Smile, Please.

I have gone a little quiet just recently. I have – for exciting reasons I shall share with you just as soon as I can draw breath – been insanely busy. Also, Harry and I (and as of today, my mother too) have a mysterious, long-standing and highly unwelcome cyclic gastro bug, producing fluctuating levels of diarrhoea, and in my case, also inducing repulsively sulfurous vomiting every 4 or 5 days. I’ve had this particular digestive nasty before, in my early 20s, and I distinctly remember being off work for 3 successive isolated Mondays – rendering my employer enormously suspicious, naturally; I also retain a vivid impression of the hideously eggy burps and chunders. I know not what this thing is: Harry’s stool sample came back negative for anything interesting. I merely wish it would go. Go soon. Not let the door hit, etc.

I have been both blue-arsed-busy and feeling completely exhausted and washed out. So I could have done without spending an entire morning running around after my sleep-deprived (4 successive nights of screamy meltdown) and un-cooperative son, trying desperately to take a photo in which he is A) vaguely facing the camera B) in focus and C) smiling. I am sending in a birthday card to CBeebies – the UK’s digital pre-schooler’s channel – and to be in with even a tiny chance of a birthday mention, it needs posting today. I took upwards of 200 indifferent shots this morning.

Naturally, the best ones were all out of focus:

Harry blur  harry blur 2  harry blur 3

and I took a huge number that were idiosyncratically composed

Harry off caera 

or seemed to feature an invisible fist

 invisible fist Harry pout 

closed eyes

eyes closed  eyes closed 2  eyes closed 3

or too many teeth for comfort.


He had his own ideas on outside activities: there was much utilisation of my car as a play area,

harry not quite smiling

directing of (invisible) traffic,

directing traffic

imitating elephants,


and… balancing a pen on Daddy’s bike…?

pen balancing

(Seriously: the child’s achievements with cutlery? Slow. Balancing a tiny pen on an even tinier cable? No fucking problem!)

pen cloes-up

Then there were the expressions that were edging towards something a little cheerier…sort of…

nearly a smile  not a smile

nearly a smile 2  not quite a smile

and the basilik expressions that accurately conveyed the moment

Harry angry

Harry glare

and my absolute favourite: the potty FAIL pic.

potty fail

Eventually, he condescended to twitch the corners of his mouth up


and I called the job done.

timmy  timmy2

If the BBC don’t show it, I am cancelling my bloody licence.

17 Responses

  1. I think you could send a photo montage of all of them, and the BBC could do a half hour special of cuteness.

    What is the fascination with the inside of the car? I realize it’s great for climbing and lots of knobs and buttons, but my girl will stay in there for half an hour!

  2. Actually I think almost any of them would have done the job. He is an adorable boy.

    I am so envious of CBeebies and British television in general. My son (27 months) is OBSESSED with Shaun the Sheep. Anything else he watches is followed with a request for Shaun the Sheep. We bought him the box set from and hacked our DVD player to play British DVDs, but how I dream of a world where Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time, and all your other goodies are freely available. Of course you lucky Brits can watch all that online for free, but we can’t. Am considering buying some In the Night Garden DVDs next after your mention of it.

  3. Harry is such a handsome young’ un. But you knew that already 🙂



  4. What wonderful photos!

  5. That one with the watering can is gorgeous. He may have been driving you bonkers over the last few days, so it’s a good job he’s so cute!

  6. He is sweet. Even when he’s giving the “Glare”. Have you all tried the BRATT diet? Bananas, rice, applesauce, tea, and toast. It’ll bind you all up faster than a beaver dam.

  7. Seriously seriously adorable!

  8. Oh, he is so dotey!

  9. My favorite is the glare! I love it when they pull that face. G sits on his potty the same way, will protest loudly when moved to the correct position and prefers to poop on the floor.

    I had what you have and it is beyond awful. It hit me the night before a 12 hour shift in the salon that included a bridal party of 15. Fun times I tell you. Have you tried eating some yoghurt to introduce some good “bugs” back into your tummy? It worked for me that day.

  10. The consolation being, you could always sell Harry to the advertising agencies when he drives you round the twist. He is astonishingly cute, even blurred or grumpy.

    My sympathies for the poor beleaguered tummy. I had something similar a few years ago that completely ruined Christmas. I spent about a week camping in the bathroom eating nothing but white toast while the family watched movies and ate, well, Christmas. It was COLD in that bathroom.

    Awaiting update on exciting business with bated breath and such-like.

  11. It’s been a while in coming, but a comment you shall get.

    Hope CBeebies gave the birthday boy a mention. Those photos, frustrating for you, but amusing and cute for us.

    Hope you are well, feeling better and I’m looking forward to hearing all about the ‘exciting’ news.

  12. He’s got to get a shout out. Have you got your recorder at the ready? (Video recorder not tunless instrument for playing a merry jig in delight). When should it be read out? Am I going to have to spend my Saturday morning watching Ninky Nonks and Piny Ponks?

  13. Ummmm he’s making my uterus hurt with that cuteness (or is that the baby kicking?)

    Hope he got a shout out – he is TOO adorable!

  14. Oh that’s lovely! You are so talented, Ann.

    Harry is quite the looker, I must say. He’s going to be driving the girls wild very soon! (Not just us older girls.)


  15. Adorable photos, as per usual. I love the partially unbuttoned shirt look too, it’s very sauve.

  16. […] here, and didn’t. The cyclic gastro bug I was calling ‘long-standing’ on the 2nd July is still with us, and inducing intermittent belly-cramps, eggy burps, nausea and diarrhoea in both […]

  17. […] they require the cards at least 4 weeks in advance. I am not nearly as confident as I was about last year’s effort, particularly as I have sub-contracted a major part of this year’s colouring-in to John, who […]

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