An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Next up, blood-thirsty bunnies

Marlo is officially down to two naps. For those of you who do not have children, that first sentence will mean nothing to you. For those of you who do, you probably just experienced an instinctual pain in your chest at the memory of what it means to plan your life around your baby’s sleep schedule. Or is that just me? I can’t be the only one who has run outside and verbally berated the garbage truck driver for disturbing a nap, THERE GOES THE REST OF MY DAY.

Garbage truck diver, snow plower, mail carrier… all have been informed at one time or another of Marlo’s sleep schedule. It goes like this: when Marlo’s asleep, no one is allowed to breathe. The end.

You don’t want that crazy, short-haired Southern lady who looks like an eight-year-old boy running out into the street in her bare feet. She may be liberal, but she’s related to people who own guns.

And just this week we’ve managed to manipulate her schedule so that she’s sleeping in until 6:30 AM. Do you have any idea how indulgent this feels, to sleep in so late? No, you don’t understand. It like we’re fifteen years old, and suddenly the prophet has declared that pre-marital sex is totally okay.

I guess I should say, that one time we slept in so late since our other child has decided that days now begin at 5 AM. Read that again: FIVE O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. You want to know why? Because she thinks a leprechaun is tapping on her window.

I cannot believe I just wrote that sentence.

I mean, I can understand a fear of spiders or earthquakes or rats that are big enough to eat your face off. But, little green dudes? If anything you want them at your party because they can hold their liquor. Also, don’t they all come with marshmallows?

And, I don’t remember ever talking to her about leprechauns, so I’m guessing this is one of those rotten things she picked up at school, like addition and subtraction. And what do you know, IT IS. Turns out one has been coming into their classroom and leaving notes in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. And this afternoon when I told her teacher about this early-morning tapping leprechaun, she said with a gleam in her eye, “Oh yes, he’d be tapping, for sure. They’re cobblers, you know.”

HAHA! I’m laughing because, that is just so damn brilliant. They have to deal with our kids all day long, and oh no. Is your kid waking up early? How sad for you who get to send them AWAY ALL DAY. It’s like, if I’m going to blame the teacher for the leprechaun, she’s more than happy to break out her fifty-page, single-spaced document of quirks she’d like explained, thank you very much.

Well played, elementary school teachers. Well played.

  • RandomAmy

    2010/03/10 at 4:23 pm

    I was a preschool teacher. We had a lot of tricks. Mwuahahaha!

  • ccoffey

    2010/03/10 at 4:25 pm

    It’s because of school that my children are afraid of the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. And when I say afraid, I mean like TOTALLY TERRIFIED. Last year, my daughter’s teacher set up a trap for the leprechaun. A trap! My daughter was horrified…like if we catch it then WE have to do something with it. Yeah- well played indeed…

  • itcouldbelove

    2010/03/10 at 4:28 pm

    As a preschool teacher (of 5-year-olds who were too young for kinder last year) this CRACKS me up. Although, I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything evil like that… because I’m scared of you parents. YOU! PARENTS! Ahem. But still, this made me laugh.

  • kimjay_everyday

    2010/03/10 at 4:29 pm

    If my kids woke up at 5 AM, I would kill myself – or them. Which, is probably why God, in His infinite wisdom, spared our lives and gave me later sleepers. Props to you, Heather.

  • They made me choose a username

    2010/03/10 at 4:30 pm

    I think I had something to say until I got stage fright from being possibly one of the first ten commenters. I think I was going to say something about school-fueled holiday escalation and how, as if it weren’t enough for parents to have to keep up the Santa, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy ruses, now we have to help set traps for leprechauns. And yes, leprechauns-and-how-to-catch-them is definitely a growing part of the modern curriculum, if my own kids and nieces and nephews are any indication. Also, my kindergartner believes the Ginger Bread Man is real because she SAW how he disappeared from the oven in the school kitchen and showed up later on the playground. (That one’s pretty cute, actually.)

    (Well, I remembered what I was going to say, but probably lost my top-ten spot. Also, it appears that for me, stage fright causes long rambling comments.)

  • Melina

    2010/03/10 at 4:30 pm

    I watched the Flintstones ONCE as a kid, and it was episode where Fred and Barney were sitting on lawn chairs and little green men with long arms were snatching at them from beneath the chairs.

