Heater, Mother of Lance

Nothing more healing or incomprehensible

On Saturday my Aunt Lola had her second mastectomy. We joined my mother and step-father in her recovery room just as she was coming back from surgery, and as three nurses tried to lift her from the gurney to the bed she flashed us her bare back side. “HEY, LOLA,” I yelled, “WE CAN SEE YOUR ASS.”

One of the nurses almost dropped her. “Your family is ruthless,” she said as she rushed to cover Lola’s butt.

“Are you kiddin’?” Lola laughed. “They know I’ll get ’em back by lettin’ the rottenest fart they ever done smelled right as they’re leanin’ down to give me a hug.” I took that threat very seriously.

My mother had been at the hospital for almost 12 hours waiting to hear if everything was okay. She looked almost as tired as Lola, tired of being the only sibling in her family who is willing to take care of the others. When we walked in the door with a hopping, happy Leta I could tell my mother would have rather seen no one else on Earth, and Leta ran straight to her and clung to her neck like a heavy piece of jewelry.

We couldn’t have asked Leta for a better performance. She sang her ABC’s and danced to imaginary music, stopping frequently to hug my mother’s knees. At one point she swirled into the middle of the room and began belting out a possessed rendition of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” complete with manic head jerking as if the spirit that had taken control of her body was having a coughing fit.

My mother called the next day to say that Leta had successfully taken her mind off the depressing situation, and that she had done nothing but sing “Baa Baa Black Sheep” in Leta’s voice since we had left the hospital the night before. Good work, Team Armstrong! This morning I taped her singing it and stopping dead in the middle of the third line because she forgets the words, except she totally tries to play it off like she meant to do that all along.

Leta sings “Baa Baa Black Sheep” (Flash movie)
Leta sings “Baa Baa Black Sheep” (Quicktime movie)

  • Gora_Kagaz

    2006/05/22 at 2:06 pm

    too cute.

  • Fyse

    2006/05/22 at 2:09 pm

    Loving all this new multimedia Dooce goodness. Leta is such a star.

  • babbling

    2006/05/22 at 2:15 pm

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue (big FAT lie they are purple)
    I’m woozy from the cuteness and,,,,,

  • dre

    2006/05/22 at 2:19 pm

    TOO CUTE!! Leta is getting to be such a big girl these days… see ya need another baby! Joking!! 🙂

  • claddyjack

    2006/05/22 at 1:51 pm

    I like the last part where she goes “maaana maaana mana”

  • Ciana

    2006/05/22 at 1:49 pm

    *sigh* she has the most amazing eyes, ever. she’ll be a stunner when she grows up – but for now, let’s all just bask in the adorablenesss. ^_^

  • Kelly Ferry

    2006/05/22 at 1:44 pm

    Too damned perfect. Hope your aunt’s recovery is quick and smooth, like a good fart. She’s lucky to have you, and the Avon World Sales Leader.

  • Deb

    2006/05/22 at 1:45 pm

    No wonder all those babies in heaven are calling to ya’all!

    My kids also are totally enjoying Leta’s performance….OVER and OVER and OVER.

  • Allbeehive

    2006/05/22 at 1:38 pm

    I can’t even imagine that sweet precious angel face would ever be anything but a sweet precious angel face.

  • Susan D.

    2006/05/22 at 1:43 pm

    My 2 1/2 yr old son is in love… We’ve seen this movie 10 times so far with no sign of him losing interest.

    Max & Leta sittin’ in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

  • lildb snack

    2006/05/22 at 1:44 pm

    “and clung to her neck like a heavy piece of jewelry.”

    that’s some fabulous imagery. me likee.

  • lizziepants

    2006/05/22 at 1:23 pm

    Too cute, too cute!

  • Tara

    2006/05/22 at 1:25 pm

    Holy crap, she’s a riot.


