Heater, Mother of Lance

The inside track

Last week Leta learned how to make get well cards at school, and so over the weekend she ran with that idea, holed herself up in her room and started her own printing press:

From Leta

I have to admit, yes, this is adorable and such a sweet gesture, but the first thing I thought is OH GOD. MARCO? Not only do we have to deal with the whole MARIO scenario, now people might mistake the L for a C?! Are we going to spend the rest of our lives going, no, in fact I did not name my daughter Marco, but I appreciate your concern. Now, let’s have a talk about your son, Kayedynne.

Sorry, that was mean. But if you live in Utah YOU TOTALLY UNDERSTAND, AM I RIGHT?

Anyway, we suggested that it might be a good idea to make cards for all the grandparents; for Grandmommy, for Grandpa Rob, for Grandpa Mike, for Grandma Nelta, for Grandma Della— and she was all, WAIT WAIT WAIT. That’s WAY too much, and she says, “How about I just do one for Linda and Rob?”

“Why just one for Linda and Rob?” I asked, learning for the first time that she knows my mother’s first name.

“Because I don’t want to have to do all that writing. I’d get SO tired.”

I told her we’d help her with all those other names, and as she handed me this card she leaned in close to my ear and whispered, “Guess what Linda does sometimes?”

Always eager for gossip on my mother I said, “Please tell me what Linda does sometimes!” I cannot wait until she is old enough that I can follow up that sentence with, “How about another martini!”

“Sometimes,” she said, “sometimes Linda calls Rob, ‘ROBERT’!!” And then she gasped as if she had just revealed that Grandmommy is actually a baby-killing liberal who hopes for a public option.

My eyes widened as far as they could go, and I was all NO SHE DOESN’T! And Leta was all OH HELL YES! Except without the HELL. It’s just, that was the expression on her face. And if she knew that I wouldn’t take away her Nintendo DS for saying it, she probably would have.

So I called my mother and said, dude, do I ever have the dirt on you.

  • meganbeth

    2009/11/24 at 11:53 am

    Oh hell to the yes 🙂

  • Jacquie

    2009/11/24 at 11:50 am

    Kids love a good scandal, don’t they? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the handmade card phase, it just never gets old. I exploited the total weirdness that my own children offered on my recent birthday cards by posting them on my blog. Yes, yes we are saving for therapy:


  • radkitch

    2009/11/24 at 11:55 am

    watch her….i have a feeling she’ll sell you out in a NY minute! Leta and her state secrets…

  • fat mum slim

    2009/11/24 at 11:56 am

    Oh I love kids and how excited they get.

    Such scandal!

  • Mrs. Williams

    2009/11/24 at 11:56 am

    Kids are just AWESOME for dirt. My kid is like the Perez Hilton of little girls.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/11/24 at 11:57 am

    Very funny. Always interesting to get reports from the kids about your parents.

    Of course, in our case, we usually have to follow our kids’ revelations with a brief word or two about how their grandparents sometimes are completely insane.

  • Karla J

    2009/11/24 at 12:05 pm

    I made the mistake of telling my Mom my son was conceived while on vacation at Marco Island. She called him Marco until I finally made her stop.

  • KellyKjellberg

    2009/11/24 at 12:07 pm

    oh fuck! thats hilareous!

  • cshift3

    2009/11/24 at 12:08 pm

    Kids will say anything and everything. Which is good when it’s about other people, but not as funny when it’s about me…
    Once my 8 year old daughter asked me if I forgot to take my crazy pills.
    And everyone at my kids school knows that I’m allergic to bromine…TMI!!

  • proud momma of one

    2009/11/24 at 12:11 pm

    I can’t wait until my 7 month old can talk! haha! Hilarious!

  • firefly1818

    2009/11/24 at 12:12 pm

    How about an easy nickname for Mario-Marco…? something simple, like…ummm…like MARIA???

  • Janice

    2009/11/24 at 12:14 pm

    More importantly – how long did the telephone call with your mother last? Did you break any records?

  • Penelope

    2009/11/24 at 12:19 pm

    This cracks me up. My mother had my son over the weekend while I was gone and he informed me, in hushed tones upon my arrival, that GRANDMA TOOK ME OUT FOR FAST FOOD. And I’ve been drinking chocolate milk all weekend. So there, Mom. Hope you had fun.

