Heater, Mother of Lance


Several weeks ago Leta’s school conducted eye examinations, and some of our concerns were were confirmed when we found out that she did poorly both times she was given a test. The teacher pulled us aside, gave us the news, and said that Leta has a hard time reading the message board from far away. So it turns out she has her father’s eyes. This is news to no one.

I’ve had great eyesight my entire life, but Jon has had glasses since he was five years old. This was one of those times when I was like, look, I don’t know anything about what this means other than that our six-year-old is now going to need glasses. A six-year-old who refused to touch grass for the first four years of her life. A six-year-old who thinks cake is gross. A six-year-old who won’t pet her own dogs because it feels weird. And now she’s going to have to wear equipment on her face all day? This isn’t going to be difficult at all!

Kind of like coaxing an alligator into your lap so that you can brush its teeth.

And this is where the band/chorus geek in her parents blossomed into true parenting genius. Because we played up glasses as if they were the second coming of Jesus Christ. Hoo boy! GLASSES! GLAHHHH-SEHHHHHS! Like, Oprah welcoming a pair of glasses onto her stage, and guess what? Everyone in the audience is going home with a set of their own!

Guess who wears glasses? Grandmommy. Grandpa Rob. Grandma Della. Actually, each one of her grandparents wears glasses. (Let’s leave out the part about how it’s because they’re all OLD.) Daddy wears glasses! She was starting to warm up to it, and then we broke out the winner: her ten-year-old cousin Rachel wears glasses. The cousin Leta wants to be when she grows up. The cousin who once told her mother after spending a day with Leta, “I’m not sure I can take much more of her bossing me around.”

Oh, Rachel. Welcome to my life.

Turns out she’s near-sighted, and when we let her pick out the frames she chose — wait for it — the pink ones. With sparkly flowers on the arms. If it’s possible, she looks even more like Jon than she did before. The only thing missing is a mangled mess of USB cables trailing behind her as she leaves the room and occasional irrational outbursts wherein she refers to conservative friends on Facebook as “total effing nutburgers.”

Which reminds me, I accidentally referred to Marlo as an “effing turd” last week when she wouldn’t take a second nap, and Leta was all, “What does effing mean, Mom?” MINUS TEN POINTS FOR ME.

I told her it was a term of endearment that we only use at home. Ahem.

So, the same week she gets glasses, she also asks to get her hair cut. I’ve let her hair grow so long because I’ve wanted her to be a part of the decision making process when it comes to what her hair looks like. And she’s always wanted it long, at least, until she realized that all her best friends at school have shorter hair. I asked if all her friends eat broccoli, too, and she was not amused.

Oh come on, Leta! It’s a peer pressure joke! GET IT?! Ok then, let’s try it this way: Knock knock. Who’s there? A best friend who eats broccoli. MOM, THAT IS SO STUPID.

So I got her an appointment with my hairstylist, and we did it. Or I guess I should say, Leta did it. She was so incredibly brave in the face of some potentially horrifying circumstances: the place swarming with people dressed in black from head to toe; someone other than a parent soaking her entire head with water; SCISSORS EVERYWHERE. It was like walking into Tim Burton’s mind.

I held her hand through most of it, and she courageously survived the almost twenty minute blow dry. Twenty minutes! That kid sat still for twenty minutes, and she wasn’t even reading a book! Okay. Full disclosure: I promised her ice cream if she cooperated. Ice cream with syrup. That’s all it took.

I think I just figured out how to get her to fix Mama a hot dog.

  • Roo8382

    2010/04/12 at 2:36 pm

    I love it! What a beautiful girl you have, Heather. The hair and the glasses are just adorable on her.

    I’m not even old, but I’m busting out the old-lady phrases today: SHE’S TURNING INTO SUCH A YOUNG LADY!

  • Jessica Eiden Smedley

    2010/04/12 at 2:37 pm

    Wow, she looks grown up!

  • Jayceekay

    2010/04/12 at 2:42 pm

    OMG She is so CUTE I can’t stand it! But how did our little baby grow up so fast? Seems like only last year we were worried because she wouldn’t walk LOL.

    Glasses are awesome…well, seeing is anyway. Trees have leaves, buildings have bricks….I remember being amazed at that when I was 6.
    (Course as a teen I HAD to have contact lenses!)

  • NolaMomma

    2010/04/12 at 2:45 pm

    She looks SO GROWN UP. 🙁 She’s a cutie, though. Love the glasses!

  • SteffernieA

    2010/04/12 at 2:46 pm

    Omg – she is soooo effen cute!

    Funnily enough, in a fit of self-confidence (and a couple of bottles of wine), my totally gorgeous friend and I just posted pics of ourselves at our most geekiest on Facebook for 24 hours.

