the smell of my desperation has become a stench

For all the new people visiting because they saw that five-second clip on FOX 13

Every night we have a ritual where we eat a pot of edamame and watch the national news. Yesterday after I posted a portion of a grocery receipt I got a lot of concerned email wondering just how much edamame we go through on any given day. And the answer is a lot, probably more than is safe, and if I die from eating too much edamame I hope they point out in my obituary that at least it was a noble food, that at least I didn’t die from some desperate sauerkraut binge. THAT WOULD BE SO EMBARRASSING. Right up there with CIRCULATION CUT OFF BY ILL-FITTING THONG.

On that particular trip to the grocery store, though, the edamame was on sale. So I bought the legal limit, as much as they would let me leave the store with. Was there room in our freezer for 15 bags of edamame? Did it matter? There was room in my belly for 15 bags of edamame.

Last night I was starting our edamame ritual by boiling a pot of water on the stove when Leta casually walked into the kitchen with her pants off to inform us that she had just gone to the bathroom all by herself. Normally she wants us to go with her so she has someone to talk to, so I was a bit suspicious, especially since I hadn’t heard the toilet flush. Isn’t that usually a giveaway? Either that or the way the pages rustle and echo off the bathroom tile as your husband flips through Vogue?

“You went to the bathroom all by yourself?” I asked her.

“Yep, I did,” she answered.

“Did you flush the toilet?” I asked.

She hesitated having not considered that particular hole in her plot and answered, “Um… yes?”

So I walked around the corner to the bathroom, did a quick inspection of the premises and came to the conclusion that she was lying. Not the end of the world, but certainly behavior we don’t want to encourage. So when I returned to the kitchen both Jon and I sat her down and explained a few things about lying, that it’s a bad habit and causes wrinkles, and if she’s going to try to get away with it in the future she should at least make sure the evidence backs her up, am I right? If the dog ate your homework make sure you have a dog, you know what I’m saying?

“We can joke about that here,” said Jon, “but if you say that on your website people are going to take you seriously.”

“You mean people are going to think that we’re encouraging our daughter to lie?”

“Isn’t that what it sounds like we’re doing?”

“No, we’re encouraging her to lie successfully.”

“And when she does we’ll be so proud.”

  • Patti

    2008/04/23 at 12:19 pm

    I did notice the amount of Edamame you brought home, but didn’t think too much about it since I, too, love those little salty beans! Funny post by the way.

  • Blaise

    2008/04/23 at 12:19 pm

    Good on ya. Nothing worse than a bad liar! 🙂

  • pnutsugar

    2008/04/23 at 12:20 pm

    Edamame is so good and good for you…you can never have enough!

    And make sure you tell Leta not to look to the left when she lies…I hear that’s a sure giveaway!

    And they have the blocks at Just got some for my granddaughter.

  • Jeff

    2008/04/23 at 12:21 pm

    It’s going to come in handy that Christmas where she calls out, “Mommy! Grandma gave me the new Ariel doll that Santa gave me. I don’t want another one!”

  • Shala

    2008/04/23 at 12:21 pm

    Who would want to raise a bad liar? I’m proud of you and Jon.

  • Ely

    2008/04/23 at 12:21 pm

    My sister used to tell me that it’s only lying if you get caught.

    But I kind of like the successfully part better–it makes it seem like something sophisticated!

  • KMac

    2008/04/23 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Heather and family – I love all the publicity you are getting. Long overdue and well deserved, you work your hiney off! I thought the blonde chick on the show made a couple jabs at you and I wanted to reach in the screen and pull her goldie locks hair! She made a comment about how she had said things about her family she wished she could take back “but, hey, I LEFT them up…so…THERE!” She did it another time, too that I can’t remember. I was just curious if you caught that vibe at all.

    Keep up the great work…and I LOVE EDAMAME TOO!!!

  • Kim

    2008/04/23 at 12:22 pm

    I too was shocked by how edamame heavy your grocery bill was. I was wondering if you were running a Japanese bar on the side, ha ha.

  • nitebyrd

    2008/04/23 at 12:23 pm

    I have no idea what edamame is. It doesn’t sound lethal or illegal, so have at it.

    You sound like fairly normal parents who want to raise a fairly normal child. Tell the naysayers to kiss off.

  • Annie in Scotland

    2008/04/23 at 12:24 pm

    You just have to write a parenting book! It will be full skills I needed 30 years ago. It fun now watching my kids tell their kids to go back and flush!!

  • Laus

    2008/04/23 at 12:25 pm

    My parents taught me to lie successfully. It didn’t work, but it was a nice thought.

