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.

  • April

    I am totally impressed with that hair, Jon! My husband would go all man-jealous on you if he saw that picture. In fact, he had no idea how bald he was on top until we had our first child and on the way home from the hospital he checked the baby in the multiple-mirror system that allows nervous driving parents to see whether their rear-facing infant has barfed on herself or whatever. It was then he saw the reflection not of his darling newborn daughter’s bright shining face, but of the shiny patch of naked skin living on the back of his head where hair used to grow. It was quite a shock to him, and the look on his face was priceless as his hand flew up there to verify the nascent chrome-dome. Anyway, happy birthday, Jon. Count your blessings!

  • Oh man, i’m totally laughing out loud at my desk! Jesus what a funny post that was! Happy Birthday Jon.

    I just broke my Dooce comment virginity by the way. Heather you rock and add a little color (maybe cyan) to my otherwise boring day. They don’t call them the magical fruit for nothing, damn those beans!

  • I absolutely needed this laugh today – thank you so much! Happy Birthday to both you and Jon!

  • Poor Marlo! Wait, what am I saying? Poor you!

  • I used to worry so much about characters in disaster comedies that I couldn’t enjoy the embarrassing hilarity. But then I medicated the anxiety and initiated a 12 step program in reducing my empathy, and now I’m proud to say that I almost enjoy Will Ferrel movies.

  • Rebecca

    My grandmother had the exact same placemats… I never thought spying someone elses placemats would put a smile on my face…

  • Ahh, beans and babies. It’s like me and skinny jeans…not a great combination. Happy Birthday to Jon. Please tell me you at least had a slice of that fantastically over-iced cake!

  • Dara

    Can we get that famous bean recipe?

  • Amy

    Today is his birthday, or yesterday? Mine is today. Happy birthday to Jon.

    (and me)

  • Great cake!

    A very happy birthday to Jon!

  • This is an amazingly funny tribute to a birthday barely mentioned. (Standing ovation!)

  • Sarah

    Happy Birthday, Jon!

  • Last year, I spent a great deal of time at a friend’s house, and they had cheapo basic cable. Oswald was ALWAYS on at 10 pm, and I always watched it. No one else got my addiction to that awful show, but I love that the show’s main character is an octopus who, among other things, frets about drowning.

    Isn’t he also British?

    Happy birthday wishes to Jon!

  • Just wanted to say I found this blog a few months ago and have enjoyed your entries immensely.

    Happy birthday Jon!

  • Tara

    No lie. Before you said Ben Stiller, I thought “Meet the Parents”. That movie is painful. As are pretty much all his movies.

  • Dorothy

    Oh my goodness. As a band teacher, I laughed SO HARD at the trombone raped by a tuba line. WILLAKERS.

    On a side note – being a teacher, I know a lot of people that know random things. Did you know that children have more bitter tastebuds and therefore prefer things like meat and cheese and candy to vegetables because of it? If you think about it, it makes perfect sense – children are closer to the ground and have a habit of putting anything and everything in their mouths, so before the dawn of suburbia, when walking through fields, if they put plants in their mouth, they would spit it out because it tasted bad and therefore they could be taught by the parents what plants were safe. Nifty, huh?

    And #99 Jen – I read through all the archives too. It’s ridiculous. We are not stalkers…I think.

  • I cringed when I read the 3rd paragraph. Been there, done, that, repressed the memories of my screaming, bloated infant!

  • LMAO. OMG. Shooting sparks out her ass??!! Sorry, that’s just hilarious!

  • Yes! All Ben Stiller movies! And The Office. My husband and I cannot watch them and enjoy them because we are superior empathetic beings and it’s toooooo painful.

  • Andrea

    My eyes got sooooo wide when you started eating the beans!Sorry about your gassy night! haha Still trying to figure out what makes my 4 1/2 week old gassy… oh, everything!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JON! have fun guys, and cute cake!

  • A quirky morning for a quirky family. 🙂

    Sounds like you guys know how to party!

