An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Jon’s 44th

In an attempt to shed the forty pounds I gained during my pregnancy with Marlo I’ve gone back to eating that one boring diet where you eat healthy green things and avoid all those processed white things, so this means I haven’t had a Hostess Donette in almost seven weeks. The strength! The willpower! The inconsolable crying into my leafy green salad!

The first twenty-five came off pretty fast, what with the almost eight-pound baby, the placenta, and the gallons of water I’d retained in my face. It’s those pesky last fifteen that are going to give me all sorts of problems, and I think I’d be fine with this extra weight except for the part that none of my clothes fit. And so I’m still wearing my maternity pants and shirts, and I swear to God, the first stranger to ask me when my baby is due is not going to live to tell the story about how some crazy Southern woman in Humpty Dumpty pants jumped into her car and ran them over.


Anyway, last Friday night we realized that we’d run out of healthy green things and anything containing lean protein, and after scrounging around our bare pantry we settled on a dinner of black beans and cheese. Meaning, for the first time in, I don’t know, EVER, we didn’t have to make a separate meal for Leta.

Do I even need to mention here that she has eaten black beans and cheese for the last, oh, seven hundred meals? The doctor says it’s fine because, hey! She’s still alive!

I tell you this only because that was the first bowl of beans I’d eaten since giving birth, and lo, it was a big bowl of beans. A colossal amount of beans. Titanic in volume and weight. Maybe I ate so many because I know how to make a good bowl of beans having prepared them over seven hundred times, maybe because it was the first substantial portion of carbohydrates I’d had in days AND I WENT A LITTLE NUTS. Okay, a lot nuts. A colossal amount of nuts.

Any breastfeeding mother knows exactly where this is going. Because, oh my god, was that one of the dumbest mistakes I have ever made as a mother. And that night Marlo had one hell of a time processing all that fiber or whatever it is about beans that gives you gas. It was one of the most sleepless nights we’ve had since her birth, full of toots and poots and all the moaning that goes with trying to push it out. I mean, she’s a loud baby anyway. Throw in that amount of farting and it sounded like a trombone being raped repeatedly by a tuba.

So we don’t sleep at all, and Leta comes traipsing in at RIDICULOUS O’CLOCK, and to keep her occupied Jon fumbles around for the remote and somehow manages to turn on the television, I don’t know how he summoned the strength to manage it, I am still in awe. That feat ranks right up there with figuring out how to assemble Ikea furniture.

Thankfully the TV is already tuned to one of the kid channels, Sprout or Nick Jr. or Noggin, what are known collectively in our house as The Babysitter, and some whacked out show called “Oswald” is on about this blue Octopus and his pet dachshund, and it happens to be one of those episodes where everything goes wrong. Do I have to point out again how I cannot abide shows like this? My Dad and I, we have this thing about movies and shows where the main character just keeps getting beat up by life (for instance, every movie Ben Stiller has ever made), and I just can’t handle it, I start to squirm and suddenly I’ve pulled out every hair on my head. And thanks to some stupid blue Octopus I’m now bald. MAYBE THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO BRITNEY.

So I guess the plumbing in Oswald’s kitchen sink is broken, so broken in fact that it floods his house and then goes on to flood THE ENTIRE TOWN, I’D HATE TO SEE THE BILL FOR THAT ONE. And Jon and I are lying there half asleep, the baby between us shooting sparks out of her ass, and we both somehow notice that Oswald is floating on his couch through the town so that he doesn’t drown. That’s when Jon hazily lifts up his head and goes, “YOU’RE A FUCKING OCTOPUS! WHY AREN’T YOU SWIMMING?!”

And that was how we started Jon’s 44th birthday.

  • Del

    Steamed broccoli and shrimp cooked in a little bit of garlic butter. Throw some salt & pepper on it. Fantastic. 1 cup of each is about 300 calories. Seriously.

  • Sydney

    Happy Birthday Jon.
    I must add that i always loved Oswald my younger brother both watched it as children and it made me laugh. Everyone in the show is so calm and quite all the time, my mom was always wanted to know what they were taking.

  • our daughter was the noisiest sleeper ever! we started her in our room sleeping, but it wasn’t long until she was down the hall without a monitor because she slept like a drunk… gurggling and snoring all night.

    happy bday jon.

  • nes

    I’m a loyal 5-year reader and fan, Heather, and honestly have never before been offended by anything you’ve said and am usually laughing right along, but your use of the word “rape” here disturbs me. It’s an extremely powerful word, and I don’t think it should be used flippantly for any analogies whatsoever, and especially not to evoke a laugh.

