the smell of my desperation has become a stench

A look inside our days together

A few days ago in the hectic hours of the afternoon when Leta was home from school and the phone in the office was competing with the waterfall of email in Jon’s inbox, I snuck downstairs to reorganize my cosmetics drawer for a blog I was writing for HGTV. Yes, that is a link to something I have written elsewhere. Yes, this is shameless self-promotion. Yes, I have a hard time sleeping at night. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

Anyway, I’m knee-deep in old lotion bottles, trying to figure out if I could stick a knife down inside one to get at the last few drops. Kind of like a peanut butter jar, you know? You don’t want to throw it away when there is even the tiniest bit left, and next thing you know you’ve got your arm inside that thing scraping every last bit with your knuckles, and suddenly your husband walks in and you’re lying on the floor, your entire hand in your mouth, peanut butter drool pooling on the floor around your face. And you know he’s thinking, my God, I want to bang the shit out of that.

See, I have hoarding tendencies that I have to fight every single day. And here and there it creeps up on me, and in this instance it was my cosmetics drawer. Bottle after bottle of lotion and hair product that I should have thrown away but didn’t because I was going to use those last few drops. I WAS, OH YES INDEED. Except, those are famous last words for hoarders. That and “but it has sentimental value.”

All you hoarders are nodding and looking around to make sure no one is seeing you nodding.

And here I remember that one day my hair looked AWESOME, and if I ever threw away that specific spritz my hair would never look awesome again. Maybe that’s not hoarding. Is it superstition? Paranoia? Jon calls it nutball insane. Ah, but I didn’t choose to marry me! Meaning, I win.

Where was I? Right. Sitting in the middle of a mountain of empty bottles when all of a sudden I heard my niece Mariah yelling from Leta’s room, “Marlo! Marlo! MARLO!” And I looked out into the hallway to see that Marlo had crawled out of Leta’s room and was charging toward me. Except her crawling is still figuring itself out, so she sort of looked like a wounded soldier dragging his broken legs out of a ditch. And she was mumbling, “Maaaaama… Maaaaama…” in a hoarse voice that sounded distinctly like a wounded cat.

She was coming for me! Whether I liked it or not!

I love that this is going to be one of the memories I have of this milestone, and when I reenacted this story to Jon, as well as I could through hysterical laughing, I was like, there was my baby coming at me like a zombie emerging out of a muddy grave. She is going to kill it at parties.

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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