An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Butt. Kicked.

sick Marlo

I’M ALIVE! ALIVE! I was doubtful that I was going to be able to say that yesterday afternoon after watching Marlo alone for four straight days, and then last night… oh god. I wouldn’t describe what I did as sobbing because that word doesn’t pack enough punch. Is there a level of crying that comes after sobbing? Howling? Waterfalling? Recreating that one scene in the bible where the bearded dude has to build the boat?

Wait. Didn’t every dude in the bible have a beard?

Marlo’s illness just got worse and worse over the weekend, to the point that this is what she was doing for hours and hours and hours (and hours, just so you get the point) (also, I don’t pick her up here because that’s the exact opposite of what she wants):

Yes, I know, it’s cruel of me to have recorded that for the sole purpose of sneaking into her room when she’s fifteen and playing it at 4:30 AM while I laugh maniacally. Because that’s what time she woke up on both Saturday and Sunday. I could have left her in her crib until a more civilized time, I suppose, but wouldn’t that have been cruel? Instead, I quietly tiptoed to her room, swung open the door and yelled BOO!

It’s October. What?

At one point I tried distracting her with some sharp tools in the mud room, and she stopped crying and became engaged enough in the danger that I was able to sit on the floor to browse the Internet on my phone. I saw her slip out of the room from the corner of my eye, and I let her wander into the living room knowing that we have removed anything potentially dangerous to a baby from every surface. No, seriously. Our living room looks like a prison cell. My mom walked in and was all, why is there a poster of Rita Hayworth on the wall?

Trust me, we hung it high enough so that Marlo couldn’t reach it, rip it off the wall and and roll it into a bat to beat Coco.

Suddenly, three silent minutes had passed, and as every parent of a mobile child knows silence is NEVER a good thing unless Benadryl is involved. So I ran into the living room to find her perched on the couch waiting for me, the TV remote in one hand, the cable remote in the other. And when she saw me she waved both remotes and snickered because she knew she was being evil.

That is some sick shit.

My child has cold sores all over her mouth, red bumps covering her face, a fever, AND RINGWORM. And still she has the energy to find something she knows she’s not supposed get into.


  • meganbeth

    Translation: Bitch, I’m having a really bad fucking day.

  • Mialulu

    That sux. when it rains, it pours. That is for sure. My family can’t catch a break this year. We have had one thing after the other happen. I just had surgery and am 3 weeks post op, then my mom and sister are setting up for my suprise birthday party and my sister’s dog gets mauled by 2 dogs in the next yard because there was a hole in the fence. She is fighting for her life and hopefully makes it. My sister lost a dog to cancer earlier this year and a month after that she and her BF of 3 years broke up. So My mom is about to pull her hiar out with us two. I am sorry to say but the drama, sickness, what have you will. last. till. the. day. you. die. It will just come in waves and hopefully will never be more than you can handle even though right now you think you are barely holding on. It will be in a distant memory. Like hopefully this will be with the dog in ICU right now. I can’t wait till the day my sister isn’t moping around sad and lilly is out of ICU running around the backyard again. Life is hard sometimes.

  • missusclark

    Oh, the poor baby! Walking in circles like a caged animal? And the “hold my lovey while I break your heart….wait! Gimme my lovey!” Poor Bobo. And poor mama.

    Hope everyone’s better soon.

  • Brea

    Heather, where is Jon?! I’ve clearly missed a post or two – and watching that video of Marlo absolutely was my undoing.

    I have been there and done that, and my heart goes out to you. My son had blisters so bad on his feet that he couldn’t bear any weight on them.

    The Internet is plugging for you, Dooce. Much love…

  • coffeefirst-leaded

    OMG! I can’t even imagine. My baby had Roseola and I thought I was going to die! That sounds like euphoria compared to your poor babies illness.. She’ll be fine – TIME.. heals all wounds or just makes us CRAZY!

  • sveedish

    Poor little pumpkin. 🙁

    And yes, boys are always up to a shenanigan of some sort. Exhausting. And they always smell like feet and farts.

