At approximately 4:30am Saturday morning, Lover fo’ Life, Angry Baby, yours truly, my sister and her fiancée(!) pulled out of our driveway, the SUV filled to the gills with baby gear, weddin’ outfits, road snax and 4 grown adults.
As the truck settled into the grooves of an empty highway we eased into what we anticipated to be a relaxing car ride. And it was. Well, except for one small unnecessary stop we had to make.
We were an hour into our 6 hour (stops included) trek up to Stephenville, when the smell of death came over the entire cab. It was the kind of rancid stench, you are forced to address…do you know what I mean by that?
Allow me to explain:
Basically, some smells are too vile to shrug off.
For instance, if you are a person who follows the rules of workplace etiquette,
You know to not start screaming, laughing, retching, etc, when you walk into a bathroom that is being utilized by someone who
has explosive diarrhea “is sick.” But if that same bathroom had a dead cat (or 3) in the ceiling tiles, the decay would cause a stench so bad, that you’d immediately report it to maintenance. Decaying animal flesh= A stench that MUST be addressed.
As I was saying, the SMELL OF DEATH overcame the cab of my beloved White Lightning, so quickly and horribly that it could only mean one thing…Angry Baby had a freshly squeezed diaper full of dung on deck!
Immediately, Lover fo’ Life located a Parking Lot and I went about retrieving Angry Baby for what I was bracing myself to be a doozie of dook diap. And then a curious thing happened…I discovered she was dry as a bone. There was a farting traitor on board my HOT MESS EXPRESS.
I quietly got back in the truck and we were once again on our way. An awkward silence took over our bleary-eyed group. Luckily, in the dark hours of early morning on a deserted highway, silence quickly fades to sleep. I woke an hour later, Angry Baby, Sister and her Betrothed were all out cold. Lover fo’ Life and I had a beautiful fall sunrise all to ourselves, it was actually very nice. The ride up to Stephenville was not only beautiful, it …well, save that brief unpleasant stench earlier, went off without a hitch.
We arrived with an hour to spare before the wedding, just enough time for me to shimmy out of my super comfy
yoga pants car clothes, and into my beautiful weddin’-guest ensemble. As according to my ridiculous well-designed and classy plan, I sought out a favorite personal changing room of mine, the handicapped bathroom stall at the Stephenville Wal-Mart.
In the interest of full disclosure: the Stephenville Wal-Mart is the only Wal-Mart I LOVE. No fooling, it rules.
1. The people are always SO NICE.
2. At the Ranch when we “go to town” our destination is most-always, Wal-Mart. It’s a 1 hour round-trip from the Ranch gates. So not only is Wal-Mart a relaxing shopping getaway, you’d better be detailed in your list, because NO ONE wants to drive all the way back to town for cheesedoodles and dental floss!
3. Stephenville Wal-Mart is the place where I purchase all of my hunting and fishing licenses. I LOVE TO HUNT Y’ALL (More on that later.)
4. They have a sparkling-clean, roomy, ladies’ restroom.
Utilizing favorite reason#4: I made my way, to the restroom with clothes, shoes and accessories in hand. After I was satisfied my tush wasn’t hanging out of the skirt, I started doing my make-up and hair.
After 15 minutes of grunting, mascara, and a bizarre interlude with an elderly Latina, I emerged a transformed woman. Gone was the sleepy, slug-a-bed and in her place was a knockout fox in red (MEEE Y’ALL!!!!!!!!)
As L4L gathered his gear to transform from napper to dapper, he let out an “oh fudge (only he didn’t say fudge.)” He’d forgotten his dress shoes and merely had the
hobo slippers flip-flops on his feet.
“Good thing we’re at Wal-Mart,” I chortled. 10 minutes later, L4L returned back to the truck, looking handsome in his shirt, slacks and tie holding a big blue, Dr. Scholl’s box.
Oh dear lerd, what did he get stuck buying!?
L4L began apologizing for the awful travesty he had to purchase in the name of shoe decorum. He opened the box and showed me, two black clodhoppers that gave off a “Frankenstein in Nursing school,” vibe. I couldn’t help but guffaw, I quickly recovered and assured him, “They aren’t so bad.” Spoiler Alert: They were terrible.
Once everyone was neat and pretty, we made our way to the Chapel. We arrived a few moments before the nuptials were to begin. There was only one thing left to do: put angry baby in her frilly little white
sausage casing dress. After 5 minutes of pure rage, anger and fury, she was ready for her public. We made our way to the 111-year-old church and I braced myself for whatever this adorable time bomb had in store. As we greeted family and friends, a guest of the bride told me: “I’m praying she’s real good for the ceremony”
Me too, lady. Me too.
I made sure to sit on the end, in the event I had to make a speedy retreat with yelling Angry Baby.
