the smell of my desperation has become a stench

A rambling Sunday evening

Leta had a playdate yesterday afternoon, and in the hour leading up to our departure her head detached from her body and spun sixty feet into the air more than just a handful of times. It was as if we had injected pure adrenaline into her arm, and the speed with which words and sentences were shooting from her mouth reminded me of someone who is auctioning off a prized cow to a flurry of eager bidders. At one point Jon interrupted her verbal diarrhea to ask her to quantify her excitement: was she this excited, with her arms stretched wide? Or was she this excited, with her index finger and thumb an inch apart? She pointed to his thumb and forefinger and said that much, which means if she were ever to experience excitement comparable to the magnitude of space between her outstretched arms, they’d have to make a new model of the globe and put a giant hole where Utah used to be.

My instructions to her on the drive over were to behave and clean up after herself, and that should she throw a fit when it was time to come home I would be forced to dismember her Barbies and feed them to Coco. I didn’t want any crying or pouting when we came to pick her up, and when the time came she did remarkably well. She thanked the parents and waved goodbye, and the stability of the world remained intact until we got to the car. That’s when she started rattling off Things We Never Let Her Do, a rambling, incoherent monologue based on complete fantasy that serves no purpose other than to communicate her frustration: we never let her stay a long time, we never let her sleep over, we never let her play with all of the toys. And yes, it’s our fault, too, that play dates don’t last forever and Travis had to shoot Old Yeller.

We let her wallow in this monologue for several minutes if only to let her articulate her emotion, and then I changed the subject to what we needed to pick up at the grocery store. She immediately protested and announced she would be staying in the car while we ran inside and shopped. Right. Has she not ever seen an episode of Dateline? Even if there weren’t some psycho roaming the parking lot looking for kids left in cars, Murphy’s Law dictates that the car would somehow shift into gear and back up over an old lady in a wheelchair. Next thing you know our five-year-old is doing three-to-five for vehicular manslaughter. And something tells me Leta wouldn’t particularly like prison.

Plus, this wasn’t going to be some quick trip to the store, not when in the five years since I last had a baby they’ve started making more than one type of hemorrhoid treatment. Seriously. Come on. Who is asking for this choice? Because I do not want to have to spend a single second of my life deciding which treatment is the most effective one for my butt. You can just stop right there. How was your day? Oh, I don’t know, there was that one hour I spent agonizing over whether or not the instant cooling cream or the gel fortified with vitamin E and aloe would serve my butt better. THANK GOD MY BUTT HAS CHOICES! Because I have no idea how else I would have spent that hour.

Unfortunately none of us had eaten a full meal yesterday, just snacks and handfuls of breakfast cereal, and I don’t think there is a worse condition to find yourself in when confronted with aisles and aisles of pre-packaged food. Because oh my god I totally forgot about Hostess Zingers! Remember those things? Turns out you can buy them in packages of twelve! Also! Entenmann’s Coffee Cake! And Soft Batch Cookies! Did you know that Bugles now come in six different flavors? INCLUDING NACHO CHEESE? Why did no one tell me about this two trimesters ago?

And no, this isn’t product placement. None of these brands have paid me to mention them here, I AM OVER EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. Women in my condition daydream about giving oral sex to powdered doughnuts, I cannot help it if someone says NABISCO and automatically I think about foreplay.

Turns out I wasn’t the only one mesmerized by the promise of artificial flavoring. While unpacking the bags at home I pulled out a giant box of Crunch ‘n Munch that I had not known was in our cart. Do what? Who snuck this box of Crunch ‘n Munch, JON? Apparently, “we” are all doing hard work to get this baby here, and “we” need to be rewarded from time to time. Isn’t that cute? How instead of admitting to a moment of weakness he tried to take credit for the baby? So cute, in fact, that for a moment I considered changing my last name back to Hamilton.

  • Tyler Roberts

    2009/05/18 at 12:44 pm

    Hang tough, Jon!

  • nis

    2009/05/18 at 12:49 pm

    Great…I’m not even pregnant and now all I can think about is Entenmann’s coffee cake! My daughter is about Leta’s age, though, and frankly she’s certainly enough to send me over the edge and to the baked goods aisle. Or to the liquor store. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    2009/05/18 at 12:51 pm

    When I was pregnant I couldn’t get enough pancakes, eggs and bagels with cream cheese! I’d waddle my ass over to Brugger’s Bagels everyday like it was my job.

  • Becky

    2009/05/18 at 12:51 pm

    I left my 8 year old in the car while I literally ran into Trader Joe’s. I locked the doors and he hid from strangers. But I NEVER thought about him running over Grandma. Thanks. Thanks for putting THAT idea in my head.