    It was embarrassing, but then empowering!

    I’m not sure if this link will work, but you could show Leta this pic of me in 1992, wearing tinted BIFOCALS (!!!), and she’ll realize what a stylish little cutie she is.


  • kayakgrrl

    2010/04/12 at 2:47 pm

    I remember that getting glasses for the first time was amazing. (I didn’t know what leaves looked like before then!)

    Great post – love her new haircut!

  • mommica

    2010/04/12 at 2:50 pm

    Genius move with the grandparents and the cousin thing. I get my 2-year-old to go pee pee on the potty by telling her our beagle (whom she LOVES) will be soooo happy if she does. Hey, whatever works, right?

  • alimaful

    2010/04/12 at 2:52 pm

    Oh my gosh she looks like an adult!! So pretty!!!

  • uknae

    2010/04/12 at 2:56 pm

    Heather it is blowing my mind how grown up Leta is! I remember when you posted the photo of your positive pregnancy test, and now look at her all gorgeous with her new look!

  • Curiosity

    2010/04/12 at 2:56 pm

    Wow. I just had one of those moments where you look at a picture of a child and can see a little piece of what they might be like all grown up.

    And what a truly cool person she seemed to be. I would totally try to say clever things to Adult Leta on the chance that she would want to hang out with me.

  • Figtron

    2010/04/12 at 2:56 pm

    I literally watched your daughter grow up…looking at photos, reading newsletters. She is turning into a young lady right before my eyes!

    One of my favorites posts about Leta is when you were giving her a bath in the sink, and she was so happy, splashing around and being adorable. Soon my little one will be all grown up, and I am trying to preserve every moment.

    Thanks for sharing your family with us…your posts have brought me much joy.

    Enough of the sappy dribble…I had to get glasses at a young age and they weren’t nearly as chic as hers. In fact, they sucked. Yay Leta!

  • SuzRocks

    2010/04/12 at 2:58 pm

    That is impressive that she didn’t break down and cry during the chopping of the hair! I’m almost 28 years old and every time I’ve gotten something drastic done to my hair (like bangs, most recently), I get all lightheaded and want to pass out in the chair.

    Good for her!

  • Heather J

    2010/04/12 at 3:02 pm

    Yeah for Leta! Glasses rock!

  • luv and kiwi

    2010/04/12 at 3:04 pm

    Did you cry Heather?

    She looks so grown

  • tokenblogger

    2010/04/12 at 3:06 pm

    She looks adorable!

    (And on a side note — did you send her hair to Locks of Love?)

  • tanyaself

    2010/04/12 at 3:08 pm

    Awww she looks so grown up!! That makes me feel so OLD! lol

  • jiveturkie

    2010/04/12 at 3:15 pm

    OH My! She is seriously the cutest. Seriously.

  • Johannie

    2010/04/12 at 3:18 pm

    I have a 7 year old, who recently got glasses too, pink and orange glasses! she also thinks cake is gross and will only eat vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing and only likes vanilla ice-cream.
    She was 4 before I could get her to walk on the grass without shoes…. now she is shoeless all the darn time… now I am constantly yelling, put on your shoes!
    Also, lots of her friends are wearing glasses and my older daughter wears them too….
    Leta looks wonderful!

  • dzymzlzy

    2010/04/12 at 3:21 pm

    That. Is. Not. The. Same. Leta.

  • 3xx1xy

    2010/04/12 at 3:27 pm

    She looks absolutely precious! I love it! I think we’re sportin’ similar haircuts!! 🙂

  • annalibera

    2010/04/12 at 3:27 pm

    We had sort of the same situation, except that when León, clearly shortsighted, came back from the optician’s with *no* glasses (the optician decided we could wait it out a couple of months), he was extremely upset. Both his father and I have had glasses all our lives, and I guess he just assumed he was a cool thing to have.
    He eventually got a pair last month, and is very happy with it. http://www.flickr.com/photos/annalibera/4495854407/

  • Phoenix Rising

    2010/04/12 at 3:28 pm

    Dogs DO feel weird when you pet them. That’s why I like Leta. AND her super cool glasses. AND her super cool hair style!

  • angshewas

    2010/04/12 at 3:29 pm

    When I realized where this post was headed I purposely stopped scrolling before the first picture because I wanted to finish reading and then see the Big Unveil. And then the hair, too! She’s beautiful.

  • Shana in Texas

    2010/04/12 at 3:33 pm

    That last picture killed me with the cuteness!

    I had to get glasses in 6th grade – could have been horribly awkward but, a cute boy said I looked good. Phew! I don’t believe it now though – it was the early 80s and there were NO cute glasses for young girls. They had HUGE lenses and the ear piece did a kind of swoop. Shudder! As a child hubs was very far-sighted and active. He got the black plastic frames with a strap. So not cute.

