the smell of my desperation has become a stench

This one was written on adrenaline

Monday morning when I met my trainer at the gym she pointed at my face and asked what had happened to my right cheek, right there under my eye. I explained that my whole face sort of swells when I cry, and I had cried myself to sleep so fiercely the night before that when I woke up my eyes were swollen shut. It took an hour of icing to make them look a little more normal and less like two horizontal vaginas.

Oh, man. Sorry, Dad. Should have warned you about that one.

Why all the crying, she asked, and then I told her about the exhaustion of watching a sick, inconsolable baby for four days. And my reaction to that kind of fatigue is to, one, sob uncontrollably, and two, take everything personally. My brain starts to scan every event in the last year that I can bring up and cry about: that one time Jon asked if I had packed a coat for an upcoming trip AS IF I’M A BABY AND CAN’T PACK MY OWN CLOTHES, why are you picking on me?!

Because he wanted me to be warm OH WHATEVER.

Marlo is finally starting to feel better, but she’s got it in her head that even though she doesn’t feel anywhere near as bad as she did over the weekend, it’s still really fun to wake up at 4 AM. Every single morning. And she won’t go back to sleep. Instead, she’ll lie still next to one of us for several minutes in an attempt to fool us into thinking she’s finally settled, and then she’ll whip her head up and yell MOOOOO!

What the hell? No, seriously. Moo? It’s five o’clock in the morning and she’s imitating a cow? Should I be happy that she didn’t choose a more annoying animal? Thank you, Marlo, for saving your hyena impersonation for daylight.

So this morning I showed up to the Wednesday morning spin class that is taught by my trainer, and as everyone was gathering and adjusting their bikes she asked me if I’ve been able to get any rest. I shook my head and said no, she’s still waking up at 4 AM even though she’s not as miserable as she was and the only explanation for this behavior is that she’s evil.

Okay. A few things.

This has to be said out loud: I cannot stand it when the people in class ignore the instructor! DRIVES ME NUTS. The instructor is there for a reason! When she says, “Out of the saddle!” your butt had better be in the air! Otherwise, why are you there? TO TORTURE ME, OBVIOUSLY.

ALSO. Many of us who routinely take this class like to ride the same bike in the same spot. And when we show up and someone has taken our bike we have to resist an overwhelming urge to throw a tantrum. I know, it’s a totally juvenile reaction, but when you become addicted to spin class you sort of lose all sense of reason.

That’s what happened this morning, I showed up and one of the people who doesn’t really pay any attention to the instructor had stolen my bike. Yes, STOLEN. There’s no other word for that type of crime. So, that’s… five… ten… MINUS FIFTY POINTS FOR HER.

And then. THEN. While I was adjusting some other foreign bike in another part of the room, explaining to the instructor why I haven’t slept in ten days, the woman who stole my bike turned to me and said, “I really hope you’re talking about a dog.”

And I was like, a dog? HA HA! HELL NO! I’m talking about my daughter!

And I think her brain exploded. The shock on her face. And then the very concerned, low whisper of outrage, “I cannot believe you just called your daughter evil.”

I know, right?

Bless her heart, I really hope that woman has taken a valium when she finds this website.

  • Kristen from MA

    2010/10/13 at 12:17 pm

    Plus FIFTY points for not slugging that woman in the mouth. Seriously.

  • Amy J.

    2010/10/13 at 12:18 pm

    LOL…that woman can honestly and truly suck it.

    A) Does she HAVE children?

    B) Is she a human being or an alien?

    C) Is she a hypocrite? (I think we all know the answer to this one)

    D) Does this woman’s ass look as good as yours? I think NOT! (that sounded really gay didn’t it)

    I can not STAND holier than thou people when it comes to parenting. Makes me want to sock them in the jaw. Seriously.

    Ok…that is all.

    I’m returning to editing photos and listening to 80 alternative music.

    Hang in there Heather…you can do it. Oh, and…MOOOOOO! : )

  • pooptoast

    2010/10/13 at 12:23 pm

    I love it when y’all southerners use “Bless her heart”… cause we all know it means “Shut your fucking face, uncle fucker.”

  • EJoyner105

    2010/10/13 at 12:24 pm

    Bless her heart is right. Hilarious! The bike stealing kind of sounds exactly how we Southerners get mad when someone steals OUR pew at church.

  • Camels and Chocolate

    2010/10/13 at 12:28 pm

    I really hope that woman’s next child’s alter-ego is Satan. Or Bristol Palin, one.

