An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Early birds

I have mentioned before that Marlo has an internal clock that goes off at exactly 5:30AM every morning, never a minute before, never a minute after. Here’s where I could refer to her as a turd, but hey, that’s pretty damn consistent. A good quality in a human being. Add that to her other amazing qualities – 1) thinks farts are funny, and 2) understands that whiskey made outside of Kentucky cannot technically be referred to as bourbon — and you’ve got yourself right there a kid who is going to kill it in wood shop.

Because of this I’ve had to sacrifice (willingly) the ability to stay awake past 9PM, 9:30PM at the latest. And last week after attending the opening social at Alt Summit, only to return home a few minutes before midnight, I was like, dude, if I wake up and suddenly I’m a pumpkin, I want you to send a mean email to my fairy godmother and end it with a hearty UNFOLLOW!

That was the latest I had stayed up in a hundred years, and the following morning hit me in the face like the back of a frying pan. Mainly because my days are now a dead run from 5AM until my head hits the pillow at night with no breaks anywhere whatsoever. And I can handle this pace as long as I’ve got at least eight hours of sleep in my fuel tank. Yes, eight. I know that some of you are rolling your eyes because you eat people like me for breakfast, the one that you’re having after only 15 minutes of sleep, and that’s after four straight days of no sleep at all while running the government of a small country. You win.

Having said all this, I really cherish the time we spend together in those first quiet moments of the day, and it is these moments that were much of the motivation behind wanting another kid. Because OMG BABY. Marlo is a full on baby now. She is erupting with personality, one that resembles a sine curve, really soft and mellow all the way to DID I SAY YOU COULD LEAVE THE ROOM, WOMAN? I DIDN’T THINK SO.

And because she wakes up so early, we get to spend about an hour together, the three of us in bed, until Marlo has had about enough. She’ll grant us that hour, make it seem as if all our funny faces and voices are the reason she wanted to get up, but then she starts contorting her body in any way she can so that she can get a good look at the door. Because The Second Act is bound to come in at any moment, and if Leta sleeps in an extra minute or two Marlo will shoot toward the opposite end of that curve and it’s all WHERE ARE MY DAMN WAFFLE FRIES.

When Leta does stumble in, blear-eyed and hair a flame of tangles, she doesn’t say hello to us or even acknowledge our existence. It’s MARIO! MARIO! MARIO! and she hops up in bed so that her nose is touching Marlo’s forehead. Marlo’s reaction is so violent that you might think something was wrong. In fact, you might believe she was dying. Because she starts to hyperventilate and smack herself in the knees while simultaneously squawking like a chicken being tased in a bathtub.

Those two kids adore each other. And I’m not going to get all sappy on you, but the magnitude of it fills the room every morning. It is giant, mammoth, knock-you-over electrifying. And Jon and I deliberately remind ourselves to stop and soak it in, to be present for it, to push away the thoughts of the dead run ahead of us and admire the magnificence that is our children. Ok, I lied. I just got all sappy on you. MINUS TEN POINTS FOR ME.

  • dzymzlzy

    OMIGOD my uterus hurts reading and watching that.

  • Frugalista

    Yeah, my 6-month-old gets up at 5. I thought this was fine til my hubs had his vasectomy and then a bad cold in quick succession and is not up to the morning shift. Or the evening bedtime, the post-bedtime cleanup or the nighttime wakeups. Single parents out there, how are you even alive????

  • kcbelles

    Love the sap – keep it comin’, Heather. With babies, that’s so totally allowed.

    #33 – Bargain Junkie – loved your comment! “and she was already paid for!” Hilarious! I hope she appreciates a mother-in-law with a good attitude 🙂

  • phraug

    bummer. i thought it was going to be a video of a chicken being tased.

  • cinddmel

    I love those moments.
    You are right to get sappy and cherish this time for as long as you can simply because they grow up so fast.
    Those laughs and giggles make the entire day worth it.

  • MainelyMama

    Warning labels Dooce! A warning label for obscenely cute posts like this please. My milk let down while watching this, I’ve got to go wake up my baby and snuggle her now. (and nurse, lol)

  • gretchie

    Marlo is so much like my daughter was as a baby.. even kinda looks like her! Blondie with big blue eyes. And yes. Liked to wake up early. Uh, she still likes to. It’s still obnoxious behavior. She wakes me up on Saturdays when I don’t have to go to work, and she won’t wake up when I have to go to work. Grrrrr….. Otherwise, sweet kid. Spirited child. Can be a turd, but mostly she’s just hilarious.

    She just turned 5 and seeing Leta with a baby sister totally gives me baby fever! But, oh day care is so PAINFULLY expensive!!!

    Thanks for sharing your two cuties with us. I got my fix!

  • hopelds

    I am so happy that you are stopping and soaking in these moments… and sharing them with us!

  • missaudreyhorne

    Dude, Marlo looks more and more like Leta everyday. They are both BEAUTIFUL. But you already know that. You’re making my uterus feel empty, dangit.