  • Anonymous

    2008/04/23 at 12:26 pm

    The first time I lied I was not sucessful; I told my mom Mr. Oser had given me the pretty purple marker and all was fine until Maria told Mr. Oser that I had taken his purple marker, then my mom was called and I was in trouble. STUPID MARIA!

    Let’s face it, the kid will have to lie one day, might as well do it right.

    I like edamame and I was surprised because they remind me of string beans and I loath string beans.

    Funny post. 🙂

  • CortneyRae

    2008/04/23 at 12:28 pm

    The key is successful lying… nothing makes me madder than when my step-son lies about brushing his teeth and doesn’t even make the effort to wet the toothbrush. Seriously! Try harder!

  • Ben

    2008/04/23 at 12:28 pm

    Do you taunt concerned parents for sport? ‘Cause if you do, that would make the whole experience even better for me.

  • J.

    2008/04/23 at 12:29 pm

    Definitely a talent that will come in handy when Leta is called to testify before Congress. My husband always says, “Don’t lie about anything that can be verified.” Other than that, I agree with Ely’s sister, it’s only lying if you get caught!

  • Tim

    2008/04/23 at 12:31 pm

    Admit it people. How many of us had to Google Edamame before finishing the story? I’m number one.

  • shuping

    2008/04/23 at 12:31 pm

    u can’t stop once you get started on edamame. i know why u need 15 bags. i need more than 20.

    leta started her lying career with going to the toilet. that’s cute. 🙂

  • Renee

    2008/04/23 at 12:31 pm

    In response to KMac…I caught the same vibe that she was knocking Heather when she said that. I was more than slightly annoyed.

  • Ashley

    2008/04/23 at 12:32 pm

    ah the mean people on the internets and their inability to detect humor. it’s my favorite.


  • BettyCrockerAss

    2008/04/23 at 12:32 pm

    So wait, did she go pee somewhere else maybe besides the toilet?

    Maybe she’s learning from Coco?

    The blocks are in stock here

  • Mercutia

    2008/04/23 at 12:32 pm

    I need lessons in lying successfully. Please send Leta over if she gets it down pat. Meantime, continue to be hilarious; you’re one of the main reasons the internet exists, if you ask me.

  • Seren

    2008/04/23 at 12:32 pm

    I had never heard of edamame and thought it might be some cheese-related thing. So I googled it. Oh my, it’s soya?! I tried to eat soya beans once. Once was more than enough. I think I’d prefer the cheese. Lying is an art and needs to be learned properly, from a good teacher at a young age. I think she’ll be fine!

  • Melly

    2008/04/23 at 12:33 pm

    But I want to know why she lied about going to the bathroom. What had she really been doing?

  • maggie ann.

    2008/04/23 at 12:33 pm

    what is truth really? just a perceived reality… it is a talent to convince others of a different reality 😉

    this post was nice and clever. i chuckled the whole way through.

    happy sunny days.

  • Carrie

    2008/04/23 at 12:33 pm

    Love edamame. The first time I introduced it to a friend at a Japanese restaurant, she popped the whole thing (pod and all) in her mouth. The guy sitting next to us couldn’t stop laughing. She was all “What?”

  • Clairy

    2008/04/23 at 12:34 pm

    My favorite thing about children is when they lie for no reason. It seemed kind of out of nowhere but maybe why Leta chose to fib about going to the bathroom isn’t immediately apparent to me…??

  • Olivia

    2008/04/23 at 12:34 pm

    This will come in handy when it’s time for her to start faking orgasms. 😉

  • dwiddin

    2008/04/23 at 12:35 pm

    I was busy eating Marshmallows and had to look up what the heck edamame is. Shame on you for feeding your child such crap as that! Tell Leta not to blink and to flush the toliet when she says she went. For good measure she will need to wash her hands also so they smell like soap, that is what my son does anyway. Clothes are so over rated.

  • Ashley S.

    2008/04/23 at 12:35 pm

    What the heck is edemame?

  • Becca

    2008/04/23 at 12:35 pm

    You should add some guilt in next time. Nothing makes a lier feel worse than added guilt.

  • slackjaw

    2008/04/23 at 12:35 pm

    Sweetie gets a little crazy when she eats any kind of soy…It’s like living with a woman who is in a constant state of pre-menstruation…and don’t even suggest there’s anything wrong. That’s cause for getting your head bit off.

  • Anonymous

    2008/04/23 at 12:36 pm

    “It’s not a lie, if you believe it”.

