I am learning that sometimes you just have to know when to call it quits.
It turns out that the baby has roseola, a virus that causes high fevers for as long as a week. As soon as the fever breaks, out comes a rash. In other words, my baby (whose fever finally broke last night) currently looks like some of kind of diseased, malnourished victim of neglect, what with her rash, bags under her eyes and skinny little belly. (She's lost an entire pound this week.)
So I decided that since she's not contagious, the best remedy was to dress us both up all purty-like and get the heck of the house. I even did my hair! No small feat for me these days, but the baby distracted herself by pulling the package of baby rubber-bands out of the bathroom drawer and spreading them all over our upstairs. And I let her, because I got to do my hair. This seriously distracted her for a good 20 minutes, which makes me wonder why we buy her toys.
I put on make-up and accessorized. I put a red dress and matching bow on my baby. At this point, I should have recognized the artillery beginning in the distance; girlfriend arched her back and wailed like I was tearing off her limbs when I tried to put some pants on her. Not exactly normal for her, but hey, I'm a little edgy from being inside for four days myself. So we went downstairs and I made lunch to go, then started loading the car. Why is it that I have to "load the car" in order to spend an afternoon running errands? But it actually takes multiple trips.
By this point, the baby was a completely unhappy camper. But I essentially shouted at her, "Buck up, Soldier!" and we carried on. My boots were on and so help me...we were getting out of the house.
Then I remembered I needed gas. Sigh. You always need gas when you're trying to get somewhere, right? I almost tried to make it to our destination without stopping, but finally decided that was a bad idea, so we headed off at the next exit to look for a station. For some reason, this turned me into a raving lunatic. It felt like everyone was in my way. My mini-SUV became a Hum-V and I started faux-swearing at everyone around me like an angry 'Nam sarg.
"Why the heck are you such a freaking stupid moron-face?!" I yelled at the poor woman who didn't turn fast enough.
"Are you going to be so freaking idiotic for the rest of your life?!" I grumbled at guy who was turned the wrong way at the pump.
The baby, meanwhile, kept up her own string of baby obscenities in form of screaming at me because she was tired and cranky and didn't exactly want to be strapped into her car seat.
Getting that gas took the better part of 20 minutes. My head hurt. I made a phone call. I tried to pull out of the station and got cut off by a lady who didn't bother looking to her right. I tried not to kill her with the laser beams I can shoot from my eyes. I tried to get back on 270 south, but instead got in the lane for 270 north, couldn't get anyone to let me over, and ended up having to exit with the full knowledge that the next turning point wasn't for miles up the road, at my own exit. You know, the place I started from 30 minutes ago, which is really only about five minutes away.
I drive, I exit, I blank out, I miss the left turn to get back on 270 south. The baby, who had maybe dozed off, wakes up and yells at me some more.
So we go home.
I take off all my accessories. The baby already removed all of her in her car seat. I put on the softest shirt I can find. I give the baby a snack and put on a pair of her fleece jammies.
So that, my friends, is how I waved the white flag of surrender. Except I'm not exactly sure who won. Maybe it's me, because in the end, I just got to spend 15 minutes reading books to a tired, snuggly baby and now I'm going to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and Gone with the Wind and I am, after all, wearing my softest, comfiest, ugliest shirt.