  • luckymom22

    Oh, I feel so badly for your little one. This is about day 5,070 of solo parenting for me, and we “did” coxsackie at about days 1,089-1,094. Awful, nasty stuff; came close to hospitalizing her for dehydration. I recall crying too.

  • Bratfink

    That video made me cry. Sometimes I hate the gramma in me. 🙁

  • mandypants

    How have we, with boys, been doing it? Well, we have had .75 ER trips every week for the month of July. I managed to meet the hottest paramedic/firefighters while in my haggard, haven’t showered in 2 days, haven’t shaved in who knows how long and I’m wearing shorts cause it’s hot outside and my son just drank gasoline. I have somehow managed 14 days of single parenthood and have 3 more to go until I get my hubs back and I have threatened hospital time using the glamorous words of “exhaustion” that celebrities use. Thankfully I have my blog and facebook or I’d go insane. I can’t even get dressed and become presentable most days to visit friends. That is mostly because I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old. One boy and one girl and they are both trouble. I now dread silence… Night time is especially unnerving when they are both in bed and it’s quiet and I have to continually remind myself it’s ok. They are just sleeping.

  • lolab9442

    Poor Poor Marlo….it’s all I can say….poor poor Marlo 🙁

  • WebSavyMom

    –>If my son turned to evil, we took him to the park or somewhere he could run around, see other kids and be a heathen til he was too exhausted to do anything else but sleep.

    Love the Shawshank reference too. It was a better short story by S. King.

  • nrward82

    It breaks my heart when they are like this. My son Aiden is not even sick (that I am aware of) and he has been like this off and on for a month. WHAT DO I DO?! So far it looks like I’ve been doing the same thing as you: let him cry. I step in occasionally to offer something new, or something that I’ve already offered, but none of it seems to work. The constant crying is EATING MY BRAIN. Ugh. I keep thinking he’s teething, but shouldn’t a tooth have broken the skin by now? Glad your husband is back to help!!

  • indydls

    Poor Bobo! A sick baby is not fun at all for anybody. Having said that: Buahahahahaha! I have a VERY active 18 month old boy. Welcome to my hell!

  • DealWithIt

    As a mom of twin girls and a boy… it’s totally not a “boy” thing. They are all independant and helpful little shits.

    The girls (together) escaped from a hotel room when they were 11 months old. I stepped into the bathroom to wash TWO bottles and in that short time they somehow got the very heavy hotel room door open. We found them climbing the stairs… a few flights up.

    One of my daughters had fractured her skull by the age of 3 (the night before our baby shower for my son). During the healing process it was suggested that we prevent her from climbing… IMPOSSIBLE.

  • Jess F

    Hmmmm…I am expecting my first in February (a boy). Perhaps I’ve made a terrible mistake :/

  • cobaltblue

    Many people, including me, use L-Lysine (an amino acid) supplements to keep cold sore problems in check. I’ve used it for years and it keeps my cold sores under control very well. You may want to check with a pediatrician to see if it can be used to give Marlo some relief.
    Hope this helps.

  • The Bold Soul

    Lady, you are SO entitled to the biggest damn bourbon EVER right now.

    So I live over here in France, right? And for the longest time I used to think French kids were like Stepford children; whenever I would see little French kids in public, they seemed too polite and well-behaved, too quiet. It just didn’t seem normal and I wondered what the hell the French parents were slipping into their kids’ morning “tartine” (that’s just bread with jam or butter on it).

    Then I married a French man with 3 kids, the youngest of whom was 6 when I met him (now 9). Now he? Is a pretty good kid for the most part, other than he apparently inherited his mother’s tendency toward hysterical meltdowns at the drop of a pin and my biggest frustration was not being proficient enough in French to find out what was really going on with him and calm him down (luckily he seems to be growing out of that and I’ve picked up more French vocab). But… our French friends and neighbors have 2 little boys, and I swear to you, I don’t know how on earth this woman gets up to face each new day. She is very petite, almost waif-like, and very quiet and gentle. She is married but her husband, while nice enough and also very quiet, does as little as possible in the care and raising of his own offspring, so she might just as well be a single mom. And the boys? Beautiful, smart, funny kids who would set fire to the house “just to see what might happen” if you turned your back for 30 seconds. They are just such a high-energy handful, stubborn to boot, and how the hell she ended up with not one but TWO of them, I will never know. She loves her boys, but they are wearing their poor mother out.

