I was born in the ’70s to slightly older parents, so when I want to see footage of myself as a little girl, I need to pull the film projector out of my mom’s closet, choose a reel from one of the poorly-labeled tins, set it all up, dim the lights, point the lens at a blank wall, and hope that I — the last of six kids — actually make an appearance at some point. Back then, film was expensive and the free time to actually record one’s children was rare, so I feel lucky any time I can catch a glimpse of my white-blonde hair flashing by as one of my brothers chases a much smaller version of me across the silent moving picture.
Thankfully, it’s a lot easier now to capture the magical moments of childhood to hold onto. Well, kind of. I mean, most of us now carry a video camera in our pocket at all times, and can watch the footage back with a couple of thumb swipes. Handy-dandy, right? Now, if we could only get our kids to cooperate with us. Here’s what typically happens when we try to get them on video.
1. You will hear your kids in the next room, and your gut will tell you to go see what they’re up to.
2. When you peek around the corner, you will see them not only getting along, but being cockles-warmingly adorable together.
3. You will scurry to get your husband and his phone, since your battery is dead.
4. Without a sound, the two of you will creep back down the hall to the scene of cuteness.
5. You will mimic to him to record them by doing a terrible Charades-game-losing attempt at pretending you’re holding an old-school video camera.
6. He will rightfully mouth, “What?”
7. You will mouth back, “R E C O R D T H E M” again, nice and slow, staring into his eyes in kind of a scary way.
8. He will unlock his phone to take a picture.
9. You will flap your hands at him until he just gives you his phone because, When did he marry a crazy person? He does not recall marrying a crazy person.
10. You will turn the video option on, and sneak around the corner to where your kids are being so damn cute. You will be as stealth as a ninja, for no child can resist being completely, obnoxiously ridiculous once she realizes she’s being filmed. Resistance. Is. Impossible.
11. You and your husband will be so tickled at the expressions on their delicious faces as you spy on them, that you won’t be able to resist smiling at each other for a moment before hitting record.
12. In that half a second, your kids will Spidey-sense what you are trying to do.
13. Before your thumb fully presses the red button, one kid will try to yank the phone out of your hands while the other re-enacts the fake dying scene at the end of that movie where the cartoon bunny dramatically narrates the moment by shouting, “Blood, blood, blood…uuuuugh…and DEATH.”
14. Your husband will try to shake your son off of his phone but that kid has an iron grip, which would be impressive if it weren’t putting the life of a $400 phone in jeopardy.
15. You will beg your daughter to get off the floor and go back to being cute. Possibly even bribe her, for that kind of cuteness is GOLD when caught on film.
16. She will ignore you because she just fake-died and is making the low groaning sounds of the recently fake-departed.
17. Eventually you will give up and leave the room — making sure to give your husband The Signal that you’re going to try one more time, should they get all calm and adorable once more.
18. Later in the day, your husband will tap you on the shoulder and wave you to the hall again, having already hit record so he won’t miss a thing.
19. The two of you will hide, crouched with the phone held out around the corner, grinning like idiots over how sweet your babies are with each other, pleased that you finally — finally! — caught it on film.
20. When you pull your hand back to swoon over the footage, you will notice the Cannot Record Video pop-up, which probably has something to do with the 512 selfies your sweet babies took the last time they stole your husband’s phone.
21. You will try not to swear, then decide to appreciate witnessing this moment in the moment without the need for cameras or whatever…then make absolutely sure to clear up lots of space on both phones and fully charge them just in case you get another opportunity like this tomorrow.
And here is the video taping drama, illustrated, by the amazing Adrienne Hedger of Hedger Humor: