An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

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.

  • francabollo


    “Shut your fucking face, uncle fucker.”

    Thank YOU! I’d forgotten Uncle Fucker!

  • Llnt187

    OK, I have read your blog since before you were married so don’t jump down my throat for not agreeing with you.

    I am defending all of us that maybe cannot keep up with the instructor. I don’t always stand up on the bike for as long as the instructor says. It’s a little hard for me but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t go to class.

    And seriously, do you really expect everyone to wait to see if you get there and then decide which bike they should go on? That seems just a teeny bit unreasonable.

    Back in the day of legwarmers and aerobics(some 30 years ago), it was the same thing with the people who had to have their exact spot in front of the mirror. Some of us would intentionally stand in their spot just to see their reaction. You can make a case either way.

  • Laura Jones

    I am amazed you can write and take-edit pictures, kudos to you, and I appreciate the posts.

    When my son was ill and woke up at 4am several days in a row that meant he had an ear infection even though he wasn’t crying.

  • HungryGrad

    Oh, man. I just laughed so hard. I love this.

    My mom used to garner stares for referring to my bro and me as creatures. As in we’re in the supermarket, and we got distracted by The Forbidden Candy Display, and my mom would say, “Let’s go, creatures. Move it.” And we’d go. Never thought twice. I never did understand the looks we got.

    BTW, the only appropriate response in your spin class situation is, “Well, then you definitely won’t believe what I’m about to call you if you don’t turn around and shut your pie hole.”

  • Larkspur

    I don’t have kids, but I totally get it. It helped that I read Anne Lamott’s “Operating Instructions”, in which, at one point, she describes her infant son peering over the crib, giving her a reptilian death stare.

    In fact, I googled her to be sure I spelled her last name right, and the third entry on the list was a bit from someone’s blog hating on her because she said something mean about her son’s behavior in a national magazine.

    All of this reminds me of one of my friends, whose daughters are now just about all growed up. This incident happened to my friend, way back in the olden days when she was a wee child in Catholic school. She came home confused one day, and reported to her mother that one of the nuns had yelled at her and called her a Mormon. Her mom was perplexed, so she accompanied my friend to school the next day to ask the nun for an explanation. The nun says, “I didn’t call her a Mormon! I called her a moron“. Mom said, oh, okay, well that makes more sense. The end.

  • maticki

    ahaha, this made me laugh. poor old cow

  • apostate

    I think that if we’ve learned nothing else from your post featuring Tyrant’s pitbull sign, it’s that there are quite a few people who would take offense to calling a dog evil. Remember: It’s never the dog. Never the dog.
    It’s probably best to stay away from that area altogether.

    I went to spinning one time, many years ago. I had recently implemented a swear jar and on the way home, I had to stop at the ATM for a $20. I can’t afford to go to spinning class. I didn’t verbally abuse the instructor or anything. Well, not so she could hear anyway. But that bitch LIED. She’d say 30 more seconds and then when those 30 seconds were up, she’d just make you spin more. They only tell you what they think you can handle in spinning class. Too much “milk before meat”.

    That was back before I had kids and before I understood how evil they can be, which is probably the case with your spinning buddy.

    Incidentally, the swearing jar never did cure me and I gave up after a week or so. I implemented the jar again for the first time in years just a couple days ago after my three year old princess dropped an F bomb in the van on the way to my son’s school. “I don’t want to watch this f***ing movie”, she said.

    Uh… we don’t say that word?


  • sarahfromthenorth

    Aw Heather, why didn’t you bop her off ‘your’ bicycle after that remark, seriously!!!

    @pooptoast – I live in Quebec and there are plenty of people I would love to use that line on. Absolutely brilliant!

  • KissMySass

    Your rage over the stolen bike is what happens when I find someone in full makeup talking on her cell phone on MY elliptical machine. I wish I had some entry point into conversation like an evil child. Instead, I’m forced to passive-aggressively stare daggers at her Victoria’s Secret PINK!-clad back.

  • goldenfits

    My spin instructor used to fill a sanitizer bottle with ice water and give it to someone in the back row so they could squirt people who didn’t listen. Ice cold liquid on the back of your neck when hot and sweaty? Not a fun surprise.

    I’d rather people call their kids evil and ADMIT it than ignore the facts while their kids try to smash my windshield or flush my college thesis down the toilets. Not a mom, but I work with kids and they are total hellions at certain ages.

  • HawaiiMama

    omg, I just recently discovered your blog, and I am snorting like a pig reading this column, I am laughing so hard. I am an exhausted, tortured mom too, and I just have to thank you for telling. it. like. it. is. Go, mama!

  • freckleface

    WOW some people have so much nerve! If I’m in public and someone says something I think is inappropriate/a little crazy, I just think to myself “wow” and keep going with my day. I don’t take it upon myself to accost them… and I’m always amazed to hear stories like this about people who are so self-important that they simply MUST reprimand those around them. You should have said “Well, I did call my daughter evil. And you’re on my bike… bitch.” She might have gotten so upset that she would HAVE to leave class! 😉

  • Terigm

    I’m commenting on the last post.

