An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation


Saturday morning I woke up with a clogged milk duct in my right boob (sorry, Dad!) and spent almost the entire day hugging a damp heating pad to try and relieve the pain, hoping the situation wouldn’t turn worse and jump over into a case of mastitis. I once had a single friend ask me first, whoa whoa whoa, that can happen? And then two, can you please lie and tell me it doesn’t hurt? Because she wanted to go on thinking that babies were cute.

Oh, no, it doesn’t hurt. IT’S PARALYZING. And depending on where the duct is and just how clogged it has become, you can lose your eyesight! Not really, but almost! I’ve had worse clogged ducts than the one on Saturday, but that one was bad enough that my entire underarm was on fire and I wasn’t letting Jon look at that side of my body. I’d feel him glancing and I’d shove my hand into his face and go, STOP, DON’T, if you look at that boob it will explode. And then he’d have to explain to his mother that I was in the hospital because he couldn’t stop ogling me. AWKWARD.

Marlo and I worked as a team and got things cleared up by that evening, enough that I was comfortable driving out to my mother’s house to have dinner with them and my brother’s family. Which included his youngest child, eighteen-month-old Adam, a human wrecking ball, a kid who routinely walks around looking for things to destroy. You may be thinking, Heather, does your brother know you’re talking about his son this way? Whereas my brother is going TELL THEM, HEATHER! TELL THEM! Maybe then someone will listen and understand why he’s rocking back and forth in a corner.

You guys, I’ve never seen a kid like this, and I didn’t believe it when my mom mentioned it to me, that Adam was capable of such destructive behavior. But then I witnessed it in my own house once, watched as he silently scouted out the room for the most delicate object within reach, and then he walked over, picked up a bird figurine AND SMASHED IT! Like an angry, towering monster! WHILE LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME. Not a big deal, I have more than enough bird figurines, I am That Bird Figurine Lady, but DUDE WAS INTENSE! Like that bird figurine and I had wronged him in some way! And I was all, is he okay? And my brother just shook his head and said that the only reason he hasn’t taken up drinking is because he still hopes to make it into heaven and there is a slight possibility that the Lord won’t let Adam in.

And things were going fine Saturday night, I saw him wandering around picking things up and throwing them and then looking around to see if there was an audience. Nothing unusual. Until his mother sat down next to me and started cooing at Marlo. You can probably see where this is going, but I guess we were all too mesmerized by The Dimples to act fast enough, and next thing you know Adam has run over, is acting very nice about the baby, is even attempting to kiss her on the cheek, and then he looks at me, turns his head and looks at his mother, and then he whacks Marlo upside the head. Like, BITCH STOLE MY ATTENTION!

(Please imagine that being said through gritted teeth with a tiny bit of a Southern accent. Because that’s what I’m doing.)

Marlo was fairly calm, a tad startled, but mainly her reaction was to turn her head toward the culprit with a huge grin. Like, excuse me, but I don’t think you’ve seen my dimples! Disciplinary action was taken, but I loved how Marlo handled the whole thing. Like, you seem to be upset! How about we take a break from that and look at how cute I am!

  • Anonymous

    Kid needs some meds… and some parents who don’t outsource him.

  • Ashly

    My two year old daughter did that to her little brother in the first moments after we brought him home. I think she was establishing her dominance over him which she has rigorously maintained for ten years now. 🙂 I think it may have felt a little different if it had been someone else’s child, but nonetheless, I can relate to this story.

  • Aw, cousins. Love that your girl handled it with a grin, your sister in law must have been mortified. I’d love to see the protective maneuvers you put into place the next time young bruiser comes over to play!

  • OMG. Motherhood sounds mighty painful!
    Glad Marlo is such a good sport.

  • I’m jealous of Marlo. She really make me want to have dimples. No fair!!

    I have a cousin who sounds like Adam. She’s 11 now. Things haven’t changed much…

  • Boys are so impulsive and want attention, don’t they!? I’m glad Marlo was not distraught about it. She’s already one tough cookie just like her momma. 😉 Your brother’s son will be fine with discipline. I highly recommend the book “Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child.” That book helped us out a lot with these kinds of things! Oh and also the book “Hands Are Not For Hitting” that you read with your child. That helped a lot in our hitting phase (which was about 2 months or so).

    Adam is actually your nephew, right? Just checking because you said your “brother’s son”. Just wondering. LOL

  • Let your brother know that he’s not alone.

    While my son never hit he did (and still does occasionally) have pretty intense temper tantrums. We tried everything to get him to stop but in the end we had to be patient and let him grow out of them (while encouraging positive behaviour). It was a very frustrating and draining time for all of us. I’m sure Adam’s phase will pass in time too.

    Sorry Marlo had to be at the receiving end.

    Take Care!

  • IL~Janet

    Peace and Dimples shall reign supreme!



  • steph

    Adam sounds like my Austin. Makes me think twice about having any more. He can be sweet too though.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah! Smack Adam upside the head. That’s exactly how you teach him *not* to smack!

    He should know better but he’s still a little guy. I know you totally love him and accept him as he is, Heather, or you wouldn’t have shared this story.

    Loved the story. Thanks for sharing!

