the smell of my desperation has become a stench

My favorite part of the day

About a week ago Leta was playing a game on one of our phones before school when I told her it was time to go get dressed. She set the phone on her lap and asked, “Can I resume playing this game when I’m done?”

Um, excuse me, Doogie?

I looked at Jon to see if he had heard what she had just said, and his eyes were just as big as mine. Meaning they had popped out onto the floor, and now Marlo was putting them in her mouth.

“Did you just say resume?” I asked her.

She blinked wildly at me, flummoxed at the question, I guess. Like, if the Mormons are right about the


2011/03/01 at 1:33 pm

My kid scares the hell out of me when he does that, but then I say “I made that” with a little pride in my heart!

  • cory212

    2011/03/01 at 1:37 pm

    Love the new masthead! Yer purdy!

  • The Cotton Floozy

    2011/03/01 at 1:38 pm

    My kids have steeltrap memories, too. Which is why god invented roofies.

  • cgreene

    2011/03/01 at 1:41 pm

    thanks for making me laugh, you are so not a clown

  • Lauren3

    2011/03/01 at 1:54 pm

    Yesss I just got back from a meeting and have a bajillion more tasks to embark on, and as I sat down to my computer I thought, “Jebus, please let Heather have posted something so I can go into this afternoon having read a funny.”

    AND I come back to 2 pictures, a story, AND a new masthead. A friggin’ kickass masthead.

    Chuck better live to be 97– people years. I am willing to pay Science to make this happen.

  • evaporated

    2011/03/01 at 1:57 pm

    You’re suggesting that we not have sex with our 12-week old sleeping in his bassinet 6 feet away?


  • Daddy Scratches

    2011/03/01 at 2:01 pm

    We do that same “Favorite part of the day” ritual at dinnertime, too. And, yeah, my son, who is about Leta’s age, is freaking me out with his vocabulary.

    The other night, as I was putting him to bed, he asked if we could “resume” our game of Wii “Donkey Kong” the next morning.

    “Sure, buddy!” I said. “We’ll tackle that crazy level we just unlocked!”

    “It’s not that crazy, Dad. In fact, it’s actually quite reasonable.”

    Well, excuuuuuuse me, Little Einstein.

    (PS: You really do have a winning smile.)

  • The Christine

    2011/03/01 at 2:05 pm

    The other day my three year old came home from her second day of pre-school and within an hour of playing quietly by herself I heard her declare “Well, that’s a major drawback of these chairs” as she tried and failed to make a fort out of them.

    I for one welcome our new toddler overlords.

  • EarlGreyHot

    2011/03/01 at 2:11 pm

    She won’t have to bring it up in front of The President Of The United States.

    She’ll BE The President.

  • aamnelson

    2011/03/01 at 2:22 pm

    So . . . the other day at dinner my five-year-old daughter is explaining her idea for a castle tree house. As part of this tree house, there will be a “thing that you put a rope over, so we can pull all of the princess things up.” My three-year-old says, “yeah, a pulley.”

  • JCF

    2011/03/01 at 2:23 pm

    My 3 year old regularly scares the crap out of me. The other day, after he’d ripped his sister’s artwork, I asked what he would think if she ripped his, and he responded, “I think that would be disgraceful.” Um, excuse me?

    My mother in law was here when he said it, and she just looked up, said “I think you’re going to need a bigger boat,” and returned to her book.

  • Just Jill

    2011/03/01 at 2:24 pm

    @EarlGreyHot – hell yeah!

    Where’s the damn LIKE button I can click for all the other’s comments? And yeah, for your post too. Get on that, would you?

  • buttermilk

    2011/03/01 at 2:26 pm

    My niece recently said to me, “Perhaps we can read this book later?” She had just turned 4. I don’t even use the word “perhaps” on a regular basis.

    Where does it all come from? Amazing.