    Perhaps this is related to a recent high-profile rape/murder in my hometown that has been described in uncomfortable detail. Perhaps it is because my partner is a rape survivor. These things undoubtedly make me more sensitive. All the same, I wanted to respectfully voice my perspective.

  • Happy Birthday Jon, and many condolences to your spark-firing baby! 🙂

    Love ya, Heather.

    And god do I want to cook that Oswald.

  • Doesn’t children’s television drive you completely batty? Spongebob and I have major issues, along with a few others that I wish my daughter was not obsessed with. I wish I could be that mom that doesn’t allow her kids to watch TV, but if that is the only way dinner gets made then so be it!

  • Aly

    Happy Birthday, Jon!

  • Heehee. I just went through the same thing with the clothes. I had one pair of pants left (jeans I purchased around month 5), plus maternity pants. Breastfeeding did not, contrary to what I was led to believe, help me drop the extra 10. 🙁 It was only six months later when I went back to work and had to ride my bike half an hour twice a day that things started to happen.

    Your comments form is so Drupaly. 🙂

    Happy Birthday, Jon.

  • I feel ya! Damn sleepless nights… I mean… babies are great! (big fake smile)

    Happy Birthday!

  • SAJ

    o.m.g. are there only 39 candles!!?!?!??!!!


    Now that was funny. You, my dear, have much literary prowess to behold. Hopefully one day I will possess that much word power!

  • Happy Birthday Jon!
    That has to be the smallest/cutest cake ever!!!

  • Charlie

    Heather, in the 5 years I’ve been reading your blog, you have never struck me as a sheep. You don’t have to follow the current trend of obsessing over losing the baby weight within 5 minutes of giving birth. Particularly if you are breastfeeding. You are a gorgeous woman with a lovely and healthy family. Relax–you have lots of time to lose the weight in a healthy way that is good for both you and sweet Marlo.

  • the niffer

    Happy birthday Jon!

    Great cake. Hilarious story. I can’t believe you put on 40 lbs. You SO did not look like 15 lbs extra. You were all baby, baby!

  • well, I’m sure the beans help you clear out a good additional 2lbs or so 😉

  • Cher

    Here I was sitting bemoaning the fact that I got paid today and have a whole $75 bucks left til NEXT Thursday, when I read you I forgot all about my troubles and thanked my lucky stars I am now beyond breeding age…OMG, That helped my day so much, THANK YOU

    Oh, and Jon, Happy Belated from Mempho…

  • It wasn’t funny enough that Jon exclaimed that the octopus should be swimming, but a FUCKING octopus… hysterical!

  • Happy Birthday to Jon!

    I can totally relate to the issue with Ben Stiller movies when everything goes wrong..”Meet the Parents” was my nightmare! Those movies just drive me crazy and frustrate me to no end.

  • Happy b-day Jon! You share a b-day with my favorite cousin. He’s 21. Remember 21? No? That’s okay… the back 44 will be good too.

    We love you guys in our house! Hope you had a wonderful day.

  • Happy Birthday, Jon! That story cracked me up, but I have to admit that when I read the part about his floating around on his couch, I immediately thought, “Didn’t she just say he’s an octopus?” Great minds??

  • Happy Birthday to Jon!

    Having grown up on The Wonder Years, it pains me greatly that Fred Savage has decided to be the main freaking character on such a gawd awful show.

    Why isn’t he doing something cool? Like Jack’s Big Music Show?

    That is all.

  • Caroline

    Girl, you are hilarious. You make the everyday hilarious – and suddenly I realize how awesome it is that the everyday stuff is really the coolest stuff. Thanks for a much-needed chuckle.

    PS your photographs inspired me to take up photography!

  • Happy Birthday Jon! This post is hilarious. I especially enjoyed the “Humpty Dumpty pants” and the octopus. Kid’s shows are so ridiculous. I don’t have any kids, but I’ve watched my fair share with other people’s kids. I now know why a good portion of the population lacks common sense.

  • Laurie mom of 3

    In case your wondering black licorice has the same effect on nursing we ones. Lessons are never easily learned.

    Happy Bithday Jon!

  • “Shooting sparks out her ass”.

    That might be the best line ever written.

  • Haha! That sounds like something that would be on

  • What a great cake! Happy Birthday Jon!

    All the best people are born in July (mine was Monday).

  • I am sitting here burping the hell out of my own baby and wondering what it is i eat that makes him so miserable after every feeding. It’s probably coffee, but I can’t think of a way to prove that. (Please do not suggest eliminating coffee. I have a newborn and a 2-yr-old who decided to give up her nap and a 5-year-old who learned just yesterday that spray-on sunblock can take the varnish off a dining room table. Coffee is pretty much all I’ve got going for me right now.)

