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.

  • LaLaLeah

    oh no! My 7 & 8 yr old sons are terrified of those little green men. It all stems from Pre K. This year, I promised to set little leprechaun traps all over the house to protect them.

    Honestly, I hope this lasts well into the teen years, it’s sorta funny.

  • gail37

    And now that Marlo is sleeping til 6:00 am…Daylight savings time starts this weekend. Enjoy your “sleeping in”. 🙂

  • liketechnicolor

    Dude I’m 22 and I still have a fear of people (or things) tapping on MY window.

  • Ameya

    n…aps? What are those? My 4 month old apparently finds them morally offensive.

    I used to be scared to death christmas eve because of Sir Santa Creepsalot breaking into my house and looking in through windows and such (even long after I knew he was a phony.. like, Until i was 17).. I feel Leta’s pain!

  • rgupton

    I keep reading what the teacher said about leprechauns with an Irish accent, though the Irish accent in my head sounds like Justin Timberlake from that SNL skit where he plays his great-great grandfather on the ship to America talking about how his great-great grandson will be a famous popular music singer.

  • Sarah C

    “They’re cobblers, you know.”

    HAHAHAHA, that is one awesome teacher. And I keep hearing it with an Irish accent too! This is going to have me laughing for days…

  • LuckyMama

    My parents had a picture of Santa Claus looking in the window of our backdoor. I think they thought it was a way to prove he was real…it freaked the crap out of me! On Christmas Eve I wouldn’t go anywhere in our house alone because I was afraid I’d look up and see someone looking at me through the window. Apparently if you have someone with you that can’t happen. I was 10 when I figured out that Santa wasn’t real…so naturally that fear subsided.

    As a kid I always wanted a leprechaun as a friend. My grandmother is Irish and always joked that she had leprechauns that helped her in her garden. I wanted my own leprechaun to play with me and clean my room. I was sure he was filthy rich too so he could buy me things! My question is, why would you want to ‘catch’ one? Is it a rodent? What will you do with it once you have it? Is it like a genie in a bottle and it gives you wishes??

    My 14 month old has been on the 2 nap schedule since he was about 4 months old. I basically forced it because I refused to be trapped in my house. If he slept in the car, fine…but I wasn’t about to sit in my house all day because he needed his naps. Still today he takes a nap 2 ½ hours after he gets up in the morning, and then 2 ½ hours after he wakes up from his morning nap. Some days the naps last a hour, and sometimes they are 2-3. If I have somewhere to be and he’s still napping…I wake him up. Not exactly the best thing to do, but like I said, I refuse to be a slave to my child’s naps.
    This morning my son was up at 5:30…which was fine by me because it was my husband’s night/morning to get up with him. Most weekday mornings I have to wake up both of my kids. I guess I’m pretty lucky that way.

    Heather, do you still have tin foil on the windows? Maybe you can convince Leta that the tin foil protects her from Leprechauns etc.

  • LuckyMama

    I just remembered….I went ballistic on our internet provider a month ago. A service guy made an unannouced visit at 8:55pm on night. He rang the doorbell and the rest was history. The dog was barking, my son was screaming in his crib and I was pissed.

    Apparently our internet was all messed up and he had been trying to call all day to come over and fix it. HELLO WE WERE AT WORK!!! I told him, “If you ever come to my house after 8pm again, I’ll chase you down the block with a baseball bat.” He looked at his feet and apologized. I told him to come back the next day at a reasonable hour.

    When I told my husband what I did he laughed, “Great! Now I live in the house with Pyscho lady!”

  • msnelson

    Just wait…at the school I used to work at, Leprechauns made a mess of the classroom on St. Patty’s day. They moved the desks, put things in the wrong spot, hung streamers, you know, general hooligan type behavior. Some of them even died the teacher (and her husband’s) feet green.

    Good luck.

  • msdilemma

    This is WHY
    I shall tell my daughter that all things green / bunnies with chocolate / red suited men with beards etc are lies lies lies LOL.
    Oh and that I will keep her in her cot until she is 16 !!!

  • Mme Verdurin


    You do not remotely look like an 8 year old boy. You look like a skinny, not-unattractive woman in her mid-to-late 30s who has bleached hair and a short haircut.

    You are welcome.