Two Aisles in front of us there were 3 babies, A happy little 5-month-old girl, a seriously cute just about two months old boy, and another 5 month old sleeping girl…and then there was Angry Baby, the 11 month old and veteran of the group.
The wedding got off to a great start, it was beautiful and very sweet. 5 minutes into the ceremony I had a chilling chill. You see, Angry Baby and her antics are read by thousands of people now. Matter of fact, several fans were present at the wedding, fans who were anticipating fireworks from my lil’ buckaroo. Anytime there was the slightest baby noise (there were 7 babies there!) half of the chapel would swoop their heads back and look at us with smiles. Only it wasn’t Angry Baby. She was quiet as a church mouse…at first. It became clear to me, the moment she DID start making noise, she was going to seriously disrupt the ceremony, everyone already pegged her as a powder keg, they were just taking bets on when she’d blow.
Sigh, then came the Vows…
It was at this point Angry Baby decided all the love talkin’ wasn’t interesting enough. She began bashing the kind gentleman in front of us with her noisemaker (we all were given one when we signed in.)
“No. You don’t hit. I appreciate you want to share your new toy with the fine fellow in front of you, but CUT IT OUT.”
She laughed and resumed clocking her new friend in the back with her noisemaker. Because I’m not some kind of chump, I immediately yanked the toy from her tiny hamfist and sternly hissed: “No more. YOU DON’T HIT.”
As one would guess, that was all she wrote. Angry Baby began to pop her little cork. Ever the graceful swan, I stumbled out of the chapel into a side
closet room, that was mercifully carpeted with a thick rug. I walked and bounced her, AB quickly calmed down. Good thing, because all that separated us from the wedding ceremony was a flimsy set of wooden doors with gaps as big as cheese wheels under them.
I was in a beautiful, old (un air-conditioned,) church in 98-degree Texas weather, in a side
closet room, filled with old furniture we could neither touch or sit on. The two of us sweat like stuck pigs and listened to the entire ceremony. As the church emptied out, I made a bee-line for the truck, we still had a 30 minute road-trip to the Liberty Longhorn Ranch (the family compound,) for the wedding luncheon and reception.
Angry Baby was not thrilled with this turn of events, she had her fill of the car seat and decided to STAND UP IN IT and refused to be strapped in. The struggle L4L engaged in to stuff that child into her state-mandated car seat, infuriated her more than anything previously during the trip. She screamed all the way to the ranch. Top o’ her lungs-style.
The 4 of us, once so relaxed and calm were reduced to frantic baby placating, our luxurious motorcar briefly turned into a flaming chariot to Hades. After 30 minutes of
the Titanic Soundtrack non-stop ear torture, we arrived at the party.
Angry Baby calmed herself down quickly. Afterall, most of her favorite cheek-pinchers were waiting to shower her with attention, love and barbecue, she knew this.
We settled in and my mother-in-law found us immediately, “Come to your Granny, you were just a perfect little Angel at the wedding!” I ask her, when did you start drinking? She laughs and snapped back, “give me that precious child!”
I gladly gave her over to Granny and put on my party shoes. L4L and I ate barbecue, sat under the cool breeze of the pavilion and visited with some of our favorite people in the world. To celebrate at the ranch with 100+ of the nicest people in the world, is a joy to behold. Because of the breeze and the fans they rented for the tent, even in 98 degree weather, it was a beautiful, golden, Fall day.
As every time I’m at the Ranch, I wanted to stay forever. When Nonnie approached me and said, we have a room ready just for you, my heart lept. But sadly, we had planned to be back in town Sunday, besides…the car ride up was pure heaven.
Angry Baby was being played with and held to her heart’s content, she entertained the reception guests with naked crawling, cake wrestling and laughing. She was most likely going to sleep the entire way home!
The funniest moment of the party had to be when the ever-hilarious G$ looked at L4L’s Dr. Scholl’s purchased in a pickle monstrosities, and said (without skipping a beat) “What, are you pulling a double shift at the hospital after the reception in your NURSE SHOES!?” I love my family.
When all was said and done, we were at the reception for 3 hours. Not nearly enough for my liking. But, truth be told, it was going to be MISERABLE that night without the pack n’ play (she refuses to sleep or cuddle with us.) It was worth leaving the ranch, which broke my soul into a million tiny little pieces, just so we wouldn’t have to deal with the prospect of her sleeping away from home (SHE HATES IT!!!!)
As we pulled away, a very sleepy Angry Baby drifted off to sleep, we headed out to gas-up and get on with our 6 hours of
torture power. 30 minutes later we arrived in Stephenville and Sis inSISted (crowd groans) on returning the favor of riding with us by filling the truck up. She got out and began pumping, when suddenly she tooted and said, “better get all these out before we get going.”
