• http://www.luvandkiwi.blogspot.com luv & kiwi

    i think your kid needs her own book of random leta sayings…she’s definitely on a “HO NUTHA LEVEL” lol…keep the good stories rolling :)

  • Stephanie C

    HA! I have a daughter four and a half who does the same damn thing. I have witnessed her putting new undies ontop of day old undies because her mind was wandering. And then she laughs and proceeds to run me step by step through what happened and DOES IT AGAIN ONCE DONE TELLING THE STORY,


    If this is what the TV distraction does to her – then what will an iPod, a cell phone and a car do to the kid at the age of 16?!?!

    And don’t tell my mother…again, it is so hard keeping a straight face while listening and witnessing these items. I am often found hiding behind things or having a coughing attack.

  • http://idroppedmybonbon.blogspot.com mpotter

    and leta just keeps getting funnier!
    hope you will also enjoy this evening and all the rest to come…

  • http://gproids.com buy steroids

    And I, like most of the other commenters, was just like that when I was little. To this day I cannot be in a public place without losing track of a conversation because I’m too busy trying to see what everyone else is doing.

  • http://robotsandcandy.wordpress.com valerie @ Robots and Candy

    “Promise me you won’t tell my mom I did this.”

    That sounds astonishingly like something I would have said at about that age. Like, so similar that I had the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I would in those situations.

    I definitely think that what you’re doing is working!

  • http://beyondalice.wordpress.com Beyond Alice

    I <3 Leta. Your stories bring a smile to my face every day. :)

  • Meara

    At our little house on our little lot, at dusk we are often outside, dogs tumbling, garden getting watered, picking random weeds, cleaning up debris from the day of play, etc. My husband calls is “surveying the perimeter”.

    Years ago, our then-6-year-old son told my father-in-law, who had phoned while we were outside, that “Daddy is surveying the perimeter of the yard right now and can’t come to the phone”…. hahaha. The family STILL talks about it!

  • http://www.ifeelyaophelia.com Jenna Jean

    Ugh, ya’ll not every kid under five who gets distracted easily has ADD. It’s called Barbies people, they would distract any girl who has a love for pink and princesses.

  • Kathleen

    Every child needs an adult to keep her secrets and I’m so glad to hear that Leta has Katey. In no time at all, you’ll be the ones holding her child’s “confessions.”

    Very sweet for all involved.

  • Sharlene

    I’m not here to say that Leta has ADHD, but rather to give you a little bit more information about what ADHD is. I am an adult with ADHD who did not find out about it until after undergrad and have struggled to manage it off and on as a result.

    From what I understand, people in the field now believe that ADHD is an disorder of executive function. The condition is not simply about an inability to sustain attention; rather, it means that an individual with ADHD has the inability to regulate attention. As such, s/he can be inattentive to chores or tasks that are of high priority while fixating on things that are of relatively low priority. Or even things that shouldn’t be a priority at all, merely a curiosity, if you will.

    That is a problem I had in grad school. Boy, the Internet sure doesn’t help. One expects a brief answer to a simple question, but then ends up getting caught up in a loop of curiosities, eating away hours that should have been spent on writing a damn paper. And considering how much time is spent on computers for research . . . good god, man!

  • Martinis or Diaper Genies?

    PLEASE GOD LET MY CHILD BE SARCASTIC. I can not deal with a non funny child. I’ll take an ugly baby first. thank you.

  • Kim

    I love Leta phrasing her questions like a defense attorney – you have one scary smart little kid! Off topic, I screamed with joy when I saw your shout out to “The Wire”, best (and most underrated) show ever. I’m loving that you call Marlo
    “Stringer Bell” when she’s angry!

  • http://www.bellavit.blogspot.com Emily

    Oh god, I am falling off my chair laughing. You have an awesome/funny life, but what should never be forgotten is that you are seriously an incredible storyteller and I strive to be the kind of writer you are.

    Also–Leta is legit my hero.

  • Courtney

    I seriously think parsing nonsense and I are married to the same guy, and I don’t have any “sister wives” so it is kind of freaky because I have never met another like him.

  • Anonymous

    I prefer when you keep comments closed. Some of the readers here are fricking lunatics.

  • http://tiggerlane.blogspot.com Tiggerlane

    Now, you can’t blame this ALL on Jon…I think there’s a mini-version of your Valedictory self emerging there! Somehow, I know with that LDS upbringing, you would have FREAKED at Leta’s age had the rules been bent in such a manner! LOL!

  • Harriet B.

    “@210. Katherine said:

    Honestly, people? Read the story, enjoy it, and stop trying to diagnose her kids. An anecdote does not a syndrome make, and besides… must we be so adamant about pathologizing children? Kids get labeled enough by peers, it’s just sad when adults jump in the game.”

