the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Oddly, an Oompa Loompa didn’t make the list

Leta only wants four things for Christmas, and we sat down with her recently to write out a list that we could send to Santa. Here we are going over that list and then the discussion turns to heavier things. Let’s just put it this way: I think we handled it well given that we had to come up with something on the spot, and there was a part of me that was all, let’s hope Santa doesn’t go apostate because I hear Outer Darkness is rather unpleasant:

  • simpliSAHM

    2009/12/18 at 12:53 pm

    Darling video and love the ending!

  • Jashley05

    2009/12/18 at 12:54 pm

    “Santa’s a nice guy…” Love it. What kind of video camera are you using?

  • Hagan Squared

    2009/12/18 at 12:58 pm

    “No I’m not nervous… Santa’s the nicest guy… of all.” I love it. Such a little lady.

  • Daddy Scratches

    2009/12/18 at 12:59 pm

    And it is these conversations that keep you from putting them in a bag and throwing them in the river when they’re so NOT being this entertaining.

    Too funny.

    (PS: Holy Hannah, she’s adorable. Can’t believe that’s the same kid who was all bald and drooly when I started reading you.)

  • mochajavalatte

    2009/12/18 at 1:00 pm

    LOL girlfriend does NOT want to see Santa 🙂 It’s cool for him to bring presents, but uhhhhhhhh no visits k thx
    Love it!

  • Vander

    2009/12/18 at 1:02 pm

    That’s fabulous. I don’t know that you should share the piece about Santa’s daughter. That might just blow her mind. (though I appreciated it.)

  • Rebecca Siewert

    2009/12/18 at 1:06 pm

    Ha ha My daughter has the same feelings about Santa. She is fine with him bringing her presents and sending him a list but there is in no way to be any seeing him in person.

  • twodoghouse

    2009/12/18 at 1:06 pm

    Loved it. 🙂

  • jon

    2009/12/18 at 1:10 pm

    @Jashley05: The camera is a Canon 5D MkII.

  • jessilee

    2009/12/18 at 1:12 pm

    Haha I remember the first time I tackled that question. We went with “Santa never dies because he’s magical.” Though with Leta that may have led to more difficult questions. Very cute.

  • bea

    2009/12/18 at 1:15 pm

    Really, when did Leta become so…wordy?! I mean, I know you guys are great with the books and the reading and the general ‘worldliness’, but she just seems so much older here. And adorable.

    Totally think you handled the ‘Does Santa die’ question well. And yes, while Daughter of Santa could rock the job it’s probably best to leave that information out for a while!

  • crackers

    2009/12/18 at 1:18 pm

    Leta is soo articulate..she does seem so much older than she is. Santa’s daugther could do the job, and probably be a bit more organized at it too!

  • WebSavyMom

    2009/12/18 at 1:22 pm

    –>I had a moment of deer in the headlights with Leta’s question about Santa as if she was talking to me. Glad you pulled that answer out of your hat.


  • mandi

    2009/12/18 at 1:34 pm

    I love the “PS” at the end!

  • sarahfromthenorth

    2009/12/18 at 1:43 pm

    LOL – she takes after her mama just a little huh?!
    (think: your book title)

    I love how cute and articulate Leta is.

    BTW .. that photograph of Marlo, pretty much brought tears to my eyes the beauty and cuteness of her .. WOW – gorgeous!

    You are truly blessed Heather (and Jon)!

    Merry Christmas Armstrongs!

  • Suburban Matron

    2009/12/18 at 1:46 pm

    She is so grown up now! I haven’t seen her talking in a while.

    “Son son son son son!” Love it.

    We have had the “how old is Santa” convo at our place too. I was like, “I don’t know, he must be really old. There is a lot about Santa that we don’t understand.” Kinda like Jesus.

  • William

    2009/12/18 at 1:47 pm

    Santa’s daughter would only make about 80 cents on the dollar if she took over the job.

  • Summerfred

    2009/12/18 at 1:51 pm

    I love how animated she is. Her facial expressions and movements are adorable!

