An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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.

  • Monica

    I used to do the “surreptitiously-sneak-snacks-into-the-shopping-cart-when-mom’s-not-looking” thing when I was a kid all the time! But for me, it usually involved things with NACHO CHEESE, not sweet stuff.

    However, I have one huge, life-changing piece of advice for you: have you ever tried Hawaiian Sweet Maui Onion Chips?


    Seriously. I thought I knew everything to know about snacking – but I was DEAD WRONG.

    They come in a lilac-colored bag. God, I hope they sell them in Utah.

  • Marie

    I LOVE the bedroom! And i was one of the ones that liked the old vanity better in the bathroom. Bedroom is awesome. Nothing matches in our house because I have no design ability. 🙂

  • Mmmmmm Entemann’s chocolate cake. And whole milk. With Hershey’s chocolate syrup. And a whole jar of maraschino cherries. Mmmmmmm.

    that’s what my ex snuck into my “NPO” birthing room. Because if they really thought I was going to push out a 9 lb 1 oz “premie” with no chocolate in my system, they had another thing coming. I only almost got caught by a nurse once, who was the nice one who told us not to let the other one catch me, or she just might give me an emetic and spoil the fun.

  • Oh, and btw, anyone who has the daring to criticize your not-pulled-taught bedsheets needs to get a freaking life.

  • Ingrid

    1983 here and I definitely know what crunch n munch is. I didn’t realize it was something that the pre 1965 crowd would be more familiar with. However, I don’t care for the stuff. One bite of crunch n munch and my back molars instantly feel 20 times bigger than they should be.

  • Before I was pregnant (3 times), I had never experienced heartburn or hemmhorroids. My heart now goes out to every person who has ever been through them. And I remember standing in Walgreens, just wanting a fairy to appear and tell me what would make my ass feel better!

    I love Bugles. Pregnancy enhanced it, but I will always love them.

    I grew up in the ’70s, to be fair, but I still remember the one worst time my mom left us in the car. I’m sure she did it all the time and it only went wrong once, but that’s the time we remember. She had left myself, my sister, and my baby brother in the car while she went into the gas station. She must not have set the brake properly, because the van started to roll backward toward a chain link fence and, past that, a steep hill. We still remember that my sister (who couldn’t have been more than 4) climbed up to the driver’s seat and tried to push the brake pedal, while I (at about 6) opened the door, but to do what? I honestly don’t remember, but I must have been planning to do something like stop the car with my enormous 6-year-old muscles. I was probably also doing a lot of shrieking, since that’s usually my response to fear. Fortunately my mom heard us, came out, and stopped the car. But even without Dateline there to remind me of all the terrible things that could happen, that story has always kept me from leaving the kids in the car “just for a second.”

  • i went nuts for jello jigglers (bought 14 boxes of jello mix) and PINK strawberry cake, i liked it because it was pink. in the same outing i was trying to pick up tucks but the store didn’t carry them. lame. settled for prep h wipes (witch hazel rocks for many things. good post partum too)

  • maggie

    You should have opened comments on your bedroom. It looks very nice. Your bathroom – ug! Those tiles and toliet paper just sitting on the floor. , your bedroom is great – cozy, great pictures, everything matches – very nice.

  • Kathy

    You just totally crack me up! Leta is lucky to have such creative, humorous open-minded parents.

  • When I was pregnant with my first child I had an unbridled craving for Dole Mountain Cherry juice. Never drank it before and haven’t drank it since. Now that my kids are teenagers I drink wine.

  • Parrish

    I read your book and your issues with hemmoroids sounded just about as bad as mine…about the time I was ready to kill myself and leave my new baby an orphan I was told the miracle cure. Add 2-3 drops (NO MORE) of oil of cypress (get it at the health food store) to some Prep H cream. Use it just 3 times a day (NO MORE) and you will be cured in no time at all! It is some serious freaking stuff and you will smell like a forest but it is well worth it. Good Luck, maybe the 2nd time around things will be better…

  • Terri Sinclair

    Hold on Heather and Jon…You ain’t seen nothin’

    My 14 year old can talk SO FAST it’s unbelieveable. Previously I raised all boys. They rarely speak after 12. Once puberty starts they just mumble and nod if you’re lucky.