    I once heard it said that the things a child does that drive their parents bonkers? They are actually “clues” to the child’s greatest gifts in life. Like me? All I wanted to do was sit indoors and read a good book when my mother wanted me to get outside and play. Now? I’m a writer… and I ADORE what I do. I’m just saying… there IS a “gift” in all this, somewhere. It just may take about 20 or so years to figure out what it is.

    Now… back to that bottle of bourbon…

  • EJoyner105

    If you ever bring your little family back to Memphis for a visit, Marlo has got to meet my 15-month-old Macey. I’d probably be horrified if I could count the number of times I’ve said, “Macey, are you playing in the trash can” or “Please drop the dog poop!” We’re expecting a little boy in February, and I feel like we are so prepared for the chaos that comes with that territory!

  • dianemaggipintovoiceover

    🙁 poor little bean

  • victoriasauce

    I couldn’t help but find it adorable when she stops the pacing and is like, “Here, take this. I’m trying to cry and aimlessly walk around here.”

  • JSweet

    Wow, I have an equally cranky toddler who’s suffering from roseola and I am having the same experience: the sheer overload of crying and whining is making me numb. At least we still have our senses of humor. That’s what got people through gulags and crap right?

  • strawick

    i read this and thought of your Bobo – or at least your accounts of her:

  • Openshrew

    Hi Heather… long-time fan, first-time commenter!

    First, I want to say that I’ve watched this pathetic, heart-breaking video of Marlo at LEAST 10 times. How morbid is that? I think I keep hoping that if I watch it again, that maybe this time it will magically change and, instead of aimlessly wandering in all her miserable hysteria, Marlo just stops, looks up at the camera, smiles and says: “All better, Mama.”

    Ah, the fantasies of deranged, sleep-deprived parents.

    But here’s the real reason I’m commenting: I have the cure for these cold sores!! I used to get canker sores in my throat, and OMG the pain, the agony… seriously, I would feel like doing exactly what Marlo is doing, for days and days on end. It was beyond horrible… finally I went to the Dr. in a mess of tears and he prescribed MARY’s MAGIC MOUTHWASH.

    I know. Totally stupid name, but TOTALLY LEGITIMATE CURE. Basically it’s equal parts viscous lidocaine (which you’ll need a prescription for from your pediatrician), Benadryl and Mylanta. It numbs, it soothes, it heals… it’s definitely magic.

    Because she’s so little, you’ll probably need to chat with the doc to see if she can have it… but if she can, you’ll both be extremely relieved and you will NEVER be without it again. Good luck!!

  • I Had Ice

    I was going to try to one-up you but I changed my mind. Poor kid (I mean you.)
    Might I suggest a kick-ass multi-vitamin for Bobo and some Carnation Instant Breakfast? That shit keeps my little one going when he’s sick or teething. Sugary? Yes. Vitaminy? Absolutely.

  • gavintiegirl

    Every kid is truly different. I have a boy and when he was little he never tried to get into trouble. He never went looking for it and therefore he never found it. We didn’t have to child proof anything. We only have one, but I am sure if we had another, he/she would have been the exact opposite…which is one of the many reasons we never had another. 😉 We are on to them…those little critters.

    Poor poor Marlo! It’s so hard when they are sick and can’t really communicate or help themselves.

    I am glad you made it out alive! 😉

  • lesliepaige78

    i am curious what leta is doing during all of this. my daughter is 10 and when my son (age 4) is crying she just whines herself about all the noise and it makes it so much worse.
    all parents have been through days/weeks/months/years like these and feel your pain.

  • writtendad

    As a father of a six-year-old boy, I remember waking up each day and wondering how I was still alive. I know that it seems like Bobo is going to run you into the ground, but I’m happy to say that with the right balance of time and alcohol, you will make it through.

