Monday, May 3, 2010

Painful Passport Photos

This has been on my to-do list for quite some time. With the name change, we have gotten most of the change overs done, but not this one. However, this one is a terribly time-consuming project and we just haven't been able to get to it. Now, we have to act.
The problem is that it require such a significant amount of time just for the photos.

First of all, Chicken and I both have to do hair and make up. If I'm going to be showing a photo for the next 10 years, I'd better look as good as possible. My last passport photo was crap and I have been waiting 10 years to make a better one. Since the twins have been born, I can count the number of times in the past 3 months I've done hair and makeup. Once. That was for a trip to the DMV. ONCE. (But it was a good photo!)

Because it's damn hard to just take a shower, let alone do anything with my hair besides pull it up. Oh and about my hair. You blogger ladies were not kidding about the shedding. Holy sheddsville. It it coming out by the handful. I don't even bother to wash it more than once or twice a week because it's so disgusting. I have to pull it out of the drain at least 3 times while I'm showering because otherwise it's like I'm wading in the River Ganges.
And the showering part....well, since the twins have been born I don't shower daily anyway. Or even every other day. There are some days I can fit it in, but mostly other things take priority. Like sleep. And eating.

So Saturday a very nice friend came over and she and Chicken took the twins out so I could have a nice shower, do my hair and makeup and in general, relax for an hour.
Chicken was able to get ready while I fed the boys and after that we all went out to do the photos.

Since Sept. 11, the process for baby passport photos has changed. Because you know, there are SO many baby terrorists.
The baby--regardless of age--needs to be looking straight ahead, not smiling, mouth not open, eyes open, hands out of face/mouth, and--this is the really hard part--there cannot be any other hands showing. As in, holding up your baby's neck. Yeah. That's hard people.
We kept waiting every week thinking...maybe this week their little necks will be strong enough. And they are stronger, oh yes, every week. But strong enough to hold up by themselves? Nope.

The photo guy at the drugstore was a complete A-hole and did not want to be working at all, let alone helping us. Chicken and I got ours taken first and then proceeded to get the boys in order. It was hard and by the end, Whoop Whoop was. not. pleased.
Then, photo guy prints them out and Whoop Whoop has part of a hand showing behind his neck.

Photo Guy: I'm sure it's OK
Me: It's not OK, the passport agency will reject this.
Photo Guy: I don't think so.
Me: Have you ever gone down to a government office with twins and waste your entire day because they rejected a photo?
Whoop Whoop: Crying.

So, Whoop Whoop did not leave with a photo.
The photo he had for Chicken was good. Mine was blurry and AGAIN he tried to tell me it would be just fine (it would not be, they would've rejected it) and gave me extreme attitude to have it done over. I think he adjusted the color just to piss me off because it came out looking like I have huge bags under my eyes. I mean, come on, I know I'm sleep deprived, but I don't *think* I look that bad. Or maybe I do. Meh.
Grunter's looked OK, but I was a little concerned that it wasn't a straightened photo. It's pretty easy to make a lopsided photo straight, but I let it go.
We all had this slight shadow in the back of us, but it was so slight I wasn't sure.

We decided to come back for Whoop Whoop figuring 3 out of 4 was pretty good all things considered.
Until I got home. And realized that he had cut Grunter's photos 2 different ways, so they in fact were NOT identical and yes--would be rejected.
Then, I got on the site and double checked about the shadows. You guessed it. No go.

Yesterday, I took the photos back in to complain about the employee and the photos. Turns out there have been MANY people complain about this guy and we were told to come back and another woman would do them and they only charge us for 3 (so refunding one of the them). The photos were, in fact, done incorrectly.

Fair enough. BUT the TIME involved. Oy.
So today, one more time, hair and makeup for the 2nd time in 48 hours. It's a record. I haven't been this clean or looked this good since I don't know when.

Later this week or next, we all get to go downtown to the passport agency and wait and wait and wait and wait. And probably wait some more.
But then the next day we get to go pick up all 4 passports (And I think--hope--only one of us has to do that).
Then, we're off to see the world.
Well, eventually. One country at a time.


Rachel said...

Yay for baby passports! We got the fusspot's done when she was 7 days old. A few little tricks should all not have gone well today (and I have now been with 2 other new moms so I feel like I actually have some experience with this ...). One easy trick is to put your hand supporting the baby head under their shirt. That way their shirt may be doing weird things around the neck, but your hand will not be visible. It's also fine to take a photo of a newborn baby lying flat on their back on a white sheet and then crop it to passport size.

Of course, I think it's hysterical that we had to wait until the fusspot had hiccups to run out to the store and get her photo taken (when she was 7 days old) and that will be a story to tell her for many years - so maybe you'll have good stories for your boys while you're waiting in the passport line at JFK about their first photos even if you had to go twice.

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

Wow, you should see my passport photo. Awful. I’m surprised my application wasn’t rejected out of hand just b/c it looked so bad! Aren’t they offering the passport card now? I just read something about that and I was thinking it’s cheaper to switch over to the card (if your passport isn’t expired) rather than get another booklet, isn’t it? Anyway, sorry for the difficulty, but yay for first trips abroad for little guys!

Btw, we would love to take you up on your twin boot camp offer! We don’t make it to nyc as often as we should, but I think V is planning a trip soon to see her family. Do you have my email address? Does it show up for you when I leave a msg?

K J and the kids said...

OMG. All of it brings back such memories. The hair loss. The no showering, oh who am I kidding..still today I'm happy if I've showered. :)
Hope everything goes well at the passport office.