  • kristanhoffman

    2009/11/24 at 12:17 pm

    Hmm, maybe there should be a Leta series of greeting cards in your Dooce store? ;D

  • Bibbitybobbityblogger

    2009/11/24 at 12:21 pm

    Oh my god, Kayedynne… What the hell is wrong with these parents. They’ve ensured that their kid will forever have to assist their teacher in the pronunciation of their name. Utah is the wacko made up name capital.

    Kids and dirt = pure comedy. My oldest is the TMZ of the neighborhood. Who’s mom got a boob job, who’s dad secretly drinks beer in the garage (gasp), who’s dog keeps leaving presents near the front door of the grouchy lady on the corner. We get it all. She should blog about it. It’s good stuff. (Yes, we live in Utah in a neighborhood where more than half of the women have eyelash extensions (I know, WTF right?), new boobs, multiple trainers, and nannies… but they all stay home. And, where their husbands have lots of little secrets that help them stay sane!)

  • tanyaself

    2009/11/24 at 12:27 pm

    Can I first just say what a beautiful girl Leta is. What a great pic of her before she is off to school to learn how to make cards. She will be running Hallmark before long!

  • mommaruthsays

    2009/11/24 at 12:29 pm

    She certainly has got this whole gossip thing down pat; who knows she could become the Perez Hilton of the Salt Lake City area!

  • Jenni

    2009/11/24 at 12:43 pm

    I totes thought it said “Marco.” Don’t hurt me.

  • TexasKatie

    2009/11/24 at 12:30 pm

    Watch out with the little kid tattlers – I have one of those at home! 🙂 How cute that Leta thought that was such a juicy tidbit, though – she is too cute.

  • lifewithkids

    2009/11/24 at 12:31 pm

    LOL, I totally thought she was going to say that sometimes your mom tooted. I hope that doesn’t make me sound to adolescent.

  • simpliSAHM

    2009/11/24 at 12:31 pm

    Oh yes, as a former Utah resident/Mormon I’m all too familiar with the weird name spellings, but to fair, let’s not forget about naming kids after prophets/general authorities.

  • Daisy JD

    2009/11/24 at 12:35 pm

    One of the (few) things I miss about living in Utah is the birth announcements. How many times will the phrase “Aubriella is not a real name” have to escape my lips in one lifetime? I’d argue that once is once too many.

  • LovingDanger

    2009/11/24 at 12:36 pm

    At least that’s the only dirt she’s got… I’m sure when my daughter is Leta’s age she’ll come home and tell me all about how Grandma hates the Chinese. Yep, cause I’ve got a lovely mother in law like that!

  • MichelleC

    2009/11/24 at 12:39 pm

    I am from Utah and I SO GET the whole name thing. It’s like everyone around here (mostly the Mormons)makes up names with “creative spelling” to throw us all off. And there always seems to be an “ay/den” attached to it. Brayden, Cayden, Kaylance, Tayden GRRRR! Enough with the creative names and spelling (you know who you are).

  • marialoo

    2009/11/24 at 12:51 pm

    It’s not just Utah that has the crazy names. Sometimes I think parents start with a grab bag of letters (both lower case and capital) and punctuation, just pulling random stuff out until they have a “name”. Ij’laTay’ah or some crazines.

  • Lara

    2009/11/24 at 12:56 pm

    How’s this for a name: Tamaleana. No? OK, Kambryn? Haylen? Maybe Mirrorosa? I kid you not, these are all names of children on my current case docket. Mirrorosa alone is grounds for filing an abuse and neglect petition, don’t you agree?

  • alice q.

    2009/11/24 at 12:57 pm

    At least you didn’t name Marlo something that starts with the letter V or else people might confuse her name with Vernal Independence. Oh lord.

  • yogafan

    2009/11/24 at 1:04 pm

    Okay, one of the names on that list was Abcde?? I guess the logical progression is Fghij, Klmno, etc. Also, moments like that- with Leta- make me want to have kids.

  • WebSavyMom

    2009/11/24 at 1:08 pm

    –>I saw Marco on her card and thought, Uh Oh. Maybe you should just start calling her Marlo Polo?


  • jenspillman

    2009/11/24 at 1:10 pm

    They have NaLa’DeLuhRay listed as a boy’s name. Whatever, it’s totally a girl’s name.

  • Karen Chatters

    2009/11/24 at 1:31 pm

    Hopefully you were able to get the dirt on your mom to your mom in 45 seconds or less. You know, before she hangs up on you.

  • d3 voiceworks

    2009/11/24 at 1:33 pm

    I sent the Utah Baby Namer link to friends and family. Subject line: This is where I live

    Thank gawd the name Emilio (Lio) is NOT on that list.

