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.

  • KatherinetheGreat

    2010/04/12 at 6:11 pm

    She looks so mature! Like she’s going to tell me to stop asking to summarize *The Help* and just read it on my own already.

    For what it’s worth, I’m in my mid 20s and my mom and I currently barter in ice cream. (“If you plant all of these tulips, I’ll buy you a cone.” “I was going to do it, but I think I’ll do it NOW.” or “Whoever wins the NCAA owes me an ice cream cone.” “IT’S ON, I’LL TAKE BUTLER.”)

  • Lalawawa

    2010/04/12 at 6:19 pm

    haven’t read the preceding 100 comments so maybe this has been said but she sure looks like Tanis(Redneck Mommy) in that last shot.

  • fableq

    2010/04/12 at 6:45 pm

    My word! she looks so mature! Cute as a button though!

  • boardbetty

    2010/04/12 at 6:45 pm

    Leta looks adorable with her haircut and glasses!

    When my son got glasses at 7, he came home one day and told me that they were broken. When I pulled them out of his case and had a look at them, he had actually chewed through the arm! The little stinker really didn’t want glasses.

  • banana-mama

    2010/04/12 at 6:54 pm

    She’s beautiful!

  • mjlx

    2010/04/12 at 7:20 pm

    she looks gorgeous!! and so grown up!

  • NatW

    2010/04/12 at 7:21 pm

    She looks so grown up!

  • sweet futility

    2010/04/12 at 7:24 pm

    My two little girls wear glasses. Marley (4 and 1/2) has had them since she was two, and they are PINK and SPARKLY. Her glasses are cooler than mine. Rudy (18 months) has had hers since she was ten months old. And my husband and I wear glasses, too, so sometimes when we’re out, we forget about how ridiculous (and cute?) we must look to people who can see clearly without prescriptive lenses.

    When Marley got her glasses, we had a Glasses Party and sang “Happy Glasses to You” before she blew out the candles. That might work for you if you use something other than cake.

    I hope this link works: http://tinyurl.com/yavjn6l

  • Daddy Scratches

    2010/04/12 at 7:25 pm

    Further evidence that there are few things cuter than a small child in glasses. (See also: “Jerry Maguire.”)

  • Mania

    2010/04/12 at 7:29 pm

    Oh, she’s so cute! I can’t believe she’s growing up. It’s like she’s one of my own nieces, I’ve been watching her from afar for so long.

  • PrettyGirlMyers

    2010/04/12 at 7:37 pm

    Good Lord, the cuteness is killing me! Go Leta with your awesome haircut and sassy glasses! Kudos to you and Jon for doing such a great job making her feel ok about her new “equipment”.

  • reelmomof4

    2010/04/12 at 7:44 pm

    Awww, that cut AND the glasses are really cute on her! Way to go Leta!

  • bambooska

    2010/04/12 at 7:48 pm

    Gorgeous! Just… wow!

    Also, I THINK I saw her as a teenager in the last picture… not sure. I’m so proud. I am. I watched that little baby grow up into a BEAUTIFUL girl. The Armstrong’s factory rules!

  • MelissaJ

    2010/04/12 at 7:57 pm

    oh wow…she really is growing up…hard to believe.

    i got my first pair of glasses when i was 6 years old…you do the math; it was also the day Kennedy was shot…yep, they really had glasses back then…LOL

    glasses and a haircut in the same week…she looks fantastic.

  • fleuredeflorida

    2010/04/12 at 8:13 pm

    She is so cute! Her hair is adorable. I also had to get glasses when I was about 6-7 years old (first grade) and lemme tell ya, Leta is one lucky girl, because back in 1995, those glasses frames were not nearly as cute as the ones she had. Mine were ginormous and made me look like one of the Golden Girls. Needless to say, it did not make me “the cool kid”, but I’m sure Leta will work it. She sounds like a girl who can hold her own. 🙂

  • heymamas

    2010/04/12 at 8:16 pm

    Oh, she looks so adorably mature!! Love it.

    Sadie at heyMamas

  • kerrielisabeth

    2010/04/12 at 8:19 pm

    Oh my goodness, she looks so grown up!!! That kind of breaks my heart.

  • sulkat77

    2010/04/12 at 8:34 pm

    she looks so great! you are an amazing mom for studying your daughter and what she needs. She reminds me a lot of my son. I recently read “Raising your spirited child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and it really gave me a lot of insight into his personality and some practical ways to help him better navigate everyday life. If you have time, I think you’d like it. She really focuses on the positive aspects of some of the character traits and helps you see how they may serve him/her well in the future.