    Mother of the Year prize, here I come…

  • dooce

    2009/05/18 at 12:52 pm

    Also, does anyone who was born after 1965 even know what Crunch n’ Munch is?

  • Milla

    2009/05/18 at 12:53 pm

    i think i’ve been pregnant my whole life cus all i think about is cheesecake.

  • Michelle

    2009/05/18 at 12:53 pm

    Do they have Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets in Utah? I’ve come damn close to eating a full box of those things on occasion. Which is to say, twelve at once. I suspect that if I ever got pregnant, my babydaddy would need to buy me a Tastykake factory in order to stay in my good graces.

  • Sarah @

    2009/05/18 at 12:54 pm

    For me, it’s Godiva. I’m 32 weeks pregnant and go ahead, say the word, try it: GODIVA.

    I think I just orgasmed.

  • Dee

    2009/05/18 at 12:54 pm

    So funny! I love coffee cake!! and I use tucks wipes, seems to make the hemies cool off for a bit. 🙂

  • DB6 in Oslo

    2009/05/18 at 12:55 pm

    Of course, when you think about it, men are actually doing MOST of the work during a pregnancy… Think about all that horror they are put through!

    Seriously, if men were to populate earth it would be a spacious world to live in…

    PS: If Jon ever get the cravings, I can hook him up with some Norwegian salty licorice 😉

  • Michelle

    2009/05/18 at 12:55 pm

    (P.S.: 1976 here, and it’s Cracker Jack except with less plastic crud and more peanuts. YUM.)

  • Sarah @

    2009/05/18 at 12:55 pm

    Also, incidentally, I just saw your above comment and I thought I would mention I was born post-1965 and I know what Crunch n Munch is. This makes me feel awesome since I didn’t realize it was a generational thing.

  • Lisa

    2009/05/18 at 12:56 pm

    Mmmm Crunch n’ Munch. I was born in 1975 and I know all about that popcorny, nutty goodness.

  • Anonymous

    2009/05/18 at 12:56 pm

    Crunch n Munch is love at first bite. You’re gonna love it with all of your might…

  • Jusitce Fergie

    2009/05/18 at 12:56 pm

    Typical. Has Jon been experiencing “sympathy pregnancy symptoms” too? What a joke! The hubbies get to eat junk and sleep, but do they have to experience hemmorhoids? Nope. Pelvic separation? Nope. The constant urge to pee? Nope. They just get to justify gigantic boxes of Crunch ‘N Munch.

    No, I’m not bitter. Ok maybe a smidge.

  • Serial

    2009/05/18 at 12:56 pm

    Don’t you sort of miss the days when your mom could either leave you in the car, though? I feel like my sister and I spent entire afternoons drawing in the dust on the dashboard while mom shopped.

    She also used to take us to the liquor store with her. They gave us suckers.

    I love my mom.

  • Rebecca

    2009/05/18 at 12:57 pm

    I was born in 1974 and I grew up on Crunch ‘n Munch, Heather! We never got to have Zingers… but do you crave all those Little Debbies snacks? I spent most of my second pregnancy eating (and then throwing up…) Oatmeal Creme Pies and Swiss Cake Rolls.

  • ohsweetjeebus

    2009/05/18 at 12:57 pm

    Speaking for the 24 year olds in the hiz-ouse, yes, we know what Crunch n’ Munch is. It is the delicious, popcorny nectar of the gods. The stuff of dreams and midnight snack binges.

    Jon, I’m with you on this one. And though you don’t know me, you are so very welcome.

  • Chriss

    2009/05/18 at 12:59 pm

    Forget everything else because I just saw FROSTED angelfood cake in Kroger’s over lunch. Everyone in my neck of the woods knows that Kroger’s has the most awesome frosting ever. This shit is so good that some people (and I am not naming names here) will buy the store cake just to eat this heavenly stuff. Seriously. Find a Kroger store NOW Dooce.

  • kristin

    2009/05/18 at 1:01 pm

    Are you actually taking comments again? Because based on the bathroom remodel comments, you are either a) brave, b) delusional or c) looking for an internet smackdown.

    Ahh, the last month of pregnancy. The freedom to park your rolling chair directly in front of the refrigerator so as to save time. It almost makes the tiny feet pummeling your rib cage worth it.

    Gosh I love this blog.

  • Lesley

    2009/05/18 at 1:02 pm

    Is it weird that I want to know what hemorrhoid cream you decided on? Seriously I had the same problem after I had my last baby. I had to try them all before I found one that actually worked. And seriously, how embarrassing is it standing in the hemorrhoid aisle reading all the labels? Everyone who walks by knows what you are doing! Good luck!

