the smell of my desperation has become a stench

If I had hair to let down, this would be an instance of doing so

On Friday night Jon and I attended a Christmas party, meaning we actually prepared to leave the house and be away from our bed past 8PM. The magnitude of this event cannot be overstated, and to make sure that we went through with such crazy behavior I hired a babysitter. So that we couldn’t at the last minute go, but wait a minute, our bed is right there. And there are our pillows. And I don’t think my body would mind if I just fell over in these jeans and slept until February.

Here is where I tempt the Universe and tell you that Marlo is sleeping through the night. From 7PM until 7AM. In her crib. Now that I’ve put it out there she will never sleep again, but it was good while it lasted!

And before you call me a baby killer you should know that there was minimal crying involved. We just read some great advice somewhere that said to treat every kid as if they are the sixth of eighteen children. You’ll get to them sometime, but right now the fifteenth kid is burning down the kitchen, so whoever is fussing right now will have to suck it.

We eventually got to her fussing, just not as quickly as we did with Leta, when we thought fussing meant DYING. And so she learned to self-soothe pretty early on. Now we just snuggle for a few minutes, and then we put her down for the night or for a nap and she curls up with her thumb and pretty much tells us to leave her alone. Like, don’t you have seventeen other children to deal with?

And… let the accusations of neglect roll in!

Anyway, she’s been doing this for about a month, and it’s taken us just as long to retrain our bodies to sleep for more than two hours at a time. And I’m still in the habit of going to bed minutes after putting her down for the night. One night last week I made it all the way to 9:30PM, and I mean ALL THE WAY, and the physical strength it took to reach that milestone was so exhausting that I slept through the night for the first time since June. ATTENTION SEXUALLY ACTIVE SINGLES: READ THIS PARAGRAPH AND PUT ON A CONDOM.

Since the babysitter was putting aside her time for us, I felt like we couldn’t back out. We were FORCED! To be HUMAN BEINGS! And Jon had serious concerns that I might fall asleep in the car on the way to the party. However, I had a molecule of anticipation to keep me awake, excitement over the possible reaction to the white elephant gift we were bringing, a copy of Put Hemorrhoids and Constipation Behind You.

What? What did you expect? I know it’s not the best white elephant gift you’ve ever heard of, or even in the league of the guy we knew growing up who lost an eye in Vietnam and would routinely give away his fake eyes AT MORMON CHRISTMAS PARTIES. That still gives me the willies, the idea of opening up a box only to have A SINGLE HUMAN EYE looking up at you. I mean, what do you say to that other than, please call 911 because I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK.

Unfortunately, I neglected to wrap the book in a large box, so it lingered miserably toward the end of the exchange, no one wanting something so tiny, I guess. And by that point in the party there were at least three men so wasted that they were having to prop themselves against furniture to remain upright, and what do you know, one of them was the last to grab a present. And the only thing left? A book about hemorrhoids! Funny, right? I guess not so much when you’re drunk, because when he opened it, his face contorted angrily and he yelled, “Put hemorrhoids and compensation behind you? What does that even mean?

Hemorrhoids and compensation.

Then he started running (stumbling) around with it to show people just how stupid he thought it was, and at one point a helpful woman started going CONSTIPATION. IT SAYS CONSTIPATION. And he was adamant that no, it says compensation RIGHT THERE. Stupid, stupid compensation.

And I’m not even kidding, more than one woman walked up to me and asked if there were any good tips inside.

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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