    Come to think of it, that does not sounds particularly stone age, but I really remember that was an episode.

    Either way, a lifelong fear of leaving a limb dangling off the bed when sleeping was born.

    And, your comment about the prophet was BRILLIANT!

  • The Prima Momma

    2010/03/10 at 4:33 pm

    I’m jealous. Where were the leprechauns when I was in grade school? And since when are they cobblers? That’s elves. No wait – elves make cookies in trees… Damn, see how my faulty education is hurting me now?

  • thelearningcommunity

    2010/03/10 at 4:33 pm

    The worst is that no matter how much you try to tell them that the teacher is just playing a game, and those nightmarish creatures aren’t real, you’ll never hold as much sway as a teacher. I mean c’mon, it’s their job to be honest, right?

    And even if they didn’t teach these things, the kids totally come up with them on their own. We currently have a dog footed goon that walks back and forth in front of the window making shadows and it does occasionally tap. Why dog footed? So its prints blend in with our dogs’ prints and it can’t be detected. Of course. But that begs the question: How can a dog tap? Wouldn’t it be more of a thud, with the hair and all?

  • ehorn

    2010/03/10 at 4:36 pm

    I used to get anxiety over waking my baby from a nap until we started using an ambient noise maker to make loud ocean waves. I can yell at my cats and throw things at them and to this day those artificial waves drown all that out and she sleeps thru it.

  • smithie1996

    2010/03/10 at 4:37 pm

    I am so glad you posted this today since tonight I am moving the kiddo downstairs to his new room. I am really really hoping I have timed this right so that he is not really aware that his room is downstairs. I am hoping he is still young enough to be so totally brainwashed into going to sleep at 7.30 that he just won’t care where he goes to sleep. Fingers crossed!


    Oh your kid cracks me up. But I am sorry she is getting up at 5.00.

  • Kendra

    2010/03/10 at 4:40 pm

    As the parent of a first-grader and a day care provider, I have to laugh. I do see him come home with the strangest comments that I have to talk out again and again, trying to figure out where he got this latest idea. But then, of course, I have to dance my way around fears of falling into the toilet and being eaten by the sharks who live inside (not my fear, that of the kids I watch). So I know what it’s like to be the parent and the caregiver, and neither of us are sure where the kids get these strange ideas.

    I actually have to say congratulations on the 2-nap schedule for Marlo. I found with my kids that before they hit that point, I had no idea whether I could go anywhere at a given time, because the baby may or may not insist that it was naptime and they couldn’t possibly be disturbed or we would all die. Once they hit that point, I could at least say that these times of the day were sacred. It was unfortunate that those times were roughly 10 AM to 11 AM and 1 PM to 3 PM, ensuring that I was never able to venture more than 10 minutes from home. But at least I knew that.

  • hoosiergirl1962

    2010/03/10 at 4:41 pm

    When I was in kindergarten, we were taught about the Leprechauns being in charge of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We loved the frigging Leprechaun. We played some damn game chasing the Leprechauns. A sidebar about St. Patrick’s Day: My mom, first grade teacher for 41 years, always made a big deal about St Paddy’s Day. A friend of hers, an art teacher, decided to give Mom some “special St. Patrick’s Day coloring music”. He calls me and tells me to show up at 230 at her classroom for a surprise. Long story short, its pretty cool to have first graders coloring leprechaun pictures to the soundtrack of “Sunday, Bloody, Sunday”.
    The art teacher and I were very happy….
    Mother was not amused…

  • Gwenevere

    2010/03/10 at 4:45 pm

    Hey id you don’t like the leprechaun tradition, you can always homeschool. 😉

  • austinmomof7

    2010/03/10 at 4:47 pm

    My condolences to you. My two and a half year old is trying to already give up her naps. And still get up at 6am. And still not go to bed till 10 pm. And make my life miserable. Well, more miserable. I’m considering large doses of Benadryl.

  • Amyblam

    2010/03/10 at 4:49 pm

    Oh, those wacky teachers and their crafty leprechauns. Somehow, my daughter had always had mischievious leprechauns in her classes-the kind that leave messes and move items around.
    Her leprechaun, of course, likes to follow her home and spread sparkly confetti everywhere. He also leaves notes and loses clothing.