    But girls? Holy moly. She wants to go to law school (at least for now) and I pity the defendent. I honestly see people begging the mercy of the court, “please judge, lock me up for life, hang me, give me the needle, just SHUT THAT WOMAN UP!”

    Example: The following was said as fast as you can possibly move your lips and without breathing at all:

    “I went to cheer practice today and like I was looking at like my history book and for a second I thought the picture on my history book looked like Mr. Copan he’s the science teacher but then when I looked again the photo was of a monkey and I told brittany and Brittany thought that was funny and laughed so when the cheer coach saw her laughing she said ‘why are you laughing’ and Brittany told her I said that Mr. Copan looked like a monkey but really I didn’t say he LOOKED like a monkey I said he looked like that picture on my history book and that the picture looked like a monkey and she was all, well you shouldn’t say people look like monkeys and then Brad said don’t people come from monkeys and I said no people come from apes and then he said well aren’t apes monkeys and Brittany said no you idiot monkeys and apes are different so the coach told Brittany to be quiet and stop laughing but she couldn’t because while she was laughing she was snorting and then I thought her snorting and laughing was more funny than the Mr. Copan looking like a monkey and the more she laughed the more she snorted and the more she snorted the more I laughed and next thing I knew the bell rang and I went to grab my history book and it fell on the floor and all my papers fell out and then Brittany was laughing and snorting and then I started laughing and snorting and the whole class was laughing except for the cheer coach she wasn’t laughing or snorting she was getting mad” and on and on and on and on just to answer, “Why were you late for mixed media class?”

    Trust me, you have seen (and heard) nothing. Nothing. Until you have a 14 year old girl. I tell my husband it’s a good thing. At least she talks to us.

  • HILARIOUS. Someone gave me some sort of chocolate meringue marshmallow cookies yesterday, and they have been hanging around in my kitchen all day, practically yelling at me. I think I will have to eat them to silence their cries.

    Dude, you’re about to have a baby. I know you probably know this better than anyone, but since I don’t have kids yet, whenever someone is pregnant it’s totally cute to me – but then when they start to get close to their due date these feelings of FEAR AND PANIC overtake me – because, some day, THAT WILL BE ME, and I don’t think my lady parts are ready for such things. Er, um, you’ll do great though. 🙂

  • PS: If you think YOUR comforter is wrinkly, you should see mine!!!

  • OF COURSE I know what Crunch N Mucnh is!!!! It ranks right up there with chocolate covered pretzels and chocolate covered Jujubes (definitely a must try if you haven’t). And for only $0.99 a box (here in Canada anyway), how could you pass up a box of the salty sweet goodness. Sex in a box right there! YUM!

  • Katie in Berkeley

    Now I want Bugles. Thanks.

  • janet

    oh, that first paragraph was fun-ny! you’re so awesome, heather. happy for you all!

  • RzDrms

    No, really. Travis shot him dead?! I should’ve watched the whole movie. ::sniff!::

  • Heather-in-Australia

    @Commenter no.27: Ooooh Lordy, there’s not enough spell check in the world to fix that one 😉 :).

  • RzDrms

    No, really. Travis shot him dead?! I should’ve watched the whole movie. ::sniff!::

  • i don’t know what crunch n munch is, however that could be because i didn’t grow up in the states.
    my twelve year old nephew talks extremely fast. when i asked him why he said: becauseihavesomuchtosay!
    (love your bedroom by the way…)

  • For the sake of Utah, I hope Leta gets out more…and for the sake of the baby, I hope you enjoy your donuts!

  • I still remember be very, very pregnant, standing in front of the ice cream freezer at the grocery store at about 10:00 at night and very slowly turning to my right and seeing an equally pregnant woman doing the exact some thing.