  • Kristen from MA

    2010/10/13 at 12:30 pm

    I should add that I think she deserved to get slugged for taking your bike in the first place. Her comments (after sticking her nose into your conversation, no less!) just add fuel to the fire.

    Step off bike-stealing buttinsky!

  • Gypsy

    2010/10/13 at 12:30 pm

    I frequently refer to my son, 13 months, as Pol Pot. I think it’s kinder than some of the other comparisons I’d like to make.

    My banker asked a friend of mine if I had seen anyone about my “pointy objects” that I commonly threaten to get out when he does that screaming in the night/waking up too early thing.

  • Kristen from MA

    2010/10/13 at 12:32 pm

    I love it when y’all southerners use “Bless her heart”… cause we all know it means “Shut your fucking face, uncle fucker.”

    Awesome 😀

  • The Dalai Mama

    2010/10/13 at 12:35 pm

    Kids can be evil. Oh yes–my two year old has perfected the art of being evil.

    I know what you mean about spin bikes–I’m so territorial I bought my own and now no one but me gets to sit on it.

  • adamsrice

    2010/10/13 at 12:37 pm

    That woman was probably one of those woman who think that pregnancy and motherhood is wonderful and restful and beautiful. Her brain is probably full of cheesecake and butterflies.

    I just threw up a little.

  • loysturner

    2010/10/13 at 12:40 pm

    I think it’s a cruel trick our children play on us…I feel for you as all three of mine have all had the stomach bug and now my husband is down for the count…and you know, when he is sick it’s as if he is sicker than anyone has ever been in the history of the human race. Me, not sick, but swollen eyes from crying as well—-I’m the one who could use a good stomach bug to loose a few before the Halloween candy arrives….oh the irony!

  • alto girl

    2010/10/13 at 12:44 pm

    It does get better, Heather, honestly. The toddler age sucks. After that, you can at least communicate and TRY to reason with them. And after they grow up and turn into beautiful, successful adults, there is nothing so thrilling in the world.

  • dooce

    2010/10/13 at 12:51 pm

    “Shut your fucking face, uncle fucker.”

    That has to be the best thing ever written on the Internet.

  • megrit411

    2010/10/13 at 12:52 pm

    Oh man, some people just can’t take a joke. How do you survive parenthood without a little humor?

  • shalak0

    2010/10/13 at 12:53 pm

    Yes the territorial issues with the bikes are a bit wacky but then again – most of us feel that way even though we know we shouldn’t. Sucks to be human.

    As for the woman – rude and pitiful beyond belief. She needed to create this perfect alter ego for herself by demoralizing you in public. Methinks she is jealous….
    (I tell everyone that I can’t run fast enough from my three little hellhounds!)

  • Wallydraigle

    2010/10/13 at 12:56 pm

    The only people I know who think children are all puppy fur and unicorn burps are people who have never had children. Both of my kids are just about the easiest children ever to live, and even I have seen The Evil in them.

    I’m sure there are parents out there who actually think this, too, but I haven’t met a single one, and I bet they’re on a lot of Valium.

  • SMD

    2010/10/13 at 12:58 pm

    Some people need to lighten up, learn how to take a joke or mind their own business.
    I am with you on the spin class etiquette. Taking your fave bike is right up there with the women who chat loudly in the back of class and then don’t want the fans on because they’re not warm yet.
    Glad Marlo is on the mend; sounds like you’ve all had a rough go this week.

  • lissak

    2010/10/13 at 1:00 pm

    My daughter is 2.5… At a recent team meeting (think 6-8 different teachers and therapists in a VERY small living room) we were talking about how well she is doing and going over what changes were being made to her programs…. My husband and I said something like, she’s so good, but she can be a little evil… there was a collective gasp in the room. They all but begged us to find a different word. Nobody wanted to admit it. But seriously, it’s not like we told them her head spins around and she spits pea soup…. we basically just said she was being TWO right? RIGHT?

  • magwilky

    2010/10/13 at 1:00 pm

    Ha! We call our daughter evil and many other variations such as rotten, a pistol, and the red-headed devil to which, when she was 2, she would say “I am not a DOUBLE”. But I also call her my sweet girl, honey buns, and Darlina, because she can be the sweetest, most lovable thing on the planet. It is just that when she is not, she is SO NOT.

  • magwilky

    2010/10/13 at 1:04 pm

    As for it getting better… hmm, my girl just started kindergarten and she still likes to torture us by running into parking lots, walking out the front door without telling anyone and climbing up to the counter to play with the knives! Can’t wait for the teen years :/

  • Charmed

    2010/10/13 at 1:08 pm

    And then you punched her in the face, right?