  • Candi C

    2010/03/10 at 4:55 pm

    Next week your clock will say “7:30” a.m. when Marlo wakes because of Day Light Savings Time!! You won’t know what to do with yourself after sleeping in! My kids love the leprechaun but have nothing to do any of the others.

  • DomesticatedGal

    2010/03/10 at 5:00 pm

    Feeling a bit of an underachiever, since I’m thrilled if my kid waits until 5am to decide his day has started. Of course, he’s also still waking up every 2-3 hours to feed. And he just went down for what is becoming a long nap. Which means come 3am, I’m screwed. But good to know he should (hopefully) eventually reach 630am!

  • radkitch

    2010/03/10 at 5:01 pm

    maybe she’s thinking of this Leprechaun…. I think you should show it to her. She’ll never speak of them again.

  • Britgirl

    2010/03/10 at 5:19 pm

    My kindergartener hates leprechauns. They showed up to her preschool last year and turned over all the furniture and colored their rice green. Apparently they are very mischievous, her words not mine. She is not very happy that it’s St.Patricks Day next week. She doesn’t want to go to school that day. She’s afraid what they will do to her class.

  • bethysmalls

    2010/03/10 at 5:47 pm

    Heather, you just made me feel so much better for when I would SERIOUSLY consider buying a b-b gun to shoot the tires of the motorcycles as they drove by with their loud-ass pipes. Oh the fantasies I’d dream up of knocking them over as they drive by and that some how making them magically disappear. Except of course for the broken mangled bike that would serve as a warning to other inconsiderate motorcyclists with motors so loud that they set off CAR ALARMS!

    It’s nice to know people actually stand up for their sleeping children/sanity. Instead of just dream about it.

  • Trish has 3 girls

    2010/03/10 at 5:55 pm

    The nap schedule is sacred! I too have let the trash collector and mail carrier know when not to come to my house. As well as the gardner and any delivery person. I have taped a handwritten sign over the door bell that says to ring at risk of death for the baby is sleeping!

    Yay on 2 naps and a schedule!

  • teetotaled

    2010/03/10 at 5:58 pm

    My 8 month old wakes up at 4 a.m……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    I am also a psycho about people disturbing nap time. I am already panicking about the furniture delivery guys that are coming “some time on Saturday”. Really, some time?! How about you come in between her naps or you diieeeeeee! 🙂

  • big dog momma

    2010/03/10 at 6:01 pm

    Naptime was, indeed, a sacred time, so I had the great idea to make sure they’d learn to sleep through anything…not with “ambient” noise makers, but with a thing we used decades ago when my kids were little called **wait for it** a radio!! They learned to sleep through EVERYTHING. While this was fantastic most times, the night the smoke alarm went off and I bolted straight out of bed to find all four girls snoring away, oblivious to the racket going on around them, I began to re-think my strategy. The “baby” is 19 now, and somehow they all managed to survive my great ideas of parenting!!!

  • melancholyfleur

    2010/03/10 at 6:15 pm

    Right. So. Bad news is, turns out, blood-thirsty bunnies actually ARE up next; or at least they’re in the near future. I remember a book we read in class in 5th grade about vampire bunnies. Not even kidding. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you called it.

  • heymamas

    2010/03/10 at 6:20 pm

    TOTALLY!! Happened to us with oh, yeah… you name it.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  • Zannah

    2010/03/10 at 6:22 pm

    Bunnicula! Scariest bunny ever. And when I first read it, I pronounced it “bunny-coola”. What did I know?

  • Liz Picco

    2010/03/10 at 6:23 pm

    Curtains, mi vida! Thick dark, designer whimsical curtains that shield the light should do the trick. My sons slept in past 9:00 many weekends.
    If you want to chase down garbage trucks to keep your kid asleep, be my guest, it’s keeping you in shape.

  • holy interruptus batman

    2010/03/10 at 6:42 pm

    Hmmm, am I the only one who imagined the teacher has a thick Irish accent?!? I keep reading the sentence over and over and giggling (and earning weird looks from others in the library!)