    The photo of Marlo is angelically lit. If you hadn’t posted the video, no one would believe you that she could kick your butt.

  • AussieMel

    Oh my! What a self important patronising cow! All toddlers have a little evil in them!

  • AlishaJaybird

    Holy balls. I can’t believe she was such a craphead. To steal your bike and THEN make that comment. Well, the only thing that’s semi-partially-microscopically redeeming about it is, at least she isn’t with PETA. Because no one would dare call a dog “evil.” It’s a PETA cardinal sin.

    If Marlo met my 4 yr old, Smee, you would be calling hits out on me, so I totally feel your pain.

  • nalawriting

    Agree with Phoebe Fay—cats are evil and dogs are just their playthings. As parents are their child’s playthings.

  • jan001

    I don’t have kids but do have clear teenage memories of babysitting a 3-year-old boy once and only once because he was, as I described him to a friend, “Norman Bates in diapers” because he literally chased me around the house with some BIG ass scissors, stabbing at the air. Freak.

    My BFF used to threaten her kids (my god-kids) in public when they were misbehaving with things like, “I’m about to rip off your arm and beat you to death with it!” This is the south and no one paid any attention. Not even her kids.

  • edenland

    Last month an article on mummybloggers was printed in one of the main Sunday papers down here. (Australia)

    They mentioned you and your blog ….. then straight afterwards, mentioned me and my blog. Specifically, the post I wrote comparing my two-year old son to Damien from the Omen.

    I felt bad, for a nanosecond. At least I’m in great company.

  • muttlery

    Sleep deprivation has the exact same effect on me, thus my profile pic. (larger image here Yes. It’s Wonder Woman CRYING)
    I will never look at my post all night crying eyes in the same way again. mini horizontal vaginas. thank you.

  • Rich

    Welcome To Utah!
    4 years in Provo and that was enough to make me leave the Country for the past 18 years.
    How you don’t start spewing expletives at the random people you meet there is beyond me. It would take the power of that fictional character Job to keep me from losing it with the kinds of people you find there.
    Ahhh, rant over.
    Evil!, hahahaha

  • everydayamy

    Some people just can’t take a joke. I wonder what she’d think of the t-shirts my sister just got printed…

    (She runs a photography website for moms.)

  • reelmomof4

    Oh my goodness! Seriously, people who do not have children can not possibly understand the soul wrenching angst that a toddler can bring upon a person! Sleep is where they get you best ~ or lack thereof. And yes. It is EVIL!

  • jg2010

    I guess she hasn’t spent much time around toddlers.

  • micjer65

    Sounds like you had my quarterly meltdown. I like to think of it as an emotional epsom salt bath. 🙂

  • carawahlgren

    Oh Lordie. Poor Heather. I have a baby who is a few months older than Marlo and last winter we went through 6 months of utter crap with the teething and the flu and the colds oh my GOD. I am getting nervous about the upcoming winter because that little shit cannot be trusted. And the “Uncle Fucker” comment really WAS the best.

  • Hello-ItsmeKelley

    My kids are old but I remember the “evil” days. No one gasped because it was true. Correction of the word would have meant death, they saw the look on my face.

    GET. OFF. THE. EFFEN. BIKE. would have exploded in my head when I saw the women on the bike. And then sanctimony? Really?

  • TierneyG

    My bff has a daughter who is exactly like Marlo. So bad in fact, that she voluntarily went back to work 6 months into her 1 year maternity leave.

    Her daughter sleeps like a dream and she says it’s because evil doesn’t sleep, it recharges, LOL.

  • jesgooch

    The mommy mafia needs to be kicked in the face and pushed off your bike.

  • karenarens

    Maybe that’s why she goes from bike to bike. She is desperately searching every corner of every room for a SENSE OF HUMOR.

  • jennisdrinking

    Oh for shit’s sake, next time tell that little hosebeast to pound salt.

    Honestly, I have never done a spin class so I didn’t know about the fave bike issue- I do have a favorite elliptical though.

    Unsolicited parenting criticism is about as welcome and a sandpaper facial. Need I bring up the binky wars of 2005??

  • austinmomof7

    If it weren’t so damned expensive, I would have legally changed one of my kid’s names to Damien.

  • chasingamazing

    And I’ll assume it was because Marlo had exhausted you so that you had to restrain from ripping that lady’s arms off and beating her with them?

  • JacksBites

    As a fellow spinner, I TOTALLY know what you mean! And then when she actually said that to you – that would’ve sent me over the edge

  • bad mommy

    we call our son “douchebag”. “evil” is a step up.

  • juliemewood

    Good to know that I’m not the only parent who thinks that!!

  • lovems

    Did you want to push her off the bike and yell, “I am sleep deprived you beeotch – back off!”

