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.

  • Ruth

    Well, I’m so glad someone else gained 40 pounds. I was just informed on Monday by my Dr. that I have since the beginning of my pregnancy gained 40 freaking pounds. And I still have a month to go till my due date. Is it humanly possible to not gain weight during the last four weeks of a pregnancy? Is that a BAD thing? OR something to aspire to? I had really hoped on keeping it under 40 lbs, but now that’s all shot to hell, and so are my dreams of ice-cream sandwich breaks at 3 pm every day.

  • Elese

    Ok, I am a mother of 5 month old twins…I just got home from the grocery store with the kids…it’s 2:30pm…I am finally eating some lunch…and I just snarfed it all over my computer screen. Thank you so much for the great laugh!

  • What a beautiful way to start a birthday.

    Happy bursendagen Jon!

    Black beans + breastmilk + baby = Tuba raped trombone noises…love it. Love it to the point of peeing my pants from hysterical laughter.

  • Maggie

    Check out these other great ETSY stores when you get a chance…

    threegreenapples (my fave)
    Haru (my friend Beth’s site)
    thaneeya (great artwork)

  • What kind of Camera do you use?
    Your photos are gorgeous.

  • Ania

    Try getting Leta to watch Yo Gabba Gabba. The music alone is better than all the other cartoons combined.

    my captcha? stacie sinkinshorts. He he.

  • Happiest of Birthdays
    As always a story that can only be told by you.
    Thanks, I enjoy your wit

  • Happy birthday Jon! I’m glad to see you got some sparks, even if they were coming out of your daughter’s ass.

    Heather, this post was brilliant!! Has me laughing still. But I should tell you that my captcha phrase is “Moe meanness.” I think that means you’re being too nice. Time to rip someone a new one.

    Or something.

  • Dr. Evil


    Seriously, time to tell us the recipe, or just email it to me 🙂

    Just an observation, but it is funny how everybody (wimmmins) here hates Ben Stiller’s bad days, but I bet you have no problem watching a whole movie with the world caving in around poor Bridgett Jones’ head.

    I mainly had to comment because my Captcha is: methane Downstate’s

    How appropriate :/

  • Laura

    Heather, you tell a story like nobody else I know. I’m about to piss myself over here, laughing!

    Happy Birthday, Jon!

  • gina

    Awesome cake !!! My husband had Star Wars themed cakes to match his Yoda jammies too.

  • Nicole

    SO funny because my husband and I have the exact same reaction to the show Oswald. Our 2 year old son LOVES that show and we cannot for the life of us figure out why. Everything goes wrong for that poor octupus!

  • Kay

    Happy (belated) birthday, Jon!

    Does Jon read the comments here? If so, I’d just like to say that I’m a 25 year-old grad student with a 20 year-old younger sister, and our mom is only one year older than he is. I don’t say this to make him feel old, of course. Rather, when he thinks his life can’t get any crazier than being woken up at the ass of dawn to watch a show about an apparently hydrophobic octopus while sandwiched between a rowdy 5 year-old and a farting infant, just remember that your children haven’t hit adolescence yet. It gets crazier!

    Hope you all had a great day.

  • Dana

    It’s funny- i had a similar run in with oswald when my second baby was just about seven weeks old. I was sitting on the couch nursing and trying to keep a 3.5 year old occupied and through the mire I finally was able to place Oswald’s voice.

    It’s Fred Fucking Savage. It was like finding out I was adopted.

    I wrote about it here. I’ve blocked out the memory but this post brought it back.

  • effie

    I think your funny is growing….or you just have more content as of late. Could be both with a bit of sleep deprived delirium. Regardless, funny shit.
    Oh and my daughter, bean head as well.

  • EvilCleopatra

    I agree with you and whomever else said it up there: I hate Ben Stiller movies for the same exact reason too! Unless it’s a Ben Stiller crazy movie (ie. Heavy Weights, Zoolander) I just can’t handle him.