  • mybottlesup

    2011/03/01 at 2:31 pm

    clearly… CLEARLY this child cannot be trusted with any “family secrets,” like ones about the weird uncle whose is 64 years old and still has a male roommate.

    also, i would look into bugs that she has planted throughout the home.

    also also, the masthead made me laugh so loud that i scared my 85 lb labrador awake from his nap, which in turn made him bark and then search the apartment for a toothless intruder.

  • Gemmyner

    2011/03/01 at 2:51 pm

    The first time my daughter said “actually” I almost fell off my chair. I think she was 5 or 6 then. Where did she hear that? I don’t think that we realize how much they listen to what we say.

    My nephew has always said “alright” if you ask him to do something. I think he got it from his mom who must have said “alright” to him when he asks for something.

  • tiffanyincali

    2011/03/01 at 2:56 pm

    So funny! My daughter, 8th grade, is taking Geometry now, and I have to pay someone $75/hour to help when she has questions. Did I even take geometry?
    Whitney always does her homework right away, never complains about it (I do), even looks forward to it. Sick, I know.
    Smart girls rock!

  • Enna Yelsna

    2011/03/01 at 3:06 pm

    My husband was trying to explain to my then 9 year old son, what this turny-thing was that pulled water through it and produces energy. And my son turns to my husband and says,”Dad, do you mean a turbine?”. Well, that’ll show us for trying to use small words around our children. They just throw it back in our faces. I won’t repeat what my daughter said when she was about two and half years old. It had something to do with “close the f***ing door, daddy”. Not one of my proudest moments. (Hey, at least she used it in the right context.) 😉

  • ewokmama

    2011/03/01 at 3:39 pm

    Mine is scary like that, too…he is 4.5 and one night explained to me what a silhouette was. I mean, I know what it is but I asked him to tell me to see if he actually knew what the hell he was talking about. Shocked me! He is not even in preschool!

  • deborahjmum

    2011/03/01 at 3:42 pm

    I was keeping my grandkids occupied in the grocery store and we were looking at all the different fruits and vegetables. I told them that when my husband eats a mango he eats it with the skin on. The five-year-old turned wide eyes to her three-year-old brother and exclaimed, “Grandpa eats compost!” When I was their age I didn’t know what compost was — I didn’t know what a mango was either.

  • princesscait

    2011/03/01 at 4:07 pm

    I am the same way with remembering random and specific details from past occasions. I still remember that my mom’s friend brought me cookies (I can even remember which kind) when she visited once when I was around 5 or 6 years old – I’m 24 now. I think maybe I remember that (and Leta remembers the Skittles) because getting a little treat like that was a big deal to us at the time, so it gets stored in the memory banks as something awesome.

  • kristanhoffman

    2011/03/01 at 4:21 pm

    NOT that Leta isn’t a genius, because actually she does seem very, VERY smart… but I wonder if “resume” is a word she just picked up from video games? That’s a common term they use (as in, Resume Game, after Pause).

    I’m jealous of her good memory! I can barely remember 11 hours ago much less 11 months (or worse, 11 years).

  • Nancy D.

    2011/03/01 at 4:27 pm

    Welcome to my world. She’s 15 now….

  • jenwilson

    2011/03/01 at 5:36 pm

    Kids’ memories are INSANE. My three-year-old remembers things that I’d forgotten, and remembers them in vivid detail. I’ve found that my children terrify me the older they get (my oldest is 9).

    So just a warning: it gets worse.

    (And I’ve also had to un-teach some things that they’d accidentally overheard. Awkward.)

    ps. I love the new banner. As always.

  • Alexa

    2011/03/01 at 6:41 pm

    You know how important it is that you encourage her, don’t you? (well, you must, because you are, and thank goodness for that) My mother never thought my intelligence, memory, and perception were good things – they frightened her. I was a little videocamera, too, and that made her extremely uncomfortable. I won’t tell you how old I was, but I hid that I could read for at least a year and a half and changed my handedness because I knew no one who was left handed in an effort to be more normal and make her happy. It didn’t work, but I tried really hard for far too long.

    It’s not her fault, really, but it is so much better that you encourage her, instead of trying to make her something else.

