I realize that I have already failed in my resolution (see my last post).  Oh well.  You’re not really surprised, are you?  I had another exasperating experience at a governmental agency this afternoon, and I’m hoping that blogging about it will help me work through the negative adrenaline that’s coursing through my veins currently.

I (along with my three children..that might have been my first mistake) went to the downtown post office today in order to send Tim’s and my passport applications in for renewal.  We are planning on celebrating our ten year anniversary (Aug ’10) this March by taking a cruise and leaving the kiddies with my parents.  I spent quite a long time ensuring that everything was in order regarding our applications: properly filled out (check), two ugly pictures each (check), two checks for exorbitant fees (check).  The first thing the postal worker said upon viewing my “stuff” was that my checks were made out for the wrong amounts.  (This did not turn out to be true, in fact.)  Then he informed me that the pictures I had had taken of myself at CVS would not be accepted because my barrette was showing.  He graciously (there might be the hint of a facetious tone here) agreed to retake my picture there at the post office for a mere $15 more.  In the meantime, my littlest bean Ty decided to scream his head off, and I had to ask one of the waiting customers to hold him while I got my picture taken.  Yes, I have become one of those mothers…you know, the ones that go into public places with too many small children they can’t control. (sigh)  I finally got Tyler settled while said postal worker continued to put my stuff together and make little sly remarks about how the passport people don’t really know anything, only the postal workers do.  This last was in response to my saying that i had confirmed all the information with an official US passport customer service agent today.  At this point, Connor and Lucy were having one of the customers take pictures of them with her cell phone and then show them.  Then they began giving each other rides in the stroller through the post office.  The postal worker annoyed me further as I was leaving by casting doubt on the prompt arrival of our new passports before our trip.  When he finally saw the distress he was causing me, he relented and told me that everything would return to me on time.  I think he was enjoying his feeling of power.  I wish I could better describe his smug air of superiority.

The whole outing stressed me out I must confess.  But I was more stressed about the passport situation than  my children’s behavior.  This was a nice change.

(Someday maybe I’ll post the pictures from Christmas and New Year’s.)