the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Now I understand why cardboard was invented

So here we were, taking it easy, watching Marlo’s cues, and feeling really lucky that at about four months of age she had basically moved into her own room and given us our king-sized bed back. Where Jon can gaze longingly from four feet across the mattress, and I can go YOU SEE THAT LINE? That line right there in the middle of the bed? You take a good, hard look at that line, buddy, because you aren’t allowed on this side of that line until you see that urologist.

Snip snip! Get to it!

I’ve never been a fan of abstinence-only education… wait, let’s step back for a second. That’s not totally true. Because that’s what I practiced until I was twenty two years old. And the only reason I never gave in to that VERY SPECIAL FEELING in that SUPER SECRET AREA was because I had been taught that my eternal salvation depended on it. Give in to that temptation and spend eternity with Hitler!

Which is really pretty crafty and effective, don’t you think? I mean, it worked for me! But I was an easy case. I thought any sin would send me to Hell, which is why I repented of my first kiss, at seventeen years of age, told my mother all about it through a dripping mess of tears, like WE TOUCHED LIPS, MOM! AND I LIKED IT! And she was all, Heather, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be okay. And I was all ARE YOU KIDDING? I SWAPPED SALIVA! WITH A BOY! In my mind it was like I had broken into the living room of God and taken a poop right there on his sofa.

Anyway, my point is, the sure fire way to avoid getting pregnant? Let someone spend a week with a four-month-old who has just figured out how to roll over. And over. And over some more. Because I assure you that anyone who walks away from that experience will take one look at a box of condoms and go YOU MUST BE OUT OF YOUR EFFING MIND.

Things with Marlo were totally fine until I went to get her for one of her 2 AM feedings last week, and there she was three feet to the east of where I had put her down for the night, her right and left arms twisted up between the bars of the crib. Stuck. Who designed these things? Cribs? I’ve never even really thought about this question until now because Leta didn’t ever get caught in the many various spaces one could get caught in a crib. Because she didn’t learn to move until, oh, last week?

Oh, wonderful, beautiful, immobile Leta!

So then the next night Marlo wakes up like, oh, every thirty minutes, because she has moved and one of her limbs is caught between the bars of the crib. First her right arm, then the left, then both legs, and then she grew an extra limb out of her head just so that it could get stuck. Just so that she could screw with me.

So I go, Jon. This isn’t working. I’m getting so anxious about not sleeping that I’m having anxiety attacks. Ones that are causing me to vomit. And that noise she’s making? That terrible, irritable noise? The one she’s making because SHE HASN’T SLEPT IN FOUR DAYS? The one that goes: miiiihhhhhaaa! Miiiihhhhhaaa! Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiihhhhhaaaaaaaa!

Is it a cat? Is is a goat? Is is a troll? Is it a cat being swung by its tail over the head of a troll next to a goat puking up a hair ball?

So I suggested we get a box. A really big box with really tall sides. And he goes, Heather, we are not going to get a box. And I was all, BUT A BOX IS THE ANSWER. And he goes, no, we are not putting her in a box. And I go, BUT NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW. And he goes, Heather, step away from that recycling bin. And I’m all YOU THINK I’M GOING TO WRITE ABOUT THIS ON MY WEBSITE? HEY INTERNET, WE PUT OUR BABY IN A CARDBOARD BOX!!! HA!!! I wouldn’t ever do that, JON.

I wouldn’t. I totally wouldn’t write about it. But I would put her in a box if he’d let me.

Anyway. Point is: ABSTINENCE.

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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