An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Pointing out the obvious

One of Leta’s new favorite ways to demonstrate her outstanding retention is to identify everyone in the room. She’ll point her right index finger — the one she holds up to show how old she is — to each person around her and say, “Dat’s Mama. Dat’s Daddy.” And if there is someone among us whose name she hasn’t yet stored in her mental Rolodex she’ll get very quiet, slink over to me and whisper so that no one else can hear, “Dat is?” And the look of panic in her eyes says that I had better let her know quick because her reputation is on the line.

One afternoon last week we were having lunch with our babysitter when Leta started pointing to everyone. “Dat’s Kay-yee,” she said pointing to the babysitter, Katey, someone she only recently stopped referring to as Tiki. Katey says that most kids have a hard time with her name, and she’s even been called KeeKee by those related to her. That’s nothing when you consider that no kid can say Heather, and the closest any one of my young relatives came was NerNer. Aunt NerNer, Giant Alien Squid.

After she pointed to Mama and Daddy I asked her to point to Jon as an exercise in putting together the fact that Daddy is the same person as the one whose name Mama yells in a homicidal tone all day. She looked straight at him and said, “Der he is!” Then I asked her to point to Heather, and without any hesitation she stuck her finger in my direction and shouted, “Der he is!”

I think my new haircut may be confusing her.

Turns out I can get her to refer to me as a he on command, and we taped her doing it yesterday while we were all gathered on the bed, all of us including the animal living on Leta’s head. Right before the beginning of this clip Leta was being as harpy as an old woman trying to bargain down the price of a stick of gum, and to calm her down I flipped out the monitor on the side of the camera so that she could watch herself being taped. It worked, and you can see the exact moment she recognizes herself because her face lights up with a giddy grin you might see on a man presented with an ice cream cone of cleavage.

Flash video
Quicktime movie

  • my son reffers to everyone by first and last name.. it’s funny to hear kids stuble across some odd lastnames like ackerman or rodriguez.

  • Enough about Leta, let’s talk about me and the fact that I am now so addicted to this website that I check it constantly for a new update.

    Back in the day, I never saw the number of comments in the double digits, let alone below 20!

  • TxSuzyQ

    Weeee!!! Finally someone with morning hair as bad as me… only I don’t get as happy when someone pulls out a video camera to grab it on film!

    Leta – Learn to use the video camera and gather some blackmail footage of your own sweety! You’re gonna need it me thinks! =]

  • My name is Amy, one I would not consider too hard to say and yet I am usually refered to by the toddler set as Mimi or Maimie.

  • HeathsB

    my deepest sympathies, i am also a heather or eh-or to most kids; or to the french, for some reason they all sound like 2 year olds when trying to pronounce my name and its not as cute as the little ones

  • oh my god THE CUTE.

    mina *still* has problems with the whole he/she thing. apparently as parents we’ve failed to adequately drill gender difference into her or something.

    guess its time i pull out the pink pinafores and lacey/ribbony things…

  • brandy

    My bestfriends son just called me Bambi for the first couple years of his life.

    I think you should just have a Leta-cam or a phone line that we call and Leta could tell us the time or weather..or you could with that sassy southern lady accent you got there.

  • A young daughter of my dad’s friend once said that she couldn’t pronounce my name, and asked if she could instead call me “Flower”.

  • oh heather, thank you. I really needed this today, and not only did lovely leta the meter maid make me grin, you used two of my favorite words in this post: slink and harpy.

    I can’t wait until she starts calling your sister uncle september.

  • I love that you call Leta’s hair “the animal living on her head.” I have hair that gets completely beyond all reasonable control, it’s really quite unnecessary, and my father used to ask me, “What do you feed that thing on the top of your head?” Hilarious.

  • Hippitee

    we cannot video my 3 year old without her commanding ‘turn-it-ober’…and when she sees the digitial camera come out she comes rushing over to see the ‘live feed’…we’ve killed the archival spontaneity with that simple introduction of the video screen…wishing you better luck…I adore the leta footage!

  • Ha! Try getting a kid to pronounce Maa-haan-goo! 🙂

  • DoctorK

    She’s not calling you “he”. It’s kind of a French thing she’s doing: “il y a” (there is). She’s bilingual already. What a little genius!

  • Lovely, absolutely lovely.

  • The look on her face when she sees herself is just priceless! She’s wonderful.

  • buick

    My sister is also named Heather – little brother called her “Head-doo”. I had the misfortune to be called “Cow-wee” (karen)

  • If my hair would look as fabulous as your’s does in that haircut, I could totally deal with being referred to as a man pronoun on occasion. Although the “big boob-ies” and the “he” are a little contradictory.

  • So Leta has gone from pointing out your “big boobies” to identifying you as a male… Well, it’s refreshing to know that Leta recognizes the fluidity of gender, and has grasped that the constructs of gender have been imposed on us by society’s rigid ideals, rather than being the necessary manifestation of biological imperatives.

    Hmm. I see a future Women’s Studies major in our midst. Rock on!

  • Mab

    Those videos are priceless. We still have one of my sister picking her nose and sticking it under the couch when she was 5. The look on her face when she realized the camera was on! Ten years later, we’re still torturing her over it.

  • My birth control is SO MUCH less appealing now. Great! 🙂 Thanks Heather! She’s super adorable. I want one!

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.

read more

SaveSave