the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Hi, I read

One of the only redeeming parts about air travel these days — other than the ubiquitous barf bag, the lovable bag that says it’s okay to be lazy, that in fact we encourage you to be lazy and instead of politely excusing yourself to go throw up in the bathroom you can just sit there on your fat ass and toss up in this convenient puke receptacle while everyone watches — is the free copy of Sky Mall Magazine you get in the seat pocket.

For those of you who don’t know what Sky Mall is just imagine my pot-bellied neighbor up the street who wears flannel shirts with the arms cut off, how he’s constantly trying to come up with inventions to make his life easier, like what would it take to build an alarm clock that not only wakes you up in the morning but can also simultaneously pour ketchup on a hot dog? How have I survived without this technology? HOW MUCH BETTER WOULD LIFE BE? Sky Mall is a catalog of that man’s ideas.

We’ve got several copies of Sky Mall lying around the house, copies I brought back from recent trips because they’re always good for at least a few minutes of toddler distraction. Yesterday I caught Leta reading the Early Spring 2006 Issue to herself, the one featuring The Portable Pet Staircase, The Remote Control Golf Ball, and my personal favorite, The Personal Alcohol Breath-Screening Device for those moments when your slurred speech and flammable breath aren’t enough of an indication that you shouldn’t be operating machinery.

You’re not going to be able to make out anything she is saying unless you speak Cyborg, but do pay attention because at the end of the video she engages in an activity — and a subsequent look of, “You did not just hear me engage in that activity” — that will make my side of the family very proud (and Jon’s side of the family very mortified).

Leta reads Sky Mall (Flash movie)
Leta reads Sky Mall (Quicktime movie)

  • HannahB

    2006/05/02 at 12:24 pm

    I like how carefully she turns the pages — she’s a thorough shopper already. Did the business trip to San Fran have anything to do with signing a book deal for a Cyborg-English translation dictionary? Love the new masthead too : )
    Charlottesville, Va

  • MissKitty

    2006/05/02 at 12:24 pm

    I LOVE the way she raised the magazine to cover her face after she farted, although there was absolutely no shame in it whatsoever. Haha.

  • di

    2006/05/02 at 12:24 pm

    Leta is awesome! Go Leta!

  • lizabithann

    2006/05/02 at 12:24 pm

    Oh how I love the Sky Mall magazine. I was introduced to it on my flight to Texas last month and it made my flight seem a little shorter. I was amazed at all the crazy inventions for two full hours. Good choice of reading, Leta.

  • occ_gurl

    2006/05/02 at 12:25 pm

    The poor kid can’t even TOOT in private. Her whole life is on display. She’ll hate you for that one about age 14 I bet!

    Thanks for sharing the video…what a cuuuuuuutie!

  • lesismore

    2006/05/02 at 12:22 pm

    that. was. so. rad.

    i’m addicted. i can’t stop watching it!!!

  • Heather

    2006/05/02 at 12:22 pm

    Love it! Leta is adorable! thanks for sharing with us!

  • Kelly

    2006/05/02 at 12:23 pm

    That is priceless. I think the best part is the fact that you are trying to be quiet, but when she lets loose you can’t help but burst out laughing.

  • Torrie

    2006/05/02 at 12:15 pm

    I am having THE WORST DAY EVER. NO really, EVER. And this totally made me smile.

  • Kerri

    2006/05/02 at 12:19 pm

    Nice one, Leta!

  • Princess of Power

    2006/05/02 at 12:20 pm

    OMG. My coworker and I look for new Leta videos each day to make our day a little less shitty! Hilarious!

  • tankbear

    2006/05/02 at 12:14 pm

    I love how all the items start with “this is called…”

    Kari, I’m sure we all do the same “wtf? i didn’t hear that/make that sound” face. haha!

  • JCH13868

    2006/05/02 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Mrs. Armstrong. I just wanted to say that I think your site is fantastic! I read it every day. I hope that when I have kids, they’ll be as cute as Leta. That video is absolutely precious!