  • amylusk

    2010/03/10 at 6:46 pm

    6:30 – oh how I would love to sleep until 6:30!! Our youngest son who is almost 4 has never slept through the night, did you hear that, never! That means I have had 4 years of interrupted sleep. Luckily he does still take an afternoon nap and on weekends that means I get one too. Our oldest son slept through the night almost from birth – we call it second child syndrome.

  • peeko621

    2010/03/10 at 6:49 pm

    Seriously, I laughed at loud at the tapping leprechauns waking Leta up! It is completely amazing the stories and imaginations that little kids have. My son Jack totally believes in the “Halloween Witch” (she leaves a toy for all of your halloween candy), Santa, the tooth fairy, and Santa. Thankfully though, he loves getting up early for quiet tv time where he doesn’t have to watch Sesame Street. haha!

  • gingela5

    2010/03/10 at 6:53 pm

    I think you need to take the same that Mike Myers (as Wayne) took with Dana Carvey (Garth) and scare her straight with a flashlight chanting, “I’m a leprechaun” in an Irish accent. That should then make her scared of you and not the ficticious leprechaun. You’re welcome 🙂

  • chellefigglesworth

    2010/03/10 at 7:13 pm

    See, when I was Leta’s age and I woke up at 5am, my parents just told me to go the hell back to sleep. 😀

  • littlebobina

    2010/03/10 at 7:26 pm

    This totally brought back memories! My first grade teacher did the same thing, and every morning we’d come in to find green glitter all over our desks and a piece of green candy. Of course, I never was scared of the leprechaun….

  • signot

    2010/03/10 at 7:38 pm

    YAY that I wasn’t the only one to immediately think of Bunnicula!! Damn thing freaked me out as a kid. And I don’t know why…he just sucked the juice out of vegetables. But it was creepy.

  • meganroth

    2010/03/10 at 7:40 pm

    I am a teacher and some other people at my school thought it would be a great activity to trick kids into thinking there were leprechauns that were watching them. But then their plans went south when a kid swore he heard leprechauns in a storage shed on the playground and threw a rock through the window to let them get out. Broken window! Seemingly harmless activity FAIL! And ever since then (and let’s be honest… way before then because I think the idea of them is pretty stupid) I don’t bring up leprechauns with kids.

  • Wombat Central

    2010/03/10 at 8:07 pm

    My 5-year-old got up at 6:30 today to tell me she couldn’t find her dolly. Dad located Dolly and she promptly went back to sleep until 10:30. Hate me. Hate me hard.

    Of course, my son got me up at 3:30 the other morning to announced that he’d just pulled out his loose tooth, so I guess we’re even.

    Who the heck teaches a kindergartener that creepy little men are tapping on their windows?! If I lived near you, you and I would be dressed in black and tapping on the teacher’s window at night for sure.

  • ddicorcia

    2010/03/10 at 8:12 pm

    Long ago when my daughter used to take naps, I also did everything in my power to keep that child napping. My neighbor was a homeschooler mom. It was always recess during my daughter’s nap time! I used to want to kick those boys where the sun didn’t shine for waking up my daughter! I had evil thoughts that those kids should go to school!

  • Figtron

    2010/03/10 at 8:23 pm


    I so understand about the two nap thing. It’s a milestone, no doubt. My 2.5 year old still naps in the the afternoon, but only under extreme duress and direct threats of bodily harm.

    As far as leprechauns go, I suppose he is no more ominous that a glorified Elf from Santa’s toy shop. I say this with much sarcasm because getting my daughter to pose with Santa was more impossible than reconciling the national deficit.

    She took one look at St. Nick and shot me a look like, “Mommie. You want me to sit on the lap of the Antichrist?”

    *shrugging shoulders*

  • theallisonwonderland

    2010/03/10 at 8:36 pm

    I teach.
    Oh yes, this is my favorite time of year. We’ve had a naughty little man this year. He’s been full of mischief. He even took a bath in our sink — courtesy of a little dawn and green food dye.

    I want to apologize for doing this, but I can’t. Why would I?

    Of course I blogged about it on March 1. I had to.


  • Cordillia

    2010/03/11 at 1:20 am

    “Garbage truck diver”! FUNNIEST typo I’ve ever seen. All the various images that evokes… Good one, Heather!

