October 12, 2010

My Daughter, The Neglected Child

If I treat Harper anything like the way I treat Sara, someone will have to call child services on me. This is not to say that I am abusive (although the daycare probably thinks so with all of the bruises she is always sporting.) In my defense, she received the gash under her eye at daycare, so they can't blame me for that one.

I am endlessly devoted to my wife and daughter and I never wish them anything but good will. My memory and common sense, however, are not so devoted.

Two years ago, Sara and I went to the Niagara-on-the-Lake region of Canada. We spent the weekend tasting wine and touring the countryside. It was the best vacation we had ever been on. (I know, I ended that sentence with a preposition.) For two months now, we have been planning to return. We book a reservation at the same bed-and-breakfast as before and were looking up the various wineries that we wanted to tour. We both took Friday and Monday off of work so that we could have a long relaxed weekend, what with the drive up being about 5 hours.

The plan: Harper would go to my in-laws Thursday night. Friday morning, we would get up, drive to the B&B, check in, gaze lovingly out over Lake Ontario, have a late lunch, and start our winery tours. This would continue through Sunday and we would wake up refreshed on Monday morning, collect our belongings and our various wine purchases and head home, picking up the baby along the way.

Doesn't this sound like a great plan?

The reality: I return from work on Thursday and hope to surprise my wife be having everything packed and ready to go when she gets home. As I am collecting my belongings, I discover something...upsetting. My passport expired a year ago.

After several minutes of screaming profanity to an empty house, I begin looking for solutions.

I pace (not a helpful or productive solution).

I called Canada.
**ring ring**
Canada: 'Allo?
Me: Hi. Do I need a passport to come enjoy your splendid country?

I called the passport office.
**ring ring**
Passport Office: Please listen to our automated message about pricing through which you are unable to skip.
Me: **Waiting...**
Passport Office: More information you don't want and can't figure out why anyone would want.
Me: **Waiting...**
Passport Office: What do you want?
Me: I need a passport by tomorrow.
Passport Office: No problem. That will be a $200 rush fee and will take 2-4 weeks.
Me: I need it by tomorrow.
Passport Office: No problem. That will be a $200 rush fee and you will have to make an appointment and show up in person and your local passport office.
Me: Which is where?
Passport Office: Philadelphia. Be there at 8:30 tomorrow morning.
Me: And then I'll be able to get my passport right then?
Passport Office: Maybe. Why are you asking me?

Solution: I felt like a neglectful husband for ruining this vacation for my amazing wife. I spent a few hours online looking up B&B's in the Erie area, which happens also to have an amazing wine area.

I found a nice place, we went and came back with WAY too many bottles of wine. We had an excellent time, in spite of my incredible incompetence.

The baby's reaction to all of this?

INDIFFERENCE AT OUR PLIGHT! Just happy to be a baby!

There are now people reading over my should as I type, silently judging my choice of words and use of time at school. More pictures when I get home.

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