  • Christinathemom

    2006/05/02 at 12:15 pm

    I totally understood everything she said, she and my daughter speak the same language.

    She said, “This is the kind I want” She said “Hi” to someone on the page.. and then just there at the end before you started to giggle and so rudely interrupted her thought process she said, ” I’m going to marry that man with the cut off…..” and you laughed and stopped all that.

    too funny.. thanks for sharing

  • poisondarts

    2006/05/02 at 12:15 pm

    she’s going to be a gymnast! look at how she points those toes!

  • moonrattled

    2006/05/02 at 12:10 pm

    I call that a perfect exclamation for a catalogue.

  • Nils Ling

    2006/05/02 at 12:11 pm

    … and an utterly exquisite ending …

  • Kari

    2006/05/02 at 12:11 pm

    I’m pretty sure the last word there was “condiment.” Is she just totally pretending she didn’t hear or make that sound?

  • Annejelynn

    2006/05/02 at 12:12 pm

    a moment to make any parent proud

  • Nils Ling

    2006/05/02 at 12:09 pm

    Too cute … and bilingual … I see a great civil service job in her future!

  • wrensuicide

    2006/05/02 at 6:00 pm

    Screw Cafepress, you should have Glarkware make your shirts. They use fancy-pants American Apparel products.

    That was rather spectacular. My favorite parts of these videos are hearing you guys giggle in the background. Thanks for sharing your lives with us.

  • Kala Lily

    2006/05/02 at 5:18 pm

    Heather, thank you so much. I was having such a crap day and this just made me laugh so hard.

  • Aj

    2006/05/02 at 4:34 pm

    Reading your site has just brought a new level of classiness to my life. I just read this to my husband while we were finishing eating dinner. “Listen, their families are just like ours, except reversed!” To acknowledge my assessment, he -engaged in an activity- and continued to munch on his sandwich. And who says high class conversation at the dinner table is dead?

  • little veg

    2006/05/02 at 5:14 pm

    I swear what she was actually “reading” from that article was ‘pull my finger… no? ah well, I’ll just do it myself’. Best ever.

  • Mia

    2006/05/02 at 4:32 pm

    I LOVE IT. So cute! She is going to be a super smarty pants. And the coup de grace is the ending…hee hee hee.

  • The Bold Soul

    2006/05/02 at 4:15 pm

    Video clips like this are going to come in really handy when she’s 17 and on the verge of ruining her life by point-blank refusing to break up with that greasy-haired, unemployed scum-bag boyfriend you hate… because you can threaten to send copies of all her embarrassing moments to everyone at her high school. Excellent parenting leverage, if you ask me!

    I swear I heard her say “monument to justice”, but I could be mistaken.

  • Real Susie

    2006/05/02 at 4:13 pm

    Ok the best part of this was either when I swear she said “hi piggy” or the fart. I particular like the fact that after she tooted, she slyly held up the magazine to hide her face then peered over it as see if anyone heard it. Love the talky talk. Love. It.

  • girl

    2006/05/02 at 3:45 pm

    ok, so apparently I can’t tell the difference between a toddler burp and a fart. I’m so embarrassed. either way, it was pretty impressive. she could take on our nephew any day of the week.

  • Chloe

    2006/05/02 at 3:44 pm

    Holy motherfucking god, your child is still so adorable I think she just made me spotaneously ovulate. Good thing I’m not getting any.
    I love toddlers. As long as I get to send them home with their parents when they start to throw a tantrum.

    I LOVE the new masthead– it does say May 2006 for me, so I suppose I am special (if only in the short bus way).

    Also, I am sorry for saying motherfucking in the same sentence that I mentioned Leta in. She’s so cute, she requires gratuitious profanity! That makes sense, right?

