Monday, March 7, 2011

Dear Dylan, you're 5! (and how to pose kids)

Dear Dylan,
Hi baby, I love you. You're so independant at home. You love to make us happy and to make us smile and laugh. You know how to tell on your little brother. You like to pretend. Today, you were captain hook on a ship at the park, then you were a ninja jumping from couch to couch, then you and Isaac debated what you were building out of blocks. It was many kinds of factories. Then you took a toy that you pretended was a camera and asked Isaac to say click while pushing a button so you could pose with your tower that had all of your superheros standing perfectly in place.

Each evening, you do your homework with Daddy. He bought you some pre-K and Kindergarten workbooks, and you two take those seriously including adding the stickers to the right page number squares in the back.
I'm typing some of this after your birthday, but it's appropriate to write this here. You have some sort of either a fear of failure, or that fear of public speaking or something. When you read with either me or with Daddy, sometimes you get worked up or hung up on something and instead of continuing to work through it, you start to cry. We comfort you, and you figure it out and it's ok. You like to be silly, but repeating something that we think was awesome is dificult for you. I think you're worried you won't be able to replicate what you have done in the past. You were really into breakdancing and having fun dancing, but now when we ask you to do it on the spot, you shy away from it and change the subject etc. You're really good, but you won't do it in front of other people. That makes me sad. You gave your FIRST PRIMARY TALK at church last Sunday. I was so excited for you! But we had a busy Saturday with me being gone at the temple and you going to a reader's theater with Granddad, Dad, and Isaac, then you went to lunch with them, then after nap time, we went to dinner so we didn't have much time to practice your talk. Oh, and I had a meeting before church. You practiced the story of David and Goliath and were animated and excited. You kept getting caught up on David's name, so Daddy had the good idea of you just calling him "the little boy." I drew a huge 9 foot Goliath like the one my parents made for us when we gave that talk. You were so excited. You went up to the podium, waited for me to figure out we needed to plug in the microphone to the wall, and you started. You did great and got some snickers when you would answer my prodding questions with "yes" instead of telling the whole group that section of the story. That didn't get you caught up, but then, when it was time for you to swing your hand around your head portraying David with the sling shot with the smooth stone in it, you froze. Daddy said later that he could tell you were about to cry, but I was standing up far from you on a chair dangling the Goliath down and didn't see it coming. Sure enough, tears came. I held you and we finnished it together. I wanted to cry too. You did so well, but didn't want to do the actions. Daddy told me later that you inherited his fear of public speaking and that I should have seen that coming. We should have had you memorize that talk and should have worked more with you. Daddy got over that fear of public speaking and was a darn good trial attorney who was in court every day and didn't get nervous about the speaking part. So you too will get over it. Daddy did't have opportunities to say prayers or give talks in church starting at 3 years old like you did. You cried when you were asked to give a prayer when you were first in Primary. We figured out that we had to prep you for things like that. I was SO impressed with the fact that you started out so strongly. That really was amazing. I know that weakness will soon enough become a strength for you.

You love to play outside, but you really want somebody to go with you wherever you go. If you go upstairs, you want me to go with you. If you go outside, you taddle to me that Malia won't go with you. When at Planet Jump, you made sure to tell me not to go anywhere, and to stay right there at the entrance/exit of the bouncy thing you and your friends were on.

favorite foods: chicken nuggets, cheese slices, salads (especially eating off of my plate)
For your birthday, I had to work. But that's okay because you got to go to Corrie's house. On the way, we picked up breakfast. You requested "Dunkin' Donuts." That was so random for me, but I think another kid must have taken them in to school for a special snack in your class because you even knew that you wanted one with sprinkles AND one with jelly in it. We got a whole box to share with Malia and Noah. Then Corrie took you guys to the park, then to McDonald's! I wanted to go have lunch with you, but I was so busy at work and they even crammed an extra patient in on my lunch break. I was hungry, but still went to see you before nap time. After Corrie's, we went home and you ate fish and corn on the cob, your request.
For your school celebration, I made you a crown and instead of cupcakes, we went with the Dunkin' Donuts again. This time we just got the Munchkins. It was a big hit! We took a box for Isaac's class too even though it wasn't his birthday celebration day because he didn't have a school celebration. When I took you to the playground, you didn't want to wear your crown, but when your teachers, Mrs. Prodey and Ms. Barbara mentioned it being your special day once we were in the class about to eat your special treat, you proudly wore your crown. The kids all wanted to sit by you and even tried on your crown. I got to stay because this day, my work underscheduled me and told me not to come in until later. It worked out. On the way home, you and Isaac got to open your paper bags that were filled with Valentines and candy from your friends. What a good day!

 Also, you're a poser for the camera.  It's pretty funny.  I did NOT pose you on that top picture of this post.  And here's another example of how you pose yourself.  (See the picture just below these words.)  And to other readers and photographers, here's a tip on how to get your subject to not act so stiff
How to pose a 5 year old:
1. Get him in the basic place/lighting/background, when he does something cute (like Dylan's idea of a GQ pose), go with it, but don't settle for that stare or fake smile.
2. Ask him to do a silly face.  Asking kids for "a real smile" is like asking them to spell the word "confusion."  Keep clicking as they do some random silly face, but instead of putting the camera down to give another direction to him, laugh at the silliness and go with it.
3. You got it!  They like to laugh with you, so capture the face right after the posed then wierd silly face. 

Then after you have some "birthday portraits," let the kids enjoy the location.  Are you at a park?  Let them go down the slides for their reward.  They don't always need candy for bribes.  I like to take my own kids to locations that don't have swings because they don't give me much time with the "sit/stand here, silly face, yaaaaaay!" part.  So I let them play on other things.  Kids know how to have fun, so let them! 
I love my silly Dylan.


The Stevens said...

Cute pictures. Can't believe our boys are getting so big!

Kat Gille said...

What a sweet post. I love Dylan! And it almost made me cry reading about his talk. What a strong little boy! I'm glad he started out strong and finished even after he got scared. I just hope he isn't even more nervous next time because of that experience!

hollie said...

Dylan is quite the poser/photogenic lil guy. He is gonna make all the girls go nuts :) i enjoy your posts...keep posting :)