With Eyes Wide Open


In my last post I mentioned having to get passport photos for Tay’s Belgian passport. We’re visiting my family and friends in Pittsburgh in September and since he came much later than anticipated, we really had to jump on getting his passport application submitted on time so that he could be on our flight in September.

Last Saturday Piet and I loaded Tay into his car seat and went out looking for an open photography place that did passport photos (and preferably American ones as well for when we apply for his American passport). After two closed photo studios outside of town, we drove to the city center, parked and Piet eased Tay from the car and into the Moby Wrap, Piet’s preferred method of transporting his son. Tay loves the Moby too and pretty much almost immediately passes out when he’s in it.
After another couple closed places, we finally found a photo studio open during the weekend and they even did American sized passport photos. We asked if they could do newborn photos and they said yes and produced a little chair that I tried not to scoff at. Not that it was a bad chair, but no 9 day old infant could even dream of supporting itself in that kind of chair. Anyway, Piet removed Tay, stuck him in the chair and held his head up, but Tay, lulled by the Moby, was fast asleep.
The photographer told us his eyes had to be open for the photo.

Easy enough, we figured, since pretty much anytime Tay was removed from human warmth he started crying*, so we sort of dangled him out in front of us and started stroking his cheeks and tickling his feet and jiggling him a bit.

But he stayed totally asleep.

So we put him down on the hard, cool glass display case and tried rubbing his arms and legs and pinching his toes a bit.

Nada. His eyes were pasted shut.

At this point we realized we better let everyone else waiting go before us (amazing how understanding people are when they see a tiny little baby at the center of the chaos) and in the meantime we tried taking Tay up to the bathroom, running some cold water over the crown of his head (twice and yes, we dried it immediately), changing his diaper (he peed all over Piet and the wall without ever waking up) and, well pretty much anything humanely possible that could be done to wake a baby, with the exception of an air horn, but only cause we didn’t have one available.

Still Tay slept on.

Finally, nearly 20 minutes later, Piet had set Tay down and as he was picking him back up Tay opened his eyes. Piet came running, plopped Tay in the baby chair, held his head and the photographer was able to snap off one single shot before Tay’s eyes slid closed and his head dropped forward and back into the land of the hopelessly comatose.

Fortunately for us the photographer was able to use the shot and basically Photoshop everything but the baby out of the picture, leaving us with a functional photo for the passports.

And that’s the story of Tay’s very first passport pictures. I’ve never seen a baby sleep through that much agitation. Just another quality my son already has from his father.


*Fortunately for us he’s been steadily improving with his ability to feel comfortable when not glued to a big person’s chest.


5 responses »

  1. How cute. We need to do the same thing soon. Two questions for you
    1) Were you able to book T’s flight before he was born?
    2) Did you need to get an International Birth Certificate or a sworn translation?
    Congrats again on the birth of your very handsome son. Hope the feeding and sleeping and healing are all going well.

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