  • I’m still bothered by that pesky 15 lbs., & my son is 26 months old. Oy. It’s funny you mention the uncouth strangers, too, because that’s what finally made me buy myself some new (albeit bigger) clothes. After I ran her over with my car, of course.
    Heh, The Babysitter made me snort. My son was unhealthily addicted to “Oswald” for an inordinate amount of time, and his father was consistently bothered by the logical problems on that show. Echoing Jon’s perception, I was always confused by why Oswald wears a frakking INTERTUBE when he goes in the water. Ridiculous. And don’t even get me started on his talking-flower friend Daisy!
    Happy Birthday, Jon!
    (My word verification is “swagged late.” I wish I could think of something clever to say about that.)

  • You are sassy. I like it. I always answered the post-pregnancy “when are you due?” question with an excited “NEXT WEEK!! I am due next week, can you believe how HUGE I am? These TWINS must be 6 lbs each at LEAST.” Then they think you are a rail because obviously if this is you at 9 months, you must be stick-thin.

    And Second thing, I think our husbands share the same bday, big whoop, I know, but just thought I’d mention it. July 30, but mine is 42 on this one. No octopi shows at our house this morning, but we sure do say fuck a lot. in front of the kids. c’est la vie.
    Great post, Happy day to Jon, happy day to you (since you didn’t have to get any older today.)

  • Maggie

    Oh noooo! Oswald is very popular in our house. I have 2-1/2 yr. old twins, and unfortunately our son, Alex loves Oswald. LOVES Oswald. We have two DVD’s which we are forced to put on far too often for my sanity. I even bought him a stuffed Oswald from Japan, via e-bay. Oy vey, e-bay, that cost me a fortune.
    I honestly think the one redeeming factor about Oswald is that the voices on the show are all fairly cool people- (well, o.k. maybe not that cool- Fred Savage as the blue octo himself)but the rest of the cast is pretty interesting: Henry (the penguin) is the voice of David Lander, who for those of us old enough to remember this, was Squiggy on Laverne and Shirley. When Henry’s cousin, Louie comes to visit, he is the voice of Micheal McKean- (Lenny from L&S), thus re-uniting the comic duo.
    Also- the voice of Madame Butterfly is Lorraine Newman (again, for those old enough to remember the original Saturday Night Live)- which does really crack me up. Other famous voices on the show include Tony Orlando, (Sammy Starfish), Richard Kind (Pongo- the ‘retard’ dragon), Kathy Najimy (Bingette Bunny), and Mac Davis (Bingo- the Rabbit barber).
    How do you feel about Peppa Pig? This is the next most popular show, and also Yo Gabba Gabba- which is actually growing on me. It’s just so fucking WEIRD, how can you not chuckle!?
    Oh- I guess, “Happy Birthday Jon”… from a complete stranger. My birthday was 3 days ago. I turned 41. My brother was kind enough to point out that I’m now IN my 40’s….

  • Happy Birthday, Jon!

  • sil

    hi there. Congratulations to Jon and on the new arrival (I like to follow your blog but it’s my first comment)
    You may find this useful to lose those pesky extra pounds.. or not.. well, either way here you go 😉

  • Belated Happy Birthday, Jon.

    As for Leta, don’t fret. Growing up I went through “food phases”. Each phase lasted roughly one year and included ANY MEAL of the day. There was the “hot turkey sandwich” year, the “tuna” year, the “mac-n-cheese” year, and so on. Seriously, if she continues, it’ll make your grocery shopping and cooking life simple. My parents sure loved it! Then, of course, I got complex tastes and it was never the same.

  • Ha! Thank God I have not had the pleasure of Oswald…yet! Happy Birthday to Jon!

  • SuzieQ

    Having nursed all three of my kids, I can relate to the “shooting sparks” . Can’t relate to the “Babysitter” as kids are grown and grew up to Bugs and friends instead. Happy Birthday, Jon. You have a beautiful family.

  • Well, I suppose it could have been worse, right? I mean… it could have been a colossal amount of beans followed by a bag of prunes!

    Oh, and Happy 44th to Jon. 🙂

    And just an FYI, the Catpcha phrase? “beaned by”. No joke! I figured that was all too appropriate.

  • Christina

    …”sounded like a trombone being raped repeatedly by a tuba.” Okay THIS is why your #26.

  • Happy Birthday Jon!

