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Paris was not to be

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Paris laid before me. All we had to do was swing up from Dijon. My husband had some things he had to take care of in Dijon and as soon as he was done we were going to hit the road again and head to Paris.

We were driving around Dijon searching for his appointment when he ran the car over the curb. He hit the curb at just the right angle and force to cause the tire to bust. My husband pulled back behind some buildings leaving us sitting in the car waiting for him to find someone to help us. I was left for over half an hour with wild climbing girls and a sweet happy boy. It really wasn’t that bad. Luckily, my husband found a garage just in front of where his appointment was. After the mechanic put the safety tire on we drove the car to the garage. My husband went directly to his appointment only 10 minutes late. Can you believe that? I was left alone, again, with the stinkers. The garage had no waiting room. My husband told me I had to walk to the McDonalds nearby. We walked in freezing cold wind and rain for a couple blocks before reaching the McDonalds. Bad luck followed us. I had forgotten to get money from my husband and had only about 50 cents in change. I could’t afford even a hamburger. So, I sat with the stinker girls being as stinky as they could be. I had to put Petite Clown in a highchair strapping her in. Otherwise, she kept running all over the McDonalds climbing on top of the tables laughing and taunting me to come and get her. Sweet Bear topped off my horrible McDonalds experience.

She told me she had to go potty. She is not able to go by herself at three. Therefore, I had to wheel both Boy Blue and Petite Clown in their highchairs (love highchairs with wheels!) back to the restrooms with Sweet Bear in tow. Sweet Bear informed me that she really did not have to go pee pee and wouldn’t even try no matter no matter how hard I begged her. Not five minutes after I got all of us wheeled back to the front of the McDonalds where we were sitting, Sweet Bear tells me that she has to go pee pee. Well, that is what I thought she had said. However, as my brain was processing the dripping sound coming from her general direction I soon realized she had said that she was going pee pee as in the present tense. Yelp! She went pee pee right there on her seat at the table of the McDonalds in Dijon after our tire had just blown and we had just made a horrible walk in the freezing rain with wind chilling us to the bone only to discover that I had no money! I looked under the table and a huge puddle was forming.

The only lucky thing that happened during this episode was that one McDonalds employee was busy serving four other customers. No one saw what happened. I was mortified and ready to cry! But, I held in there and wheeled the kids back to the bathroom AGAIN. I had to strip wet pants and panties off Sweet Bear. It was no easy task because they were sticking like glue to her skin. Happily, she had worn a long coat that went almost to her knees kinda like a dress. I slapped a diaper on under her dress as she was standing because she is just to big to lay down. I had no extra clothes for her. Finally, we all wheeled back up to the front sitting at a new table.

My husband comes an hour later to get us. We decided it just wasn’t worth driving all the way to Paris after the time we had lost. Not to mention that our state of mind was as deflated as the broken tire. We decided to head back home. I had never been able to get in touch with the person that is in charge of passports in Paris. The website was down…can you believe it? I told you that I have bad luck! It just wasn’t worth the headache of driving to Paris with three babies after such a horrible day without even knowing if it was even possible to get the passport. Can you imagine us getting all the way to Paris to be told we needed an appointment or passports are done on another day. Just not worth it!

So, we will not be going to America this year. The only way I can get a passport for Boy Blue is to drive to Paris which is not happening. Or I can take a chance that it will be done in time if I do it here in Strasbourg. However, the soonest I can do it here is at the end of this month and it can take up to three weeks to get the passport. There is no one available at the consulate here in Strasbourg until the 27th of this month. My other concern is what if the appointment I made was cancelled until the following week? It has happened to me once before. Then, the passport wouldn’t be done in time for the flight. We have to leave by the end of May from Frankfort for the tickets to be at a reasonable price. I am not 100 percent certain that Boy Blue’s passport would be done by the end of May. So, I give up.

We did swing through Switzerland on the way back since it wasn’t that far out of our way. It was a very nice drive back home. I had never been to the French part of Switzerland before. It is beautiful. I will write more later and post pictures for you. I am too busy with my Mama duties at the moment to write more now.

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I did find a template that I really like. It is easy to read and userfriendly. Let me know if you have any problems reading the sidebar or text or if it doesn’t look right on your end.

Update: I am trying to get the text in this template to be a little larger and darker. It is too light to read. My parents will go blind trying to read such light writing! Back to work on the templetes!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Alison April 12, 2006, 4:53 pm

    Don’t give up! Can you take the train up? I did that once for my baby — we just went for the day; I left his sister with my mother-in-law, and we got in and out of the embassy fairly quickly (I think I had an appointment).

    Or, if you make an appointment with the consulate in Strasbourg (lucky you, that you are in a city with a consulate), you can ask them to expidite the paperwork. Tell them you have the plane tickets already.

    You have to register Boy Blue as a citizen at some point. Don’t give up! I understand that you had an awful day yesterday, but don’t let it get you down.

  • Pumpkin Pie April 12, 2006, 5:20 pm

    You are so sweet Alison. My mother was very upset today that we weren’t coming. I don’t know. I’ll think about it today and maybe I can work something out.

  • Julie April 12, 2006, 7:21 pm

    Switzerland is definitely one place I want to go. I have cousins there…I think in Bern. I’ve only met them once in my life.

  • Pumpkin April 12, 2006, 8:23 pm

    We drove right near Bern on the way back. It is in the German part. I don’t know what it looks like there but my husband told me that Bern is the capital city of Switzerland.