  • abi

    2010/10/13 at 1:08 pm

    Obviously this woman is not a mother. (Or at least, has a full-time nanny.) I have been known to threaten to list my children on Craigslist (no, not in the Adult Encounters section – I’ll just post one of those curb notices that people write when they’ve put something thrilling out by the street, like a hideous sofa or a television that hasn’t worked since 1995). And my friend with the colicky two-month-old has begun referring to her daughter as The Banshee. So yeah, bless her heart, indeed.

  • AshleyScott

    2010/10/13 at 1:09 pm

    Man, I am so glad that lady wasn’t around the last time my nephew was throwing a tantrum, when I turned to my mother and said, “OKAY. I know he is tired, but why does he have to act like such a DICK?!”

  • Stephanie Lewis

    2010/10/13 at 1:10 pm

    I totally understand about the bike thing. I feel the exact same way about my pole in pole dance class. 🙂 Chew on that one.

  • JennC

    2010/10/13 at 1:11 pm

    Parents who don’t know their children are evil are parents who don’t know their children.

  • mrswilson

    2010/10/13 at 1:18 pm

    I thought I was the only one who thought completely irrational thoughts while sleep deprived!

    Obviously that woman doesn’t have children. Or a sense of humor. Or a sense of DON’T STEAL MY BIKE YOU NON-INSTRUCTOR-LISTENING JERK.

    Hoping you get some more sleep!

  • Lady30

    2010/10/13 at 1:18 pm

    So according to that woman it’s wrong that my husband and I refer to our baby as an asshole? Well, in that case, come on over to my house and hang around for a bit and let’s see if you change your mind.

  • PrettyGirlMyers

    2010/10/13 at 1:19 pm

    My daughter will be 13 next month, evil is the least offensive of all the words I’ve used to describe her lately.

  • kklampley

    2010/10/13 at 1:20 pm

    Bahahaha what a bitch. Apparently she only listens to the instructor when it’s someone else’s private conversation.

  • Phoebe Fay

    2010/10/13 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t get why it would be somehow better if you were calling the dog evil. A cat, sure, I’d understand (cats consider being called evil a compliment), but on the grand scale of good and evil, dogs are way closer to the good side than toddlers.

  • wagabu

    2010/10/13 at 1:22 pm

    True story.

    When my younger son was about 10 he started calling me WOMAN. As in, “Did you pack my lunch, WOMAN?” “What’s for dinner, WOMAN?”

    This did not sit well with me. At all.

    I told him to stop calling me WOMAN.

    He said, “But that’s what you are.”

    I said, “Yes, but you don’t hear me calling you ass-hole.”

    That shut him up.

    Another true story…
    When same son was about 5 years old, one of our neighbors paid him $5 to stop being an ass-hole.

    Money well spent dude!

  • cipsi

    2010/10/13 at 1:23 pm

    @dooce: Now I love you even more! I am a fitness instructor and I cannot tell you how NUTS it makes me when I am trying to teach and the class is ignoring me. WHY ARE YOU IN MY CLASS??? If I want to be ignored and I’ll stay home and talk to my teen and tweenage kids, thankyouverymuch.

  • AngstyJen

    2010/10/13 at 1:24 pm

    The bike stealer must be childless…I love my daughter (who’s almost 4) dearly, but I am also reasonably sure that she’s destined to become the dictator of a small island nation.

  • tokenblogger

    2010/10/13 at 1:27 pm

    It’s like that woman never even heard of The Omen!

  • Bryony Boxer

    2010/10/13 at 1:31 pm

    I’m so glad Marlo is better.

    I’m a little jealous that you still know how to cry. I haven’t cried in a long time, and not because I didn’t need to!

  • subjectivitis

    2010/10/13 at 1:38 pm

    Sounds like someone deserves to be filed under, “How to annoy me”.

  • TropicalPopsicle

    2010/10/13 at 1:45 pm

    She would have freaked out if she overheard me talking about that one baby I used to watch. I called him The Little Asshole. I don’t think they can help it at that age, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be evil jerks.

  • puasamanda

    2010/10/13 at 1:56 pm

    Evil? I’d have shown her some evil! I’ve used a lot of words to describe my fifteen-month old lately…you know, the one who decided that with walking comes the God-given right to be the Boss of Everyone and Everything, AND got a nasty sinus infection that has him making noises 24/7just like the ones in the video of Marlo. The very same one who is ALSO waking up at five o’clock in the morning every morning, and is PISSED OFF that we don’t also want to be awake.

