A while back, I wrote about Ella’s skill as a negotiator (which, translated, means I wrote about my daughter’s ability to talk me into almost anything). I thought the piece was pretty darn funny, so I worked on it a bit and fired it off to the editor of Atlanta Parent magazine, Ann Hardie.
After the standard waiting period (I think it was about 47 minutes), I got a little overanxious and emailed Ann about my submission. She emailed me back and said she’d received it. She also suggested I chill out (actually, she didn’t say that at all; that’s just what went through my mind).
A few days later she emailed me back: not only did she like the piece, but she was wondering if I could take a picture of Ella to be used along with the article. I told her it wouldn’t be a problem.
It was a problem.
Turns out, my daughter hated the idea of being photographed for a magazine. And not just in the usual five year-old trying to be difficult way, but in a way that suggested taking the picture might result in severe psychological damage. She practically rolled up into a ball and hid.
But I was going to get that picture, come heck or higher gas prices. I threatened. I manipulated. I bribed. I resorted to subterfuge. And in the end, I got three thousand pictures that ranged from a blurry hand to a clear HD picture of my daughter’s butt as she turned it to the camera at the last second.
Finally, I resorted to begging.
“Please? Pretty please? Daddy needs this in order to get published. They won’t print my story if you don’t do this for me.” (Not true in the slightest, by the way – Ann and Sheri, AP’s creative director, would have published the piece without the photo, but I was desperate.)
Ella sat there for a minute. She looked at the ceiling, like a character in a John Hughes movie. Finally she said, “Okay. But only because you need it.”
So we snapped away. Both of us looked like deranged escapees from a Holiday Inn. But I had some decent pics and sent them in.
On Saturday, my check for the article came in the mail. And today, the PDF version of the magazine came out on the Atlanta Parent Online website. If you click the link just posted it will take you to the PDF file, or you can simply visit the AP home page and scroll down a bit to where it says, “VIEW the entire July Atlanta Parent Magazine” and click on the word “VIEW.” I’m asking anyone who reads this to help crash their server by downloading the PDF for my article. Well, don’t really crash it – just send them some traffic love, and some link love if you can spare it.
And let me just say, as my daughter approaches her first ever sleepover at our house with her friend Emma Grace: you won’t hear one word of complaint about whatever goes on tonight from me. I will be as supportive and cheerful as any father has ever been.
Mainly because I owe my daughter.