  • Jennifer

    2009/05/18 at 1:02 pm

    Wow, what a sacrifice Jon made. To think, because all of his hard work, dedication and carrying around that baby for, oh 8 months, he deserves, neh, DESERVES! (all caps), his crunch n munch.

    By the way, did you know they now sell “toppers” for popcorn. Nacho cheese, butter, sour cream and onion…all those good flavors to shake over a hot bag of popcorn.

  • Cat

    2009/05/18 at 1:02 pm

    Yeah, that happens to non-pregnant women, too. That’s how we ended up with a case of mandarin oranges and a lifetime supply of taco seasoning. I’m verboten from grocery shopping on an empty stomach.

  • Emily

    2009/05/18 at 1:03 pm

    I always get the YELLOW Zingers. And peel the top off. Because that’s how it’s meant to be.

    And don’t even get me started on all the butt medicine. I could give you pros and cons on all of them. I’ve tried them all. Fact of it is, your ass will never cooperate.

    Crunch n Munch. I know what it is…but, meh.

  • XOXO

    2009/05/18 at 1:03 pm

    Heather, darling, just so you know, the “you never let me” list NEVER.GOES.AWAY.





  • Laura Riddle

    2009/05/18 at 1:05 pm

    As a fifty year mom who had huge babies and has had issues of a private matter ever since, I have two suggestions: One-the best hemorroid treatment for me is to soak a pad with alcohol and apply directly to the spot (assuming that they are the external kind). Yes, it will get your attention, but just for a second and then it all feels better. Second-for constipation the best thing I have found is to take one extra calcium with magnesium tablet every night. That means I take 4 tablets and it helps me sleep plus that other benefit.

  • Skideewink

    2009/05/18 at 1:05 pm

    CRUNCH – n – MUNCH! Started 19 years ago for me and still love it. BTW, the extra strength cooling gel in the fridge this summer is also great for skiter bites. Its reduces swelling and itching for incest bites, whodaknew!

  • Carrie

    2009/05/18 at 1:08 pm

    I’m just happy to hear you can still eat. Since my babies refuse to stick very far out of my pelvis and rib cage, by 35 weeks I expect to be subsisting on sips of broth and tiny gulps of air.
    That’s why I’m making up for future lost time now. Am eating Fig Newtons as I type this. Did you know that 2 Fig Newtons containt 4% RDA or iron? That means I get to eat 50 in the name of reversing my pg anemia in time to be allowed into the alternative birthing center!

  • SarahW

    2009/05/18 at 1:10 pm

    Ha ha! I just hit 8 months and I have my pantry stocked with Hostess donut gems, powdered sugar and chocolate covered. And don’t forget the Hostess “fruit filled pies” In fact I hear a cherry one callng my name right now….All hail King Hostess and Queen Little Debbie!

  • Betsy

    2009/05/18 at 1:10 pm

    Laura Riddle…I don’t know what to say.

  • martha

    2009/05/18 at 1:11 pm

    Oh dear god i am so Hungry right now……all that food sounds so good.
    and all I crave is peanut butter cookies.
    my mum never bought baked goods- it was all homemade–ohmy date squares!
    and my last baby was 18 years,4 months and 29 days ago.
    Food cravings are so powerful!

  • The crazy suburban mom

    2009/05/18 at 1:13 pm

    Hemorrhoid stuff, yeah… they should have a separate room for it, like video stores have for adult videos.

    Or maybe the hemorrhoid aisle is worse.


  • Maternal Mirth

    2009/05/18 at 1:13 pm

    I think I will have to blame you for any gained weight whilst I am on this diet. Reading the word ‘zingers’ alone gave the elastic in my underwear a run for it’s money.

  • hiliari

    2009/05/18 at 1:14 pm

    lol!!! All I have to say is …LONG LIVE NABISCO!!!! When I was pregnant I ate all of that stuff! You on the other hand look amazing! When I was as pregnant as you I looked like I had eaten a high school freshman!!!

  • SarahW

    2009/05/18 at 1:14 pm

    Born in 1975 and I have two boxes of Crunch-n-Munch in the pantry…on the shelf above the Hostess snacks 🙂

  • Jennifer

    2009/05/18 at 1:15 pm

    For me it was Pizza Hut Pizza. Tory’s dad was a truck driver so he was never home. There was nobody to observe me in my ritualistic gorging of Pizza Hut Pizza. Nobody to watch in abject horror as I stuffed myself to critical mass.

    I had to pass the Pizza Hut on the way home from the bank where I worked… every… day… of… my… pregnant… life! I would call at 5pm when we were about to leave for the day. By 5:20 when I passed the object of my considerable affection, my pizza would be there… all warm and cheesy… just waiting to be devoured by the hugeness that was my pregnant appetite!