    I don’t think we’re trying to diagnose her kid. Heather has a very large audience and she said something that was wrong and I felt it was necessary correct. ADD is very misunderstood and I felt she was reinforcing some negative information about it.

  • Anonymous

    I have major dog envy – Chuck, not Coco, I can’t even get a collar on my dog without him eating it much less a onesie!

    PS Your commenters are lunatics… says a commenter… your kid is 5. All kids who are 5 forget to get dressed and brush teeth and don’t listen until the 10th time you’ve repeated yourself. The diagnosis is that they’re kids.

  • http://www.atlanticbeachlife.com jeannie

    this is tell you that OH MY GOD DID I LOVE THE WIRE, too. It was last summer that I finally started watching it. Season 5 had just concluded, series over, when I heard an interview about the show (how great the series had been, etc. ) on Fresh Air. Despite my fondness for HBO shows I had for some reason just never gotten into this one. I rented Season One from Blockbuster and by the third episode I was reeled in. Of course, Blockbuster didn’t own the entire series so I signed up for Netflix and spent the next several days of my life holed up in my room, the MacBook Pro warming my lap and me, literally ‘wired’ via earbuds (can’t let the kiddies see or hear this action, no doubt) to the city of Baltimore and its neighborhoods. I loved it; loved watching one episode after the next, all 54 hours of television, great television. I lived with those people. Each season was magnificent. I didn’t think I’d like “the docks” but oh, I loved it all. I felt so connected to them all, even the people I’d have feared, in real life.

    The single most painful scene, for me, was the one where (darn it i can’t remember their names) the one kid shot and killed the other (the boy who’d escaped to the country b/c he wanted ‘out’ but found he couldn’t cope, outside of the city…the kid who took care of his siblings…) they took him upstairs, the kid was so naive and sweet and when he realized what was going to happen he just peed his pants and they shot him in the head. oh my god it still kills me, thinking of that. the shooter (the character) lived until the last season; he was a street dealer.

    you named your daughter after marlo stanfield! and Bubbles. wow. what great TV.

    now i think i might just have to watch it all again. it’s that kind of show. just like i can watch GoodFellas over and over and over again….

  • kat

    ADD? Puuuulllllleeeease. It’s called being 5. Tell those nosy nellies to stick it.

  • http://serendipitysmiles.com Peggy

    Leta reminds me of my youngest daughter Christina, who is now 21, when she was five…

    I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that Christina simply operated in her own time zone.

    There was Christina’s time and everyone else’s time. I was grateful for the days when Christina’s time zone was in synch with mine.

    Have fun…Five is FUN!

  • http://stephaniesuzanne.wordpress.com StephanieSays

    My sister had a similar experience: my mom, at some point started her “afternoon cup of Suisse Mocha” pick-me-up.

    She’d mix it up around 2 in the afternoon, and if she had errands to run, would take it in a travel mug.

    One afternoon, my sister informed her: “Mom, I’m upset about you drinking and driving….”

  • Melissa

    I can so relate to the absent-minded professor thing. I’m forever getting distracted because I suddenly remember something I need/want to do or say. I tend to wander around the house and set things down wherever, which leads to finding things in odd places, like a remote in the fridge…

  • http://www.aussiechic.com aussiechic

    My girlfriend has a little girl and it is A NIGHTMARE to try and get her dressed…..however, her son, just gets up and puts his clothes on…..he just does not see what the fuss is about……

    I think our wardrobe issues start early…..and they are inbuilt……we cannot escape them. EVER.

  • the niffer


  • http://buyprams.com.au/prams-and-stroller-store/ stroller store

    Lovely blog post Heather. I know how you feel. Absent minded is my middle name.

  • Stephani


    I just started reading your blog last week and I am hooked. I literally laughed out loud (which was bad because the mouthful of brown rice went flying, sorry TMI) when you talked about the brunette barbie.


  • http://www.the8thgirl.blogspot.com/ Teena

    Leta sounds very much like my girlfriend’s 6 year old daughter. She literally makes me want to scream with frustration when she’s taking her own little time to do whatever it is you’ve already asked her to do 10 times before. Then she explains why she hasn’t gotten around to it yet and you’re so amazed at the 35 year old answer coming from the 6 year old mouth, you forget why you were so upset in the first place.

  • http://ihavehissyfits.com Char

    That was too cute of a story. My son does the same thing he’ll be in the middle of doing what I tell him to do then just wanders off to play with Legos because he wasn’t just finished building something. The things children do.

  • Julia

    A lot of Leta’s quirks (not just this anecdote) remind me of my son. More than a few people have tried to pin the ADD tag on him. It doesn’t fit; however, life would have been a lot easier if we had known years ago that there really was something there (sensory processing disorder, or SPD, to be exact).