    OH, and John’s Crunch N Munch too! It’s like crack in a box. Mmmmmmmm…

  • ChrisV

    My mother always left us in the car – with an evil older brother who had us all convinced that if he stepped on the gas pedal, the car would blow up.

    Must be my imagination but I thought Zingers were better under the Dolly Madison label – does anyone remember that one? – rather than Hostess.

    We have fab bakeries in this area – Dutch Mothers Restaurant in Lynden, WA, has an addictive chocolate cream pie with caramel in the crust – better than it sounds.

  • Sweet Herald

    This was a goodun.

  • Alyse

    I blame you for now making me get up off my lazy ass and walk to 7-11 for WHATEVER WILL MAKE ME FATTER THE QUICKEST. Seriously though, you’re a riot.

  • my due date is TOMORROW — and to celebrate i’ve been baking/cooking every day since i’ve been on maternity leave. my kid is going to pop out and expect cheesecake in her milk …

    my husband has been hoofing down the donuts too — but i’ll give him props, he’s stepped it up a notch or three taking care of EVERYTHING for our 18 month old while i bounce and cry on my fitball, shovelling in the sweets, praying that my ass pressure will ease up soon but happily using it as an excuse to eat another slice.

    pregnancy is soooo sexy.

  • Amy

    If you haven’t already, or to anyone reading here who hasn’t, try those Cottonelle Fresh Wipes. They have vitamin E and aloe AND MAGIC in them. It’s the only thing that has helped my poor, disgusting, pregnant rectum. Which, btw, my midwife announced at my second-to-last appointment had “a lot of hemorrhoids” on it that really made it difficult for her to test me for Streb B. Yeah, thanks, lady, because my boyfriend doesn’t think I’m sexy enough right now. He needs to know that my entire ass is engulfed in swollen veins. As if he hadn’t figured that out by the whack-ass way I have to ease myself into a car, and then readjust myself once I sit down.

    BUT, now that I use those Fresh Wipes once a day I sit down in the car like a normal person.

  • I was born in ’62 and it was quite common to be left in the car while Mama ran in the store to pick-up up something.

    She left me once when I was 2 1/2 and I knocked the car out of gear, it rolled backwards into the street, hit ANOTHER car and THEN hit a light pole. No one was hurt, the police came to do an accident report and didn’t say a word…

    Can’t tell you how many times I was tempted to leave mine in the car – and times that I did once they got up a little older.

    And Mike #150. Dude, you need to check Google.

  • This post must be included in your next book collection. Sooooo poignant!!! Thank you! (off to buy Bugles or WHATEVER! mmmmmmmmm)

  • Can I just say how dissapointed I am that you didn’t find a way to work something about Mormons into a post that mentioned hemorrhoid treatments? I mean, come on, how could you pass that one up?! Okay, we’ll chalk it up to pregnancy brain.

  • Melissa

    @ 150. Mike Jones

    For a spelling Nazi maybe you should look up in the dictionary before you shake a finger. Both spellings are accurate, and they both mean the same thing.

    Drinking heavily does not excuse not being able to use

    I would bet that Heather doesnt spell While they with Whilst either.

    Interesting that my captcja WV is “DEPENDS” WHILST speaking of di⋅ar⋅rhe⋅a. lol

  • Swiss Cake Rolls frozen! The best thing ever. (Assuming there are any left when they arrive home.)

    Now about that bathroom…

  • Nice to hear they are making such innovations in the hemorrhoid ointment field.

    My boyfriends addiction to Nutty Bars (that come in the 12 pack crate) is amazing. My personal favorite was always the Twinkie…. mmmmmmmm

    Beautiful pictures in your bedroom above. I would love to be that good with my camera. The best I can do is pictures of my dog.

    Hang in there Jon. You can do it!

  • OH, and #150… Mike, you may need some of that haemorrhoid ointment??

