Heater, Mother of Lance

Featured community question wherein Jon makes his mother proud

Today’s featured question comes from user dirtdiva321:

I figured this was an appropriate question given that Jon and I eloped on a cliff at Yosemite eight years ago this week, and that Monday morning we were sitting together on a couch across from our therapist. I like to compare her to a chiropractor: we see her when we need some adjustments. Except instead of popping a bone in my neck she just rolls her eyes and says, “I thought I told you to stop being so dumb.”

Jon and I see our therapist at least twice a year, more if there’s a lot of stress in our lives. Sometimes we can slip back into behaviors that we thought we’d overcome, but you know… low immune system, lack of sleep, etc, and next thing you know Jon is on the toilet with his iPad and I’m standing on the other side of the door, Marlo in a death grip around my neck, and I’m screaming THERE ARE NO LEISURELY POOPS IN PARENTHOOD, JON.

That’s one of the things I love about him most. Not the hour-long poops, no. GOD, NO. It’s his willingness to work on things, to take a look at himself and see his role in whatever is going on between us. He goes to therapy with me without dragging his feet or covering his ears with his hands. I feel very lucky to have found someone with this mentality, because I know some men would very quickly change the subject from “therapy” to “you’re acting like your mom, now excuse me while I openly scratch my junk.”

I love that he knows how to wear a pair of pants so that they hit his shoes at just the right angle: not too high, not too low. Trivial, perhaps, but I guess this speaks to his style. He’s got just enough. He knows how and when to look good, but not so that it would take him longer than I do to get ready. That may be old fashioned of me, or it could be that I dated quite a few closeted gay men in Los Angeles to know. You never want your man taking longer than you to get ready. Because if he does then odds are that he really wants it up the pooper.

And then third? I have to mention that he is an amazing father. He steps up. Sometimes (like many men I know) he has to be reminded to step up, but that’s usually because he knows I’m a control freak and doesn’t want to mess up whatever system I have in place. THAT was a fun therapy session:

Me: I need you to help more on the weekends.

Jon: I would, but last time I did you got mad at me for every little thing, like putting Marlo to bed so early!


Jon: You mean the schedule you have written down only in your brain?

Me: Yes! THAT ONE.

He’s particularly amazing with Leta and usually has an endless well of patience when it comes to her quirks. I’m much more like my father’s side of the family, the one that throws rocks at cars and approaches discipline as if we’re raising a military. He’s incredibly skilled at working through her brain to find out why she’s reacting a certain way when my knee-jerk reaction would be STOP ACTING THAT WAY. NOW GIVE ME FIFTY PUSH-UPS. ONE ARM.

I have a lot to learn from him. That’s a number four, I know, but it needs to be said.

Happy eight years, Peanut Butter.

Eight years

  • josephine

    2010/08/27 at 2:39 pm

    Wow, I totally needed to read a post like this today. Thank you Heather. Seems like you got a good one! Happy Anniversary. 🙂

  • ChickWhitt

    2010/08/27 at 2:43 pm

    He is, as my best friend calls it, just gay enough. Can dress himself for the most part, takes care of himself, is sensitive enough.

    But doesn’t like it up the pooper.

  • ladydayholiday

    2010/08/27 at 2:43 pm

    I hope we are all able to find someone who is as perfect a match as you and Jon are! It would be an added bonus if we all had a Tyrant in our lives as well.

  • Crazy Card Lady

    2010/08/27 at 2:44 pm

    I don’t even want to know why you call Jon “Peanut Butter”. Congrats on all of your hard work!

  • dooce

    2010/08/27 at 2:52 pm

    His nickname used to be PBTM, short for PunkBoy(tm). It alway made me think of peanut butter, and I’d call him that to get his goat.

  • jon

    2010/08/27 at 3:01 pm

    Thanks, baby!

  • Erika from Canada

    2010/08/27 at 3:02 pm

    Eloping on a cliff at Yosemite sounds perfect. I have to ask though, did you miss getting wedding photos?

  • Penelope

    2010/08/27 at 3:03 pm

    I absolutely love this post. It’s so refreshing to hear an honest account of: Yeah, it IS really hard, but we love each other so much we’ll never stop working on it.