  • judealoo

    Oh, I feel your pain and remember it well, although my kid is now affecting my sleep at the OTHER end of the day. Just so you have something to look forward to! 😉

    A bit on leprechauns . . . a homeless guy in our town always walked around dressed entirely in green. When I was treating my then-5-year-old daughter to ice cream at the outdoor shop one day the “green guy” walked by.
    Daughter: Look Mom! A Leprechaun!
    Me: I know he sort of looks like a Leprechaun, honey, but he’s just a guy dressed in green.
    Green guy (swinging around quickly): The little girl is right, LADY, I am TOO a Leprechaun!
    Triumphant child: See?!
    Chagrined me: Yes, I see! I apologize, sir, I never met a Leprechaun before.
    Green guy (with great dignity): You are forgiven but no pot of gold for you.

    Well, that’ll teach me!

  • Karen_Wehrman

    Kids are the funniest. My daughter can no longer watch Lady and the Tramp because she’s convinced a rat will come in through her window. LOL I love it!

  • dorothysdaughter

    It was woodpeckers pecking on the window for us. Thankfully they move on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.

    I also vividly recall the rage of the little neighbor kid ringing the doorbell to play during little sister’s precious nap time. Ignoring the giant, capital lettered sign indicating “naptime” because they can’t READ, the little neighbor kids unstick the paper taped over the doorbell and ring it. Only to see a wild eyed lady open the door and snarl at them.

    Thanks for the memories! This too shall pass.

  • LoveMeDaily

    Kids always seem to have a new way to keep you in a constant state of insecurity whether its putting off their nap by 30 minutes thereby pushing off bedtime by HOURS or waking up at an arbitrary time in the morning. It’s all to let you know who’s really in control. All those time outs mean nothing when they have the power to impact your ENTIRE day through their sleep patterns.

    Great post. You have an undeniable way with story telling. Your blog was brought to my attention after seeing you on an HGTV commercial. Congratulations!

  • cdanojohnson

    When I was a children’s librarian there was this wild-grey haired homeless fella (in a pair of cut off short shorts) who would come down to the Junior Non-Fiction once a week to get some Leprechan books. The first time he came down he spoke to great length with one of my coworkers about them and waved his arms around quite a bit. Then the second, third, and twentieth time he just walked straight back to the 398’s for folktales and folklore and muttered “Leprechan books” as he walked past the reference desk.

  • Daily Cup of Jo

    Yeah, I’m Irish and I say, screw leprechauns and the teachers who perpetrate the myth. Like we don’t have enough to keep up with, now we have to understand little green cobblers? I just make my three lasses some Irish soda bread and substitute Guinness for their evening glass of milk on March 17th. Guess who doesn’t wake up at 5 the next morning.

    Kidding. Kidding. Sometimes it’s Harp’s Lager.

  • MamaChockley

    They tried to do this leprechaun tapping at the window/leaving notes thing at daycare when my son was three years old. He freaked out SO SEVERELY AND COMPLETELY, both at home and at school, that they shelved the practice forever. I’m proud of our legacy.

  • Crazy Card Lady

    When my son Ben was a toddler, he slept so well that I could vacuum under his crib. You may want to try playing some white noise or light music in Marlo’s room so she gets used to having noise around to sleep. You can’t have her run the world, nor matter how cute she is. The next thing you will know, you won’t have any life of your own. With four kids I never allowed their sleep schedule to rule my life. A lot of times crying is a way for a child to communicate that they want to be with you. If they have to wait a few minutes then, they will learn who is in charge. You have to teach your kids early, that you run the household, not them. It sure pays off when they are teenagers.

  • kc4975

    The crazy things that kiddos come up with…I currently have ghost repellant placed strategically throughout the house so that no ghosts can get in. I wonder what he has talked about, watched, played, etc at school or at his fathers house that he worries about these things. AHHHH…the wonders that are in a child’s mind.

  • n8cherluver

    You are too funny!!!!!!

  • sarahmcow

    The freaking ice cream truck drives through our neighborhood AT NAPTIME. ON SATURDAYS. What the hell?

    And when my college kid sister makes comments about her sleeping/waking schedule I just laugh. It literally seems a million years ago. *sigh*

  • Chrissy

    “If anything you want them at your party because they can hold their liquor. Also, don’t they all come with marshmallows?”