  • Yeah. I was born in 1986 & I know what Crunch n Munch is =] I ate it all growing up. All 22.7592849080918328 years of it. Well, no. That’s a lie. About 10 years of it.

  • Jill

    Just yesterday while unpacking the groceries, husband found my bag of Cheetos that I snuck into the cart. “When did you do this?” Mind you, we’re on Weight Watchers. Or supposed to be. They were worth every bite.

    And when I was around four, my mother left me and little brother (he was maybe two) in the car so she could run into the house to get her checkbook. (Now the poor woman was already having a bad day. Realized she’d forgotten the checkbook after the groceries were rung up, and had to run home.) She left the car on and in park. I reached over and swung it into neutral. She comes out of the house and the car is gone. It had rolled backward down the hilly driveway and halfway across the field next door. She found two perfectly fine but hysterically screaming kids in the car. Ah. Good times.

  • Kari S.

    Dont forget… Little Debbie Snack cakes…. (drooools)

  • My magical Little Debbie pregnancy treat was Cosmic Brownies. I love the candy-coated chocolate chips on top.

    My great-grandmother (a crazy, backwoods southerner) SWORE that Vick’s Vapo-Rub would cure hemorrhoids with ONE application*. Poor hemorrhoids were probably so freakin’ scared they just never came back!
    *I do not recommend rubbing “Vick’s Salve” on your holiest of holies. 😉

  • Julie

    Oh, Tuesday, #44! You should write a food blog. Too funny!

  • Anonymous

    Save that hemorrhoid cream for future use as it is good to put on facial blemishes. (sounds better than saying “zits”). It shrinks them! Honest.

  • @89… I’m sorry, but that tips my revolting scale! Lol! Reminds me of the time I read about them figuring out how to deep-fry Coca-Cola.

  • Valorie

    I am willing to wager that “I cannot help it if someone says NABISCO and automatically I think about foreplay” will appear on my Google homepage “Quotes of the Day” before the week is out. Thanks for the chortle! You ROCK!

  • julie

    Lonek8 #127,
    Call a friend to help. You’d be surprised how helpful other moms can be. Or ask someone in the PO. Don’t leave your Lil Ones. It will bite you…

  • Kim

    Ever try Oreo Cakesters? We seem to have the same taste buds (i.e. our undying affection for Doritos), and I ate two packages of them tonight, begging my husband not to tell anyone. It’s like an addiction for me.

  • Typical Male

    Re: the Crunch N Munch incident: are you now trying to tell us that Jon has had ABOLUTELY nothing to do with your pregnancy…???

    Just asking…

  • I am not ready for my daughter to start walking in the next couple of months much less the play date madness. It must be a southern thing that makes grocery stores feel the need to have 3 1/2 aisles of pure heaven (this does not include the bakery). I’ve been to the grocery store in other states and mixing in health food and granola bars with cookies and donuts is just wrong as far as I’m concerned. I have at times had 3 boxes of Crunch N Munch in my pantry; sometimes you just can’t resist the munch. Lately it’s kettle corn, I don’t know why I’ve always disliked it in the past. I ate the mini microwavable desserts that you add a teaspoon of water to everyday when I was pregnant, I think they are Duncan Hines. I could easily chow down a full size but I tried to control myself just a smidgen so I would not gain to much. I compensated by adding more chocolate syrup from the Hershey bottle, fresh strawberries and a scoop of ice cream. Somehow I only gained 34 pounds.

  • OMFG – I don’t know what’s weirder or funnier – Heather’s piece or the comments from the edge. I hope you all indulge in a little snackism. And really girl, let the man indulge in a little Crunch ‘n Munch – he did finish the bathroom that generated the wackiest comments ever.

    May your patoot feel better soon.

  • Typical Male

    Darn… I meant to write ABSOLUTELY (see comment 196).

  • Now I’m jonesin’ for anything that’s fluorescent orange and cheese flavored. Damn you, hormones.

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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