    On another note, I used to intern at Sprout, and half my days were spent screening preschool shows, and pondering why cartoon characters didn’t use more logic. That can’t be good for kids…

  • Golden

    Flames coming out her ass! LOL!
    Poor darling.

    And this Oswald dilemma…maybe because an octopus lives in the ocean makes it not possible to survive in non-salty flood waters? Maybe he would’ve died if he tried to swim and some oceanic consultant said “that octopus has to stay out the floor waters” to survive? 🙂

  • sara

    Happy Birthday Jon! Have a good one!
    I made the beans mistake too, and sweet potatoes, and hard boiled eggs. It was a nightmare!
    Oswald is soooo irritating! God, he is such a wuss! I was so pissed when I found out he is Fred Savage!

  • Anonymous

    Is that Hitler who is depicted on those new pillows?

    I also do not “get” reinforcing/enabling the picky eating habits. If a child is hungry, s/he will eat what is put in front of them. See how many meals s/he will refuse (not many!)

    As a parent, I know it is easier to just give in to a child, but you are not doing a kid any favors!

  • And….this is why I read this site.

  • Happy birthday to the hubs. Love this story because it is all too familiar to my breastfeeding-self and my baby Lucia.

  • Michelle Castillo

    My three year old watches that show quite often and I find myself asking the same questions but whats even more funny is my son is so smart he notices those things before I do. The way you put it made me laugh so hard I cried and peed my pants. Seriously doesnt the producers of this show think there are some smart kids out there.

  • Bee

    I just read out the tuba / trombone comment to my better and he’s now pissing himself laughing 🙂

    BTW – Ben Stiller movies, Dodgeball is the best by far. Crass, funny, ridiculous. Fantastic!

  • I feel the same way about Mr. Stiller and his movies of pain and suffering. Why is that considered funny?! He gives uncomfortable a whole new meaning.

  • Wowza, that is quite an entrance into a birth celebration day…I bet 44 feels a whole lot of old for your man, with farting babies and irritating kids shows that illicit swearing. The day has GOT to get easier from there…I mean so much more to look forward to!
    Go get Dad to babysit and take Jon out… He deserves it!

  • Happy Birthday Jon! That cake is AMAZING.

  • Awesome cake, it would be cool if you had the figures hold the candles

  • Chels

    Happy Birthday Jon!

  • Jessica

    My mom made broccoli salad (as a Southern Girl you must knwo what this is) when Kendall was about 2 weeks old. The bacon and cheese called my name and I ate it without thinking. Later, I almost cried because I knew better. It was complete hell.

  • hey, today’s my 44th bday too! Jon got a cooler cake than me though 🙂

  • Oh my God, I thought I’d bust a gut laughing at the trombone/tuba action and the whole blog post really. My ex’s grandmother told me not to take our baby girl out on a windy day to get some sun. She told me, via my husband who spoke Spanish, the air would get up her nose and she would be collicy all night. In my infinate wisdom at the age of 18, I kept her out until it got too chilly. Guess what…she had colic all friggin’ night.

    This makes me wonder about Mexican babies that nurse. Beans are a main staple in the adults’ diet… Or maybe they give the beans a pass until the baby is old enough to cut their own food or something.

    Oh yes…Happy Birthday, Jon.

  • Betsy

    Best. post. ever. For like, two seconds I thought you were actually going to blog about something normal, like Jon’s birthday. Whew. You had me scared there for a minute, but then I remembered that you take blogging so seriously you would never just regale us with a recap of your schedule. I love your writing, I never know what I’m gonna get.

  • Seriously funny. My daughter’s nightmare was anything spicy.

    We are from Texas.


    Good times/noodle salad

    Happy Birthday, Jon!

  • Elle

    Happy birthday Jon!

    God, I can only imagine my mother’s reaction if I had refused to eat the family meal just because I didn’t want to. I wouldn’t have eaten. Leta is a lucky girl. 🙂 But then I don’t think I was quite as contentious as she is, so the trade off is probably a bit more convenient for you, especially if you actually have the time to make something else.

