the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Surveillance

I should probably be more embarrassed than I actually am to admit this, but we didn’t stop using a baby monitor with Leta until she was almost five years old. And even then we only stopped because her twin cousins had come over, spotted it next to her bed, picked it up and began shouting, “I’ll have a quarter-pounder with cheese! Don’t forget the fries!”

The receiver was sitting next to Jon’s side of the bed, and I think their drink order may have cracked his glasses.

Quick tangent, it’ll just take a second, I promise: one of her twin cousins, Noah, spent an entire Saturday at our house a few weeks ago because unlike the rest of his family he hates going to BYU football games. I may or may not have promised him free room and board if he applied and got accepted to BYU’s nemesis, The University of Utah, as it sits just up the street from our house. Also, when we die there is no heaven, we just rot in the earth while worms digest our intestines. Merry Christmas.

Toward the end of the day Jon and I were watching the news while Noah and Leta were doing some artwork at the bar in the kitchen. And then I noticed Leta had crawled under the bar and was counting and rocking back and forth like a mad woman. I turned to Jon and asked if he remembered where we had stored our emergency Zoloft.

“Leta,” I asked gently. “What are you doing under there?”

“Well…” she hesitated. “Noah said he needed a break and that I should sit under here and count to sixty, five times. So that’s what I’m doing.”

I looked at Noah and raised a fist in solidarity. “Well done, sir,” I said. “Well done.”

Yeah, so… about that baby monitor. We’ve been using one of those fancy video monitors with Marlo where you can hear and see what they’re doing in their crib. I once called it the Anti-Antidepressant because I would just sit there watching my child not sleeping.

Why on earth did I pay for something that allowed me to do this to myself? And then carry it with me everywhere, often holding it two inches from my face so that I could scream, “OH MY GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Once, she managed to grab the damn thing off of its ledge and tried for twenty minutes to stick the camera down her throat. When I finally walked in to wrench it from her hands she cackled at me. Oh really? That’s how you’re going to play it? Because I am not at all equipped with a witty comeback and can only hope that this evil streak in you will one day score us some great weed.

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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