  • kim April 13, 2006, 5:08 am

    I agree with alison! Don’t give up!
    But really, that story was hilarious, you tell it, and I feel like i’m right there! hahaha, ooooh that little stinker!
    I like your new template, i liked the other one too, why the changes? do you like this host better?
    kim

  • Doc April 13, 2006, 6:06 am

    you DO need an appointment for Paris, and you also need your husband to BE THERE (dealing with the same nightmare for baby Klingon–how does one liberate a farmer from his dirt?)

    You should be able to do it in Strasbourg, though If they know you need to travel, they’re usually very fast We had Muppet’s passport the same weekand technically they can give you an “emergency” passport (good for six months and exchangable for a “real” passport) the same day

  • Tongue in Cheek April 13, 2006, 6:44 am

    “The wheels on the bus go ‘rond and ‘rond all through the town!” What an adventure! It seems when it rains in pours!

  • janet April 13, 2006, 6:55 am

    …et -sans rire, no joke- n’oubliez pas non plus votre propre passeport, votre carte d’identité française si vous en avez une, votre LIVRET de FAMILLE, votre carte vitale,votre justification de domicile (ça va de la dernière facture E.D.F. si vous êtes locataire, à votre acte notarié d’achat de votre résidence si vous êtes propriétaire);
    et, of course, votre MARI avec son passeport ou sa carte d’identité sa carte vitale….sans oublier l’ENFANT!!!
    téléphonez et re-téléphonez pour faire le point avec les responsables du consulat et pour être certaine qu’il ne vous manque pas un seul de ces satanés documents!
    ça fait un peu parano, mais deux précautions valant mieux qu’une,
    vous l’aurez votre passeport!
    pas question d’abandonner nom d’une pipe!

  • Pumpkin April 13, 2006, 7:50 am

    Kim,

    I have my own domain with Bluehost. I am trying to find a template that is not too boring but people can use. I am kinda a picky person and will change things until I like them and feel comfy with what I have. I think this template is ok now after I made the print inside the posts darker. I haven’t figured out how to make the print on the sidebar bigger or darker, but I will. I hope. That was really the only thing I didn’t like with this template.
    Doc,

    You just made me happy because I had a bad feeling about taking a chance and going to Paris. I am happy I didn’t. I was told that the emergency passport was only done in Paris or I could go to Frankfort which is closer. However, all my documents are in English and French not English and German. So, I don’t know. I will call the gentleman that helps us when he is back from vacation (reason I can’t do this until the end of the month). Strasbourg is minus a consular which is causing some of the problems. Normally, it wouldn’t be a problem if there was a consular there. Right now other consulates are coming to Strasbourg to help out. It is a pain. Good luck with your daughters passport. I know it is very hard for you because of your husband working so much. I don’t think we will do the drive to Paris because the toll is too expensive and it takes forever if you don’t take the toll highway. The reason we decided to drive through Switzerland was that it only costs 30 Euro for a highway pass that last all year. If we would have continue through France we would have spent more on the tolls just to get home. It sure is handy living next to other countries!

    Corey,

    It did pour! :) But, Switzerland made me feel better about the situation. What beautiful mountains with huge lakes. Paridise.

    Janet,

    I didn’t think about the last bill (facture) or the justification de domicile.  I don’t know that the US Consulate would need it but I do know for my son’s French passport it will be.  However, it never hurts to have more.  I do have my Titre de Séjour pour dix ans (10 year residence card – kinda like a greencard in the States for you all that don’t know what a Titre de Séjour is).   We are going to register my son as an American and get his passport as soon as we can just in case I find cheap tickets online.  We are also going to add all my children except my 10 year old (she has an American father) to my husband’s passport.  It’s free except for the pictures.

  • Meredith April 13, 2006, 9:24 am

    I laughed and laughed imagining you wheeling two kids back and forth to the McDo toilettes. I know it wasn’t funny to you at the time, but thanks for the smiles.
    As for the passport, you really need to do it. Let a couple of days go by, and make that appointment. And yes, your husband and baby boy both have to be present in order to get the passport. It’s a pain, but very important. What if you ever have to make an emergency trip back? You need to have that passport.

  • Pumpkin April 13, 2006, 10:59 am

    Meredith,
    We are going to do it even if I can’t go to visit in the States. I am kicking myself because if I had done it already we would have the tickets and be leaving at the end of May for a six week visit with my family in America. There was no excuse to not have done it before except being lazy and not wanting to deal with the paperwork. We could have had it done in Strasbourg and it would have not been a rush. My son will be one year old at the end of June….we had more than enough time to do this before. So, I am a little upset with myself for not going ahead and doing it. I just never thought I’d be able to visit this soon.

  • Alison April 13, 2006, 3:26 pm

    Ah yes, times have changed. In ’98 when I got my boy’s passport, his father didn’t need to come with us.

    Don’t kick yourself; just take the necessary steps now. It is great that you can do this elsewhere than Paris!

  • Wendy April 14, 2006, 12:18 am

    Oh dear – that trip sounds nightmarish..I would have wanted to cry too!

    I’m sorry you’re having such hassles with the passport..I really hope you can get something sorted.

    I am having enormous problems with renewing my titre de sejour and it expires in 3 weeks..I am losing my CAF benefits and may lose my job – so you can imagine how happy (not) I am! Oh well – if I don’t get it sorted I will just go home..I won’t have a choice and I’ll lose my kids…damn I’m getting depressed all over again.

    This template is lovely, btw!

  • peepfrench April 14, 2006, 8:21 am

    I really don’t know what to say other than I’m sorry Pumpkin…

    If you went ahead with plans to obtain Boy Blue’s passport from the U.S. Consulate in Strasbourg, you should have it in time for a early fall visit back to the States. The question is, would it be possible for you to go then?

    BTW take confort in knowing that most of us mothers have McDonald’s horror stories. Tim (as well as my two girls) would not be thrilled if I were to share mine with you :D

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