    I just got up off the floor laughing at that line…I don’t have kids (yet) but I really love your observations!

  • cantthinkofausername

    You do realize that Sunday is daylight savings? So sorry about that one. At least you had a few good days.

    And holy shit that was a lot of effort to leave a comment.

    I’m Jenny btw.

  • button

    5 AM! Even 6:30! That is why I insist our daughter goes to bed around 10:30 or 11pm. That way we sleep until 9am. Thank God it works.

  • soozle

    It’s not just in school, it starts way earlier. For the last five weeks, every Monday at my toddler’s daycare was “reptile day.” Some nice lady from some animal organization somewhere brings in cute little lizards and snakes and turtles for the kids to see and hold.

    And every Monday night was “nightmare night” at our house, where we were all were woken up by my toddler’s bloodcurdling screams as she had one bad dream after another featuring lizards and snakes and turtles.

    That period was the first time in my life where I noticed, even longed for, the arrival of Tuesday. Weekend be damned, Tuesdays were da bomb.

  • Charmings Mama

    I feel your pain, I have a 3 year old and a 5 month old. I had forgotten how confining an infants schedule can be. The 3 year old gave up naps all together nine months ago and the 5 month old, well he thinks he’s being banished to the outer realms when I put him down for a nap.

  • honeyedhashette

    Hey…don’t you knock a fear of leprechauns! When I was 5 the movie Gremlins came out and this was back in the day when all commercials where family friendly and all they showed on the Gremlins commercial was cute, adorable puppy eyed Gizmo. My parents thought it was a childrens’ movie. I had nightmares for TWO YEARS. I slept in my parents bed for TWO YEARS. Okay, that second part was a slight exaggeration, but still…little elfike spritey pointy eared men in all green who are ticked off cause somebody stole their pot of gold can be pretty intimidating to a little person, especially if that little person has an imagination like her very hilarious mother. 🙂

  • alexandrahlw

    Listen, Leprechauns are SCARY. They might sit on a pot of gold or whatever, but think about something that tiny and that Irish and that green TAPPING ON YOUR WINDOW. I’m with Leta. It’s a pass for me.

    p.s.- Heather B. you are hysterical and I’m reading your book right now. Thanks for being so inspiring.

  • Jacquie

    Ah, that’s good stuff. We do get some really good and juicy insider info from the kids at school, it’s sometimes hard not to greet parents with things like “So, I hear that you don’t eat cucumbers because they make you burp, but that you like it when daddy chases you around the kitchen with the big ones.”

    The most liberating day in all of parenthood is when they outgrow naps. It’s like the whole world of weekends opens up for your amusement….

    It’s hard to relearn how to sleep in, though. I wrote about it once:

  • alexandrahlw

    Listen, Leprechauns are SCARY. They might sit on a pot of gold or whatever, but think about something that tiny and that Irish and that green TAPPING ON YOUR WINDOW. I’m with Leta. It’s a pass for me.

    p.s.- Heather you are hysterical and I’m reading your book right now. Thanks for being so inspiring.

  • mjryates

    What do you mean “down” to two naps? She napped more? You are seriously lucky to have a child sleep so well. If my daughter could nap longer than 45 minutes, I would consider myself very accomplished. Lucky, lucky you.

  • Lizgizzy

    My son used to sleep in 15 minute increments. I WAS the neighborhood crazy lady. We are just starting the fun of him waking up on his own, padding into our room to wake us up at 6:00am, and he’s no longer taking naps. I’m the slight less crazy lady.

  • lovingthismomstuff

    Haha! That is brilliant!

    Loving This Mom Stuff

  • dewwshane

    I remember waking up with the sun as a little kid, and at certain times of year that could be as early as 5ish. My parents simply laid down the law. I was to NOT wake them up, I could go downstairs, help myself to a banana, and watch Bozo the clown. And being 4 – 5 years old, I did as I was told (which blows my mind – I rarely follow instructions as an adult).

    Maybe Leta could be given her own morning routine, that doesn’t involve waking the family up?

  • InfamousQBert

    okay, it’s been a long time since i’ve laughed that hard. being the child of a public school teacher, i have SOME idea of the mind that thought that up, and it’s AWESOME.

    seriously, though, the 5 year old mind can make up some pretty crazy things without the help of devious teachers. just ask me about diet-pill-popping vampires and evil eskimos.