    2006/05/22 at 1:26 pm

    I don’t know which is worse, seeing Lola’s ass, or smelling one of her raunchy farts…

  • Mary

    2006/05/22 at 1:00 pm

    Do you ever worry that as she gets older and realizes that LOTS of people have been watching her sing and talk for years, that she might be a little creeped out?

  • Jezzie

    2006/05/22 at 1:01 pm

    This morning I before we left the house I bribed my 6 yr old son with a dollar to sing “Little White Duck” just to hear him ryhme “water” with “ought to” (sounds like otter 🙂 and I know it makes just everything ok. heart lump. No problem, I’ll pay. Hint just in case you ever need it on que 🙂

  • elizasmom

    2006/05/22 at 1:10 pm

    Leta is awesome; I have no doubt of her healing powers.

    It’s gotten to the point where, as soon as she spots that Quicktime logo on the screen, my one-year-old daughter crawls over and demands to be put on my lap so we can watch theltaest Leta appearance together.

    Right now she is sitting on the desktop, pounding the monitor to make Leta reappear.

  • N8's Mom

    2006/05/22 at 12:32 pm

    I just watched Leta’s video at least 12 times in a row because my 2 1/2 year old son came in and said “Go again” every time it played. I laughed after the 10th time or so and said “Are you in love?” and he said “Yes!”

    I’m fairly new to Dooce and I’m glad I found it! Thanks for all the laughs.

  • tksinclair

    2006/05/22 at 12:39 pm

    And, in tune! You have a vocalist (and an actress) on your hands. We are currently raising my niece and nephew, ages 11 and 9, and had it not been for their almost identical cutest when they were Leta’s age, this would all be a complete nightmare. Instead it’s a gift we grow to love more and more each day.

    Leta is definitely a toddler now. Very little “baby” left in her. The time goes so quickly huh?

  • tksinclair

    2006/05/22 at 12:41 pm

    Oh, and PS: I always forget the words of that song in exactly the same place!

  • Jill Asher

    2006/05/22 at 12:20 pm

    All the best on a speedy recovery! Your little girl is adorable. It is amazing how the little ones can brighten up our days.

  • Amanda

    2006/05/22 at 11:48 am

    that made baby jesus cry.
    what a pumpkin!

  • jeffeners

    2006/05/22 at 12:05 pm

    Whoa, what is with all the aching uteri/popping ovaries? That’s just scary, people.

  • Kissyface

    2006/05/22 at 12:11 pm

    do you ever have the feeling she’s singing that to you, since you’re the renegade of the family?

  • M@

    2006/05/22 at 11:39 am

    You really need to take all of these movies and put them somewhere so you can see them all:) In chronological order so we can see her cuteness grow 🙂


  • Meepers

    2006/05/22 at 11:46 am

    That sound you heard just now? That was the sound of thousands of ovaries going, “POPP! POP! POPP-PPOPP!”. Expect to recieve thank-you cards or possibly copies of delivery room charges in the next ten months or so.

    Also: I’ve noticed that the daily photos seem to be getting better and better lately – the hose drinking one could easily be on a calender/card/ad for (hoses, dogs, etc). Keep up the wonderful work, Armstrong Media, LLC!

  • Snickrsnack Katie

    2006/05/22 at 11:38 am

    Okay, I was having cramps before, and now my uterus is totally singing for joy! Thanks Leta! She is SO the best way of getting rid of cramps! 🙂

    Wow, she has really started talking well! The last time I heard her sing a song I couldn’t make out much of what she was saying. What a little lady! So smart!!!

  • Vikki

    2006/05/22 at 11:32 am

    It’s this kind of thing that makes people have more children. When I was watching the video of my 19 month old son singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, I said to myself, “Wow, I have to go through this just one more time”. Now, I have a 14 month old daughter and I know it won’t be long before I get myself some very cute Itsy Bitsy Spider singing.