    However, kids can be just so damned weird and funny and brilliant. Plus, the division between “normal” and “abnormal” can actually be so subtle a progression. You catch something from the corner of your eye, but when you look full on, it’s gone. Was it really there? Most of the time—but not all of the time—it’s just a trick of the light.

  • http://www.theshaffers.org/ Ash


    First time commenter, long time reader… Many thanks for the laugh. It made the headache I have go away for half a second, and that felt nice.

    Think you and Jon are AWESOME parents… Screw all those people who criticize you. They suck! ;)

  • http://www.kristinjoiner.com Kristin

    Great post as always . . . I was wondering where you got the fabric for your outdoor cushions/what brand is it/where can I get some?!?! Because I LOVE it!

  • gina

    I am so glad that you agree about the ADD bullsh*t. The last thing that a young child needs is to be labeled and put on meds. When our 4 year old son wouldn’t sit in his chair at school then the teacher started spouting “ADD !”. We put him on Ritalin and it turned him into a little zombie that fell asleep in his dinner plate. We stopped the meds. All he needed was love, good attention, and discipline. We adopted him out of foster care and he had never had rules before. He is doing great now and doesn’t have any sort of label that he will have to live down for the rest of his life – well other than having smart *ss parents but that is another story.


  • Anonymous

    Before teaching second grade I taught kindergarten. Reading these stories about Leta makes me really miss that age group. I have yet to meet a parent who DOESN’T think they have the smartest child ever, and that’s how it should be.

  • http://www.learninghowtothinkagain.blogspot.com jill

    Reason #87 I read your blog: I never realized my daughter was supposed to have a younger sister with the same personality b/c in some of these stories it sounds like you are telling me story about my lovely 7-year old daughter a couple years ago. Seriously. And just FYI it gets crazier… while also more amazing. I love children that keep life interesting :)

  • http://latinaonamission.com Ms. Latina

    Ahhhh even with all of those struggles you can tell she listens. Look how she stated she couldn’t sit in the front seat! How cute is that LOL

  • http://www.thebutterflymind.com Tammy at The Butterfly Mind

    Heather – Leta sat in the front seat! UH OH! She may never recover from the guilt. Don’t tell anyone, but that Katey is a keeper!

    I’m recovering from a trip to Texas to bust a puppy mill (I volunteer with HSUS) – made me so ANGRY:


    PEOPLE – please help stop puppy mills!

  • http://www.pajamasandcoffee.com/ marymac

    ohmygod I need a Katey.
    Clone Katey?! ;)

  • http://scholastic-scribe.blogspot.com Melissa B.

    EXACTLY the reason I let my kids dress themselves when they were that age. Ended up with some fairly bizarro combos, but oh, well. They’re older & wiser now, for sure. And quite embarrassed when they see old family fotos!

  • Anonymous

    Please lets not insult thousands of people–one can have ADD *and* be brilliant or gifted. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    Also a diagnosis of ADD doesn’t automatically mean medication. Knowledge can sometimes be the greatest cure.

    (This is directed at the commenters, not at Heather. Anyone who would purport to diagnose a medical condition on the basis of these anecdotes is equally insulting.)

  • http://www.repliderium.com repliderium.com

    There should be a weird little book about all of the crap that comes outta that kids mouth. I adore her conversations. Just wait til Marlo gets older and they’re talking to each other!

  • http://www.heathersgarden.typepad.com Heather’s Garden

    I’m going to start referring to late day outdoor activities as “going outside to enjoy the evening,” but I think I need an audio file so I can get the accent right!

  • Sharlene

    @ Anon. #255.

    In fact, people with ADHD frequently have higher than average IQs.

  • http://www.lettersedge.blogspot.com Stephanie

    To my daughter, Eva, getting dressed in the morning means emptying the entire contents of her dresser when I’m not looking.

    It’s awesome.

  • http://www.number17cherrytreelane.wordpress.com No.17 Cherry Tree Lane

    I love Leta. Hilarious.

  • JL

    When can we start cloning Katey?

  • http://www.iambossy.com/ BOSSY

    And the chorus goes, “Awwwwwwwwwwwwww”. So sweet.

  • http://www.parsingnonsense.com Parsing Nonsense

    Awww, secret keeping fail!

    If your daughter turns out anything like my husband when she’s older, being absentminded and all, then she’ll no doubt turn into an incredibly creative thinker who can come up with ingenious solutions to problems four hours after they’re needed.

  • Lesley

    Leta sounds like a highly intelligent delightful kid. I hope the forces of our, at times, highly insane corporate driven society never make her feel bad about or obligated to compromise her creative personality. (And when I say crazy, I mean the forces that work to create the people who attend those town halls in America. The ones carrying semis and posters with Heil Hitler moustaches on Obama. Those highly creative personalities.)

  • LizaLou