• Carol

    Totally off topic…

    but Heather YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!

    The author (sorry, forgot her name) was interviewed by Charlie Rose last night so you can probably pull up the interview at pbs.org

    The book is called “the philosophical baby” and it’s all about what goes on in babies’ brains! There is much more happening in there than anyone knew… Apparently they have many more synaptical connections than adults (and certainly more than Coco… which btw.. as an aside… I have a full-sized Aussie who is just as insane as Coco, so apparently size does not matter inthis breed)…

    Since I get my baby fix at dooce (all my children are furry) and I enjoy reading about Marlo and Katy’s baby… I think you would really dig this book.

    The Philosophical Baby

    ps… I have no association whatsoever to the publisher/author… I just dig neurological development.

  • http://smazzle.blogspot.com Casey

    Not spider related, but have you seen the Hot Mormon Muffins calendar? O M G.


  • http://itsallgood18.wordpress.com Rachel

    You, my friend, paint such a picture with your words.

    I have always pictured hobos to be male…thanks for demonstrating how hobo-intolerant I am.

  • http://forgingahead.wordpress.com Kathleen @ ForgingAhead

    OMG, that is SO classic! Love Leta. And Jon. You are simply outmatched by their combined brilliance. Wave the white flag.

  • Diana

    You are so flipping funny. Seriously. Thanks for making me laugh out loud today.

  • BoatSailor

    Huzzah for courageous Leta….

    BUT, down with black licorice. Does not taste like something that is meant to be tasted AT ALL.

  • Anonymous

    Leta is one serious hoot — definitely start saving for law school for that one.

    I must be one of the few people on the planet who actually kind of likes black licorice, or more specifically, black licorice jelly beans.

    That said, I had my own version of the ghosts on the toilet thing with one of my twin girls. We were in the car and I was listening to NPR and a story came on (probably This American Life or something like that) where a girl described her long-standing fear of pit toilets (think southeast asia) because she was convinced there were ghosts down there. So for months, my daughter was afraid to sit on the potty, particularly in public restrooms. And going into the bathroom at night, with only the nightlight, you could hear her saying to herself “there are no ghostses in the potty”. Poignantly adorable. So … good save with the toast. Somehow I think Leah would have been less fearful of toast in the potty.

  • http://tiggerlane.blogspot.com Tiggerlane

    *SIGH* Now I’ve got to unpack the Good’N Plentys and Jagermeister I had all ready to ship off to you for Christmas…

  • http://mamasoncall.com Rachel

    Perfect. The difference between us and them. Patience and spiders.

    Did you know you hate black licorice because it actually tastes different to you than it does to normal people?

  • http://motherlawyercrazywoman.blogspot.com/ Jenny @ http://motherlawyercrazywoman.blogspot.com/

    Oh dear God, black licorice IS the Worst Tasting Taste in all of Tasteland. Agree … no wait, AGREE!!! There, that’s better.

  • Black Licorice

    When you caught Coco eating her own excrement were you sucking on a Virginia Slim while balancing a stiff drink in your other hand? I got that impression from your voice. I think fuzzy slippers and a stained bathrobe were involved too.

    Stop talking shit about me. I have feelings too. We can’t ALL be the RED LICORICE.

  • http://lawofattractionenterprise.wordpress.com Esmeralda

    I love liqorice. The brittle-breaks-if-you-drop-it kind that in 51 years I’ve only found in Italy, at the pharmacy or the erboristeria.
    Anyway, I don’t mean to gatecrash, but I wanted to tell you that today I had fun writing a day-dream kind of piece about the far-reaching effect of reducing the negativity footprint, or better still
    the far-reaching effect of increasing our Well-Being footprint.
    Thanks Heather. I do enjoy your writing. No, really. :)

  • http://www.downloadfonts.com.au download fonts

    Good on you Leta. And nice save! You guys are classic. But, yeah, black licorice is medicine dressed up as lollies. Bad, nasty, evil stuff.

  • Anonymous

    your daughter is brilliant. and licorice is fucking disgusting. end of story.

  • Scarlett

    Now, I don’t know Leta, but when I was little, I read the book “Beware of the Haunted Toilet” over and over again. I loved it!


  • http://www.prudenceoctavia.etsy.com Prudence Octavia

    mmmmm licorice. yum, yum. What is there not to like!

    Good recovery from the spider mishap too! (apart from the eating of it -that was probably a tactical error!)