    Why do the best tasting foods give nursing babies gas? Like 9 months of worrying about what you’re eating isn’t enough torture!

  • Not to mention his little penguin friend is rude and dumb. (Oswalds, not Jon’s).

  • Please post that bean recipe! I’m curious to know what about beans could taste so good that a child would eat them for every meal.

    also the last 15 lbs stink. I’ve been working on them for 9 months to no avail.

  • Hot tip on the weight loss thing: JUICE! You’ll feel amazing, and you won’t even miss those lil Donettes.

    And, not that I have this experience, but it could be non-stop family entertainment.

    “What should we juice next? Broccoli, carrots and apples?”


    Yeah, my boyfriend and I are dorks. Very easily entertained. But we feel awesome…

  • Katerina

    Good god, Heather, you gave birth when? A month or two ago, and now you’re DIETING (while breastfeeding Marlo) instead of just enjoying motherhood and not worrying about an extra few pounds?

    I guess you are. Sad. You of all people.

  • Oh, how I laugh. I tell everyone that I suffer from an overdeveloped sense of sympathy, which prevents me from ever watching a Ben Stiller movie.

  • Camilla

    Haha! The Humpty Dumpty pants and tuba rape made me laugh until I cried.
    Don’t ever stop writing.

    Happy jedi-birthday Jon!

  • I’ve seen that episode of Oswald and I had the SAME EXACT QUESTION. WTF?

    Happy birthday Jon!

  • louisa

    Okay you have just touched on a subject that DRIVES ME NUTS! At what point did it become acceptable for children to demand that they get a different meal that what is prepared for everyone else? The first time I encountered this was 10 years ago when my ex-boyfriend’s step-mother would make each of her children a different thing from chicken fingers to mac&cheese.

    I now know people that make two different types of mac&cheese because no one can agree on the best way to make it. These foods are not even food. Not that I am suggesting that people raise their kids like my parents raised me. God knows my parents were not especially good at the job, but it was that we ate what was served or didn’t eat at all. Granted some brussle spouts were put into the napkin and carefully flushed down the toilet but other than that I ate what was served. Kids will get away with what they can get away with. I just don’t understand this even a little bit.

  • Kristin

    Hah! Happy Birthday Jon!
    But seriously.. how do you make these beans? YUM.

  • Happy Birthday Jon! Have a great one!

  • Anonymous


    I’ve noticed that Oswald always seems to have those kinds of days and think that he might fare well with some antidepressants to get him through – whenever I see that show I want to pop open the bottle and feed them to him through the screen. If it wasn’t for the wiener dog in a bun I’d have to change the channel.

    And thank you for sharing about the weight issue. The other day I had a mother tell me it should take about 4 weeks to drop the baby weight and get back in to real jeans again, even less if I am exercising. I immediately freaked out and imagined her dismay when I come back through the door in three months still in my stretchy belly pants.

    Your blog and book have made my pregnancy so much better by the way.

  • LOL. That falls slightly short of fantastic. I mean, sucktastic. 😛

    Not to fear, CAPTCHA says! “locals Unblad!”

  • That cake is pure magic.

  • Ah, yes. I made that same beans mistake once, ONCE! And, while you’re at it, stay away from broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach, too.

  • Actually (pushes glasses up onto nose like the big nerd that I am), beans do not give a breastfeeding baby gas. The chemical reaction that causes gas in the mother who eats the beans is something that happens in the mother’s digestive system and does NOT pass into the blood stream and into the breast milk (see La Leche League). This is good news because you can enjoy the beans! The gas or fussiness or whatever is a coincidence.

    That cake looks so good I’m probably going to drive to town to get some. I am also breastfeeding. MUST. HAVE. CAKE.

  • rb

    What an awesomely geeky cake. I’m impressed! I’m also impressed that Jon is the same age as me, because I didn’t know hipsters could be 44 years old. THERE’S STILL HOPE!

  • Kelly

    That cake rocks!

    I hate Ben Stiller for the exact same reason.

  • Oh that Oswald. The funniest part about that show is that his dog’s name is weeny and it’s a female dog. Am I the only one who sees the irony there?

    So sorry about the baby gas. Happy Birthday to your husband!

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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