  • simpliSAHM

    Favorite line:

    “She may be liberal, but she’s related to people who own guns.”

  • Mister-M

    Dooce isn’t thinking outside the box on this one. This calls for a movie night. Nothing will get the child over her fear of Leprechauns faster than a family get-together over a tub of buttered popcorn to watch the movie…


    I was a helluva lot older than your daughter when I saw that and I still sleep with one eye open this time of year. 😉


  • jillll

    As a kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mama, I can only laugh at this. LOVE it!

  • Little L

    HA! 2 naps! (said ala Napoleon Dynamite) Luckyyy!

    My oldest never slept (she is 13 and still has sleeping issues) as a baby.

    My youngest is my sleeper. She has the ability to fall asleep while telling me she isn’t tired…

    I don’t mean to be rude but there are two of you. Staying at home. With no need to get to a job by 8 a.m.

    One needs to wake up and let the other sleep a few days and the other needs to reciprocate.

  • Little L

    Anyone suggesting ‘white noise’ or trying to put a child to sleep during noisy times? Yeah… not helping!

    Your child happens to be the way they are (able to sleep through concrete being jackhammered under their bed) because of pure chance.

    It’s not normal. Your child *is* unique. Quiet bothers them.

    The end.

  • deathbyjava

    Leprechauns are the stuff of evil! GREEN EVIL! My parents were well-meaning, but they didn’t really understand what Leprechaun was really about (they were Chinese, newly immigrated). So they let me watch it, BY MYSELF, upstairs in the attic where they had my playroom installed. I think they thought, in their Chinese parent way that hey, leprechaun is small, I was small and that equals rated G entertainment! I slept with my eyes open for many nights after that. It didn’t help that there was that particular leprechaun episode on that old horror show Are You Afraid of the Dark before I watched Leprechaun too.

    I didn’t fully shake off my heebie jeebies of St. Paddy’s Day until I discovered beer. My sympathies to Leta!

  • Googooboyy

    It sucks that society are taught how to behave by preying on their fears, especially when they’re young.

    Sure, it makes them behave. For some time, until they forget about it.

    Fortunately, where I come from, I know nothing of Leprachauns. All I see now are tiny, green men with really short legs, and that’s not entirely scary at all.

  • christina564

    This has to be the best post yet! It’s 5:24 AM, and I’m up because…guess what I do for a living? Yep, elementary school teacher! Your post made me laugh!

  • rider of the pendulum

    I wish my kids got up at 5 or 6. They are entering teen years and they stay up later than me. It’s tough to enforce brushing teeth when I am already an hour into REM. I get up that early so I am awake enough to deal with my 3 kids, and then I have to rouse them out of bed.
    I do remember the days of planning my life around naps. I thought it was pretty rough. Now I plan my life around their social schedules. Heather it just gets harder.
    My youngest had a ton of phobias. Hurricanes were one of the worst. I tried to explain that the Midwest doesn’t have hurricanes but he wouldn’t hear of it.
    LOL Beth

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  • tkthiel

    Two words: Box Fan.

    I was living in Los Angeles when I had my son and every afternoon, like clockwork, a crazy, squawking flock of wild parrots would fly over my house disrupting his nap.

    I was at my wit’s end until I discovered that, if I simply left a box fan whirring in the corner, the resultant white noise was enough to block out any disturbances. It’s cheap ($11 at target) and it works!

    You’re welcome. 😉

  • twhitten

    It could be worse, it can always be worse my parents took the liberty of dispelling Leprechauns, Santa Clause and the Easter bunny all in one swift death. So I was left to ask really terrible questions all day every day, oh AND I was the kid who told the others that Santa was not real because my parents said so, yes I was that kid. right? it could be so much worse…

  • twhitten

    I forgot, 🙂 Happy Friday y’all

  • Rosamund

    I love it when my daughter naps (she’s about a week younger than Marlo). She usually has two, very occasionally three naps a day and it’s fab! I get to do frivolous things like read a newspaper or watch the TV. I’m not looking forward to evil leprechauns and 5am starts- who can blame her though, leprechauns are totally sinister, worse than trolls under the bridge.

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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