  • Kristine

    2006/05/22 at 11:24 am

    Oh yeah, I can see Leta 6 years from now doing the ‘Wayne’s World’ rendition that my children did in the backseat:


  • Kristine

    2006/05/22 at 11:27 am

    and just let it be known, they only removed the top part of the seatbelt part to do the headbanging. They put the seatbelt right back afterward. I promise.

  • MomVee

    2006/05/22 at 11:18 am

    My four-year-old said it better than I can: “I _love_ that baby.”

  • uno cinco siete™

    2006/05/22 at 11:21 am

    lol, she’s so cute.

  • ColleenS

    2006/05/22 at 11:16 am

    Completely adorable. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Lynnlaw

    2006/05/22 at 11:17 am

    What a sweetheart. You are so lucky to have all this footage of her life.

  • TigerLambGirl

    2006/05/22 at 11:14 am

    My sides hurt. Genuine cuteness abounds…..ahh. Thanks – it’s been really shitty (nothing to do with sewers luckily!) for us lately and this made my day. Watching her sing made me wanna wake my little one up and smoosh my face up against his so I could smell him and nibble on his ear at the same time. Might just do that before I hit the sack anyway.

    I hope your Aunt Lola makes a full recovery — she sounds like a fabulous Aunt. Bless her heart.

  • Tabitha

    2006/05/22 at 11:06 am

    Cutest. Kid. Ever.

    HUbby might when the fight to reproduce after all 😉

  • Catherine

    2006/05/22 at 11:09 am

    I feel like I should not bother having children because what ever I spawn will not be able to compare to that. Thanks, Heather. 🙂

  • Akgmcgirl

    2006/05/22 at 10:57 am

    The sweetest thing on earth is childern singing!!! my son loves to make up his own songs, and I heard him sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for the first time last week CUTE!!! when he gets home from preschool today, I will let him hear Leta’s Baa Baa song, he’ll LOVE it! he has a bit of a crush on her I think!! I hope your Aunt is doing good, and best wishes to all of your family!!

  • the poet

    2006/05/22 at 11:01 am

    Oh dear me…..that was cute and hillarious at the same time. Heather, you have an amazing daughter.

  • Tammie Booth

    2006/05/22 at 11:05 am

    I hope your aunt is recovering well. Double mastectomy is no joke. Here’s hoping they got every bit of it this time.

  • Talon

    2006/05/22 at 10:52 am

    My ovaries just exploded from the cute.

    Thanks ever so much.

    Aside from that, I hope your aunt is doing well!!

  • Mainline Mom

    2006/05/22 at 10:53 am

    OMG my uterus aches now. Aren’t these creatures amazing who drive us mad with frustration one minute and make us swoon with overwhelming adoration the next?

  • kim from germany

    2006/05/22 at 10:42 am

    this is SO MUCH BETTER than ibuprofen. she’s unbelieveably cute. wow.

  • Shalini

    2006/05/22 at 10:40 am

    Oh that made my day! She is so sweet!

  • The Bold Soul

    2006/05/22 at 10:41 am

    Children are THE best medicine in the world. Dogs come in a close second. Good for Leta! And I sure hope Lola will be well.

  • rivetergirl

    2006/05/22 at 10:20 am

    Forget the power of prayer, give in to the power of the innocent.

    Nothing pops the tension cork like a child showing the world what it means to be a child.

  • Katie Giali

    2006/05/22 at 10:24 am

    Leta is so adorable! I hope your aunt is okay. Love your blog!

  • Vicky

    2006/05/22 at 10:27 am

    Haha, I love her ending there, and then the ‘So my version is a little shorter, what are you going to do about it?’ face. The Leta remix rocks.

  • Teeny225

    2006/05/22 at 10:35 am

    Man, now I’M singing Baa Baa Black Sheep in Leta’s voice! Hope Aunt Lola recovering well xx

  • Rori

    2006/05/22 at 10:17 am

    her hair seems to be taking growth hormones.

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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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