Saturday, September 29, 2012


Our family will be going on our first real vacation later this year. We travel regularly to visit family, but that isn't quite the same thing as a vacation to an exotic locale. This vacation will be particularly special because it will involve extended family. My parents are going, several aunts are going, and a good family friend is going as well. I'm am looking forward to it more than I can say given that I will be traveling with a three and (by then) five year old.

Now, to take this trip, it is advised that we have passports. It is not, strictly speaking, necessary - but it is advised. I'd rather not have to drag several personal documents for four different people along, so we decided to go with the passport option.

As it turns out, the application is the least of the hassle. You have to locate and gather birth certificates, copies of the fronts and backs of drivers licences, marriage licences, and more. You have to drag all of those things to a place that processes passport applications and pay them an exorbitant amount of money.

And then, as icing on the cake, you have to persuade your preschool age children to sit for passport photos. If you can't get that photo, all the rest of the preparation is useless!! Michael's behavior was fine. It was the fact that the very patient lady had to take five pictures before he would keep his shoulders down and not smile so broadly that his eyes squinched up that was frustrating. Apparently hunched shoulders and squinty eyes are passport picture no-nos.

Ava on the other hand was in a mood. She behaved beautifully for her first picture. Unfortunately that one was discarded for squinty-eye syndrome. Several minutes of pleading got a second attempt which was discarded due to hunched shoulders. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get the sulking child to look at the camera for a third attempt. The passport lady chose the hunchy shoulders as the picture least likely to get rejected by the all powerful ones at the passport office and we just had to go with that. Lovely.

As a bonus for the wildly successful outing, my passport picture (mine needed to be renewed) looks a lot like those arrest pictures they always show of criminals in news articles. Isn't that great?

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