An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The making of an older sister

Yesterday morning we dragged Leta out of bed very early in order to make it to my doctor’s appointment on time. We had not mentioned a word about what’s been going on, mainly to be cautious, although she’s very observant and has asked me out loud in front of strangers why my boobs are so sore. And I tell her it’s because Daddy won’t stop looking at them. That is not a lie, I can feel him thinking about them, staring at them, wondering why all of a sudden they’ve doubled in size, and when I see him walking toward me my instinct is to hide. The weight of a cotton t-shirt can be paralyzing, so you can understand that I might want to avoid the gravitational pull of two eager eyeballs.

I thought that having her in the room during my appointment would be a great way to break it to her that come June life as she knows it is going to be over, and when the doctor found the wiggly baby in my abdomen Leta shouted, “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BABY FROM?” I was lying on the table naked from the waist down having just been through a pelvic exam, and was not prepared at all to talk to my four-year-old daughter about her father’s penis. So I lied.

“Magical elves,” I said.

She seemed satisfied with that answer, enough to continue with her list of questions. “HOW YOU GONNA GET THAT BABY OUT?” she said with a concern that made it sound as if she remembered the exact moment her shoulders left my womb. I assured her that such a process was something she didn’t need to worry about and was promptly interrupted as Jon pointed to a poster on the wall and told her it would come out my bunky. Awesome. Can’t wait for my four-year-old’s nightmares about spiders to be replaced with ones of menacing vaginal openings.

My doctor left the room briefly so that I could get dressed, and as I pulled on my black sweats Leta announced that she was willing to be nice to my baby. I thought that was very generous of her, and feeling safe enough to press my luck I asked her if she would feel that way even if it was a boy. “It’s not a boy,” she said confidently. “It’s a little sister, and I’m going to share my toys with her.” I certainly hope that Jon’s semen got that memo.

Both Jon and I were almost giddy with relief as we walked out of the building toward the car, and several times we silently squeezed each other’s hands. He was carrying Leta on his left hip and asked her if she was excited as we were about Mama’s baby.

“Um…” she hesitated. “I’m excited about Christmas.”

  • jayrose

    congrats to you and your fam!

    and no worries someday she will realize a sister is just about the best present (christmas or otherwise) a girl can get…

    …coming from the oldest of 4, with 2 younger sisters

  • One holiday at a time for Leta. 😉

  • Rachelle

    My older daughter was two weeks from turning 5 when her little sister arrived. We did everything we could to prep her for the arrival… explained contractions and birth, had her take a “big sister” class at the local hosiptal, prepped her for the crying baby, my exhaustion…etc. BUT we forgot about breast feeding. Not sure why that slipped my mind, but look on her face the first time she saw her baby sister sucking on my boob was priceless. It was totally “WHY THE HELL IS SHE DOING THAT???” Awesome. 🙂

  • I’m so happy for you all. My four year old daughter just welcomed a baby brother – she also made it clear she wanted a GIRL BABY but you would not believe how much she loves him. Enjoy these last months with Leta.. it is a time you will remember so fondly – just you and her. Congrats!

  • That is too cute! I love the “I’m excited about Christmas part!” Congratulations and how fun for you guys!!

  • Buffy Davis

    Our first daughter was three when we were pregnant with number two. My mother and I took her to one of my last appointments which is when she decided to ask a bunch of questions about how the baby “gets out.” I told her that her baby sister would come out of my chochy (I pray she never watches Happy Days) and that the doctor would be there so everything would be okay. To which she asked in disgust, “is there going to be blood?” I nearly pushed that baby out laughing so hard!

    So happy for you all! Congratulations!

  • Delurking to say Congratulations!!

  • Tori

    Congrats! Babies are always good news.

  • Congrats, I remember the day I told my son he was going to be a big brother he was 5. He automatically assumed it was a girl, so I told him there was a chance that it could be a brother. He was appalled and said “If its a boy, put it back until its a girl.” Ya OK!! Thank heavens it turned out to be a little sister 🙂

  • Wow…..
    First time visitor here and I have to say I absolutely LOVE your site. Such a breath of fresh air!
    I loved your photos and the commentary. I am still wiping tears from laughing so hard at some of them.
    I’m originally from Mississippi (I know. Bless my heart!) and grew up very close to the Memphis ‘burbs.
    There’s something about those Southern gals and speaking their mind.
    Congrats on the pregnancy. Good health to you and the baby!
    (…and here’s hoping to acceptance from Leta if a little boy is in the picture.) (grin)

    Keep up the good work!

    Leilani Grant

  • Congrats!! =)

  • I love that you used the word “bunky” in a sentence!

  • I am so happy for you guys!!! It will be awesome to see Leta as a big sister! Imagine my son’s surprise when I had to explain how 4 (yessss…quads!) got in there! THOSE were some REEEEEAALLY magical elves workin’ some hella overtime! lol!