  • Shannon

    ‘It is The Worst Tasting Taste in all of Tasteland. It’s like, we’re headed for a bath and he picks up a ratty tissue that a hobo has used to wipe her vagina, hands it to Leta, and says ENJOY.”

    Quite possibly the most accurate description of black licorice I have ever read. I’ve always thought it was so nasty there WEREN’t words. Thank you for the words, Heather.

    PS. Leta rocks.

  • simone

    i couldn’t agree more with how you describe black licorice. and it is a pretty bad smell in smell-land.
    if you never want leta to eat it again tell her it is made from spiders. that is how it gets it black color. ok that was little mean.

    p.s. thanks for doing your website, you always make me smile

  • Natashha

    Leta is brilliant!!!!! I really do hope you’re saving that money for law school….now you see where all that reading is leading. Just brilliant!!!! Had me laughing the whole time i was reading, but even more so as i read Leta’s question to you.

    Thanks for sharing thsi with us!!!

  • http://grandrgrand.com GrandRGrand

    Congratulations! Leta has passed The Bar with flying colors at the age of five, and will no doubt be presiding as The ‘Honorable JUDGE Leta Armstrong’ by the age of ten. This is when life gets really interesting! Hold on to your hat … or something! Thanks for the laughs!

  • Karol

    Truly sweet. :-)

    But….my 6 year old girl can way out-courageous your darling girl!

    We found a LIVE California Ebony TARANTULA on our front step Saturday evening, and guess what, she wanted it for a PET. Yep, now we have a pet TARANTULA. She calls it Tilly, I call it Tully (it’s a boy), and my husband calls it Otto. My son doesn’t want to know.

    Here’s how we know it’s a boy: this is the time of year when boy TARANTULAS start feeling frisky, and they crawl out of their underground burrows and go off looking for sex. With luck, a boy will find a willing female and get his rocks off. And then she eats him. (I didn’t say good luck, did I?)

    Also, he has those weird little hooks right behind his front elbows to cling to her with – we checked. Did you know that he first builds a special semen web and, um, puts his semen in it? Then he sucks up his semen into the tubes in his pedipalps (those are the two little extra short “legs” in front) and goes looking for his babe. I’m not quite clear where he sticks his pedipalps when they’re doing it.

    So today I had to go buy crickets to feed our TARANTULA with.

    Life is always exciting with young kids.

    (and I read the whole post expecting to find out that you had a live TARANTULA in your bedroom, and when you leaned down and picked it up to throw at Jon, you got a nasty surprise.

    Sweet dreams,

  • http://www.beckygrant.net becky grant

    You almost gave me a heart attack with the picture of that spider. God I really can’t handle them. For some reason, they always appear in my bathroom!

  • http://www.unfamousme.com Kerry

    LOL. Love it. Leta is adorable…super smart too. Law school is a good idea..:-) I craved black licorice when I was pregnant and ate bag after bag of it. Haven’t had it since then and he just turned 3. Funny how cravings work. As for spiders, I love them all. Got a picture of a real one on my website that lived with us all summer long, my son named her Clide. I actually miss her. :-)

  • Rona

    Ok, this story had me laughing out loud at my desk. TOAST? Love it.

    Any Yay! Jon. That patience is sweet.

  • Mark

    any upcoming blog about the new Mormom Muffin Calendar? will you be in it? or is that just for TrueBelievers.

    having survived being raised SDA, I can relate….

    (you ole heretic/pagan…LOL)

  • Stacey in Montana

    I can’t remember the context, but I once told my daughter she had a squirrel in her nose. MAJOR freaking ensued and I laughed so hard I cried.

    Why do we do and say these things to our children? In part because we think they think like we think – and yet, they don’t. And the other part is we are desperate to break up the monotony of being a good parent and raising a decent human being. We have to throw in some quirks to keep it interesting.

  • http://www.discountpartysupplies.com Tracy

    My 37-year old husband would faint dead away if I got that spider anywhere near him. I think something like this might be a little more his speed! Glitter Spider! Some phobias stick with you, I guess!

  • http://swedishpankakes.blogspot.com Swedish Pankakes

    Whatever you do, don’t try Sen-Sen.

  • http://www.bettertheworld.com Kristen

    Try putting the spider on fishing wire and lowering it into the shower while Jon is in there!!!

  • fantasyland@gmail.com

    Black licorice is horrible and my mother used to try to convince me to eat it in several different forms, including expensive anise seed hard candy in fancy cans. Disgusting.

