Have You Done Shane?

Yesterday I took Leta on her first extended car trip to look at some property my mother recently bought in Duchesne, Utah. For those of you who like myself tend to pronounce words the way they are spelled, you would be wrong in assuming that Duchesne is pronounced Doo-chez-nee. The correct pronunciation is Doo-Shane, and should be uttered as if both of your front two teeth are missing because you were never taught proper hygiene while growing up in your double-wide down by the river.

For purposes of this post, however, and for purposes of real life, I will refer to it as Doo-chez-nee because I am stubborn like that. And then I will wave my middle finger at Shane.

So we all piled into my mother’s Mormon Mobile — a car large enough to hold 22 children from three different wives and still have enough space left over to pick up a fourth wife down at the local middle school — and headed out at about eight o’clock yesterday morning. Occupants of the car included my mother, my step-father, my sister, my brother-in-law, Grumplestiltskin and myself. The trip to Doo-chez-nee is about two hours one way.

I had warned everyone that Leta doesn’t do so well when she can’t sleep in her crib, but they all assured me that she would have no problems falling asleep in her car seat, as if I haven’t spent the LAST FIVE MONTHS OF MY LIFE witnessing just how badly Leta sleeps in her car seat.

Here is Leta asleep in her car seat. NOTE: She woke up five seconds after this photo was taken, which means she was asleep in her car seat for a whole 15 seconds.

Before I go any further with this post about my Irritable Little Turd Whom I Love So Dearly, here is a photo out the window of the Mo-Mobile. Isn’t Utah beautiful?

And now back to She Who Bleats.

Babies are supposed to take naps during the day, which can sometimes be bothersome if you want to live a thing called life. When babies don’t nap they can become cranky and unbearable, and they send you subliminal messages that say PLEASE THROW ME OUT THE NEAREST WINDOW. Leta took three 15 second cat naps in the car yesterday during our eight hour round trip to Doo-chez-nee, for a whopping total of 45 seconds of sleep. Her subliminal messages to me talked about the window and the throwing, but they were specific about which window and that window was the one on the passenger side of the moving vehicle.

She was not happy. And no amount of yummy teething biscuits or rattles or soothing rubbing of the infant feet could calm her down. She did all of the screaming for all of the babies in the world yesterday. Here is a photo of Leta screaming while my beautiful, tan sister tries to comfort her, in the middle of the property my mother recently bought:

My baby cannot be comforted by a beautiful, tan, flaxen-haired babe with big boobs. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY CHILD?

Here is another view of the property:

And The Road To Nowhere:

And here is an arty shot of some desert plant that the camera took all by itself:

In the middle of the trip we stopped at a greasy burger joint in Roosevelt, Utah, so that the other members of my family could eat hamburgers WITHOUT THE BUNS, because they’re on That Diet. I had to sit in the car for several minutes so that I could feed Leta, and in the middle of the feeding she shit neon orange poop out the back of her infant jeans and up to her shoulder blades. It was the type of poop that could glow in the dark, one that required a fire-hose to clean up. Since it was blisteringly hot (UTAH, DESERT, SUMMER? CHECK, CHECK, CHECK!) I did something that I promised myself I would never do: I left her in nothing but her diapers and socks and went into a public establishment. Oh, hobo baby!

Not surprisingly, my shirtless baby was the most civilized creature in that restaurant, as everyone there looked related, you know, in the sense that everyone was either a brother or uncle or BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. That didn’t stop my Grumpling Wonder from grabbing hold of my large Sprite and tossing it to the floor in a thundering explosion that left the floors, walls, tables, and neighboring counties covered in carbonated stickiness.

Is this really me? Have I gone this far? Please, world, don’t hate me and my sticky, shirtless baby. At least she had socks on!

The last thirty minutes of the drive home were perhaps the most horrible thirty minutes of my mother’s and sister’s lives as Leta, sitting between them, screamed at the top of her lungs all the way from Park City to our neighborhood. My mother asked me if I understood her different screams and what this one could possibly mean, and for the first time in my life I didn’t hesitate at dropping The Mother in front of my mother, and I said, “Leta is saying, ‘GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF THIS CAR.'” And then my mother said, “Well, I guess she means business.”

We leave for San Francisco on Friday. I SO can’t wait.


p.s.. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your email. Thank you for reaching out to me. I really needed it this weekend. You helped me. May Chuck cuddle up into all of your armpits, too.