  • Jenny on the block

    2011/03/01 at 6:52 pm

    Kids are awesome!! Way to be a braniac, Leta!! My son has showed the same recall powers. I wish I were still so blessed.

    My son loves the Daily Chuck picture. I told him Chuck was the dog of Dooce, a lady online. He wanted to know if your nickname was short for Medusa. You could totally roll with that if you need to increase your street cred.

  • RaineWalker

    2011/03/01 at 7:09 pm

    I remember back when I remembered everything. I knew when and where I got everything I owned, and many of the things my parents owned. I remembered conversations word for word…. Then I didn’t have room for all that in my brain anymore. I miss those days.

  • Monica AIRY5

    2011/03/01 at 7:23 pm

    I love that dinner time ritual. I’ve tried it here, but everyone is too sarcastic and tries to get the biggest laugh and it disintegrates into a total mess. I’m usually grateful when it’s over.

  • annie86

    2011/03/01 at 8:12 pm

    I was around 5 when I said the following my aunt and I had the following conversation:

    Aunt: You remember the Boathouse, don’t you?
    Me: Vaguely.
    Aunt: Vaguely?
    Me: As in not so clearly. Haven’t you ever heard that word?

  • The Girl Who

    2011/03/01 at 9:24 pm

    I hope it was Utah’s own Jason Chaffetz you were yelling at that one morning…

  • laura.elaine

    2011/03/01 at 10:05 pm

    What REALLY happens if your child surpasses your intellectual capacity? Do you just make a lot of jokes! Another reason to be a nun.

  • banksand

    2011/03/01 at 10:21 pm

    Too funny! It’s so true about the bank of Things to Bring Up Randomly. My favorite is when a child starts telling you a story of something that happened and you’re thinking it happened … you know, recently. Turns out they’re talking about something from the bank 5 years back. Their memories are incredible!

  • MedicalMom

    2011/03/01 at 11:04 pm

    As we were driving down the highway a few weeks ago, my 6 year pipes up from the back seat: “Are we going ice skating?” To which I replied that no, we were not going skating, and why in the world would he think we were? And he told me that we were headed to the skating rink, “the one we went to a long time ago, don’t you remember mom, when I was a puppy?” So here I am, thinking to myself WTF? for over hour before it finally hits me that over THREE YEARS AGO, when he was 3 years old, he took 6 one hour skating lessons, and for the last class the teachers taped puppy dog ears to the kids helmets, and they crawled on their hands and knees and barked to the tune of How Much is that Doggie in the Window. Not only does he remember doing this, but he remembers how to get to the skating rink just by seeing the exit on the highway, one we haven’t used since we took those skating lessons, and yes he can read now, but the exit sign doesn’t say anything about the rink. I can’t even remember my NAME most days. This kid is going to take over the world.

  • VickyNguyen

    2011/03/01 at 11:39 pm

    And this is why I keep coming back. Your writing is bomb. It’s how a cool me would think if I were just a little cooler. Leta is such a cutie. And that is a great family ritual.

  • Juliesaysitoldyouso

    2011/03/01 at 11:49 pm I’m a little slow. About a year ago you said you weren’t a snob and I said “yeah, that’s why you never answer my comments/tweets.” You said, “Guilty.”

    I’ve been lurking and loving the posts. The “Bean” says lots of grown up words but still wants to be known as She-Ra, Princess of Power. I take it in stride. Sure, she may have awesome vocabulary and knowledge, but she does not have the checkbook. That makes me the “ruler of the world.”

  • apostate

    2011/03/02 at 12:42 am

    Was it LaVar Christensen? Hatch? Buttars? Waddoups? Oh, honey. Don’t feel bad. I bet those men have incited me to say worse in front of my kids.
    Really, if they wouldn’t be such shitheads, I wouldn’t have to lose my cool.
    It’s their own fault, really. I blame them and their so-called “family values” for corrupting my children by exposing them to my F bombs.

