The Meanest (Cheapest?) Mom Ever

Yep...that's me. The Meanest (Cheapest?) Mom Ever. Why, do you ask? Because not only will I not pay extra money for friendship grams, grade-school (or preschool) yearbooks, but I also won't pay for school photos. I know...oh the horror!

I'm not against the concept of school photos. It's nice to see those subtle (and sometimes not so) changes a year will bring. It's more that I object to the bland background, uninspired poses, and assembly line approach to them. And, then, just let me be honest here -- the expense. (Retouching $7! Name on wallets $7!)

Believe me, I tried once. I laid out my daughter's clothes the night before, woke up early so I could get her hair perfect, and sent her off with strict instructions not to muss it during recess. I grudgingly wrote out a $22 check for the most basic photo package - a 5x7, 4 wallets. And then we waited with anticipation for a several weeks. Finally, I saw the telltale white plastic-windowed envelope in her hands when I picked her up one day. I eagerly opened the envelope, and....well, at the risk of hurting my daughter's feelings some day in the future, let's just say they turned out less than stellar. She definitely did not heed my advice about not mussing her hair. The photographer definitely did not fix it or tell her to sit up straight. So, what's a cheap and picky mom to do? I got my money back.

C' know that even Ryan Seacrest regrets this school picture...

I then marched her down to Sears later that week and got her photos for $9.99. And I not only got to pick the pose, I got to suggest it!! She looked like the adorable child she is and not the ragamuffin she can be after a hard day's play.

So now, when the order sheets come home in the Fall, I just throw them in the trash and make my Sears appointment. I think I even have Hayden convinced that it's even cooler because she gets her own personal "photo shoot."

However, apparently that's not as easy and clever as I had hoped. Guess what I got today? An order form for Spring photos. Really? How much can our children have changed in five months? And are they going to have both photos in the unnecessary grade school yearbook? Do they think having the children pose with their hands on a flower basket is the epitome of Springtime? And more importantly....does this require another trip to Sears?

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