  • the niffer

    2010/04/12 at 8:39 pm

    WOW. So grown up. Beautiful mini Jon.

  • GreerPowers

    2010/04/12 at 8:49 pm

    Absolutely precious! Love, love, love the glasses and the hair! You have such beautiful kids! 🙂

  • Carries Place

    2010/04/12 at 8:50 pm

    I started reading your blog (or whatever you call it) a couple months ago. Someone had mentioned that they didn’t like your blog and that I should stay away from it. Well, curiosity got the best of me…and I am glad it did. You are effing hilarious! I think I seriously laugh out loud each time I read something of yours. I have my sister hooked too 🙂 Oh, and one more thing; the purple tights? Loved them.

  • jearbear

    2010/04/12 at 8:56 pm

    She is just too cute!! Love both the haircut & the glasses!

    I’m sure the glasses will be fine for her, she just might have issues with contacts. I know that my sensory processing disorder kicks in – I can get the contacts in & out fine, but once they’re in, they irritate my eyes all day.

  • leftylucy

    2010/04/12 at 9:22 pm

    okay, I have been lurking for a while but this pic totally just made me register. I do happen to agree that Marlo is just about the cutest baby evahhhh, and I regularly check in just to see her pix, but OMG, this last photo! Could Leta be any more cuter! I am into the chic geek look (being one meself, natch), but this is unbelievably cute.

  • raeleighjo

    2010/04/12 at 9:26 pm

    cutest. nerd. ever. 🙂

    i got mine when i was 7, and kids didn’t call me 4-eyes. i never regretted them, but it was always super important to my parents that i always had glasses i was in love with. even if my mom had to sit there with my while i tried every pair on 12 times. which i’m sure you’ll do w/leta anyway. 😀

  • mjarzyna

    2010/04/12 at 9:27 pm

    Holy shit! She looks all grown up now!

  • leftylucy

    2010/04/12 at 9:31 pm

    by the way, I totally prayed for glasses when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade, so I could be just like my idolized older brother. Sure enough, in 5th grade I had to have ’em. Very bad eyes since then, later rectified with LASIK surgery!

  • KissMySass

    2010/04/12 at 9:43 pm

    My first major haircut was at the age of 5 when my mother took me to the nearest hair “stylist” … aka, a woman we knew with a sink and hair cutting chair in her garage … and told her to give me something “Mary Lou Retton-ish.” I took one look in the mirror when it was done and cried for hours. Fast forward three years later, and I’m getting my first pair of glasses after some failed school eye exams (I believe the exact phrase on the form they sent home to my parents was “Child denies having a problem” — glasses intervention, whoo!). My dad got two styles free through his job, so I got to choose from the following: huge blue plastic frames or huge red plastic frames. It’s a wonder I’m not more psychologically scarred.

    Leta, on the other hand, looks so grown-up and happy with her new look. Good job on that one, guys (seriously) 🙂

  • becaru

    2010/04/12 at 10:31 pm

    Oy, she looks nine!

  • Cheryld

    2010/04/12 at 10:50 pm

    What a cutie!

  • stargirlmia89

    2010/04/12 at 11:04 pm

    She looks absolutely adorable and nerdy – LOVE IT! Just like me when I was little, except without the glasses.

  • stargirlmia89

    2010/04/12 at 11:08 pm

    She looks absolutely adorable and nerdy – LOVE IT! Just like me when I was little, except without the glasses.

  • Mrs.Koehnke_ it is pronouced kinky. Like S and M

    2010/04/13 at 1:03 am

    I love her cute hair cut and glasses! She’s adorable!She reminds me of… ME when I was her age in glasses. Is it sad that other people’s children look more like me than my own?

  • ecc1977

    2010/04/13 at 3:29 am

    Wow. The last picture is striking. She looks so much more grown up. Hooray for her for (and for you and Jon) for handling the transition to glasses so well.

  • jessilouise

    2010/04/13 at 4:26 am

    Wow a haircut and glasses, what a change! This picture would make me cry if it was one of my kids…she’s all growed up and will be moving out soon 🙁

  • LizandBoys

    2010/04/13 at 5:11 am

    She’s BEAUTIFUL – the new hair and glasses are so cute.
    and you know she’s going to repeat “effing” at school…..

  • sueann41

    2010/04/13 at 5:41 am

    You have again put a smile on my face on this otherwise hassled morning! Your daughter looks effing adorable!!!!!!

  • sybann

    2010/04/13 at 5:48 am

    It breaks your heart a teeny bit when they start to look SO grown up doesn’t it?


