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.

  • americanmom8

    2010/04/13 at 8:55 am

    Talk about going from cute baby girl to adorable big girl in .8 seconds!! She looks so grown up and SMART!!

  • sonya

    2010/04/13 at 9:10 am

    Very grown up! Can you believe your firstborn is a little adult already?!

  • Meetzorp

    2010/04/13 at 9:17 am

    I was about the same age when I got my first pair of glasses and that aspect of picking out your very own frames is a biggie!

    My first ones were clear plastic with a candy-red stripe and little decals of Lucy from Charlie Brown on the bows. I thought they were pretty fabulous (the only thing that would have been better is if the stripe could have been green).

    I liked having glasses as a kid, firstly because I could always pick out the ones I wanted, and secondly because they really did make my life easier, what with being able to see and all.

  • dittoditto

    2010/04/13 at 9:20 am

    Neeeeerd! 😉 My daughter is only 2.5 months old and I sense she is already doomed to glasses. Probably by the age of 3. She is her father so far in every single way even mimicking his grumpy face EXACTly. And my husband wears glasses so thick he might as well just stick a couple of bottle bottoms to his face. His vision is seriously bad. I tell people how bad his vision is and they shrug and go “yeah, lots of people have bad vision.” And then they check out the thickness of his glasses and they see what I mean. I have perfect vision and perfect teeth so here’s hoping she inherited both of those from me.

  • PattiG

    2010/04/13 at 9:45 am

    It seems as though she grew up overnight!

  • meghantown

    2010/04/13 at 9:53 am

    She looks just perfect. Love the glasses and the haircut.

  • ninesandquines

    2010/04/13 at 10:05 am

    wow…..she looks SO much older with the haircut and glasses!!!!! yes, she is EFFING adorable!!!! and looking like she’s ready for stanford or harvard!!!

  • Nytro21

    2010/04/13 at 10:13 am

    OMG!! So grown up! And it looks so incredibly classy and fun and… fine, I’ll admit: I got a little teary-eyed to think that the long hair which is such a Leta trademark is gone!!!

    I gave my 5 month old baby her first hair cut last week cuz it was growing in patches and we had to thin out some of the patches so that the other bald spots on her head weren’t so noticeable!!!

  • kentuckienne

    2010/04/13 at 10:26 am

    Oh my God, you handled this the exact way my parents didn’t. I had no choice of haircuts, and now I cringe to look back at the horrible bowl-cut with bangs that my mother imposed on me. And when I had to pick glasses in the second grade, my parents wouldn’t let me get the pretty gold wire-framed ones I wanted. No, I had to get the blue-and-clear plastic framed ones because they were supposedly more durable. (I broke them repeatedly). So I’ve sworn that my own children, should I have any, will have their choice of haircuts and glasses when they need them (which they so will — I’m so nearsighted I can’t find my glasses when they’re a foot from my face). In conclusion: bravo for brilliant parenting!

  • preppypitbull

    2010/04/13 at 11:09 am

    YAY Leta! The glasses and the new haircut look great, good for her 🙂

  • lisafashionista

    2010/04/13 at 11:10 am

    Oh MY GOD! When I saw the second pic I was like, “Wait, why is Heather photographing an adorable teenager?” Leta looks so sophisticated! As a glasses-wearer myself, I think she looks fab.

  • melo

    2010/04/13 at 11:25 am

    Leta looks adorable! I had to get glasses when I was 7, and it was really hard for me b/c I was the first in my grade to get them. Sounds like you guys did exactly the right thing by telling her all the cool people who also wear glasses.

  • AmazingGreis

    2010/04/13 at 11:31 am

    Love the hair, love the glasses…she looks so much older now. And so much like Jon!

  • marjadesign

    2010/04/13 at 11:33 am

    OMG, so grown up and totally adorable… first time posting!

    I wore glasses at 2yrs old… kids are just happy to see, i hope she is adjusting well. love your blog!

  • katszeye

    2010/04/13 at 11:55 am

    She looks so beautiful and mature. Yeah Leta! My son got glasses when he was 8. I went with him to his eye exam at the optometrist, because I couldn’t believe they were really as bad as the pediatrician thought. His eyes were so bad that I spontaneously exclaimed, “My God, you are blind as a bat!” Not a good parenting moment considering I was the one who must have ignored his nearsightedness up to that point.