    Evil is one of the kinder things I have said about him in the last two weeks. And I’ve said that shit to his face!

  • Amy J.

    2010/10/13 at 2:00 pm


    I know you have to know that Uncle Fucker thing is from South Park!!

    I used to play it at work on my computer all the time, lol.

  • UW Girl

    2010/10/13 at 2:01 pm

    Ha ha! I totally identify with the bicycle. It also reminded me of when you’d go to Sacrament Meeting with your family when you were a kid, and there would be some family sitting in YOUR pew. And then you’re all like “I know I’m supposed to be full of the spirit…but the spirit is telling me that you are trespassing, and you’d better get the hell outa our pew before we all go Porter Rockwell on your ass.”

    I refer to my kids often as the Children of the Corn. And we don’t live anywhere near Iowa. Cheers for not slapping that self righteous bitty, Dooce.

  • Amy J.

    2010/10/13 at 2:04 pm

    Ok…I haven’t watched that bit from South Park in forever…

    My sides…oh good gravy. ROFL

    If you have never seen it before (which I can’t fathom with Jon in your presence), then I am now your best friend : ).

    Because if that didn’t just make you fall out of your chair…I don’t know crap about your personality at all.

    Ok…time to get pick kids up from school.

    I’ll be singing that all the way there and back…(in my head).

  • labradoris

    2010/10/13 at 2:06 pm

    Ugg, my comment deleted itself as I was typing.

    Not that I’m sticking up for this woman, and I agree that when people do their own routines in a class setting it is aggravating to others and the instructor [and I’m speaking as a former fitness instructor], but…there may be another reason for it.

    Last year my boyfriend and I both had two different injuries – I developed patella femoral syndrome (bad knee) and he had a fractured foot. After he was out of the cast, the only exercise he was approved for was spin (low impact). So, it was torture for my knee to rise out of the saddle, and he couldn’t do it.

    The instructor knew about our injuries (we were regulars) and we informed her that we would remain sitting during class instead of moving into 2nd and 3rd position. She was cool with it.

    The LOOKS we received from fellow hard-core spinners was not cool, though. And we were on the side and toward the back of the room! Not everyone who isn’t following instructions is trying to be an asshole.

    Though I can’t speak for that woman. 😉

  • 2under2

    2010/10/13 at 2:16 pm

    I am always asking my husband why our 6 month old hates me. She gets up at 2:30 and 4:30 every night like clockwork! Then up for the day around 6:15. It is really annoying that she wakes me up at 4:30 when I plan to get up at 5 to work out. I think she likes stealing that half hour of sleep from me.

  • 2under2

    2010/10/13 at 2:18 pm

    Wow!! Seconds after I posted that she spit up all over me!!!!! She retaliated the only way she knew how! I think she has some weird telepathy thing going on!! I must now go wash the smelly puke off of me.

  • booner32

    2010/10/13 at 2:31 pm

    All children are inherently evil, unless they’re sleeping soundly, or making me a sandwich.

  • Winniegirl

    2010/10/13 at 2:38 pm

    My husband refers to our 2 year old as The Demon. 🙂 And he too has been waking up at 4:15AM for the past few mornings, so I feel your pain.

  • kcbelles

    2010/10/13 at 2:44 pm

    Just hate it when folks think they have the right to stick their nose into someone else’s conversation – jeeez.

    One thing, though, Heather – here I’m thinking you’re like a local celeberity in your town and that everyone knows about your blog and your sense of humor. She obviously didn’t know who she was talkin’ to and that she just bought herself some blogtime! LOLOLOL

  • Brea

    2010/10/13 at 2:55 pm

    I love spin class. It a unique little world of it’s own – and yes, bike location does matter.

  • tallnoe

    2010/10/13 at 3:00 pm

    OMG! I hate it when people don’t listen to the instructor too! I don’t get it. It’s a class. You’re IN A CLASS!

    The other week, this girl was listening to headphones and went crazy on the instructor. Makes no sense. Wow.

    Props to you, Heather, with the evil daughter!!

  • Moomser

    2010/10/13 at 3:15 pm

    Evil? She moos for god’s sake, moos. She is hilarious! If you’re going to be up at that ungodly hour of the morning it may as well be to a mooing baby who makes you laugh rather than to a whining baby that makes you want to kill him, or at least run away in the quiet of the night (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…) Also, and I imagine you’ve probably tried this or some variation thereof but when my boy wakes up at 4 or 5 I give him a bottle of milk in the dark and generally act like it’s the middle of the night (which it, in fact, is) and he usually relents and goes back to sleep…

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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