    Gobble, gobble!

  • JackJillPutUpABlog

    2009/11/24 at 1:42 pm

    She could always go the J.Lo route and do: Mar.Lo

    She’s just Mar.Lo from the block… in Utah.

  • kimplasters

    2009/11/24 at 1:50 pm

    That’s it. I’m packing my stuff, moving to Utah and getting pregnant – with a boy – JUST so I can put “Azer Baloo” on his birth certificate. I’d do it here, but I think North Carolina has some kind of law requiring that the first name be an adjective (can refer to size, age or ownership) and the middle name be something that no less than a dozen family members already claim (hence the need for the adjective). The law applies to both sexes, BTW. It should come as no surprise then, that I will be spending this Thanksgiving with Big Jake and Little Jake; Big Britt might be here, but Little Britt ran off with some trucker last I heard; Debbie’s David is out of town as is Carter’s David, but Big Roger and Roger Junior will most likely make an appearance. Same goes for James, Jim and Jimmy, Uncle Butch and Little Butch and of course, Junior. May not be what you put on her birth certificate, but Mario and Marco both sound better than “Tha Other Marlo”.

  • emulli

    2009/11/24 at 2:02 pm

    My suggestion for Marlo’s name: use all caps for official forms when you’re hand-writing. I had a weird last name, and all caps always worked. You may feel strange writing MARLO armstrong, but it’s better than her potential trauma at always being Mario or Marco…

  • DudgeOH

    2009/11/24 at 2:33 pm

    “Now, let’s have a talk about your son, Kayedynne.

    Sorry, that was mean. But if you live in Utah YOU TOTALLY UNDERSTAND, AM I RIGHT?”

    Holy crap! I followed the link you provided… those names were funny, bizarre or both! I swear that outside of Utah using those names would be grounds for DCFS intervention! *lol*

  • mochajavalatte

    2009/11/24 at 2:32 pm

    My cousin is affetionately called the Town Crier. That girl has the dish ON EVERYONE. I just bribe her with candy and lip gloss. Shuts her right up. She’s 8.

  • pingersgal

    2009/11/24 at 2:43 pm

    I loved my kids cards when they were little..now they are 8 and 10 and their cards are more along the lines of ‘Mom, thanks for making us french toast on your bday’. And they have this LOOK on their face like ‘uh…it IS your bday and we DID thank you already so whats with the laying in bed thing?’
    Just wait..it gets even better as they get older!

  • dabbles

    2009/11/24 at 2:56 pm

    i really hope that you were serious about saving money for law school – because it is apparent to me that is where she is headed…

    and that link – is that for real. because if so that is the best thing in the world. i am going to the court house today and renaming my children

  • mynightmind

    2009/11/24 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve got a feeling you might like this website:


  • NolaMomma

    2009/11/24 at 3:24 pm

    Love her art work and the scoop on Linda…how cute!

  • kpstan1

    2009/11/24 at 3:46 pm

    Too funny! Your writing always makes me laugh.

  • Robyn L

    2009/11/24 at 3:49 pm

    She’s hilarious!

    And how long was the call to your mom! 41 seconds?

    My captcha is Marlo!

  • Monday

    2009/11/24 at 3:54 pm

    Wait until she discovers her teachers have first names!

  • Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt

    2009/11/24 at 4:38 pm

    Did your mother respond in less than 1 minute and 42 seconds?

    BTW…Kimplasters comment is classic.

  • Amanda81930

    2009/11/24 at 4:33 pm

    hahaha! I just looked at that website…they have “Kaysional Tempest”…KAYSIONAL TEMPEST!?!?!? Wow, do people REALLY name they’re children names like this?? *sigh*

    Utah should hang it’s head in shame!

    SHAME! (like SHINGLES!)

  • MeMyselfandMommy

    2009/11/24 at 4:52 pm

    That’s awesome. Moanna is a total tattletale. She can’t keep a secret and she picks up on everything. We’re treading in dangerous waters.

  • Fosterhood

    2009/11/24 at 4:59 pm

    Scandalous! I can’t wait until she says “hell” though (unless you’re keeping that delightful experience from us). And how much longer does she have to wait for that martini? You’re so not fair.

  • blue_william

    2009/11/24 at 5:02 pm

    Wicked post. So sublime.

  • Becca

    2009/11/24 at 5:28 pm

    I so so so so needed to laugh today and now my belly hurts. Thank you Heather.

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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