  • tksinclair

    2010/03/11 at 1:37 am

    I agree with Leta…we all know there are no two headed monsters, no goblins, no ghosts…but Leprechauns??? IN the WINDOW???

    A man. Looking in the window! The WINDOW??????

    Are these teachers crazy???? That would freak the shit out of me. A green face..A man’s green face looking IN THE WINDOWN!

    Think about it people. I have to say I’m with Leta all the way with this one.

    Be afraid people. Be very afraid. This kid knows what she’s talking about.

    BTW, one night my kids were bathing. There was a window over the tub. I was sitting on the toilet when I thought I saw something move in the window so I stood up (pants around my knees) and leaned over to take a closer look. When I was about 6 inches from the window I realized there was something in the window. A FACE. Of a man. I was looking directly, almost nose to nose into the face of a man! (Okay, not a green man, but still) The worse part was when I called 911 and while pacing, holding on the line waiting for a squad car to arrive I unknowning pulled the phone cord out of the wall and was sure the man outside had cut the phone lines to the house and we were moments from our death.

  • Jennifer June

    2010/03/11 at 5:48 am

    As a former preschool teacher I’ll let you know that this is our revenge for getting stuck with your little monsters ALL DAY!
    *insert maniacal cackling*

  • AuntieBunnie

    2010/03/11 at 5:53 am

    All I can think of while reading this is…how will Daylight Savings time this weekend change these sleeping/waking times?
    Yeah-I’m the person they were singing about with the “Every party needs a pooper” song.
    Good luck

  • Trishy

    2010/03/11 at 5:56 am

    Ok, I get the whole nap thing. Too many of my days have been ruined by deliveries, school buses, trash trucks, etc. My daughter is down to 2 naps also. So, for the morning nap, I drive to get a coffee and she sleeps in the car, hopefully avoiding the morning rush of school buses outside her window. Nap 2, after lunch is tricky…if I have to monitor UPS like NASA monitors the space station if I have ordered something. I check the tracking number 50 times a day to see if they are en route. The worst part is my dog…if he hears an oil truck 20 houses down the road he is barking like we are being attacked. I have posted a note for all deliveries to NOT ring the bell….baby sleeping, this does not work…I am also in nap hell and my waking hour is 545am, who gets up at that time???? Not cool.

  • Monday

    2010/03/11 at 6:42 am

    I had have a 5:00AM wide awake child, I thought that was normal for little kids who went to bed early to rise early.

    I preferred early bedtime, then them going to bed late and waking up late.

    I left her a plate of cheese and apples in the fridge for her to eat and she put on cartoons and i drank coffee and read The NY Times.

  • Mo

    2010/03/11 at 7:01 am

    The other day, my three year-old told me that the monsters ask her if she is a bug at night.

    I have not informed her about the little green men. Or the Easter Bunny. F. That.

    PS: You should tell Leta that the leprochaun is working for her teacher, checking up on her at night.

  • JustLinda

    2010/03/11 at 7:05 am

    I think Leta’s a brilliant strategist and this is her plan to get herself some Lucky Charms. And a pony.

  • kellyfaboo

    2010/03/11 at 7:31 am

    Without any influence from school I was … dubious of Santa Claws when I was a kid.

    Apparently I didn’t care if he left gifts, I was horrified he broke into our house.

    And I closed the bold tag.

  • wickedimp

    2010/03/11 at 7:33 am

    Naps, huh? I wonder what that must be like. :-p

    Z sleeps pretty well through the night, though lately we’ve had a 2 hour middle of the night party, but napping isn’t something she’s really been interested in since she hit about 2 months.

    I mean, she might miss something, you know? Something SHINY! What’s THAT?!?! No, THAT! SHINY thing! RED thing! RED SHINY thing! WHOO!

    There’s a reason I didn’t mind going back to work. Just sayin’.

    Good luck with the leprechaun issue… I’m still getting over my own childhood trauma of my dad taking us to see “Gremlins” when I was like 7 or something. Didn’t sleep through the night for YEARS after that one. Mom was thrilled.

  • TexasKatie

    2010/03/11 at 7:38 am

    I used to think ET was tapping on my window. And oh my GOD, Leprechauns are freaking SCARY.

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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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