  • Abby.Johns

    2009/12/18 at 2:06 pm

    I have to say, I adore Leta. She is such a smart and unique girl. I know that her uniqueness can sometimes create challenges (i.e. only eating one food for weeks at a time), but it also makes her so endearing! She is just so unapologetically Leta.

  • blackpanther

    2009/12/18 at 2:08 pm

    Loves it. Santa, I love you and all..have mad respect for your position, but please just bring me the loot. I’m cool on the face time. Loves it.

    Man I miss when my kids were Leta’s age. We broke down and bought our teenage son an X-Box and our daughter a DSi..and by broke down I mean they only got it because they were good kids and that’s all they asked for so even though we’re on a tight budget, let’s make it happen. I want to return to the uncomplicated days of yore.

  • cactuswren

    2009/12/18 at 2:12 pm

    This is so cute, I love it…but I can’t quite understand the list and now I am so curious! Is it:

    1. LeapFrog with coloring game
    2. Barn thing (??)
    3. Barbie Chuck (…the dog?)
    4. Pink amoeba (the…single celled organism?)

  • nemiccolo

    2009/12/18 at 2:13 pm

    So, tell her you checked with one of your friends and as it turns out Santa does not ever die.

    (Don’t mention I’m Jewish though)

  • ginormousduck

    2009/12/18 at 2:14 pm

    Love this!

  • apostate

    2009/12/18 at 2:22 pm

    Lies! Outer darkness is fabulous! Closly guarded secret.

    Urban legend says that most people would kill themselves to go to outer darkness… wait… I think I’m confusing it with a different place. Never mind.

  • jene4

    2009/12/18 at 2:18 pm

    Whew! Crisis averted! My 5-year-old daughter watched this with me and said, “They don’t know that Santa doesn’t die.” I love the PS at the end.

  • Tobamom

    2009/12/18 at 2:30 pm

    While Santa’s daughter could totally do the job, she’d have to get fat and grow a beard . . . I say let the guy fly around all over God’s green earth while the women have happy hour at home.

  • ceecee

    2009/12/18 at 3:06 pm

    Watching this video I could easily see her as a teenager in ten years, with that long ponytail.

  • Kathryn

    2009/12/18 at 3:18 pm

    I totally understand Leta’s logic- when I was 4 I made my father call the North Pole in tell Santa to please NOT come to the house but that laving the presents next door at the neighbour’s would be a good idea, please. Christmas morning we went to the neighbour’s front porch to collect Santa’s presents

  • Monday

    2009/12/18 at 3:24 pm

    Good thing you covered your ass for us feminists!

  • Briana

    2009/12/18 at 3:30 pm

    Have you never seen “The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus”? It was one of my faves as a kid. It’s based on an L. Frank Baum book. You should definitely pick up the DVD if you see it anywhere. Claus starts as a mortal, and the immortals meet and talk about his life, and decide to bestow the mantle of immortality on him. Plus it has sweet stop-motion animation. And my sister and I used to fight about who got to be the hottest fairy.


    2009/12/18 at 3:31 pm


    Yeah, the mention of a daughter would totally knock her socks off. That would be too much to handle after the revelation of a son.

    BTY – The photo of Marlo is just yummy. Every photo posted of her makes me want another baby sooooo bad. (Thank God my tubes are tied because that’s a decision you can’t make looking at cute babies because when they get older I’m all “what the crap happened”.)

    Also I was looking back at a few past photos yesterday and those kids have some rockin’ parents.

  • Lauren From Texas

    2009/12/18 at 3:33 pm

    We’re not ready to have kids because of a lot of reasons, but money is up there on that list of reasons.

    But after watching this, I realized, “Just think of all the money we’ll save on entertainment! We can just sit and talk to our kids all day!”

    And then I went and made myself take 87 birth control pills as punishment.

    Seriously though, she is awesome.


    2009/12/18 at 3:47 pm

    I am seriously disappointed in myself that I didn’t see that last message coming. OF COURSE a girl could do it!! 😉 Love everything about you guys.

