My daughter, the Master of Disguise.

My little baby daughter is a Master of Disguise.

Barely one month old, she hasn’t yet mastered holding her head up, going to sleep in her pram or doing things with her hands (other than “hit self on head repeatedly and unexpectedly”) but when it comes to looking like somebody else she’s the tops.

Look at her from straight on, about a metre away, in front of a light-coloured background and she looks just like herself. But let a parent’s hand be helping her to hold her head up from behind and …ta-daa! Completely unreconisable!

Or, then again, let her be sitting on Mum or Dad’s lap … she’s a whole different baby. In fact, I frequently need to verbally confirm with my husband that the child sitting on his knee is in fact our child, just in case she has sneakily swapped places with another infant while my back was turned.

Obviously when her eyes are closed she is absolutely nothing like her normal self.

But on the plus side, I need not fear her permanently disguising herself, since I am assured that when she is five years old, she (while sitting face on, eyes open, in front of a light-coloured background) will look just like she does today.

How do I know this? The passports office told me so.

That has to be one of the funniest collections of photos I’ve ever seen. I especially like the “don’t strangle the baby” one.

“Shows dummy.”

Jeez, that’s harsh. Just because the kid isn’t taking a good picture. Seriously though, what does that mean? I see the parent’s hand, but is ‘dummy’ some photographer word that means something beyond common english?

I think “dummy” is Australian for “pacifier.”

friedo nailed it, it also gives us the invaluable expression to spit the dummy meaning a sudden display of anger or frustration, or to lose one’s temper.

Weeeeelll…maybe. But believe me, I wasn’t seeing the humour value yesterday after the umpteenth repetition of:

[li]Place baby on white cardboard square[/li][li]Position photographer[/li][li]Straighten baby’s head[/li][li]Remove hands[/li][li]Head flops to the left[/li][li]Straighten head again[/li][li]Remove hands[/li][li]Head flops to the right[/li][li]Straighten again[/li][li]Baby scrunches up eyes and screams[/li][/ul]

I’m telling you, if anyone at the passports office decides that the photo we eventually came up with isn’t good enough, a dummy will definitely be spat. And it won’t be by her…

(and how do you guys cope without that useful phrase? “Spitting the pacifier” just…lacks, somehow)

That’s what all the guns are for, Aspidistra.

I also enjoyed the “dummy showing” comment funny. That kid’s in for a lot of teasing when he’s older.

I just looked up the Canadian Passport Guide for Children. What gets me is that a child under 3 years old gets a passport valid for 3 years. Maybe it’s just my daughter, but a picture of her at 6 months would have been pretty useless as ID after she was about 1 1/2. Kids change too fast.

Wouldn’t it be easier to lay the baby on her back and take the picture from above?

I think we say “throw a hissy fit,” a highly evocative phrase.

My wife and I overcame this problem by laying our daughter on the bed atop a white sheet and I stood over her and took the picture. It looked more-or-less like her. Actually, she looked like Winston Churchill except for the cigar.



That’s basically what we were doing, except that we were in an actual photo shop, and using a square of cardboard on the floor. Trouble is, of course, when lying flat on your back, a natural tendency is to let your head fall to one side or another - a natural tendency she took full advantage of.

Oh, and whenever the cameraman got close enough to get the required proportion of head in the photo the flash caused ( : drumroll : ) shadows behind her, which as you can see are also verboten.

Finally it was Photoshop to the rescue, on an otherwise unusable photo. Thank-you Photoshop!

Mr Aspy says all babies look like Winston Churchill, by the way. Except for a couple of big-eared friends of ours … their daughters look like Yoda.

I think Li’l Aspy looks like the alien baby from MIB who threw up over Will Smith. But that’s just me…

evilhomer Exactly. Exactly. Except ours last for FIVE years!

I was looking at the application form yesterday to see if a kids passport requires (as an adult’s does) the signature of someone who’s known the passport holder at least three years. Because if it did, I was going to mock them severely.

But it doesn’t - it’s “at least 12 months or since the child was born”. So I guess they escape mocking on that count

Testy, all babies look like Winston Churchill without the cigar. Except the ones that look like Yoda.

I swear I submitted that before Aspidistra’s post showed up… :smiley:

I like how they have two seperate pictures, one for “wearing a hat” and one for “wearing a cap.” Do you suppose they used to have problems with that? “The rules say no hats! This is clearly a CAP! Take the picture!”

Having a baby makes you quick and efficient on that old “Submit” button.

And, indeed, any other task that requires sitting down for long periods :cool:

Ironically, the pristine hard-won photo you submit to DFAT will be blurred and decolourised beyond recognition when it’s affixed to your new passport. (The application form says this is a security measure – huh?)

Heh. I was 9 years old when The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980, so I should have been old enough to know better, but right after we saw the movie we met up with a friend of my mother’s who had just had a baby. She had the baby with her and the first thing out of my mouth was “He looks like Yoda!”

My mother was not amused…

Well, fuck me sideways with a bargepole and call me Tulip.

It turns out that our first hour’s worth of effort has been deemed Not Up To Standard. You see, her head was deviated from the front-on position by about 10 degrees or so, which renders her … say it with me, people … COMPLETELY UNRECOGNISABLE!

Oh, and our witness signed the back of her photo in blue ink, not black. Bzzt - wrong. Might as well shred the thing now.

You know, far FAR be it from me to suggest that these guys may be the most constipated bunch of self-pleasurers who ever licked Phillip Ruddock’s underwear, but I really don’t buy that it “needs to be in black so it can be photocopied”. When did they get their photocopier anyway - the landing of the first fleet?

Fortunately, they guys at the photo place (who rock, since they gave up another half-hour for this exercise, and then wouldn’t take any money for Round 2) have managed, after another three goes (and with the assistance of a hidden pillow jamming her head in place) to get another photo, looking straight on.

It’s a perfect passport photo. That is, she looks like a startled 'roo about to be turned into dogfood by an approaching Range-Rover.

Now let’s see what they can bitch about next…

Many years ago I decided to travel round Oz after leaving school - great experience, and the Aussies I met all over that vast land lived up to the clichéd “she’ll be right” laid-back, friendly stereo-type. But to get there I had to deal with the Aussie passport and visa Nazis in London - bunch of cunts! It used to be a tradition in England to send the idiot of the family into the Church, maybe all the anal control-freaks in Oz get put into the passport bureaucracy.

There must be a living to be had selling ready-made baby pix for passports - a small selection of different shades and ear sizes would cover everyone - the bureacraps will be too busy concentrating on whether there are any parent’s hands in shot or if the nipper is wearing a hat to notice if it’s your actual kiddie.