  • DJD

    a little TMI in the beginning of this post. Some things a lady should keep to themselves.

  • I have two cousins, brothers who are apart by a year. The older one used to pat his brother on the back, say sweetly in his cute 2 year old voice, “Nice baby” and then push him face first into the carpet when no one was looking.

    At the age of three, this same kid yelled at the next door neighbors, “Hey ‘eighbors, what the ‘uck you think you do-ing?” And then slammed the patio door shut.

    Needless to say, he was a hell on wheels for those toddler years.

    He grew up to a great teenager.

    And a perfect adult.

  • Rita T.

    That was too cute. Baby’s can get crazy jealous when other baby’s steal their thunder!

  • I was already imagining Adam saying it through gritted teeth, but thanks for adding the southern accent part. It really helped me get the full effect. Nice.

  • I hope it’s all cleared up by now. I had mastitis as a result of a clogged duct a couple weeks after giving birth to my daughter.

    It’s a miracle I’m still breastfeeding, now that I’ve seen The Other Side of it. Ugh.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, Marlo is Nermal the cat. Make sure that kid doesn’t try to mail her to Abu Dhabi.

  • Hoya hoya! I’ve seen babies do this kind of thing to each other and they always look kind of smug afterward.

    I had a clogged milk duct with Lola and it sucked monkey balls. I used an oil they recommended at Henry’s and massaged.

    Healthy Boobs to YOu!

  • maybe he needs an outlet, creative or something more physical. toddler yoga perhaps. boys are so different from girls, aren’t they? a good story to tell at thanksgiving dinner in 20 years…

  • I have the 16 month old version of that kid. I introduced him to a friends new baby recently and before I could say a word he was already knuckle deep in her nose…oy.

  • I feel so incredibly sorry for parents of difficult children like that. I cannot imagine the patience and energy it must take the handle that. And how embarrassing it must be. I am glad you (and MARLO) are taking it with a grain of salt. Great job mommy.

  • I love how your writing takes the mundane and elevates it to a human drama, forces of darkness and light, jealousy, anger, deceit…and a moral for the observant…

  • Mo

    Go break one of his bird figurines. See how he likes it.

    Oh, right. 18 month-old. He’ll settle down. I only have the one girl, but I do have a nephew. They’re somewhat like dogs, I think. They mellow with age. But then there’s puberty…hmm. *Passes this kid’s dad a shot*


  • First off, that is just the cutest picture ever that you posted of Marlo today. Can her eyes get any more gorgeous?

    Secondly- I hope you and the boob are feeling much better!

  • Mo

    Oh, and stop fishing for boob massages.

  • “Maybe then someone will listen and understand why he’s rocking back and forth in a corner.”

    Taking a break from wiping off the coffee that I just spewed on my keyboard to say…That is HILARIOUS. I have four kids under six, all wrecking balls, and can totally relate. Although when I rock back and forth in my corner I usually bring a bottle of wine.

  • I would have put that kid in the Time-Out to end all other time-outs. Still a baby or not….reckless distruction and hitting gets one locked in a steal playpen. With an ankle ball and chain.

    Kudos to Marlo for having poise and DIMPLES! (way better than SHINGLES!), and to you for not waterboarding your nephew.

  • I fear that a little bit. That I’m going to have another child and it’s going to break everything and everyone it touches. I’m concerned that it may be punishment for having such a wonderful first child.

    Did Leta see this happen? Because if she did, I’m picturing someone pinning her to the ground to keep her from attacking Adam.

  • OH, I so feel your pain on the mastitis. I think that I would rather have another natural birth than go through the living Hell of a breast infection again. At one point I think I threatened my husband that I was going to saw the thing off with a butter knife. Thankfully I didn’t, but it was close.

  • Why is being first so cool? 78th rocks my world.

    That kid should be duct taped to a train and picked up in Pocatello.

  • Oh Heather, that story made my stomach turn. As the mother of two small girls, I don’t know how you could handle the aftermath with such grace. Wow. I know these things happen and that’s pretty much why I lock my children inside all day 🙂

  • that kid needs a few dozen spankings.

  • At least he wasn’t 4. Hopefully he was reprimanded for hitting a baby. He better get use to being out shined–dimples and those eyes. She’ll give him a run for his money.

  • Ugh – the hard-love toddler. Welcome to my nightmare. Er, household. Er, life…. nah, screw it, there’s no nice way to describe the ball of aggressiveness that is my 3 year old. He loves his little brother, but is always, always hurting him. Apparently I was the same way towards my little sister. My mother has said she was worried that I was going to be a sociopath. But I turned out ok *twitch* so I have hope for my oldest.

    And YAY for no mastitis. I am still nursing my youngest and have lived in fear of mastitis since day 1 (Having nursed my oldest until after my youngest arrived – I’ve been nursing for 3 years! Wheeeeee!)

  • I too am in love with the picture of Marlo from today! She is so adorable that she will totally be able to stop wars just by smiling at people and flashing that dimple.

    Hope your boob gets well soon!

  • Eliza

    When I first read this post I thought you said he was 18 YEARS old, and I panicked! It’s only marginally better that Adam is 18 MONTHS old, but whew!