    I would order a medium… I mean… not because I couldn’t have eaten the large… but I was trying to exercise some control. I would have half of that medium pizza gone in the ten minutes it took to get from the Pizza Hut to my house. The rest was gone before bed at 7pm. Eating all that pizza makes a pregnant lady quite sleepy.

  • Mammakaze

    2009/05/18 at 1:16 pm

    At least you have a BELLY FULL OF SIBLING! After playdates I have to hear my daughter, an only child, complain endlessly about how deprived she is that she doesn’t have a brother or sister to play with, and why, since I can’t have more kids, won’t I just adopt? What kind of a mean, thoughtless mommy am I anyways? Then I remind her that, hey, if she had a sibling, she’d get HALF the stuff she gets now. The horrific thought of owning only 30 Barbies usually settles her down…til the next playdate, By the way, you should rediscover Manwiches. We did yesterday. Yummy. The only downside. All those (endless) “memories” from my husband’s childhood that poured forth between bites of sloppy joes on dollar buns.

  • tk

    2009/05/18 at 1:17 pm

    now about that bathroom tile…

    : )

  • Jen

    2009/05/18 at 1:18 pm

    I just started a diet today and I think this post has ruined it. I feel the need to go to the grocery store when I get off work and stock up on junk food. The craving is killing me!! I wish I was at least pregnant so I would have an excuse. Born in 78 and I’ve eaten plenty of crunch’n’munch.

  • Anne

    2009/05/18 at 1:18 pm

    I love when men talk about “we are pregnant”. I don’t know why but the whole concept amuses me greatly. My brother did it all the time when my sister-in-law was pregnant and I swear if looks would kill my nephew would be fatherless.

    I must say though dooce I’m probably going to gain five pounds just reading about all the food you talk about on the site. 🙂 Especially when you said NABISCO I mentally started counting down when I’m off work when I can get food.

  • Kristan

    2009/05/18 at 1:19 pm

    Lol, well, you have to give Jon credit for trying.

    As for Leta’s post-playdate whining, it’s normal and inevitable. Grass is always greener, yada yada. I know I put my poor mother through hell every time I went to visit my friend Alex, to the point that I think she considered leaving me there forever. But Child Protective Services doesn’t exactly smile on that sort of thing…

    (PS: your CAPTCHA would like for you to “remember melange”!)

  • Allyssa

    2009/05/18 at 1:21 pm

    Powdered donuts were my weakness during pregnancy. I would buy a box and ration them out b/c I was scared of getting fat[ter]. And if my husband took one? Aw, hell to the NO. Every time I pass the powdered donuts in the store, I fondly remember my pregnancy. 🙂 How is it our brains remember the nice, sweet sugary parts of pregnancy and not the back-breaking, sweating, evil parts? Screwy wiring.

  • meg

    2009/05/18 at 1:25 pm

    I love that half of the comments here are about food and half about hemorroid treatments.

  • tuesday

    2009/05/18 at 1:26 pm

    Plain Bagel with cream cheese- then squish as many funions as you can and top with remaining bagel slice.
    This can also be done with generic brand doritoes or BBQ chips.

    You can thank me later.

  • Jenna Jean

    2009/05/18 at 1:28 pm

    When they get older, never leave them in the car together while doing errands. My sister and I still have battle wounds from my Mom’s Target trips.

  • adventurekait

    2009/05/18 at 1:29 pm

    I didn’t know what hemorrhoids were until I started reading this website. And now I am afraid, very very afraid because every time you post a video of Leta I start calling sperm banks and cuddling up to my boyfriend in hopes of popping one out immediately.

    And then you go and talk about cravings and hemorrhoids and I run screaming for the phone to verify the fact that my IUD will, in fact continue to work for the next five years.

    My boyfriend has long since stopped questioning this erratic behavior and just sighs and says, “So dooce has been talking about babies/hemorrhoids again?”


  • cj coats

    2009/05/18 at 1:29 pm

    “daydream about giving oral sex to powdered doughnuts”…hells yeah. A version of that will be my epitaph.

  • Jamie

    2009/05/18 at 1:29 pm

    ZEBRA CAKES!!!!! that is all.

  • mediumcrazy

    2009/05/18 at 1:31 pm

    Confession: I occasionally have fantasies about getting fired from my job or dumped just so I would have an excuse to get a whole marshmallow frosted Entenmann’s chocolate cake and a bag of Lay’s barbeque potato chips and just alternate between the two all night.

    That is a secret I would only tell you Heather.

  • Anonymous

    2009/05/18 at 1:33 pm

    Oh, Crunch & Munch rules! I ate that while cramming for exams in college – it was the perfect blend of sugary carby goodness and protein that was easy to eat – nothing messy to get over my books and notes – combined with the caffeine in my Diet Pepsi, it got me through many a late night study session.

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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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