  • TriptikGirl

    2010/04/12 at 3:33 pm

    She looks so grownup now, it actually made me a little verklempt.

    (the security word I had to type to post was ‘broccoli’)

  • stealthnerd

    2010/04/12 at 3:36 pm

    Leta is so lucky. When I was in 2nd grade I had to get glasses and the only options were those totally horrible owl-frames that swallow the face of any and all 7-year-olds.

  • MN Sukie

    2010/04/12 at 3:43 pm

    My 10 year old son just got glasses. He wasn’t going to look or try on any glasses until I found the green camo glasses! He was surprised when he started wearing them that he could see the TV and computer. Still hates wearing them though.

  • kaethend

    2010/04/12 at 3:44 pm

    Hooray for ownership & authorship: she’s writing her own story now!

  • i.delia

    2010/04/12 at 3:46 pm

    She looks less like a little kid and more like someone you might have run into that was White House staff. very chic!

    Seems like only a minute ago I was taking a child to get glasses, now 5 years have passed, he’s wearing contacts and has braces and has never complained about either. I sometimes feel like a real sissy compared to my kids because I was much more tramautized by things at their age.

  • Jilllll

    2010/04/12 at 3:48 pm

    She was cute before, of course, but between that hair and those glasses, she’s like 750 new types of cute!

    When I was a kid, I lied during an exam because I really wanted glasses, but of course they figured out that my answers didn’t really add up. I got that wish at 13, The Year of Crazy Hair and Bad Skin, when I didn’t actually want them anymore 🙂

    And, um.. my captcha words are “actually brainerd”..which google tells me is a city AND a type of diarrhea. AWESOMMMME

  • Jen

    2010/04/12 at 3:59 pm

    Well I see I’m not the only one who experienced the wonder of leaves on the trees and the ability to see individual blades of grass without laying on the ground at the tender age of 8. My glasses weren’t 1/10th as cool as Leta’s. In fact, they looked like they should’ve only been worn by 70 year old retired college professors. And they had glass lenses. GLASS! On an eight year old’s face! And yes, they were inevitably dropped and shattered less than a year after I got them.

    Anyway, I digress. As has already been said about 80 different ways, Leta is growing into a beautiful, poised young lady 🙂

  • solaana

    2010/04/12 at 3:59 pm

    Your daughter looks so GROWN in that last picture, I don’t know how you can stand it.

    I got glasses when I was 8 or so, and I’m not worried about you letting Leta run around looking like a fool, but I am begging you: do not let your daughter make decisions like this. Or this, because those are things that are on YOUR FACE ALL DAY LONG, 12 YEAR OLD SELF! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING PUTTING MORE CIRCLES ON YOUR ALREADY STARTLINGLY CIRCULAR HEAD?

    Ugh. 7th grade seriously blew.

  • hammy

    2010/04/12 at 4:00 pm

    The hair cut looks so good on her! So do the glasses. She looks more grown up, too.

  • doomish

    2010/04/12 at 4:06 pm

    Woah, she looks twice her age in the last photo. Terrifying!

  • tuggs

    2010/04/12 at 4:07 pm

    She looks great! I’ve had glasses since I was her age. My parents didn’t want to go the glasses route straight away, so I wore a patch over my left eye for a month to try to strengthen my right eye. A patch. To school. With other children! So effing well done for not even attempting that.

  • ruby.in.abq

    2010/04/12 at 4:12 pm

    I am a mom of a now 15 year old boy, who at that age of 2 was diagnosed with strambismus. Don’t ask me to explain it. 😀 Anyway, he needed glasses because he couldn’t see. Along with very poor eyesight, he is also afflicted with what we now know as ASD (Austim Spectrum Disorder) even though we did not know that at the time. (Longer story and many more painful years before we got that diagnosis.)

    Not to go on and on with the excruciating details I will summarize. Sensory issues child with ASD is not good…so I heard bells ringing when you described the grass, petting the dog, etc. I totally sympathize with the HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO KEEP THE GLASSES ON THE KID panic moment.

    I can say that I have told this story 100 times, and I never get tired of it. I picked up my son’s glasses and a brand new book about Kermit the Frog and his flip flap flop flippers and sat my son down to read. At first the reaction was totally expected…tears…screaming…the world was coming to an end. Then the clouds parted, and the sun came out because my little boys brain engaged with his eyes and the glasses. He could see clearly for the first time in his life. I think I read that story 100 times the first night. It was priceless.

    He is never without his glasses now and is in fact miserable without them. Still struggling with ASD, but his life is a huge success story.

    Good job mom! She looks good in her’s and her haircut is cute too!

