Thursday, June 29, 2006

Stress at Its Best

- Trying to get eight kids in the van by 7:30am, together with hubby who starts freaking out about everything before we even have started.

- Leaving the house at 8am (only half an hour late!), dropping off six kids (but one was hers, really!) at a friend's house. Actually, this was about the only part of the day that went well, even Sylvia barely spent me a glance when we left.

- Driving to Boston with the happy feeling that this time we did our homework, and were going to part at Alewife T-station and not deal with the whole 'driving in Boston' crap.

- Trying to find any of my Boston maps or road atlasses in the car and realize they all are missing. No problem, we stopped at a gas station and picked up a new one. Their selection consisted of one, marked $25, and turning out to be beyond useless. I didn't know that yet, so spent the first money of the day (this was a very expensive day)

- Starting to get a clue of the uselessness of the map when I tried to figure out which T-station we would park, and how to get to the Dutch Consulate from there.

- Getting even more of a clue of the utter impracticability when our Mapquest directions to the T-station turned out not to be very helpful. How I longed for my gazetteer. Dealing with more hubby stress.

- Finally, after tons of cursing, and moaning, and groaning, and gnashing of teeth, making it to the long-awaited T-station. To find out that.... the parking garage is FULL... Indeed. That sucks.

- Glaring at the map and wanting it to tell us what to do now, or at least where to go. It does neither of those. Glaring at the clock and wanting it to stop moving forward so fast. It doesn't listen. Grumbling at the consulate for only being open from 10am to 1pm on gibbous moon days. Glaring at the boys for yet another 'Are we there yet???' or its equivalent.

- Making it over to downtown Boston, having had absolutely no help from the map. Realizing we are within 700 meters of the consulate, even if I don't see it yet. Kicking out hubby and the boys to find it and start the process (it was getting later and later) while I went to park the car.

- Driving around in circles, and seeing a parking garage at the other side of the street, with five lanes of fast moving Boston traffic in between the garage and me.

- Driving around in circles, and this time managing myself to be at the right side of the street when I pass that garage. Anxiously looking at the clock while going in, mentally calculating that if I run really fast, I might still make it in time to the consulate. Being kicked out because my van being too big...

- Begging her on my knees to tell me where else I could park the car, only to be told 'Get out, you are too big' (Those weren't the exact words, but basically the sentiment she expressed, and the helpfullness she offered)

- Driving around in circles.

- Being worried about getting lost, since I didn't have my GPS anymore, and driving around in more circles. Seeing yet another parking garage at the other side of a way too busy street.

- Driving around in circles, but eventually making it to that garage, and the van fit, AND they parked it for me! I love valet parking (Sander later asked me 'You let them park the van with all the mess in it??????')

- Running and latching on to any person who looked even remotely Bostonian, trying to figure out where the heck I was, and how to get from here to the Consulate.

- Being there 10 minutes before the consulate closed, and dealing with all the bureaucracy. Everything was fine, apart from me not bringing the boys birth certificates. You gotta be kidding me. I was there with two boys, their two passports, their two parents, their two green cards, and they didn't believe they were born, or they wanted to be sure we had not passed off our dogs as kids for the past 14 years??? We used to not need birth certificate if you had a passport already. Gotta love the lawmakers... Not only making us drive to Boston (in the past, we could do all of this by mail), but also making us bring all kinds of superfluous documents.

- Now we had a low-stress period, in which we actually managed to spend a few good hours at the Museum of Science, till we decided to head back home at 4pm.

- Handing over my parking ticket to the attendant, only to be told this was NOT the right garage. Wondering where the heck the right garage moved to.

- Finding the van, doing stressful Boston driving, using the still useless map, and passing the Museum of Science, which we left more than an hour ago! I felt like we weren't making much progress.

- Dealing with Boston rush hour traffic.

- Having our windshieldwipers break on the way back. They just stoppped working.

- Arriving home around 10pm. What a day!

- But it wasn't over yet. We spent three hours looking for the darned birth certificates. I am sure we have had them at some point, but they were not here right now. All the while grumbling about the stupidity of needing them. Passports and green cards seemed plenty enough in my grouchy opinion.

- Giving up and playing a few games of go.

- Getting up at 6:30am, yawning, to get the girls off to a track-and-field meet, and the car to the garage.

- Calling the consulate and trying to figure out what to do, which is still not clear.

So how was your day?


My Full Hands said...

OH! I've had days like that! Well, maybe your next trip will be a little smoother. Consider this a practice run?

Annelies said...

Ik héb wel eens een dag die rustiger is ;-))

Min said...

We drove to Boston more than ten times. And we got the destination smoothly only three times even with GPS.

We alway got lost somewhere in Boston. :-)

CH said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lisa said...

Eeek! You're making me appreciate Chicago traffic.

Annalise said...

There is something about consulates - it is always hideous dealing with them. We have to do passport stuff in London on Wednesday - at least we won't have to drive, though.

Just me said...

Did you know that Deer was spelled wrong? It should be Dear, unless you mean the animal