  • http://greatdayinmaine.blogspot.com leesavee


    So, did you try some licorice? Were you that courageous?

  • Lee-Lee

    Ummmmm, why can’t you?

  • http://www.mybabysweetness.blogspot.com My Baby Sweetness

    Can you tell her you’ll taste it when she eats the spiders?

    Oh… that probably doesn’t help with the “not saying stupid things…”

  • http://www.plaidandhound.com Valerie

    Do you just laugh constantly? Like…every single time she speaks? That girls is so full of awesome. Kind of like that entire post…I mean TOAST!

  • http://www.bucky4eyes.com Bucky Four-Eyes

    It’s my sneaking suspicion that if you bite into an actual tarantula, it will taste like black licorice.

    Please note that I will never be the one to test this theory.

  • Liz

    Black licorice is HORRIBLE! And, way worse than spiders.

  • http://www.picknicksbrain.com Nicole Johnson

    Blech. I don’t like black licorice, either!

    I relate sooo much to saying stupid things that might lead my 4 year old to nightmares. You know like when I decide to play dinosaurs and talk about dinosaurs eating other dinosaurs and things like that. Did I mention I did that about 30 minutes before bed one night? Why do we do that, anyway?!?!

    A patient husband is one of the best to have, right?!

  • http://www.seriousblogging.com/acnecystic cystic blogger

    i`m afraid of spiders :(

  • fantasyland@gmail.com

    This is the candy I mentioned in my comment: http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/anise-flavored-hard-candy-50g-by-lanis-de-flavigny


  • http://vigorousanonymity.wordpress.com Candy

    Oh I’m totally with you on the black licorice.

    My husband has only one fear, and it’s clowns. Once, long ago, after my husband and I had read Stephen King’s “It”, I got up in the middle of the night, blew up a few balloons and put them in the bathroom.

    He gets up first, and all I heard was screaming. It was an awesome moment.

  • Jeanne

    OMG – hilarious!!! We have a rubber spider that sits in the car visor and after 20 years I still forget it is there (we don’t drive the car every day!). Fun times – let me tell you!

  • Dawn


  • CW

    Best line ever: ‘It’s like, we’re headed for a bath and he picks up a ratty tissue that a hobo has used to wipe her vagina, hands it to Leta, and says ENJOY!’

    i hate black licorice too. actually i only like starburst licorice.

    i love how she tried to compare her fear of spiders to your dislike of licorice. smart cookie.

  • http://olivecanada.wordpress.com Olive

    Love the story – love Chuck in the scarf more, though. This reminds me of the time I was on holiday with friends in Florida and we bought a stuffed/taxidermied alligator and were hiding it all over the condo we rented as a joke.

    It was all fun and games until a REAL ONE found its way inside and we thought it was the fake one until someone tried to pick it up and it started moving!

    I still have no idea how it got in, but it was absolutely terrifying.

    Also, I totally agree about black licorice and anise and unfortunately, some of the supplements and one of the medications I take TASTES EXACTLY LIKE IT. It’s like, OK, yay for not having the crazy right now, BUT THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FILTHY. Red licorice? Fine. Red licorice shoe laces? Lovely. Black licorice? Filthy.

    Licorice is also a word I feel stoners would have a hilarious time dissecting.

  • Terri

    Ugh…black licorice is disgusting. Seriously. HORRIBLE. That’s excactly what a big black tarantula would taste like!

  • Anonymous

    To whom should I send the bill for a new keyboard? Because mine is now coated in sticky, sugary, milky coffee, which involuntarily spewed from my mouth (and nose, thank you) TWICE as I read this post. Oh it’s good to catch up on Dooce on a rainy day with a heavy workload. Well worth my “x” key sticking a little.

  • Julie

    My mother was always so upset with me when I was little because I loooved to pick up spiders. I presented her with a black widow when I was four. We almost had to go to the ER- not because I was bitten, but because she suffered a mild heart attack.

  • http://graceofimperfection.blogspot.com Amanda

    With you on the licorice. Yesh. And, I’m going to have to get a Randall for my house because I am SURE my husband would die. Of fright. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?

  • Eva

    I am seriously in love with reading your blog!

  • Dr. R.

    OMG… I bet you are a barrel of monkeys to live with. Yes, more points for Patience to Jon. God love him (and I’m not religious). You know, Awareness (yes, that has been capitalized) is the 1st step in realizing our vices, so I’m glad you have an inkling of it.