An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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)

  • My 13 year old and her friends came running into the room to see who I was listening to when I turned on the speakers.
    They’re all offering to babysit!
    btw, loved the pict of Chuck and Leta drinking water from the hose. They are so close!

  • My husband’s great-grandmother is dying, and we took Tyler, our 2.75-year-old, to see her. I think the small ones just know when we need their cuteness. He blew the woman a kiss, and held her hand (“Her hand so cold, Mama,” he said, concerned). When it was time to go, I put him on the bed and he let her kiss him – even though she didn’t have her teeth in.

    I haven’t been so proud of him in all his life. He blew all the tension out of the room with that kiss.

  • The cuteness of Leta compells you!
    The cuteness of Leta compells you!
    The cuteness of Leta compells you!

  • Ok, I will be the fifty first person to say it:
    Heather, she is absolutely adorable! It’s these little videos that you will treasure so much when she comes home at sixteen and shows you her newest piercing.

  • I’m thinking if your kid’s ever going to be famous (beyond the WWW, that is), people will remember this in 20 years and put it on the “Leta’s Life” DVD. I’m so gonna get the special edition.

  • Holy schnikies, she’s so adorable it has to be illegal!

  • CJ

    Oh that song! My 7 year old, then 2, came home going ‘Ooh ohh aah aah’ and expecting me to sing something. Blank stares from me were met with much irritation on his part, until I heard his pre-school teacher singing that very song (minus the darling head bobbing Leta does).

    As for Leta’s cute new blocks, and stuff. Have you introduced the stuff fairy to your house? She comes at night to clean out stuff and place it into bags hidden in the garage that can later disappear. The stuff is referred to as crap depending on the stuff fairy’s mood.

  • shannwa

    I’m a long time reader, but this is my first time commenting. Leta is so freakiing adorable I don’t even know what to do with myself. My two year old is just learning the alphabet and songs like that and I just showed him the video of Leta. All he said was “pretty baby”

  • lyndsey_elise

    Very cute! My two year old daughter loves to sing. She likes to combine songs to see if we catch on. She’ll start singing “Rain rain go away” but then finish off with “Mary had a Little Lamb.”

    By the way I loved the picture of Leta and Chuck drinking from the hose. I envy your perfect picture taking ability.

  • So adorable! I wish all your fam the best.

  • bellybuttonbugs

    That’s it. I want one! When does the cloning and mass production begin?

    Also, Best wishes to your Aunt, I hope the treatment doesn’t knock her about too much and she keeps her fighting spirit. Being ill is horrible, but take it from me, it makes you even stronger and gives you a bigger perspective of the world.


  • cathbuzz

    This song is also popular at my house. It is popular with my husband and I also, because when the child sings it, it reminds us of that old SNL skit, Buckwheat Sings.

    Baa baa black sheep habbenedy no, yessir, yessir habbenedy no.

    The rest is too hard to spell.

  • Nanu nanu little martian child. What language do you speak?

    Take me to your leader!

  • the cuteness of that almost makes me want to go knock someone up.


    that soooo doesn’t sound right at all.

  • Oh man, too cute! I love how it starts off strong and trails off at the end!

  • Getting that song stuck in my head is worth the cuteness of it all.

  • Keep the videos coming! Kid-less people like me need our kid fix. I hope your Aunt Lola recovers swiftly.

  • Thank God for Leta. I needed that today.

  • Sillicita

    Absolutely adorable. My only question – when did Leta go from being the sweetest baby ever to the sweetest little girl ever?

    She needs to stop growing pronto.

    Best wishes to Aunt Lola – I think she’d get along well with my Grammy Jean, who taught me the proper use of the word “cocksucker”.

  • Great job Leta!

    Just think – if you have another child they could sing as a duet!

  • jeffeners

    Raising three kids I learned that there is a very brief period between ages 2 and 3 when a kid goes from toddler to little kid. With my third I had it down almost to the day – it’s practically an overnight thing. I can see that change in Leta in just the last few video clips. (Tiggerlane caught this, too)

  • Truly darling. Nothing more precious than a kid singing a song like this. Also made me realize how much more singing (and everything else) I did with my first one than with numbers 2 and 3. I don;t think my third one would even know the nursery rhyme :(. Oh well, she can name every disney princess!