  • bethysmalls

    2010/04/13 at 6:01 am

    Heather! She looks so grown up! Very beautiful.

  • mom interrupted

    2010/04/13 at 6:17 am

    Cute glassess! Wonder if them make them in adult sizes. . .

  • dpatt

    2010/04/13 at 6:19 am

    I have been waiting for this story!!! I love Leta!!!

    I have been trying to get my 5 year old to at least trim her waist length hair but ” I won’t be me without my hair” is the response I get.

    I look forward to your post each day and thank you for sharing your family with me. I have laughed and shed tears in reading your posts.

    I can’t wait to hear the Marlo stories that are to come!!

  • eleanorstrousers

    2010/04/13 at 6:27 am

    Holy crap. She is like a wee adult and adorably edible. Unlike when I got my giant pink plastic glasses and a PERM in third grade that made me look like a nearsighted shrubbery.

  • Midnight

    2010/04/13 at 6:36 am

    My six year old just got her first glasses too (we took her along when we went for eye exams, so everyone got new glasses at the same time…although I think my two year old felt left out). She went for the purple bedazzled frames, liking the bedazzlement more than on the pink ones.

    Leta’s haircut looks adorable. My six year old remains firmly opposed to shorter hair.

  • Plano Mom

    2010/04/13 at 6:46 am

    On April 1 I celebrated 40 years of wearing glasses (yep, 2nd grade, got ’em on April Fools Day). Way to go on the glasses are COOL thing (they are, by the way).

    Last Photo? Jon.

  • Marinka

    2010/04/13 at 6:56 am

    Yes, minus ten points for you. Because a six year old should definitely know what “effing” is.

    She’s absolutely adorable. Which is the real purpose of glasses.

  • Yoj31

    2010/04/13 at 7:29 am

    She looks so grown up and then I stop to think, “Holy Moses, have I been reading this site THAT long?”

    She really does look cute in her glasses and to chop all that hair? It really reinforced the whole, “I’m growing up MOM.”


  • ErikaMSN

    2010/04/13 at 7:44 am

    Let us know if you figure out any good tips for keeping track of the glasses–my 7 yr old is seeing an eye doctor on Fri. (she didn’t do too well on the eye exam part of her last physical), and we’re living in fear of the hassle if she does need them.

    Also, the hair amuses me–almost all the girls in C’s kindergarten class had short hair. Now, in 1st grade, it’s all about long hair. It’s fun to do braids & stuff, but the short hair was so much easier…

  • njschoolgirl

    2010/04/13 at 7:47 am

    How cute she looks. Boy, she is really growing up!! She looks just like Jon.

  • tenthmile

    2010/04/13 at 7:46 am

    I know like 10 other people have said it, but HOLY CRAP does she look grown up! Very cute =)

  • MPyrzynski

    2010/04/13 at 8:24 am

    Wow! Leta looks FAB-U-LOUS! The glasses are so very “Leta” and the haircut is just wonderful and pretty and perfect for her!

    Leta is very lucky. I got my first pair of glasses at age 5 in 1975. My kindergarten picture is me, wearing these black plastic frames that are a hair shy of horn rims, a bun in my hair (really, mom?) and a double-knit polyester pant suit. I may never forgive that woman! (Though I actually picked out the frames…) Now, I look forward to new glasses. It’s like getting a new “look” every year.

    My son got his first pair of glasses at age 6. I think we went through three or four pairs in the first year. Then I got smart and bought flexon frames for him. Now he’s much better about taking care of his glasses, thankfully!

    Also, a suggestion on the broccoli (and other veggies): I couldn’t get my son to eat them either until I bought Penzey’s Brady Street Cheese sprinkle and let him “dose up” his veggies. It’s a mix of cheeses and herbs that is really delicious. He started eating his veggies all the time and I started cutting down how much he could add each time. Now he eats his veggies plain. Yay! I’m not sure if Leta would go for it, but it might be worth a try…

  • WideAwakeWife

    2010/04/13 at 8:31 am

    I’m extremely far sighted and have had glasses since I was 5 years old. When the eye doctor told me my oldest daughter is slightly far sighted and could use reading glasses, I nearly fainted. I have struggled with me eyesight for so long and know what a pain it can be. Fortunately, she only needed glasses for reading and close up work (like the computer and her DSi). She was thrilled for the first 6 months. At this point in time, her glasses have been lost for 6 months and our insurance won’t cover a new pair until the end of this year, so I’m glad they’re not 100% necessary!!

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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