  • Zoe

    I used to be in after-school care as a kid with a woman who had a 4-year-old. Used to sneak up and punch me SO HARD and then run away, on a regular basis. One day as he wound up to wale me in the thigh muscle and I caught him – I grabbed his wrist and just held him there (I mean, gently, he hadn’t hurt me. YET) and explained that I didn’t like being hit… and the little bastard went screaming to his mom saying I’d punched him. She maintained firmly that 4-year-olds are too young to know how to lie.

    No point, really, just glad that I wasn’t completely hallucinating the toddler-aged violence. 🙂

  • HDC

    Welcome to my hell by proxy. I don’t know how I have survived past my child’s third birthday in all honesty. I shall hoist an imaginary tall cool one this evening in respect to your brother in our shared plight.

    Little boys, WTF? That’s about all I can say.

    btw, note to sarah @#82, there isn’t enough palm flesh in the world to be effective. Trust me.

  • Becky

    Damn you Heather!!! You’re making me want to have another baby against my will. Your posts are so freaking funny and adorable that they make my ovaries ache. So not fair!!! If I accidentally get knocked up, I’m going to make you explain everything to my husband. “You see, husband, Marlo is so adorable she can spontaneously cause pregnancy in unwitting women.”

    I’ve got medical issues that have us holding back from another one. But if someone could guarantee me an easy baby instead of the refluxing/allergic ball of crazy I had the first time round I think I’d be willing to risk it. But no doctor I’ve seen has yet to issue that guarantee, so I guess I’ll just have to read your posts and weep. I especially love watching vids of Leta and Marlo. Thinking about my son having a sibling just makes me melt.

    Glad it’s going so much better this time ’round! And if you figure out the sexual position that produced this easy baby, please let me know right away.

  • Sound like Marlo was “taking the high road”. Or maybe she’s just too cute to understand getting pissed about it. 🙂

  • Ze

    With one side out of commission, you should have let Marlo chew on Jon’s nipple as a pacifier. Why should he get to escape this precious painful experience.

  • Jen

    Forgive me, for I will sin on your comments and provide unsolicited advice. Next time your duct clogs, have Jon help. Gross, I know, but I had mastitis twice, and after that, if baby didn’t clear up the duct by the end of the day, husbands job was to clear the plumbing! No mastitis since 🙂 (oh, and you’re welcome Jon)

  • Reminds me of a time my toddler daughter and I were in a public play area and she was playing with blocks. Another kid came over and snatched the one she happened to be holding out of her hand. She stared at him for a fraction of a second and smiled and started picking up blocks and handing them to him. It was like she thought, “Oh. This must be how the game goes!” Of course the kid lost interest and walked off. I was so proud.

  • Clogged milk ducts suck. Mine usually last 2 days… the first time I got one I went for a jog 5 weeks post partum and wore 3 BRAS! I was so well supported that I constricted the girls and over did it. I was a noob alright. Massage, heat and alot of nursing helped. Also pointing baby’s chin in the direction of the clogged duct can help. Which can get tricky if your duct is at 11 O’clock.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know if it would help with your current issues but I just read about how seashells can help with painful breasts and nipples:

    “The shells are an ancient remedy for nipple sores, ranging from splits and cracks, to bleeding and blisters. According to a Swedish online site that sells the shells, they create a soothing microclimate so that nipples soften and are moisturized by breastmilk—which contains lactoferrin—known for its antiviral and antibacterial healing properties.”

    Shell bikini, anyone?

  • Olivia

    Jeez, I can’t believe people harrass you through emails saying how “easy” your life is. You seem to be more prone to infection and diseases than anyone I know. Mastitis, clogged milk duct, skin cancer, shingles. You seriously are amazing, Heather. If I got shingles and clogged milk ducts within my line of memory, let alone the same month, I would need therapy lol.

  • Marlo MUST grow up to work for the UN, or in a liquor store in the shitty part of town- both require patience.

  • OMG, my grandson has a clone!

    Talk about another destructive child; I really almost pitied my daughter, except that she gave me all this gray hair whilst a teenager.

    But I digress.

    My angelic [ROFL!] grandson took apart their very expensive teevee one day. Apparently THE OTHER GRAMMA wasn’t paying very good attention to what he was doing behind there.

    By the way, he wasn’t quite two when he took apart the teevee, so they can start young.

    He was also a climber of the first order. He considered kitchen counters to be his pathways to Heaven, and all the cabinets were HIS! My daughter spent a LOT of time cleaning up spilled food because she said, “OMG, Mom, you can’t believe how fast that little fucker is!”

    I tried to have sympathy, but really, she was an odious teenager and I just tell her to chalk it up to Mother’s Revenge, because, as they say, You Get The Children You Deserve Depending on How YOU Were When You Were Young.

    If only we all can live long enough to see it.

    I’m glad Marlo was so mellow about it all. That picture you posted? Can eyes get anymore gorgeous?

    And, while I’m here and being all verbose, LOVE LOVE LOVE Monetizing the Hate!

  • I would have picked that kid up and wooped him upside the head. No joke.

    You are MUCH nicer than I.

  • Works on my 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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