  • kristysf

    I just wanted to comment on the “MWAH” photo: my daughter, Eve, who is Marlo’s age minus one month ALSO got this thing for Christmas, and until I saw your photo of it, I had absolutely no idea that the blue hanging thing was an elephant.

    I guess there’s a point at which pseudo-educational plastic hanging things all look the same. But gosh, you make them look good.

  • Kryzzle

    Totally made my day. Like, for sure. Thank you!

  • pineapple princess

    That right there was just the reminder I needed to breathe and take it all in.

  • itcouldbelove

    This was the most wonderful post. So sweet. It makes me really want to have children RIGHT now… whereas normally, I’m totally fine with waiting (a loooonnggg time) because I’m 23, a preschool teacher, and get WAYYYY too much of kids every day! Haha.

  • mommica

    Maybe THIS will make my husband ready for baby #2. I’ll just make him skip the part about waking up at 5:30 a.m….

  • nina elizabeth

    Awesome for you. My first baby was so happy–but he wouldn’t sleep. The second and last was so cranky, but at 4 months she slept from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. And that is how I managed to get through law school–never could have done it if the birth order was reversed.

  • tokenblogger

    Well it looks like MARIO, Marlo is getting her daily allotment of roughage.


  • Lilliah

    @44. Shelly_b2 -I’m prettyyy sure Lauren was just being sarcastic..

    Congrats on the HGTV deal, Heather. More importantly, though, I love Chuck’s ankle booties- HOTNESS!

  • keagansmom

    My two (9 yr old girl & 4 yr old boy) just ADORE each other. I love it. It’s so wonderful, and I am so proud of them. I believe it’s a sign of good parenting, so kudos to you, Heather & Jon!

  • linz_g

    I am pregnant with my second and ready to have this baby at any time, and I am so excited to watch my kids interact. I love reading stories like this – the sappiness only makes it better!

  • HDADDiva

    Did you say Marlo’s personality resembles a sine curve? really? I’ve never even seen those words used together outside of college until I saw this post…

    wedding planning, baby’s personality… sine waves?

    who knew!

  • dykewife

    damn! that’s cute. i love that the girls love each other. that is totally awesome, though when leta is 13 years old she might not be so enamoured of her heroine worshipping little sister.

    you know why people who live on 4 hours sleep and run government and all that eat you for breakfast? it’s because they’re grumpier than a bear with a sore ass, that’s why. that’s what grumpy bears with sore asses eat for breakfast…pseudo dooces.

  • linmac

    Oh! The 5am wakeup and the complete inability to stay up past 9… you are writing about my life, here. I’m told they grow out of it, and you’re totally right about savouring the moment, but I would so love to be able to feel like a normal human being and have a SOCIAL LIFE for a change. 🙂

    Some days it feels like even most people with babies 1 day old are getting more sleep and able to stay up later and be more human than me!

    Thank you for (again) reminding me that it’s not just me!

  • tigerlily.

    So adorable. I’m on the fence leaning towards the no kids side, but things like this make me want to lean back to the other momentarily.

    My brother and I are 3.5 years apart, and we were very close growing up. We always had someone to play with. Even if we fought with one another 5 minutes later one of us was asking the other to play lego. I know how lucky I am to have had that growing up, and to know that I could call him if I ever needed.

  • PantsPie2000

    Oh good LORD the dimples on that bebbeh. Oy.

  • Katie Kat

    GOODNESS GRACIOUS… I’m all warm and sappy now. Sigh! Makes me want another kiddo, but only if she/he’s as cool as Marlo/Mario. Actually, I’ll just take Marlo. Please mail her to me in Kansas. Thanks!

  • mamashell

    My girls do the same thing! My 2 yr old wakes up and is all wheres my sissy! She runs up the stairs and jumps around yelling sissy until sissy wakes up. Then sissy (Lylah) starts jumping so hard in that crib you would think she would give herself shakin baby syndrome! Then milk, kix and wow wow wubbzy. So then it is mommys turn to drink coffee till my heart explodes! GOOD MORNINGS

  • AbbyNYC

    I love it! I missed reading your blog while I was out on maternity leave, and had zero time to myself – now that I’m back at work, ha, I can read it. My daughters are 22 months apart and they already seem to delight in each other – your post made me soooo look forward to the future!

  • Caro

    Not sappy at all just a very touching reminder of how important it is for us to slow down and drink it all in. So many moms and dads all around the world are struggling with the loss of their little ones…

  • Jill VT

    I believe vasectomies are reversible. Just so you know. Ahem.

  • stephanienyc

    Will you please post a video of Marlo and Leta greeting each other in the morning?

  • The Mommy Gap

    My son Marley is 2 weeks older than Marlo and quite smitten. Below is a picture of him looking at pictures of her. I’ve, sadly, forbidden this as Marley and Marlo is so cutesy sounding I might barf.

  • Shelly_b2

    #47 & #67—-****blushing****oops…I thought she was serious…Lauren-if you were just kidding…sorry! If not…disregard this post 😉

  • right brained gal

    Enjoy them as much as you can for as long as you can. They grow up and leave the nest and these days become memories. I would give anything to go back in time for just one day to hold my babies again.

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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