know what it is.

We continued along with our afternoon, them focused again on fun and me focused on just capturing who they are in tiny moments on screen.

And while I may not have captured the traditional, Christmas-card perfect shots, I did perfectly capture them at their ages.
There will be plenty of time for traditional, posed Christmas pictures as they grow up and become less enamoured by water foul and goose poop no longer has the same allure.

But for now, we're going to enjoy the candid moments brought on by these germy fascinations -- but from a less intimate distance from here on out.

Link your Bigger Picture Moment up over at Melissa's place this week.


  1. Oh I have been there! And I know exactly where you are and I hate that place of the park and of course that is where all the picnic tables are, but there is so much poop! Sorry, tangent...

    Anyways yes, we have to just live through the moments as gross as they are because they are age appropriate. Lovely :-)

  2. We tried to do pictures this morning too. What a crazy time. I recently bought a newer Caedmon's Call Cd. I love one of the songs called "Sacred". It's about being a mom and how all of these moments are sacred. Even the goose poop ones.

    As for Shutterfly shipping. I haven't ordered cards, but Martin's book took about a week maybe. I usually get pictures in a couple days. They give you a shipping time frame when you order. Sorry I'm not more help than that! I have loved everything I've ordered from them though.

  3. I would probably have had the same reacation that you did. The other day during a diaper change, Joycie's hand headed south and before either M or I could react she had a handful of poop. We both freaked - I guess poop in little hands is just a part of motherhood.

  4. Just yesterday we were at the park, and my friends 18 month old started picking up goose poop and my friend, uncharacteristically, started screaming "PUT THE GOOSE POOP DOWN YOU CRAZY ANIMAL OF A CHILD!!!!"
    Seriously... goose poop brings out the worst in mamas!

  5. I simply cannot count the number of instances that I have felt my heart sink just like that after I overreacted to something stemming from my own issues. These children that God has given us are such great teachers! We never see ourselves and life as clearly than we can through our childrens' eyes...and quivering lips!

    {but I'm cracking up at Corinne's comment! true!}

  6. Gosh, we've all been there. I had to take a "time-out" the other day because after nine tries, we couldn't manage to get little man's fingers in the right glove fingers. Running late and not feeling well, my frustration was palpable and when I realized little man could sense it, I had to back off, breathe and return to the task..this time trying to make light of it. So an anxious little face could break out into a smile.

  7. We spent hours last year trying to get a perfect picture of Ellie smiling with the dog, and we ended up using a picture of her licking the dog instead. Next to another spontaneous one of her hugging the dog.

    Oh, and I can't even count how many times I've had to tell her to put down the goose poop.

  8. Love this story Hyacynth. I could picture the whole scene playing out so vividly from your wonderfully written post. I love how you remembered the bigger picture even with a goose poop emergency.

    Cute pictures!

  9. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but they may NEVER grow out of their fascination of goose poop. Live never ever EVER. They do have that "Y" chromosome afterall.

  10. I would have had the very same reaction to the goose poop. The only difference is that I wouldn't have apologized. So there, you are much better than I am. :) If my boys put their little boy hands into a pile of caca I would become unglued. Washing and disinfecting, probably beating myself up. They wouldn't get an apology but this mama would probably say "How about some Uncle Rays." Which is our ice cream parlor in town. Obviously I have some parenting skills that I need to work on. (lol) And I didn't mean to take over these comments.

    Anyway so yes. CANDID PICTURES are perfect. Posed pictures can be so boring. Therefore you captured PERFECT Christmas card pictures chica. Seriously you did. I love the light. It is golden! :)

  11. I have to say that posed Christmas photos are over rated. Give me a live, candid, raw photo any day. They just capture the real moment, the real kid. Posed pics just can't do that.

    I think your pics turned out wonderful.

  12. i hate the matching posed christmas photo. One with goose poop would make my fridge for sure!


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