    Happy Anniversary! 🙂

  • checho

    2010/08/27 at 3:05 pm

    tears! for real.
    you two are amazing!

  • Kristen from MA

    2010/08/27 at 3:06 pm

    Hot. You forgot hot. (Ok, so I’m a little shallow. So what? 😉

    BTW, I never noticed before Heather, but looking at the latest family photos, it struck me how much you resemble the Avon World Sales Leader. Maybe it’s the short, blonde hair, but it really is striking. Gorgeous pictures. 🙂

  • nicholee

    2010/08/27 at 3:17 pm

    @Erika from Canada: They did have wedding photos, and they were gorgeous. There’s a link here. I can’t believe that I’ve been reading blogs for long enough to remember that! 🙂

    Oh, and happy anniversary, Jon & Heather!

  • Amy J.

    2010/08/27 at 3:23 pm

    Heather you are softening!! You were MUSHY in this post…fawning even over Jon!!

    It’s refreshing! A bit uncomfortable and awkward, but still very lovely side to see, lol.

    You sound JUST like me, and Jon sounds just like my husband, who once, just because he was worried he’d upset me, brought home a quart of every kind of milk from the grocery store because he couldn’t remember which one I told him to buy (it was pre cell phone days and we weren’t even married yet, lol).

  • territorial

    2010/08/27 at 3:30 pm

    Loved this post. Made me want to hug my ol’man when I get home.

  • Victoria_Girl

    2010/08/27 at 3:35 pm

    Happy Anniversary you two!

  • Pixie

    2010/08/27 at 3:57 pm

    What a sweet picture of you two….I’m glad you found each other. And, after Yosemite, what did you do for your Honeymoon?

  • kristanhoffman

    2010/08/27 at 4:34 pm


    Sounds like a keeper! Happy anniversary, y’all.

  • cinddmel

    2010/08/27 at 4:41 pm

    Happy Anniversary Heather and Jon!!!!!

    Loved the question you picked to talk about, sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of all the wonderful qualities of my husband, specially when we disagree about something and my immediate reaction is to want to bite his head off and scream at him! lol

    May you and Jon have many many more happy years!


  • VickyNguyen

    2010/08/27 at 4:46 pm

    That was so lovely. Happy 8th Anniversary.

  • Tricia

    2010/08/27 at 4:50 pm

    Um, yeah… I have to agree with Kristen from MA. Jon’s hot. Was that somewhere in there with point #2? 😉

  • gretchie

    2010/08/27 at 4:55 pm

    Hey! I call my daughter peanut butter! Cuz she’s smooth and creamy. Not to get her goat. Happy anniversary 🙂

  • tksinclair

    2010/08/27 at 5:10 pm

    I’m with you regarding the marriage tune-ups.

    So many people I know don’t argue, seem apparently happy and then one day they say “Hey, you know what? I really haven’t been happy for 5 or 6 years.” And their mate says, “Wow, really? You too? Neither have I” and in six weeks they are divorced. Bam. And I’m left with, what the hell? And next thing I know they are talking about amicable divorce and then dating and I’m sitting there thinking WHY HAVE THEY DONE THIS TO ME!!!!! Yes, TO me. Because it’s mostly all about me you know.

    Anyway, I have been known to say at that point “What about therapy” and ‘they’ say, “It’s too damn late for therapy. There’s nothing left.” And then I’m helpless and depressed and sad and they have new lives and I’m sitting here thinking how much I never liked their stupid mate anyway but FORCED myself to for “THEIR” sake and now I’m left in the dust.

    So yes. Tune ups are good.

    PS And please, have mercy and give me some advance notice of any temporary separations (that are never temporary btw) or impending divorce so I can up my anti depressants and anti anxiety medications. It’s only being kind, you know.

  • WVKay

    2010/08/27 at 5:24 pm

    Happy Anniversary! I love, love.

  • workroom

    2010/08/27 at 6:59 pm

    happy schmoopy schmoop a schmoo you two!


  • jacqueline

    2010/08/27 at 7:02 pm

    awww I love you two! Happy Anniversary!!

  • jpshenson

    2010/08/27 at 8:09 pm

    Jon looks so much more like John Larroquette when his hair is short

    Happy Anniversary!