    Cool cake.

  • Kate

    I know I’m in the minority, but I kind of love Oswald. It’s ridiculous, but I find his voice very soothing. I think it’s the kid from the Wonder Years who is the VO. It sure as hell beats Caillou, who I want to stab repeatedly with a butter knife until he shuts his whiny trap.

    Oh, and SpongeBob rules. As does Patrick and Mr. Crabs.

  • Leslie Ann

    OMG I ALSO hate movies and shows that are super depressing like that. My boyfriend LOVES movies that are dark and depressing and have NOTHING GOOD about them. Like The Machinist. And Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. Both awful sad horrible movies with absolutely no redeeming qualities. It drives me nuts.

    P.S. Awesome story — HAPPY BIRTHDAY JON!

  • michelle

    I’d give anything for some Oswald. Our 3 year old adores Caillou on Sprout. He’s sweet & all but come on, we’ve seen that episode a thousand times! & what’s with all the bald little boy characters? Caillou is 4 & not a hair in sight! Is he related to Charlie Brown?

    Happy Birthday Jon! As for the beans, try some dried papaya after. It helps with the gas 🙂

  • Rach Baby

    Happy Birthday Jon..but I think maybe you might have to send a picture of the cake to

  • I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN! I can’t stand any TV show or movie where NOTHING. GOES. RIGHT. It drives me NUTS! And in a very similar way, I feel sooooooo embarassed for characters in any situation that merits blushing…to the point where I find myself SCREAMING at the TV (instead of acting rationally by, I don’t know, shutting it off???)

    PS: happy birthday to Jon!

  • Oh man do I hate Oswald. He’s right up there with Barney and SpongeBob, they all suck.

    And as soon as I saw the word “beans” I cringed for you. At least you didn’t have big sister there laughing her maniacal laugh at every toot, which is what happens in my house if little sister has gas.

    Happy belated birthday to Jon!

  • Oswald is the stupidest show ever. EVER.

  • Jew Jenny

    Or you could just buy some new clothes. A transitional pair of jeans and a couple of shirts to make you feel more human would be nice.

  • Oh Happy Birthday! I hope it got a lot better from there!

  • OMG I can’t believe my youngest is 8 and I still remember that freakin’ episode of Oswald. The music is enough to get you into a straight jacket.

  • Amy


    There is no way he is 44. Quit lying.

    I mean, Happy Birthday and all. But geez, he can’t be more than 35? 36?

    I can handle the sarcasm, Armstrong. But lying about Jon’s age? Give it a rest.

  • OMG, I know you meant for your post to mean so much more than this, but when you mentioned those movies where the protagonist gets pummeled by life throughout, my first thought was “Yeah, like those effin’ Ben Stiller movies.” I AM SO WITH YOU ON THIS! There are VERY few of his movies that I can stand to watch for this very reason.

    For all the ways I disagree with you, LOL, it’s little nuggets like these that keep me coming back. YOU ROCK. Hope you are enjoying your fam of 4, and Happy 44th to your husband.


  • Krista

    Between the cheese and the beans, at least you know Leta won’t be constipated or The Toots and Poops.

  • Anonymous

    What’s crazy is when I’m 44, my two daughters will be 23 and 20. Yeah, I’m sure your twenties and thirties were awesome, though!

  • Happy 44th Jon!

    Our 2 year old knows the word “fart”. She uses it the same way she uses “pupel” whenever she sees anything even remotely purple, you know, just to point out that she knows these things and what they’re called. We’re vegetarian, so our days and nights are filled with a tiny voice going “fart” at regular intervals. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to the next big family gathering. Nobody is going to get away with a discreet little toot and I’ll probably die choking on my tofu from trying not to laugh. Well, either that or my wife will kill me later for breaking up at the embarrassment of some uptight auntie.

    Thanks for the laugh Dooce.

  • Sarah Geeee

    I just peed myself.

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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