  • Beta

    I was the third child, and with an older brother (6) and sister (3), so they fought over what I “was”. My sister won and we’ve always been really close. Sisters and brothers are both awesome, Leta is a lucky girl 🙂

  • patrice

    my birthday is june 13. as I always tell people when they ask for my date of birth, it’s “the day before flag day”. met by blank stares. (though every once in a while, I find someone who’s totally into flag day and doesn’t find my flippant attitude toward flag day funny.)

  • Can’t wait to “meet” the little one (and see pics of the rad nursery). Congrats to all 3 of you!!

  • Congratulations, Heather! This is wonderful news!!

  • Woo hoo! Sooo darn exciting about this great news! I love how Leta thought it would be acceptable to share her toys with her new sister. Hope it’s a girl. Then again, it may be more fun for us readers if it turns out to be a boy! 😉 Just kidding, she’s awesome and I just hope you have a very healthy and happy pregnancy/baby. Best wishes!

  • The questions she is going to ask is from here on out are going to be book/blog worthy. I look forward to the Leta entertainment. 🙂

  • De-lurking to offer my congratulations! Really very pleased for you.

  • Amy

    I have to laugh, because as a mother of three, your story reminded me of when my daughter came home from school and asked what sex was. Being one who prided myself on being a mom who encouraged open discussions with her children, I was shocked into speechlessness (a difficult feat some may add!) – please don’t make me have this conversation, I thought – she’s too young! My husband, without a missing a beat said you are of the female sex and your brother is of the male sex. and she Oh. That was the end of that, but even funnier is when I did sit her down a few years later to read her the book “where do babies come from” she said ewwwwwwww – you’ve done that 3 times! Yes,3 times I said.

  • All my seven year old son wanted for Christmas 5 years ago was a baby brother. We found out the sex of the baby a few days before the holiday and on Christmas told him that Santa had gotten his letter and Mama was going to be having a baby brother in July! He said “Santa is my brother’s Daddy!? We’ll get so many presents!”

    When he asked how the baby would come out, I told him that Mom’s have a special place called a birth canal and how the baby comes into the world. That seemed to satisfy him; he never asked again. I seriously did not want to talk about va-jay with my sweet innocent boy. Saving that for when he’s 12 and I tell him vaginas have the teeth of great white sharks.

    When I asked him (now 11) what he wanted for Christmas this year, he said “No Way. I’m not doing that again.” When I asked him what he meant, he said he’d learned his lesson when he was seven. “You’ve got to be careful what you wish for, Mom. Look at me– I asked for a little brother and I got a nonstop migraine.” He’s a smart one.

    Heather, wishing you the best. The most amazing thing I found in having two is how completely different they are–they are polar opposites and have such individual personalities. I had an angel the first time around and the second–well, it depends how well my meds are working that day. He is a non-stop destruction zone whose brillance only makes him more dangerous. In your case, this may be a good thing…maybe this baby will sleep through the night and use his vocal cords for gooing and gaaing only. Here’s to an easy baby.

  • Keelie

    And if you & Jon figure out a way to tactfully explain the “where did the baby come from and how did it get in there and how does it get out” line of theories – PLEASE post about it! Especially if you figure out how to explain it in such a way that will not result in a preschooler spontaneously fact-blurting in front of random strangers. Or is that pie-in-the-sky? I have a way too smart 3 year old, and that day of reckoning is bearning down like a freight train…

  • sayra

    Longtime reader, first-time commenter…yay for y’all! Congratulations and tons of positive vibes for a safe, healthy pregnancy for everyone! (But especially you, I mean, you ARE the most important person right now – keep reminding everyone of that.)

  • This is quite funny! I remember the questions…congratulations on adding to your family. We have three children and they are amazing 🙂

  • This is quite funny! I remember the questions…congratulations on adding to your family. We have three children and they are amazing 🙂

  • i don’t usually like kids or imagine being the parent of any, but you make me want them so much. your journey with leta and your continual success in bringing her to each new step and how you illustrate those emotions really has changed the way i view motherhood.

    thank you for being brave and sharing the flaws and troubles and mistakes for those of us who need to know they are normal. and expected.

    and thank you for being brave and sharing your pregnancy with your readers. a doctor or a good euphemizing family member can explain what it is like, but i am sure you will be honest and raw.

    good luck with the morning sickness and harvesting another girl for leta’s amusement.

  • Just found your blog and love it! Congratulations on being a mommie again!

  • She’s going to be ridiculously possessive of that little bit. Congratulations! The difference between one and two is mind blowing..a little scary the first few months, but soooo woonderful once they can play together.

    I’m happy for y’all.

  • Melanie

    Congrats again, team Armstrong!