I don’t know if it was the flash of remembrance/ guilt in her eye, or the nervous laugh she let escape, but instantly I knew I was in the presence of this morning’s traitor, the rottenest bunghole to ever cruise the Texas Highways, Tootie Le Poots, aka the phantom farter.
I quickly responded: “You really should. Because frankly, I don’t want to have to pull into a parking lot and wrangle Angry Baby out of her car seat, only to find it was just a RANCID FART FROM YOUR BUTTCHEEKS!”
Sister began laughing.
And there it was, the maniacal laugh that I had heard countless times in my youth, you see my sis is a CAR FARTER from waaaay back. One could say the soundtrack of our family car rides was riddled with that same “I just farted y’all” laugh. The wheezy, bum-like, witches’ cackle sealed her guilt. “There’s no dang reason we had to get off the highway and go through all that when you could have just thrown us a, ‘No need to stop, It was just a poot, my bad.’ ”
She agreed, swore she learned her lesson, and resumed getting all the “gas out” before we hit the road for 5 + hours.
As we waved goodbye (until next time) to Stephenville, Angry Baby woke from her short power nap. She was suuuuuper peeved that she was once again imprisoned in her chair. INJUSTICE! The furious yellybean began a one-baby revolution. It was a textbook temper tantrum: the yells, screams, clawing and kicking. My sister and her wonderfully kind fiancée did everything in their power to keep her happy, the kid refused to calm down.
In a Hail Mary pass, sister gave Angry Baby her iPhone. My future brother joked, “maybe that wasn’t such a good idea,” and she assured him the phone was in an indestructible waterproof case.
Good thing, because for the next hour Angry Baby was mesmerized by the phone. Between chewing it and pawing the bright screen, she was satisfied enough to calm down. We continued on the road.
Not much later, my sister from the back seat…broke some horrid news.
“Um, I went to touch Angry Baby and my hand was wet, I looked down and there was crap on my hand. There’s crap everywhere. We need to stop.”
And stop we did. Lover fo’ Life and I immediately sprung into action, I gave my poor sister some anti-bacterial wipes and made her step aside to avoid the wreckage.
I retrieved Angry Baby and was careful to keep her away from my clothing. L4L got to work cleaning the crap out of the car seat. Everything, and I do mean everything was covered in her green poop horror. The blanket, her tiny self, my sister’s phone, it was all defiled by “Lil Buttcheek’s”… lil buttcheeks.
After much screaming and yelling, the diaper and baby were clean. With her throne once again ready for its queen, we put the vile, horrible incident in a plastic bag, dropped it in a nearby garbage can and never looked back. The stench aired out, and with the baby snugly back in her straps we settled in for the last 3 hours home. As I looked at my sister in the mirror, I could tell the crap explosion had left her shaken, surely any previous indiscretions (the nasty gas she blew in at 5:00am UP MY NOSE,) was more than paid for with her iPhone caked in baby feces.
As if on cue, her main-squeeze chimed in with…
“So, when you use your phone now, aren’t you technically gonna be talking crap?”
It was the joke we all needed to get past the shock of the sh*t storm we conquered. I think he’s going to work out just fine in this family.
With the sun setting on a long and adventurous day, Angry Baby decided she was over it and quit going easy on us…she screamed on and off for the entire last 2 hours of the trip.
We put on the Rolling Stones 40 Licks and let her rip. On the bright side, I highly recommend driving through the beautiful Texas countryside at dusk on a fall evening.
Finally, we pulled into the driveway, I was floored not to see 1. the men in the white coats ready to cart off our poor passengers. 2. CPS waiting to revoke my trip planning rights.
The moral of the story is: six hours in the car is the limit. For the forseeable future, we will no longer be engaging in such fool-hearty shenanigans…Oh, how you all were right my friends, it was lunacy to assume this wouldn’t end in anything but a fiery ball of failure.
After I poured an exhausted Angry Baby into her crib, L4L and I passed out in our bed. Once in the inky-black cool of my bedroom, a soothing sensation took over. One that I would not have been enjoying had we stayed overnight at the Ranch (without her pack n play.) Sleep. I enjoyed the slumber of the riteous, and Angry Baby was a sleeping little angelic cherub all night in her very own crib.
The Crib Keeper’s Note:
Thank you for taking the time to read about our adventure, “BULLET TRAIN TO HECK” Fall 2011 Edition: Who Farted?, while long and detailed, I’m sure each and every one of you are softly muttering to yourselves, “I’m so glad that’s not me.”
Sure, we’re a band of nut jobs covered in a thin film of baby gross, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a writer, I find there’s something exciting and inspiring about never running out of material. Angry Baby, you truly know how to bring the ha-has.