  • Perfect and awesome.

  • Jo-Anne D

    My boss came out of his office and gave me a really funny look as I was almost peeing my pants laughing through this whole post. I am 22 weeks pregnant and everyone basically chalks up my random giggling fits to “hormones”. Ahhh, that was totally what I needed!

  • Poor Marlo (and you guys too)! I had that happen when I was nursing my son and ate way too much asparagus. Those were some funky baby farts.

    This Oswald show actually makes me glad I don’t have cable.

  • meg

    I think describing your child’s farts as a “trombone being raped repeatedly by a tuba” is one of your best lines yet. very nice, very nice

  • Kelly

    I too cannot STAND to watch any show in which the main character is unfairly pummeled by life!!!! I have noticed the same trait in my 8 yearold.
    I also hate CITY OF ANGELS because she DIES at the end while buying a pear for her stupid angel boyfriend while he’s taking a shower.
    ANYWAY happy bday Jon!!!
    I like the episode of Oswald where he cant committ to swimming with that flower chick or watching that penguin cop show with his penguin buddy and HEY i think thats the one where he floods the town accidentally.
    good luck,

  • Amy

    Jon’s cake turned out so much better than this at least 🙂 Happy Birthday to Jon!

  • Hollis

    I hate Ben Stiller movies too – for exactly the same reason! I’m so happy to see it in writing – in your writing in particular because you phrase it all so well. Now I don’t feel like such a crank for thinking those kinds of movies/shows are not funny at all. Phew.

  • Laura

    I totally knew where you were going with the bean thing being a fellow breastfeeding mama. My son is 4 months old and your stories are cracking me up. I can totally relate to everything!!

  • Linsey



    This entry made me laugh-out-loud (I also hate “lol”) like, 5 times.

  • Too funny. Next time you need a cake, let me know though.

  • Happy Birthday Jon! Totally BTDT with breastfeeding and beans, except for me it was cherries – like pounds of them. Poor girl seemed to be up for two days straight!

    Best of luck with the diet. I’m trying to lose the last ten pounds, plus the twenty before that was already on, plus the thirty I put on after she was born. You’re already doing better than me!

  • Oh my GOD with the beating up the main character scenarios… Hate them with the fire of a thousand suns. If I wanted to see someone get their ass whupped by life I’d secretly videotape myself and relive what happens during my nightly cold cereal dinner routine.

  • meeksies

    That is awesome. You are such a funny writer.

  • Joy

    Happy Birthday…Heather’s birthday was funnier.

  • That is, by far, the most awesome cake. Ever. EVER!

  • Adaire

    Chances are that neither you nor anyone else will read this, but hey, thought I’d post anyway. I am so with you on watching shows/movies where things go wrong! I cannot watch those practical joke shows. It is painful for me to see those poor people being tricked. Also, when I have seen a movie before and I am watching it for a second time, I will purposely skip any unpleasant parts.

    Hope the gut problems are resolved soon, and hope you all had a pleasant birthday celebration.

  • BEAT

    That cake is Cake Wreck worthy. Just saying.

  • Amy

    At last, someone else who cannot stand those painful “Meet the Parents” type movies. Every time I try to tell people I find them neither funny nor enjoyable, I just get blank stares.

  • Ok, thank you for hating Ben Stiller movies. I get that. That is me. I want to poke my eyes out watching any of his movies. I feel so relieved to not be the only one, like now I can breathe.

  • Rachel

    I am 34 weeks pregnant and all that talk about beans and cheese and pictures of cake makes me very VERY hungry! Happy Birthday Jon!

  • Jen in NH

    1. Hostess Donettes MUST have crack in them – what other explanation can there be?
    2. Your blog must also have crack in it – can’t get enough! I’ve made addicts of all my friends, am reading my way through the archives (really, I’m not a stalker) and have to force myself to slow down and not read it all in one day.

    Thanks for sharing your life and family; it’s a great gift on those days when I’m sure I’m a horrible friend, wife, stepmom, daughter, etc, etc to know other people 2nd guess themselves, make mistakes and get over them…are actually human and imperfect like me.

    Oh, and the laughter’s a big fat help, too.
    Happy Birthday and many more to all of you!

  • Happy Birthday, Jon!

    Hope Oswald doesn’t come back to haunt you in the middle of the wee hours again. It’s right up there with Tipi Tales and Toy Castle.

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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