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Travel

HOW TO GET A PASSPORT FOR KIDS: A 45 STEP MIM GUIDE

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  1. Tell kids you are flying to another country.  Realize children are Ethnocentric and can’t comprehend what that means.
  2. Draw a map that looks like Waldseemuller’s rendition in 1507.  Make mental note to take art class. Plate 11 Waldseemuller Map 1507
  3.  Explain to children they will need to take 2 planes to get there, try new foods, be open to new experiences, and get passports.  Endure 30 days of endless questioning.
  4. Call  Passport agency and have 45 minute conversation with telephone agent making sure you have all necessary forms to expedite passports for kids.
  5. Make expedited passport appointment with a different telephone agent and be told that your children have to be present at the time of appointment.
  6. Have your husband write a notarized letter giving you permission to get passports for the kids since he can’t be at appointment.
  7. Go to CVS to get passport photos.
  8. Spend 30 minutes trying to get your kids NOT to smile for the camera.
  9.  Watch them fall off the stool provided by CVS 7 times.
  10. Back home, search for birth certificates in a folder labeled “Important.” Ask yourself if a receipt for a car inspection on a car you no longer own is really “Important.”
  11. Find a copy of birth certificate for the 1st kid and nothing for the 2nd kid.  Go figure.
  12. Drive 45 minutes into the city to pay $25 for 2nd kid’s birth certificate at the records department.
  13. Tell yourself a copy of birth certificate will suffice for 1st kid.
  14. On day of appointment wake kids at 7am to leave plenty of time.
  15. After driving 40 minutes to get there, realize it’s NorthEastern’s graduation and circle Tip O’Neil building for 30 minutes.
  16. Find no parking.
  17. See a sign that says $40 flat rate fee for parking under the Tip O’Neil building.  Curse Northeastern University.
  18. Take kids through metal detectors and armed guards after warning kids there will be metal detectors and armed guards and that they must behave.
  19. Watch 2nd child misbehave.
  20. Watch 2nd child be grabbed by armed guard and carried back to you.
  21. See the fear of God in 2nd child’s eyes.
  22. Secretly wish you could take the armed guard back home with you.
  23. Stand in line with all of your forms for 15 minutes while carrying crying 2nd child and talking down impatient 1st child.  Get called to desk.
  24. Be told the letter from your husband does not suffice because it needs to be an actual form printed off from the website.
  25. Be asked if I had a conversation with an agent via phone before coming. Curse agent.
  26. Be told the copy of the birth certificate does not suffice because it needs to be the original.  Curse self.
  27. Get asked if I knew I could get birth certificates at the records department for $25.
  28. March kids back downstairs past the armed guards into overpriced flat rate parking lot.
  29. Negotiate with parking lot attendant explaining you were only there for 20 minutes and should not have to pay $40.
  30. Pay $40 fee.
  31. Drive to records department to pick up original copy of birth certificate for 1st child.  Get recognized by man behind desk.
  32. Drive to husbands work, beg him to come with you.
  33. Drive back to Tip O’Neil building.
  34. Walk back through metal detector and armed guards with well behaved children.
  35. Witness multiple stamping procedures and zero smiles at desk.
  36. Get asked to sit in waiting room.
  37. Play rock paper scissors until knuckles bleed.
  38. Get called back to desk to be given a note that says pick up passports in 3 days.
  39. Do happy dance.
  40. Pay passport agency $375.  Stop happy dancing.
  41. Pay $40 dollars to leave the parking lot.  Again.
  42. Curse Northeastern University. Again.
  43. Drop husband off at work.
  44. Give starving children pretzels for lunch on car ride home.
  45. Open wine.
-MIM-

Stay tuned for a Jamaicaian family resort review coming next week!

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