Get your child's perfect snap for the new year

'Tis that time of the year again when you want to send out pretty snaps of the happy family that you are - two and a half of you, that is. But things have been different since that cute thing that just wails and poops was born - tough to get one decent shot to send! That less-than-a-foot long human being with the attention span of an itching eyelid is one tough nut to deal with when taking a picture. Do not panic - this blog post shall enlighten your path to a picture perfect new year. Let us first reminisce about the old days and feel like grandpas...

In the golden days of yore, when it was just the two of you it was easy to get the perfect snap. She would lean over or shove her jaw forward at a particular angle, and you would tuck in your tummy and hold your breath. Then, she would smile to expose just the first and second molar of her teeth (the rest of her teeth make her look fat). Following which, you will realize that your tummy is not tucked in (the horror!). But you shall immediately put on a brave face and show your teeth as well; aaand kachinngg! The snap is taken. Another album with three hundred pictures of the same place from various angles for your family, woo hooo!

But now that drooling little imp with razor sharp claws is a whole different ball game. Even if you can get it to focus (sidenote: yes, "it" is the correct word here as per English grammar - neutral gender!)... so like I was saying... even if you can get your child to focus, you will have to be quick enough to capture that smile. Before those eyes wander, before those little arms start flailing and cover that pink face, you must hasten! By now, you must have realized the true import of the saying, "There is many a slip between the cup and the lip". Because, even if your kid was looking at the lens for a moment with intense focus and you rushed to click that snap in unconcealed glee, by the time you pressed that button and the camera focused and flash popped open and your hand became stable (all within a few nanoseconds), your kid was looking somewhere else when that snap finally happened! Hahahah - you know you should have got that high speed three thousand dollar camera instead of spending them on that expensive brand of baby diapers!

Enough with the problems, already! What are the solutions?! Hah... here come the secret tips. First, try the dancing-daddy trick. Nothing's more entertaining to a child than to see his parent flailing his arms wildly and making cloo clack clackety clack noises with snapping fingers and clapping palms. Of course we never doubted that you speak the child's secret boogaaboo language fluently; never mind the bewildered and mostly disinterested look on the child's face.

Next, try the point-at-object trick! For thousands of years, parents of all ages have striven in vain to make their children see exactly what they want them to see, or to even turn in a direction they would want their offspring to turn. You, sir, however, have found the secret recipe and therefore expect that if you look at your child straight in the eye and then point at the camera - you shall have the undivided attention of said child at whatever you desire. Like I said... beautiful trick known only to you!

Third, do not underestimate the power of the shiny iPhone trick! Of course those two hundred dollars you paid to get an iPhone are worthless compared to the priceless few moments when your sub-annual child shall grab the phone and throw it into the bowl of milk nearby to its untimely demise. And hey, if you are truly the chosen one, you will capture the blurred sling of your child's arm and a toothless gape with one long drool in motion!

Now, consider the baby-on-baby-action! Something magical always happens when two or more infants are put together very close to each other. Like the days of yore when zamindars would put their potential game-fighting cocks into a ring, you can decide to pit your kid and his razor sharp claws against another newborn human being and have fun while they try to scratch and tear out each others eyes. They are so cute together, aren't they?!

Finally, you can turn to the only foolproof method known since the dawn of time: the give-the-child-his-swallow-plastic trick. You see, this shiny object that the child is actually stretching his arms for is the one that is really going to work. You and I might know that his default reaction to anything he can grasp with his tiny fist is going into his mouth first. But hey, never let the child's safety come in the way of a cool picture! It works in two steps. One: hand him that penny, or the round ball of shredded thermocol, or the shiny bead lying around from the broken necklace. Step two: go hunt for the camera and get busy setting up the auto-flash while the child admires and swallows it. Oh what fun 'tis to ride to the emergency room on new year's eve!

Stay safe, people - and have a great, fulfilling and prosperous new year! :)


  1. Did you have a baby that I don't know about? :P

  2. funny one...

    seems we are not too far away from getting the 2nd "good news" from you... :)

  3. Galadriel, madam... dare I do that without first informing you?! :) Besides, given the vocabulary I used in describing a baby ("cute thing that just wails and poops", "less-than-a-foot long human being", "drooling little imp with razor sharp claws") .... how did you even conclude that I was in the business?!

    Chandan, thank you, and no I don't see any news, good or bad, on the horizon any time soon :)

  4. Sometimes it is very hard with children but what could we do without them? Personally, I cannot imagine such a life.
    Children bring light into our lives for sure. :)

  5. Had you been "in the business", would "cute thing that just wails and poops" have become "cute little bunny that brings me such joy just to look at it" or would "drooling little imp with razor sharp claws" have morphed into "cuddly bundle of joy whose tiny little digits are always endeavouring to grasp my little finger -and oh, the bliss of that touch!"??

    ;) Take the SLR back the next time you get home, you're going to need it more than I.

  6. Josh, yeah I know. For all the polemic, I still love 'em. Welcome to the blog, btw.

    Arunava, perhaps yes, or I should say very probably yes. But for now, let me swear at my future children all I can. :D


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