  • knittyknatty

    2010/04/12 at 4:21 pm

    She looks darling. BTW, I read your book, which led me to your blog; I really enjoyed it 🙂

  • jazzellis

    2010/04/12 at 4:27 pm

    Oh my goodness, how Hermione Granger is your kid? Of course she picked the pink flowers.

    She looks adorable, Heather. Totally. Tell her the internet approves.

  • jennyfromtheshwa

    2010/04/12 at 4:28 pm

    Well at least Jon knows for sure that you weren’t stepping out with the pool man. Now you have to post a picture of Jon at age 6 to compare.
    She looks so cute and grown up. Congrats Leta on facing 2 fears. Now you can do anything 🙂

  • ingrid

    2010/04/12 at 4:32 pm

    She looks great.

    I have a 6yo with glasses and I hate to say it is an ongoing battle. The grandparenst thing worked for awhile but she pretty soon realised the majority of people she knew with glasses were old. So we are still facing days of hating them and this is almost three years since she first got them. Last opthamoligist visit she asked how soon she could get contacts and rolled her eyes when he said it would be quite a few years before she could handle them.

  • megnstuff

    2010/04/12 at 4:44 pm

    Soooo Cute! I remember getting glasses and getting to pick out my frames. What a big day!

  • debihe13

    2010/04/12 at 5:03 pm

    Leta: Tiny pink Jon.

  • maeghan

    2010/04/12 at 5:06 pm

    My goodness, she looks more and more like Jon the older she gets. She’s adorable!!

    Heather, I wanted to drop a comment here about a previous post and the health care bill. I was in the hospital last night with my daughter whom I’d had to bring in because of a very badly sprained finger. This hospital is specifically a women’s and children’s hospital and it’s the best of its’ kind on the east coast of Canada (the IWK). As we were getting ready to leave after the x-rays and various specialists who had paraded through our room that night, I sat on the hospital bed and sent up a silent thank-you to whomever is looking over us. I count myself very lucky to be a citizen of a country who offers free universal health care to all its people. I left there not having to pay a single thing, knowing that I would not be receiving a bill in the mail for a simple emergency room visit. I’m not trying to play any kind of “my country’s better than yours” game. I believe that it is the right of every single person on this earth to have access to free medical care and I think that the US and Obama took a huge step forward when they introduced this bill. I think eventually that people will start to catch on to how beneficial it is for them and their families. Until then, keep voicing your opinions – it’s refreshing to hear them.

    Congratulations on the passing of the new bill!! And you really should consider making a visit to Nova Scotia someday!

  • Kim

    2010/04/12 at 5:16 pm

    She looks so cute! I was shocked by the glasses, and then she goes and cuts her hair too? Next thing she’ll be eating more than chicken fingers, you’ll see! Maybe she’s passing the torch to Marlo?

  • izzieruthea

    2010/04/12 at 5:18 pm

    Leta is the most adorable thing ever…well, her and Marlo both. I want to squeeze them.
    When I was in 2nd grade I asked my mom for fake glasses because I wanted glasses soooo bad. I got them for Christmas (they were from Claire’s, hahaha) and I wore them in all of our Christmas photos. It’s absolutely HILARIOUS when we look back on them.

    Unfortunately, I actually did have bad eyes come 6th grade…precisely around the time glasses became “SO, LIKE, UNCOOOL.” Sigh, timing is never on my side.

  • myeena

    2010/04/12 at 5:30 pm

    Wow. She really does look soooo grown up. She also DOES look even more like Jon that before!

    This brings back my first visit to the eye doctor as a third grader….ahem….

    My mother screamed at me as soon as the optometrist left the room because I wouldn’t admit that I could see the “BIG E”. I couldn’t see it! She thought I just wanted glasses. I don’t think she believed me until I walked outside and said that I could see the leaves on the trees. Yeah. I hold it over her head often. 🙂

    Leta is so beautiful–and I loveeeee her new haircut! I’ll be looking for her on “Fifth Grader” in a few years.


  • elizations

    2010/04/12 at 5:42 pm

    She looks super cute and very grown up. I wish I needed glasses. They look like so much fun!

  • mommymae

    2010/04/12 at 5:49 pm

    my oldest needed glasses at 3 & when she finally got them we let her go to town. she got pink ones, too! imagine that! with flowers on the arms! and rhinestones!!! she just got her third pair (she’s 8 now) and picked out some sweet crystal vintage cat eyes.

  • Heather_R

    2010/04/12 at 6:05 pm

    In that last pic we get a clear glimpse of her future as a lawyer. Way to ace that bar, Leta!

  • Starshine

    2010/04/12 at 6:09 pm

    PRECIOUS! She looks great!

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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