    G. Castanza

  • kelly

    2008/04/23 at 12:36 pm

    Apparently lying is a sign of intelligence in a kid – ie. a sign of independent thought, testing parental boundaries, alternate realities and all that hoo-ha.

    I go with that when I get busted (which is rare).

  • Emily

    2008/04/23 at 12:36 pm

    Tim- you googled Edamame? It’s one of the essential food groups.

  • Heather

    2008/04/23 at 12:36 pm

    There is nothing worse than an unskilled liar. I, however, am able to amaze my friends with my skills.

  • laura

    2008/04/23 at 12:37 pm

    My older sister always needed me to come in and keep her company when she was on the toilet (luckily she has a husband to do this now). I was in the bathroom with her so often that we created a memory game to pass the time. We’d take all the various bathroom items – brush, comb, toothpaste, etc until we had at least ten or so and then arrange them all on the carpet. Then we’d take turns closing our eyes and when we opened them, the other one of us would’ve hidden one of the items and we had to figure out which one. Its one of those fond memories that somehow never finds it’s way into conversations….until now.

  • Tim

    2008/04/23 at 12:39 pm

    Emily, yes I did have to Google. To me the food groups are:


  • Katrena

    2008/04/23 at 12:39 pm

    I’m the worst liar in the world – hopefully the new and rising generation will be better at it. Thanks for another entertaining post.

  • LJH

    2008/04/23 at 12:40 pm

    When I was a kid, my mom would always catch me up in my lies by telling me when I lied, she could see smoke coming out of my eyes. As a 5 year old, this scared the crap out of me.

    It never dawned on me that if that were really the case, I would see the smoke too.

  • molly

    2008/04/23 at 12:40 pm

    Pfft, my parents used to HELP ME lie. In kindergarten, everyone was losing their teeth except me, so I lied to the teacher and said I had lost one, pointing vaguely to my molars. Of course you don’t lose molars that young, but she let it go, and later that day wrote my name on the Monthly Tooth with everyone else. Days later, my mom brought me in early to class before anyone else was there and saw the sign with my name on it. I burst into guilty tears and freaked out because what if Mrs. Z found out?! So before anyone could come in, she erased my name and gave me a look like, “None’s the wiser.”

    Erasing your tracks, people. That’s the key to success.

  • A Seattleite in Paris

    2008/04/23 at 12:41 pm

    lol, it’s a necessary ability if she’s going to become involved in politics, run a large corporation or even keep friends!

  • Linsey

    2008/04/23 at 12:42 pm

    Lying is a marketable skill. You should be able to add it to your resume under “other skills and/or hobbies” with a short list of your best performances. If she practices real hard, she could grow up to be President.

  • Melly

    2008/04/23 at 12:42 pm

    Isn’t it also refreshing to know that you’re on top of Leta’s lying game so far? If she were “successful” at the age of only four, that could be scary.

  • Jeff

    2008/04/23 at 12:43 pm

    Screw lying…I prefer telling the truth in the most disturbing way possible. WAY more fun without the pesky moral dilemma.

  • Hannah

    2008/04/23 at 12:43 pm

    You rock. Edamame rocks. That’s all.

  • Pollyvousfrancais

    2008/04/23 at 12:45 pm

    My sanity-saver when my kids were Leta’s age was a fabulous book called “The Mothers’ Almanac.”

    They said (I’m paraphrasing here): All 4-year-olds lie. They have to.

    It apparently has something to do with a developmental stage realizing that language doesn’t equal truth. Learning that words can come out of their mouths that aren’t necessarily describing reality is a heady thing for someone that young. And they enjoy repeating the experience, so enjoy the ride!

    Anyway, rest assured that Leta isn’t on the fast-track to becoming a felon or anything.

  • Becky..Absent Minded Housewife

    2008/04/23 at 12:49 pm

    I just have a difficult time accepting that they sell edamame in Utah. Utah’s grocery store selections aren’t what I’d usually describe as multicultural.

    I’d buy all the edamame just to keep up that appearance.

  • Marissa

    2008/04/23 at 12:52 pm

    Love edamame, love Dooce, love realistic parenting. You Rock!

  • Anonymous

    2008/04/23 at 12:54 pm

    Um…wondering what exactly one does to prepare edamame?

    I have a bag in my freezer and we tried just boiling it and it was kind of…well, not great.

    Wondering if we’re somehow blowing the edamame prep somehow, if it can somehow be made yummy enough to eat every night.

  • Anna

    2008/04/23 at 12:54 pm

    I bet Leta just wants to save water since she’s a hippie kid and she knows all too well that her mother scoffs at organic chicken stock!


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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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