    I have to share the story of when my 5-year-old daughter found out where babies come from…. a friend of mine had sent us a book geared speficially to what she could understand. One evening, my husband was reading it to her, and I could hear the wheels spinning and the lights coming on. She was getting it!

    At the end, though, she comes to me and says “momma! Peter’s going to come out of your bagina? ‘at’s gotta hurt!”

    It was at that moment that she decided she would adopt African and Cambodian orphans and name them after the Jolie-Pitt crew. 🙂

    The best part of baby number 2 is seeing baby number 1 become a big sister or brother. It’s the best.

  • Palesa

    Hurray!! Just read the last two posts. I am delighted for you!! what fabulous news! Enjoy all the excitement of the new baby to come 🙂

  • Toni

    A very big congratulations!

  • liz


  • Ava’s Nanny

    I remember my mom telling me about my little brother.

    We were in the car & she asked if I’d want a little brother or sister. I said sister. She tried to convince me to give a brother a chance & I would not hear of it.

    I still want a little sister.

  • Nashvegas

    At least Jon didn’t tell her the baby was going to come out of your Cheeseburger!

  • Amy

    I CANNOT wait for the “The baby’s STARING AT MEEEEEEE” posts. I really can’t. I know you can, Heather, but I just can’t. I think I’ll pee laughing right here in my desk chair. The adventures of Leta becoming a big sister… it’s shake your head amusing to think about.

    Best of luck, Armstrongs, we’re all rooting for you and love you. :o)

  • NIcole

    So apparently my co-worker and I think we know you b/c she called me up at home yesterday and yelled in the phone, “Heather is pregnant!” Well we have a friend Heather that just had a baby last Friday, so I was all, Duh- what was your first clue and she was all, “NO. Heather. B. Armstrong!” And then I freaked out too! Then we realized we were screaming about someone being pregnant who we’ve never met. Not to worry, this was a fleeting thought and we continued the screaming. Congratulations from all your friends in Savannah Georgia! Apparently we couldn’t be happier.

  • Bunky. Love it. My daughter was right when she predicted the second one was a boy, so good luck with that.

  • When I was pregnant with my first, my stepdaughter who was 6 at the time said that she was excited we were having a baby. Then she promptly said, “but if its a boy, I am never speaking to either of you again.” Now I have her, and two boys, and apparently that was a threat, not a promise.

  • My oldest daughter, who is Leta’s age, goes back and forth between loving and hating her little sister.

    It’s going to be a fun and admittidly stressful adventure for sure. But I have to tell you, having 2 children is so much more fun than just one.

    And in regards to finding out how the baby comes out – my daughter learned one day while watching a giraffe give birth on the discovery channel. She asked me in horror why the mommy giraffe was POOPING out a baby giraffe. It was then that I realized nothing but the truth would work. So without giving more details than necessary I explained the baby wasn’t coming out of the mommy’s butt, but rather her vagina.

    Thankfully she didn’t put two and two together and realize that she too had come out of me that same way LOL! I’m still waiting for the day THAT light bulb flicks on.


  • LOL! I can’t wait to see the Big Sister Leta posts! I can see the antics now. I do think she’ll be thrilled, regardless of whether it’s a girl or a boy.

    Does she know something you don’t? 😉

  • The word “Bunky” kind of scares me but congrats on the bun in oven status.

  • Congratulations! I’m so happy for you! I know Leta will rise to the occasion and be a fantastic, if occasionally challenging, big sister. And once she gets old enough to know how to work a camera, she’ll be posing baby sibling with spaghetti and such wrapped artistically around his/her face.

  • Dear Dooce:
    I need you to understand that after damn near each post you write, I look away from my computer and yell whatever stuck in my head from said post, only I do it the way Tracy Jordan yells “WHAT WOULD OPRAH DOOOOOOOO?”

    So just imagine a workplace filled with folks looking at me weird because I just yelled out, “It’s coming out my BUUUUUUUNKY!”

    In case you were wondering whether your readers were normal or not.

  • Sonya

    I just went screaming your pregnancy: Dooce is pregnant! Dooce is pregnant! Congratulations!

  • Laura

    Congratulations! Happy and healthy 9 months (or, I guess I should say, remaining 7 months!)

  • Elaine in the UK

    I can’t believe I’m so pleased for someone I don’t even know!


  • Doc in France


  • That’s awesome that Leta said she’s excited for Christmas! It reminds me of the time when a close friend of mine was in a long-term relationship. His girlfriend told him she loved him. He was quiet and she asked him if he loved her. His response? “I love cake.”
    Needless to say they are no longer together.

  • Leta tells it like it is…wonder who she got that from?
    Oh, and BTW, this totally kills the idea of getting together in Northern CA. with both our hot geek hubbies for drinks! Crap! Well, I do make a mean virgin Cosmo….

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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