  • renata_armindo

    2010/04/13 at 12:07 pm

    LOVE IT! Love the post, love the glasses and love the hair cut! She looks really amazing!
    Congrats on having such a smart kid!!!

  • Jan

    2010/04/13 at 12:08 pm

    What everyone’s saying!

    Heather, do you know who Tavi Gavison is? The 13-year-old fashion blogger? (You must…) If not, pay a visit and read her article on need for a Sassy 2.0

    Also, she wears glasses.

  • joyluck76

    2010/04/13 at 12:18 pm

    My soon-to-be four year old daughter Clara and I enjoy your blog and Clara especially loves anything Leta. She was excited to see Leta’s haircut because Clara just had to “take a haircut” for the first time about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately, we lost the last of her ringlets, but she doesn’t mind that all the tangles are gone.

    Like you, Heather, I had let her hair grow so that she could have some say in the hairstyle she would have to look back on later. I still ask my mom if she’s got the bowl she used for mine. And, this haircut right here, at the tender age of 7, is want ended my “maneater” days with a resounding thud: http://www.thisjoyslife.com/juxtaposition/

    The impact of that one haircut following me through college. Anyway, when Clara saw the post of Leta, she really wanted to make a video to tell Leta how much she liked it. If your interested, here it is: http://vimeo.com/10900084

  • TexasKatie

    2010/04/13 at 12:50 pm

    She looks so grown up. Sort of makes me tear up, and she isn’t even my kid! She reminds me so much of ME as a kid – total bookworm, adorable little geek with sparkly pink glasses – seriously, best sort of kid EVER! 🙂

  • linuxchik

    2010/04/13 at 2:25 pm

    LOL, the title of this post reminded me of the tint-lenses that adjust to light.

  • DoulaKaren

    2010/04/13 at 2:35 pm

    She looks SO grown up!!! Which makes me nuts because my girl is just 6 months younger.

  • wilg1

    2010/04/13 at 3:17 pm

    I’m dyin’ here. What a cutie!

  • alh071

    2010/04/13 at 3:19 pm

    Oh,Lord, I didn’t think Leta could get any cuter… then she did! FYI, I’ve been in glasses since I was 7 and now at 28 I would feel nekked without them. Thanks for the Leta update, I’ve been missing her in all the Marlo “Effing Turd” madness.

  • katka

    2010/04/13 at 3:31 pm

    so cute. and you can see what she will look like when she is 25 in that last picture, amazing.

  • The Bold Soul

    2010/04/13 at 3:33 pm

    First of all, you can tell Leta that The Internets think she looks GORGEOUS and very grown-up with her new ‘do and glasses. And she does!

    Secondly, my husband’s 8-year-old just got his first pair of glasses about a month ago (myopic like both his parents) and he strutted around here with them like they were the coolest things EVER, and OH! did we play that up. He’s French (like his Papa) so we told him how “beau” he looked, and what a good choice he made in the frames (a French cartoon character called “Titeuf”), and fortunately he is a budding geek like his daddy, so telling him how SMART he looked was also a big hit. That first weekend he was even making a list of all the people in his life who hadn’t seen him in his new glasses, and you could tell he was really looking forward to their reactions.

    We have sure come a long way from when kids used to be mocked and tortured for being a “four eyes”. And thank goodness for that.

  • winecat

    2010/04/13 at 5:32 pm

    Adorable and in the last picture she reminds me of a Catholic School girl. Don’t know why but that’s the first thing that popped into my head.

  • mrs.notouching

    2010/04/13 at 6:23 pm

    My god she is adorable! But now I can almost see how she is going to look like as an adult – beautiful and smart. This girl is going to rock the world. So great that the effing turd will have someone like her to look up to.