  • liandriel

    2010/08/27 at 9:28 pm

    This is wonderful.

    Happy anniversary! 😀

  • J. Bo

    2010/08/27 at 10:24 pm

    How any two people make a marriage work with even a small degree of joy is amazing to me, and YOU TWO are exemplary– human, flawed, compatible, loving, irritating, devoted, mismatched, perfect-for-each-other.

    Happy anniversary, Armstrongs! Give each other (and the girls and the pups) big squishes for me.

    J. Bo

  • Bratfink

    2010/08/27 at 11:52 pm

    Gosh Jon looks like John Larroquette in that picture and I think JL is HAWT.

    Happy Anniversary you two. As a mom of a daughter with two kids older than yours I know that what we want most for our children is to be happy. Life will have its ups and downs, but you CAN kick back at the end of the day and realize that you ARE happy.

    And that is also what I wish for you.

    And also let me say that the pictures you had taken are wonderful. The girls look amazing and I LOVE Leta in her glasses!

    May you grow old and gray together and talk endlessly of unsatisfying bowel movements. Because that’s what old people do. So I’ve heard.


  • tokenblogger

    2010/08/28 at 5:18 am

    I had to laugh out loud when you ended “happy eight years, peanut butter.” Guess you missed those threads!

  • Monday

    2010/08/28 at 5:36 am

    He’s a good man.
    Remember, no one needs to embrace religious organized dogma to be this good.

    Wishing you both many happy and healthy years together!

  • jenninmaine

    2010/08/28 at 8:47 am

    This is the best anniversary tribute I’ve ever read. Happy Anniversary to you both!

  • Janice

    2010/08/28 at 12:39 pm

    Happy Anniversary and like someone else pointed out – besides the Hamilton chin, you sure are looking more and more like the beautiful Avon World Sales Leader…

    Uh, I mean Heather, not Jon….. hee, hee

  • sleepy-beauty

    2010/08/28 at 2:26 pm

    You guys are adorable and I am so inspired after reading this. Thank you.

  • tracebooks

    2010/08/28 at 3:19 pm

    What a great anniversary post! You both look terrific. Heather looks like a star; Jon looks like an ordinary hunky guy.

    I have to say that the idea of someone using a touchscreen on the toilet is just…ewwwww.

  • Brea

    2010/08/28 at 3:22 pm

    While I’ll answer the question personally in the DC forum because it is such a great one, let me say here:

    This was one of the lovliest tributes to marriage that I’ve read. Congratulations on your anniversary!

  • findingmachine

    2010/08/28 at 5:03 pm

    I have been reading this blog for a few years, and this is the first time I have ever felt the need to comment. It’s wonderful that you would like to express your love and appreciation for your husband. What irked me is this:

    “That may be old fashioned of me, or it could be that I dated quite a few closeted gay men in Los Angeles to know. You never want your man taking longer than you to get ready. Because if he does then odds are that he really wants it up the pooper.”

    Really?! The above statement is childish, ridiculous, and frankly, a touch homophobic. Why you needed to include this statement in your marriage tribute is beyond me. It’s not old fashioned, it’s just offensive. As a privileged, independent, well educated modern woman, perpetuating adolescent homophobia is beneath you. I was hoping that the community you have started here would be a safe and inclusive space for everyone. I understand that this is a personal blog about one woman’s life, and that opinions at times may not coincide. I know that if I don’t like what I see here I can just not read it. However, I would hope that before writing insensitive things like this, you would consider your fan base, which, given your insane popularity, has to include some queer folks/families.

  • AussieMel

    2010/08/28 at 7:57 pm

    Congratulations on eight years of love, life and passion. May there be many more. You guys crack me up.

  • NolaMomma

    2010/08/28 at 10:29 pm

    Happy anniversary, you two!! You are so fortunate to have found each other. I, too, appreciate a husband that goes to therapy – it helps us so very much.