  • Pinkporches

    2009/12/18 at 3:54 pm

    Leta is brilliant. If only I’d had her wisdom about men bearing gifts 20 years ago…imagine where I’d be today. Leave the gifts, don’t visit. Got it! Too late, but I got it.

  • d3 voiceworks

    2009/12/18 at 4:00 pm

    #17 hilarious!

    i had that p.s. thought, too. but there’s the issue of the beard.

    hey! where’s my tweezers, btw?!

  • Becca

    2009/12/18 at 4:10 pm

    HA! @william: 80 cents on the dollar. so true. But the reindeer would have humane living and work conditions and the elves would have excellent health care coverage.

  • Lucy mom

    2009/12/18 at 4:14 pm

    Leta is a cutie – nice thought process happening with Santa’s inevitable demise.

    Lucy always wanted to go see Santa “in person” but would not allow me to stand near enough to hear what she asked for. Plus she never would give me a list so I was reduced to convincing one of the picture elves at the Santa sitting to eavesdrop and then report back to me. This went on for 5 years and I’m pretty sure I got an eye roll from every elf involved in my hapless scheme.

  • Yolanda

    2009/12/18 at 4:16 pm

    Yes, Santa dies. Right about the time you start your period.

  • ShanLeAnn

    2009/12/18 at 4:28 pm

    this made me laugh out loud and subsequently startle my baby. ah well, it was worth it 🙂

  • gladcow

    2009/12/18 at 4:46 pm

    I love when Jon tells her “pretty good thinking” at the end. Good job, Leta, you’re figuring it all out!

  • amyruthanne

    2009/12/18 at 5:24 pm

    Awesome. And I love the Charlie Brown music.

  • trixasaurus

    2009/12/18 at 7:02 pm

    She’s too smart for her own good. 🙂

  • suesheeme

    2009/12/18 at 7:07 pm

    She is such a sweetheart. I am due in 3 weeks with my first child and she has just reminded me of all the wonders that are in store. Thank you so much for psoting this.

  • Marylandgirl

    2009/12/18 at 7:10 pm

    My kids want nothing to do with the fat man either (except get presents). But this reminds me of a simple discussion of Star Wars and a scene where Padme and a studly Anakin are kissing and in the next scene Padme has a rounded belly. This prompted my 7 year old daughter to say “I understand how they come out, but what I don’t get is how they get in there in the first place”. All this as my 5 year old son looks on with such great interest. They sure do make us think on our feet. Happy Holidays.

  • tsjs25

    2009/12/18 at 7:25 pm

    So I have been at this Santa game for 10 years now, and I have found the best defense…”magic.” Santa is magic and that is all there is too it. How does Santa do it? Magic. How does Santa see everything? Magic. Does Santa die? Nope, he’s magic.

    Except another tricky one: “why do we have to buy presents/give food to people that don’t have any? Can’t Santa just bring them everything?” That one gives me a tummy ache.

  • SOLO dot MOM

    2009/12/18 at 7:43 pm

    This is great… and I love her analysis of her fear of Santa… it isn’t a fear at all… she just doesn’t feeeeel like seeing him.

    And yes a daughter could take care of it… just as well.

  • agablack

    2009/12/18 at 8:58 pm

    Hello, my name is Agi and I’m a dooce’oholic.

    But seriously, I think I should quit dooce. My maternal instincts have been howling for quite some time now. And every time I come here and see just a little 2 minute video like the one shown above, or a picture of a joyous 6-month old dumpling with HUGE blue eyes (shown below), it’s as if I was tossing shots of tequila into a fireplace while standing right in front of it.

    Mercy. Too cute!

  • Fosterhood

    2009/12/18 at 9:01 pm

    I was so obsessed with death at her age – she seems pretty darned balanced about it!

  • hopey

    2009/12/18 at 9:06 pm

    echos of agablack here…
    This is about the only sort of video that ever makes me want to reconsider my decision not to have children. Leta is a gem. Every bit you share of her is really wonderful. Thanks.

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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