  • jes

    Ohhhhhh, gaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwddddddddd. She is SO. FREAKING. CUTE.

    How do you do it, Heather? How does your heart not burst into tiny little pieces EVERY DAY?

  • “Ruthless” is indeed quite the compliment, in my opinion. It’s a nice change of pace from “brutal,” which is a word that a few of my kin (did I just say that?) have taken to calling our family’s (mostly hilarious) antics.

    Glad Lola is well. And I definitely see red carpets and lights and maybe even a few feather boas in Leta’s future. ; )

  • oromat

    Your mother is on to something. How could that not lift a person out of any funk? It certainly made my day!

  • MomO’Grace

    Have you been training her with the Britney “Star Search” episodes? There are some serious theatrical skills being displayed.

  • Heart-stoppingly adorable. And jeebus she’s gorgeous! That freeze-frame offers a hint of the heart-breaker hottie she will grow into.

  • Sending many good thoughts and prayers for Aunt Lola. Please pass on to Leta that we are very proud of her for temporarily distracting her GrandMother.

  • jacks

    That was so darn cute! She is adorable!

  • Leon

    Good Lord you are going to have your hands full when this one gets older.

    I mean, not that you guys don’t have your hands full now with her.

    I’m just saying. If the amount of personality she has now is any indication, God help the Armstrongs for I see a rumbling and rolling landslide of sass on their parenting horizon.

  • Prayers for your family. And, can you send me a Leta? I could use a little comic relief. My babies aren’t nearly as young or cute. Well, they’re cute, but in an older, more annoying sort of way.

  • Nifle

    1) I hope all goes well for your Aunt Lola…she sounds like a “hoot” 😉

    2) That kid is adorable! More Leta please. Though, when she turns 16 and sees all of these people commenting on her formative years, we’ll need to establish a fund for the therapy.

    3) I LOVE DOOCE!

  • Trouble in Mind

    Kids are the best reminder that things need to stay as normal as possible, even in the roughest of times. My best to your Aunt.

  • Glad your Aunt Lola made it through the operation…hope her recovery goes as smoothly as possible. I will be thinking of her.

    Thanks so much for these Leta videos…they make my day every time!

  • Leta could help infertile women all over the world by inducing ovary-exploding adorableness!!

    She is really starting to look older in this clip – shedding some of the “baby” look and getting closer to “kid.”

    Thanks for sharing her. I really miss mine being that age…

  • cate


    Look at that face. Where’s our baby?

  • That’s certainly the best version I’ve ever heard.

  • Holy Moly, that was cute. my little boy just turned two and our main song is “It’s Elmoooo’s Woooorld!” Except “world” is often replaced with “pickle” or “butt”. I bet Leta and him would get along swimmingly 🙂

  • JeremiahWasABullfrog

    Has the world stopped turning? I’ve been Doocing since before Leta came along and never have commented, but for the first time ever i saw 0 comments, so i felt now is my chance! Of course by the time i finish there will probably be 64 comments, but oh well…

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the laughs and so much cuteness over the years. I never thought i wanted kids, but watching Leta grow up has certainly made me reconsider. Is there some kind of special dance or prayer to get one that cute? I know we don’t get to see all the screaming and kicking, but when you see those eyes, or when she crawls up to you and lays her head on your chest, it has to be all worth it. Anyway, thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • My God(dess) that is adorable.

  • Sandy

    I hope that your Aunt is recovering well…I’m sure your mom & Aunt enjoyed seeing Leta’s performance..she’s a cutie!

  • I’m with Nat W. and Mehrunissa.

    Dooce: Helping to populate the world, one cute Leta post at a time.

  • That is some cuteness right there….

  • Beautiful 😉 I know that would cheer me up if I were stuck in the hospital. Children have a way of making everything seem just fine, don’t they? Well, maybe not ALL of the time.

  • Nat W.

    That hurt my uterus.

  • Eeeek, she is NOT allowed to be that cute! My plans to remain childless forever are being foiled! Gaaaaah!

  • That is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time! Best of health to your family.

  • She is sooooo cute. Ohmygod my uterus…

  • Natasha

    What a little darling. She is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • RzDrms

    muw-hahahahahaha! that is the cutest thing *ever*! love it. moremoremore!

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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