    This is unrelated, but I’ve just stumbled upon a wonderful and very different than any other parenting book that maybe you two would appreciate. The things you’ve written about Leta over the years, well there are amazing parallels I’ve drawn with my oldest daughter….the same with Marlo and my youngest. To say that my daughters test my patience would be an understatement. It’s called Unconditional Parenting by Kohn and I’m not finished yet, but already it’s got me thinking and I’m always open to information that could help me work with my daughters and help me be a better parent. I’m getting a lot out of it. There’s my little anniversary gift…a suggestion for a great new parenting book. Haha…the romance is GONE.

    All my best!! 🙂

  • Anu

    2010/08/28 at 10:52 pm

    Happy Anniversary ! Takes a lot to be so honest..that too in front of millions. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness

  • JustLinda

    2010/08/29 at 6:13 am

    Awwwww… I’m all mushy-feeling now.

    I married someone like that too and I swear, if there is ever a movie deal for my life, maybe you could play me and Jon could play my husband.

    I mean, unless Rob Thomas wants to play my husband because then I would definitely play myself.

    And the important thing is – my husband would UNDERSTAND that. LOL

    Congrats on your anniversary! We just had our 17th and it as really just flown by.

    Enjoy the next many years!

  • gavintiegirl

    2010/08/29 at 7:59 am

    This is absolutely the way more marriages should work/turn out… Marriage isn’t easy…cohabitating with another human isn’t easy, but when you first signed on, you loved one another and that love is always there, but life takes work and if you love each other enough than working on it, is a labor of love. When you commit to spend the rest of your life with someone…part of the fun of it is growing, changing, and learning from and with the other. And hopefully what comes out the other end (not the pooper) is a well oiled machine filled with love, laughs, awesome memories to be passed down to generations, and a love story about two people who fell in love, lived life, and did it all together for better or worse. It’s not the easy times that define your relationship, it’s getting thru the tough times and coming out the other end best friends.

    Congrats! Don’t ever give up on LOVE! <3

  • greeblemonkey

    2010/08/29 at 12:43 pm

    First and foremost – happy anniversary to both of you!

    Secondly, can I copy this and email it to Bryan??!?!? Cause it seriously freaks me out how dead-on the your division of roles are the same as ours, how we go to therapy together for the same reason, how he is more playful and I am more militant… (Achtung, baby!)

    Although I will say that it is DECLAN who does the hour long poops with the iPad.

  • Sneeka

    2010/08/29 at 4:06 pm

    Very romantic! I wonder if you’re jelly?

  • mom2avamax

    2010/08/29 at 4:59 pm

    Love this, dooce lovies! The best thing my husband and I ever did was go to therapy. And at that, it was with a 75 year old wisdom oozing, clear, cut the crap, no nonsense, lady whom I have grown to love. But I digress. It’s seems to be the oddity now, to find someone so in tune with the idea of marriage and a life together that they are willing to call themselves human and go into therapy for help along the way. I think it’s a shame, but I feel blessed all the same to have a husband so open to it. I’m sure you do, too. The idea that we’ll be the same people that our spouses married year after year is simply not true. Marriage is work and the work is in loving that person through their changes, and finding the joy that it brings. Thank God we’re not all boring. Thank God we have people to challenge us and to love us! Right, people?!? Anyone unwilling to fight for that love that first swept them off their feet is foolish. You guys rock. Your humor rocks. Your candor rocks! Thank you for not closeting your humanness. Hopefully by coming out to the world, we’ll all learn from it!

    And “queer” lady…she’s the one perpetuating homophobia, “queer” lady???? Am I missing something here guys?

  • Blahggy

    2010/08/30 at 7:58 am


    I’m the same way with our 3 month old. My husband is always asking me things like, “How many ounces should I feed her? What should I do with her now?” And I’m all, “Don’t you know?” And he’s all, “Uh, no because YOU created her schedule.”

  • tallnoe

    2010/08/30 at 9:42 am

    Awwww. So cute. I’m reading this way late, but HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

  • doublebuttons

    2010/08/30 at 6:35 pm

    “You never want your man taking longer than you to get ready. Because if he does then odds are that he really wants it up the pooper.”

    I am still trying to figure out how to slip this into casual conversation.

  • ValJean

    2010/08/31 at 6:12 am

    Happy anniversary! 🙂

  • Schmutzie

    2010/08/31 at 10:37 pm

    Happy anniversary, you two!

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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