  • medwards

    She clearly has never raised a teen-ager that would just look at you and say NO when you asked him to do anything. He’s been possessed by the Devil and it’s perfectly okay to tell anyone else that will listen so.

  • Missives From Suburbia

    People have reacted in a shocked manner when I’ve said that kids can be a-holes sometimes. All I can figure is that they don’t have kids.

  • tksinclair

    That’s why I don’t have any friends. People just like her.

    Hey Bike Stealing Lady, are you f***ing kidding me? (Yes I said F***ing, with the ***’s because I’m trying not to swear so much but seriously people like YOU are why swearing was invented!)

    Heather, in the future this is where you do your evil maniacal laugh while pointing at said woman..then, before she has time to think, start hysterially crying and alternate; manical laugh, hysterical cry, manical laugh, hysterical cry…next, during class keep glancing back at her with your vagina eyes in a menacing way and smile…trust me, next time you’ll have your bike back.

  • apostate

    Now that I’ve started reading through the comments, I just want to give a virtual high five to Labradoris on page 2.
    I used to make it to the gym more than I do now.
    Back when I would hit the gym at least 3 times a week, I would take step class. I don’t know if they even have that anymore.
    But even back then when I was in much better shape, using a “riser” was just impossible for me. Everybody in the class used one and I felt stupid.
    Even so, when it was time for everybody to take their pulses, my heartrate was always higher than it should have been.
    I have low blood pressure and I get faint easily and I just can’t exert myself like the average person my age.

    Some people go to the gym to do the best they can. They make it through 10 minutes of cardio and maybe they hope that next week they can do 15.
    People who are out of shape and show up anyway should be commended; not judged. I don’t see how they are hurting anybody, least of all the instructor.

  • apostate

    I will add that at my old gym, there was a spinning instructor who had abs like rocks and looked like she lived in a tanning bed. Like leather, Heather. And she said “wooh!” a lot. Like after every sentence. Yep, she was a “woo woo” girl. She would make other sounds too, like “whoosh!” and “shew!”
    She wore a headset with a mic.
    I don’t know if the constant wooing and wooshing was annoying to the people in her class. I can tell you that I lodged a complaint because she was so LOUD that I couldn’t escape her constant wooing and wooshing and shewing even when I was ON A TREADMILL WEARING HEADPHONES TRYING TO WATCH LAW AND ORDER AND FORGET THAT I WAS EXERCISING.
    In fact, the only place in the gym I could escape her sounds was the pool. For some reason, I couldn’t hear her in there. Just a lot of tranquility with Jon Schmidt playing in the background.
    Now anybody here from WVC/WJ/TVILLE Utard who goes to that gym will know exactly what I’m talking about.
    Not that my story has to do with anything. I guess it has to do with ignoring the spinning instructor. I couldn’t have tuned out that instructor had my life depended on it.

  • alp102000

    Glad you stuck it out with the spinning. You are absolutely correct that all spin bikes are not created equal. You want to be near the fan, but not too close to the fan, not too close to a speaker, close enough to have a good view of the instructor, near the exit, and preferably on an aisle. And different bikes have different settings, levels of resistance, etc. So if you’re used to one particular bike, not having that bike can completely throw off your workout. You should ask your gym to have a signup sheet (or better still, online signup for bikes) so that you’ve got a better shot of reserving your favorite bike all of the time.

    Sorry to hear about your constant state of sleep deprivation. BTDT with my own two girls (who are 7 and 4 now). It does get better. Hang in there.

    P.S. Calling your spawn “evil” on occasion doesn’t mean you love them any less, or make you a bad parent. Honestly, any parent who has never felt that way about their kid is not doing his or her job correctly. That spin bike thief is a moron!

  • joyluck76

    Heather, I do like you so much.

  • the lil house that could

    I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to kids, some people have a major stick up their…rear. These people make me nervous to have children.

    ps- your captchas are ridiculously hard to read. I just had to tilt my head and squint my eyes to post this. And I’m indeed human.

  • jsroadrage

    Your experiences this past week have convinced me that I am not strong enough to have children.

    Due to cancer concerns, it has been recommended that I have a hysterectomy. I’m 38, have been married 4 years, and wasn’t sure if we were ready. Now I know that I’ll never be ready, not even with anxiety meds. No way.

  • soowilliams38

    Me: colombian, short, round, dark hair.
    You: white, tall, thin, light hair.

    How is it that you’re like the twin sister I never had?
    How is it that you live in my brain, which is the scariest neighborhood I know of?
    How is it you make me gasp, and laugh, and giggle maniacally every time I read your posts?

    P.S. I also have children (4) and they are most definitely evil…especially the littlest one….hee hee hee.

  • Jay

    You and Marlo should try this combo for a good night’s sleep: Benadryl and Scotch. Each of you gets only one. As far as “evil” is concerned … sleep deprivation is a form of torture, hence Marlo is torturing you. Torture is evil (right Dick Cheney?).

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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