    Drink up.

  • Amy J.

    Wait a sec…you only had Marlo for the four day solo??

    Well, I felt bad for you, but now I do think you’re whiney, LOL.

    Try it with a precocious older child in the mix and then we’ll talk ; ).

  • ylime320

    My son (5) just watched that video of Marlo and said, “Mom, is that a baby? Is that baby CRYING? I do NOT like that. Can we play a game now? Mom, can we play a game? MOM! GAME!” Can’t wait to have number 2! Begin maniacal laughter.

  • Brainyest

    This is totally unrelated to this post but is in response to your eyebrow waxing comments.
    Have you tried threading? If not, you need to do it IMMEDIATELY!! It is AMAZING!

  • curlsz

    everytime I get the slightest incling that I want a baby I’m going to play this video – on speaker mode…with the volumn all the way up. I think it should be played via loudspeaker in every high school right after prom

  • Christina_MT

    My sister always looked down on me with my three boys. Then she had her second daughter and that child is hell on wheels. She’s definitely more willful, stubborn, and just plain wild than any of my boys were. She and Marlo would get along famously.

    I’m really hoping that this new baby is another boy. A girl would be wonderful too, even if she is a maniac, but I’ve had good luck with boys so far. I think I’d like to stick with what I know.

  • misheru

    Poor sweet pea! So miserable. 🙁

    It’s always amazing how DIFFERENT siblings can be, when they come from the same parents. But this Bobo, I’m totally, secretly in love with her and her cracked tooth and her droopy pants and her ringworm. Just seems like family, is all I’m sayin’. Seems like my mother’s stepmother’s second husband Delmer has those same turquoise droopy pants, too.

    (And yes, I really do have a relative with that name, and he really is my mother’s stepmother’s second husband)

  • Jalima

    Nope, sorry 🙂 Not one iota of sympathy as I HAD IT MUCH WORSE!!!

    Colicky son for 4 months (throw in a year of PPD while you are at it!) and then twins 4 years later. Hubby is a firefighter away 4 days out of 8. Wrangling and surviving kids on my own half the time is my life.

    Thank Gawd they are now 17 and 13 and the teen bitchiness is just settling in. Sigh. This motherhood gig is not easy is it?

  • jkrkmumma

    Poor, Poor Baby…and more importantly…Poor Momma!! Both of my boys have had hand/foot/mouth…TWICE!! We picked it up at an indoor waterpark at a hotel we stayed at in PA one year! Cool trip with lots of fun had by all until we got home!! The ones in the mouth are the worst…we did lots of tylenol and actually found a mixture of mylanta and something else that they swished in their mouths to help soothe the sores. Might not work so well with Marlo as she is not really of swishing age 😉 Best of luck!!

  • Fall For Design

    Oh my gosh. She is so cute. She has grown so much!

  • fleuredeflorida

    Wow. God bless you woman, because hours and hours of that would make me homicidal.

    That’s so sad though, poor Bobo. I hope she gets better soon, for your sanity’s sake too.

  • Meredyth Willits

    I have to admit to you and the universe that I judged you ..and now it is biting me in the ass. I am again, being selfish and hoping that tell you, and said universe, that I am sorry and admitting my wrong will change the fact that NOW my 2 year old has decided to wake up for 2 days at 5 a.m….I think I told you to “grow some” and maybe even “be a real mom..” ug..gulp….
    So yeah, I suck, and I get it, and I will do my very very best not to judge you and your daughter and the way you deal with meeting 5 a.m., because I suck at it..big time.
    So there, you didn’t know I was judging you, but I did…oh, and you probably don’t care anyway.
    I have come to grips that anything I think about you is pure unadulterated jealously because i would die to have a blog following you as you do, but without you I would have never started a blog…EVER…I never even read a blog until two months ago…AFTER I started mine..
    so there it is I’ve repented my judgmental jealous ways, but I am sure you get it..I read your stuff…you are a smart person.
    May both of our rotten kids sleep till at least 8… amen

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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