  • lucecapade

    2010/04/13 at 7:11 pm

    Okay, I have NEVER commented before and I have been reading you since before you and Jon were married… I know, I know *boo* *hiss* lurkers! Anyway, I am just breaking my silence to tell you what you already know.. Leta is now SO GROW UP! And clearly, also, very beautiful! What an incredible little girl you have on your hands – How fun! I hope you enjoy the shit out of it. 🙂

  • Marianne

    2010/04/13 at 7:42 pm

    She’s so CUTE!

  • bari

    2010/04/13 at 9:17 pm

    As a mom of a 6 1/2 year old that has has glasses since she was 4 – definitely look into the internet sites to purchase kids glasses directly and costco. We have been through so many pair and when you have a girl that is destined for glasses all her life, it good to make it easier with a few stylish pair! Leta looks wonderful – good job mom!

  • raspberryripple

    2010/04/13 at 10:05 pm


    I love Leta’s haircut and new glasses!

    You have a wonderful family.

    I appreciate coming here every day.

  • redvixen

    2010/04/14 at 12:44 am

    Oh she is adorable. Is it not amazing how genes are passed on 🙂 I bet that fact that she can SEE with more clarity makes it easier as well.

    I personally love to see, but will always hate my glasses.

  • hockeybrad

    2010/04/14 at 8:51 am

    Oh my God, Jon Armstrong: as a 6-year-old girl!

    She’s adorable. Beauty of a kid you have there.

  • oddFrogg

    2010/04/14 at 9:26 am

    She looks marvelous. Absolutely adorable. And everyone knows the cool kids wear glasses. “You Go” Miss Leta!

  • lesliepaige78

    2010/04/14 at 9:52 am

    She looks so cute AND I think she aged 5 years! I know you probably dont want to hear that.

    She is perfect with her new glasses and new hair.

  • LoriLS

    2010/04/14 at 10:40 am

    I just read “It sucked and then I cried” over the weekend so even though I don’t know you I am getting totally emotional over grown up Leta. Could be something to do with having a 6 month old and still being all out of wack. Anyway, she looks gorgeous and good job making the glasses seem like a fabulous lucky thing! They look great.

  • Meaghan

    2010/04/14 at 11:12 am

    Leta looks so beautiful and so grown up! I’ve worn glasses since childhood, and part of me feels like a terrible parent to slightly wish bad eyesight on my own daughter, but I think EVERYONE looks better in glasses. Adorable!

  • dimplecheek

    2010/04/14 at 2:14 pm

    Watching Leta grow up, I feel a lot of the same emotions as I watch my son grow. Pride, amazement and love. Wow. What a lovely, intelligent little girl you have there. Thanks for sharing her (and all her glory!) with us readers. If you ever need a babysitter in Washington State, let me know.

    I got glasses in the second grade and I loved them because I could actually see so much better that the world looked better. I had Lasik 10 years ago and part of me misses being in the glasses club.

  • Rita

    2010/04/14 at 2:19 pm

    Heather this is so encouraging! My son (almost 6) has something called Sensory Integration Dysfunction. He’s so darn picky about EVERYTHING. Food. Texture. Everything.

    I finally gave up on getting his hair cut at a salon and learned to just do it myself. VIA YOUTUBE!

  • proudmary

    2010/04/14 at 5:33 pm

    she looks like a little book editor!

  • kmarrs

    2010/04/14 at 7:19 pm

    OMG She is so damn cute!

  • Isabelle Boisvert

    2010/04/16 at 4:56 pm

    Oh ! She’s so beautiful ! I’ve been a “lurker” for some years on your site, no stalking ! And I watched Leta grow into a young lady. I’m a proud glasses wearer since I was 13, and my nephew Guillaume (8 years old) and his sister Noémie (5 years old) are in the club !You can see proof in my picture, it cropted my oldest nephew’s head but he is so tall at 15, I’m not surprised.

    I know that my niece was joensing for her own pair of glasses when her brother got his 2 years ago !

    Leta looks very lovely !

  • ewilliams6

    2010/04/18 at 2:19 pm

    Your baby is darling with glasses & shorter hair!! Precious thing!! Looks so grown up!!

  • zoey

    2010/04/25 at 3:20 am

    Just be glad that Leta didn’t cheat on her eye exam like I did at her age. I was paranoid about ‘failing’.

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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