  • CrabMama

    2011/03/02 at 5:47 am

    A few years ago my son [who is adopted and had only learned English a short time before] said I was “obsessed” over something. My jaw dropped out of my mouth and rolled away on the floor.

    I try to think of that now when we have entire conversations consisting of only three words: Dude, seriously, really?!

  • tonya

    2011/03/02 at 8:39 am

    Smart kids keep you hopping! My ten year-old may as well be thirty. Which can be dangerous, because she’s so grown that I forget she’s not. The other day, she came in telling me about how this guy on Oprah was having a sex change operation. And I was all, “Oh, you know how they do that?!….” And I TOLD her. And then later I was like, WTF was I thinking? My God!

    Side note: We live in the Bible belt. I bet the playground talk the next day was verrrry interesting. Oops!

  • TheScarlett

    2011/03/02 at 8:47 am

    When Cameron was close to five he came home from junior kindergarten and said, “Guy is my nemesis.” First of all, I was stunned that my kid had a nemesis. What is he now, The Green Hornet? Then I figured there was no way he knew what he was saying so I asked him what that meant. He said (not making this up), “He’s my sworn arch enemy.” Yes, my son is smarter than I am and I’m not looking forward to when he also figures that out.

  • Cooky

    2011/03/02 at 9:02 am

    Love the March Masthead. You’re definitely my favorite raving lunatic — lol.

    You and Jon are awesome parents. You have no idea how your entire family will benefit from this dinner ritual as the girls grow and deal with more serious issues.

    My hat is off to you. Other parents would benefit from your excellent example.

  • doobrah

    2011/03/02 at 9:52 am

    Did you just say the word surpass?

  • mrscunning14

    2011/03/02 at 11:38 am

    You are awesome. Your posts and pictures brighten my day, nearly every day. Thank you!

  • HalfAss Krissa

    2011/03/02 at 11:50 am

    First of all, Heather, the thing to be truly terrified of is the math homework that she’ll be bringing home in third grade that you struggled with in your second year of college. OhMyGawd!
    Secondly, would you mind terribly, I mean while it’s still fresh on her mind, asking her what birth was like? I’ve always wondered how it is for the “other participant” and seems like an event she probably noticed… 😉

  • Sara Carling

    2011/03/02 at 11:51 am

    Ya, kids are amazing sometimes. When my son was 5 the question came up about what a period was. As in, a woman’s menstrual cycle. When I finished a brief scientific explanation his response was,

    “Mom, when I grow up I’m going to teleport back into your uterus & release myself from the umbilical cord.”

    I about died, and I’ll never forget that moment. I was quick to tell him not to do that because it was so much work to get him out the first time.

  • Steph VW

    2011/03/02 at 1:25 pm

    My younger cousins used to freak me out with the details they would remember.

    Now, if only the little bastards (now in their 30s) could tell me what the heck they did with my Xmen comics that they “borrowed” 20 years ago.

  • Jenni

    2011/03/02 at 1:46 pm

    My 3.5 y.o. daughter does this. She’ll see a picture of herself at any age younger than 3 years old and say, “Do you remember when we were here and [insert name] took this picture?” Freaks me out. Every. Time.

  • ADoyleLB

    2011/03/02 at 1:54 pm

    I love the new banner!

  • MrsFun

    2011/03/02 at 2:56 pm

    See, your brain shrinks while pregnant and then the child sucks all your brain cells out of you through the boob. After four kids, I am lucky I remember how to make a grilled cheese.

  • jlduke55

    2011/03/02 at 7:43 pm

    My 3 year old remembers outfits and specific details about things that happened before she was 1, it gives me chills. I’m so screwed!

  • sevhay

    2011/03/02 at 7:52 pm

    My son is six, and normally he claims he can’t remember what I told him ten minutes ago. But when it comes to candy, he can remember as far back as his third birthday party where he had his first experience with a tootsie roll. Once he gets started talking about candy, he goes on and on. Kind of to the tune of “To All the Candies I’ve Loved Before…”

  • 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.

    read more