  • Heather

    2006/05/02 at 3:51 pm

    OH MY GOD! Her feet are so cute! And she is DARLING. Not news, I know, but still…

  • Irina

    2006/05/02 at 4:10 pm

    I LOVE her version of reading. Just wait until she’s actually reciting the story word for word. It’s a little trick kids learn to make you feel inadequate.

    And who wouldn’t fart with delight over an alarm clock that puts ketchup on your dog?

  • girl

    2006/05/02 at 3:43 pm

    I was going to comment on how much I adore how her little toes curl over, but I’m laughing too hard at what a kick ass burper she is. you should be very proud.

  • Dayna Lee

    2006/05/02 at 3:32 pm

    Oh that’s classic. I almost peed myself a little. At what age to farts not become cute anymore I wonder?

  • Jessey

    2006/05/02 at 3:37 pm

    My daughter loved that Leta was reading a book, the way she curled up her toes and “she faaahrted!”
    Oh, it was giggle city here!

  • vegasandvenice

    2006/05/02 at 3:24 pm

    “A delightful romp” – The Seattle Times

  • MontanaJen

    2006/05/02 at 3:26 pm

    love the video, love the gas, love the new masthead – i don’t understand the ‘april 2006’ at the top, but i trust y’all will work that out once the shininess of the pink shoes and crazy magazines wears off.

  • Nothing But Bonfires

    2006/05/02 at 2:52 pm

    I bet you can buy something in Sky Mall magazine that somehow magically blames your fart on the person immediately to your left. If they haven’t invented that by now, THEY TOTALLY NEED TO.


    2006/05/02 at 3:07 pm

    Ah yes, the British equivalent would be betterware. it’s great. Wood effect seat saver, pack of four bingo markers, the lizard safety utility knife. Seriously, I just went on their site.

    This isn’t helping my revision.


  • barbie2be

    2006/05/02 at 3:09 pm

    ok, could your damn kid BE any freakin cuter? 🙂

  • choice

    2006/05/02 at 3:23 pm

    I say, “Whoever blogged it, dealt it.”

    Too funny. No wonder Leta was reluctant with the walking thing. Who wants to put weight on your feet when they are so much better for wiggling and punctuating sentences?

  • Nat W.

    2006/05/02 at 2:45 pm

    That was a very loud fart for a little girl! Way to go, Leta!!

    By the way–the new masthead rocks. my. world.

  • Shash

    2006/05/02 at 2:46 pm

    love the burp. priceless.

    Her future husband liked it too. He loves women that read.

    I got a lot of “this is called….” as she read her magazine. Very nice to be read to, thanks, Leta!

  • agnieszka

    2006/05/02 at 2:44 pm

    When she’s 16 and her date comes over to pick her up for the prom, you should have this playing on the TV in the living room.

  • d-mode

    2006/05/02 at 2:39 pm

    Must be a result from all my prayers!!!

  • easthefty

    2006/05/02 at 2:39 pm

    what a totally delicate page turner! my girl still is on board books, as she turns pages with gusto. what a cutie!

  • Stenar

    2006/05/02 at 2:24 pm

    Dooce has gone video now!? Will the madness ever end!?

  • HiFromTexas

    2006/05/02 at 2:29 pm

    priceless. the little movies totally make me smile and crack up.
    leta is sooo cute!!

  • Buggy

    2006/05/02 at 2:30 pm

    Now that is the ultimate in phonetic punctuation.

  • Kazzer

    2006/05/02 at 2:37 pm

    No doubt that she will one day thank you for sharing this video…

    I am sure that I heard her say ‘pull my finger’ 😉

    Leta is very cute (as always), but I do have to say for the record that I would still side with Jon’s family on this one despite her glorious innocence and cuteness.

  • Elle

    2006/05/02 at 2:17 pm

    First, they’re flowers! Whew…I was thinking I was going to have to look at little orange goat balls all month.

    As for Leta’s toots, gotta love a kid who gets in the ready position to let ’em fly.

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Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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