We are planning our trip to Japan this spring to visit Aya’s folks.  So it was time to get Ellie a passport.  I had done all the research on what we needed and how we had to do it.  I had my dad take the passport photos and we printed them out.  We double checked the measurements, and made sure we had a plain background.  We even printed out options because we didn’t know if she should be smiling in the photo or not.  Another requirement for a baby passport is that both parent’s need to be present.  To avoid Aya having to take a half-day of work off, Ellie and I were going to drive up to where Aya works (which is about an hour away) and do it on her lunch break.  So I strapped Ellie in the car, and we were off to the post office.


I’m not sure why the post office has specific passport hours, but they do.  And they are all different.  Our local post office passport hours were from 9:00am-3:00pm.  The one by Aya’s work was from 8:30am-1:30pm.  I’m not sure why, but those are the rules.  I think it’s to purposely make as inconvenient as possible.  The other thing I don’t like about the post office is that every post office always has that one lady that is completely miserable.  You know, the lady that hates life and enjoys making your life miserable, too.  Our local post office has one.  I’m sure your does, too.  I’ve even let people go in front of me in line so I can get the nice person and not deal with Mrs. Miserable.  She always makes you feel so uncomfortable and defensive before you even get to the counter.  I always start to stutter because I feel like I’m inconveniencing her.  ‘Could I send this… um… package to… Japan?  “Where!?” she would scowl back.  Um… Japan… Unless you’re not delivering there… Then wherever is closest… Where ever you have a truck already going…  That’ll be fine.’ I’m always so relieved to get out of there.  Well, this post office was no different.

It was practically empty but she was acting very impatient as if there was a long line behind us.  We’venever requested a baby passport before.  We didn’t know what we were doing.  Well actually, I thought I did.  But very quickly, she made me realize I didn’t.  First of all, as I proudly showed her the options of photos I brought she interrupted and said “those are all too big.”  Oh… well… I thought maybe… “No, they are all too big.”  We had the option of taking new photos there or driving down the street to Walgreens for half the price.  We decided to finalize the paperwork there and then go get the photos at Walgreens after.  After more harsh rude comments from her and more stuttering from me, we finally made it out of there.  We successfully had photos taken at Wallgreens and dropped them off.  And in four to six weeks, Ellie will have a passport.


After we dropped Aya back off at work, Ellie and I headed to Babies ‘R’Us.  I had to change her diaper in the men’s room.  I hate using the changing tables in public washrooms.  Ellie hates them too and is usually trying to jump off, but she surprised me this time.  She just laid there limp and motionless like she was avoiding a bear attack.  I, on the other hand was doing the pee pee dance.  I had to go… and bad.  I found myself in a situation I’ve never been in before.  I was out in public, I had a baby, and I had to pee.  I didn’t have a stroller, or a buggy, or a car seat to put her in.  There was nothing!  I held her like a wet dog while I danced around looking for some logical place to put her.  I suppose I could have had her stand on the ground, but what if she wanted to sit.  That’s just too sick and too risky to even consider.  I guess I need to hold her, I thought.  But what if someone walked in?  That would be awkward.  Then I realized that I was at Babies ‘R’Us in the middle of the day.  The male to female ratio was definitely in my favor.  So I approached the urinal with a baby in one hand, and well…  I hoped for the best.  It was awkward for both of us.  Ellie just kept her eyes forward and up and then looked at me like, “dad, this is a little weird.”  Well Ellie, this isn’t my first choice either.  Just don’t look down.

After we opened the washroom door, I looked both ways in embarrassment as if someone knew what just took place.  But the coast was clear and we continued browsing through the store like nothing ever happened.

And YES, I washed my hands!

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