the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Immature college student stuns local parents

One of Leta’s top two teeth has been loose since Nixon resigned, and stop it right there. If you even think about making a joke about wanting two front teeth for Christmas I’m going to walk you to the door with a cardboard box full of your belongings.

Someone discovered a Barney Christmas special on Netflix that’s been playing on an endless loop, and the girls are lucky that I haven’t shouted OH MY GOD SANTA IS DADDY.

Also? Get this shit. The parents in this special episode can’t see Barney. They’re always walking out of the room right when he walks in. So of course they don’t believe the kids when they say he exists. Barney is totally ripping off Snuffleupagus. I don’t care that adults can now see Snuffleupagus, THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The big purple dude does not have that kind of cred, as if I needed another reason to roll my eyes and pretend I’m jerking off every time he comes on screen.

Sorry, guys. I’m being inappropriate. This is a mommyblog after all.

Leta’s tooth. GOD. Every time we tried to pull it she reacted as if a terrorist was taking over a plane. Which is bad news for her if a terrorist does take over her plane because they will want her to shut up.

She’s already lost two teeth, there is no reason for her to go insane. Even the Avon World Sales Leader couldn’t convince Leta that we needed to pull it, and you guys already know this, but my mother could convince The Pope that The Book of Mormon is one hell of a read.

Last week that tooth starting acting like a lazy eye and couldn’t decide what it was looking at. We’d be eating dinner and a piece of food would nudge the tooth and it would start staring in the other direction. What would your reaction be? Reasonable and collected? Didn’t think so.

“OH MY GOD, LETA, OOOH, THAT’S JUST… UUUUGHHHH… You’re going to swallow that tooth, and the tooth fairy does not visit toilets.”

One: I just convinced her that she’s going to swallow her tooth.

Two: that UUUUGHHHH made her think a spider had fallen on her head.

Three: “Will it bite me when it comes out?”

Total hysteria. And that hysteria continued on Saturday morning when it looked like it might fall out if someone in Montana sneezed in our direction. That’s when I got really worried that it would fall out and she wouldn’t be able to find it, and then what we thought was hysteria would just be some pathetic opening act.

Cami had driven up from Provo to hang out with us. (SIDE NOTE: Cami found a website where people were talking crap about a variety of subjects, including me, and one commenter jumped on the pile with, “I mean, how immature do you have to be to hang out with 20-yr-olds?” And Cami was like NOT COOL, NOT COOL. I’M 23.) She and I were several feet away on the floor playing with Marlo as Jon tried to negotiate a peace treaty. He had Leta wiggle it forward, then backward, and then would talk her off the ledge every time it felt weird (her words). Except, he and Leta have this dynamic where they will talk each other into a corner and then back out in one giant, infinite circle. A forty-five minute circle! And Jon doesn’t even work out!

Cami finally looked and me and said, “Guurl, it’s time I take over.”

(Such an immature way to say girl. GOD.)

Cami had no horse in this race. If she hurt Leta’s feelings she knew that it wouldn’t be her name brought up in therapy 30 years from now. Also, she doesn’t have any kids and still thinks that her own will ask her how high when she shouts JUMP! (Shhh, don’t tell her the truth.)

“Hey, Leta,” she said with the voice of someone not aged by years dedicated to someone else’s bowel movements. “Your tooth is really loose, and I know you’re scared. But I’m going to pull it, k?” Leta started to hyperventilate, fought Cami as Cami shoved her hand in her mouth, and POP! Cami yanked that mother effer out as if pulling someone else’s tooth isn’t the creepiest feeling in the world.

Leta began to shake all over, like she had been stuck in an icebox for a few minutes shy of frost bite. I thought she was going to start wailing, and I braced for it. Braced for it. Braced for it, when she suddenly yelled, “CAMI IS AWESOME!” And then she turned to Cami, blood dripping from the wound, a space big enough between teeth that you could build a suburb, and said, “LET’S TAKE A PICTURE.”

“Yeah, guuurl,” Cami answered. “I don’t think RIGHT NOW is the kind of picture you’re going to want to look at when you’re older.”

Fast forward to one o’clock in the morning when she showed up to our room, leaned over into my face with her hair jutting out straight from her head at impossible angles, and that gaping hole in her mouth. “I’m scared!” she yelled in a voice as hoarse and rough as sand paper.

I did not wet the bed, but I am still clinging to the ceiling where I’ve figured out how to type upside down.

  • tokenblogger

    2011/11/21 at 5:00 pm

    What? There’s no magical fairy to retrieve a tooth from a little poop?

  • Aunt_Lala

    2011/11/21 at 5:28 pm

    With mad ninja skills like that, you’d think Cami was at least 25…

  • AlisonG

    2011/11/21 at 5:31 pm

    I SO wish there would have been a photo with this post — of you on the ceiling. 😉 Also, in the Cami to Lita quote, lose should be loose. I know you know that, just wanted to point out the typo.

  • fishsticked

    2011/11/21 at 5:36 pm

    What is it with kids and teeth!? Damn. Our son was so terrified about it being pulled . . . or wiggled or shifted or moved or looked at that he wouldn’t eat. ANYTHING. So he didn’t eat, he got really worried about his tooth all day, and he finally vomited from a combination of starvation and panic. Endless dry heaves! Then he cried. Then when he stopped crying I looked at him and said, “okay, now you’re going to eat, right? Because you just threw up because of a loose tooth?”


    So, yeah, what the hell?

    But good for Cami! Even if she is immature. And you’re immature. Duh.

  • LASingleGirl

    2011/11/21 at 5:38 pm

    Aaaaah the perils of parenthood 🙂 I remember them like it was yesterday. Enjoy all the moments, even the ones that make you want to scream… they really are more fleeting than you can imagine.

  • Ruffian

    2011/11/21 at 5:45 pm

    This is the funniest thing you’ve written in a long time. LOVED it.

  • gretchie

    2011/11/21 at 5:48 pm

    As the step-mom of a 22 year old girl – and all the perils that it comes with – I gotta say, girls that age are really handy to have around when you have a 6 or 7 year old daughter (they turn 23 and 7 within a week of each other.) Major example – I hate doing my nails. I hate doing other peoples’ nails. Daughter likes painting her nails. Well just GUESS who else is up for painting nails? The 22 year old! WIN!

    Also, Barney is the devil. It’s true. The internet told me so.

  • prestonk9

    2011/11/21 at 6:04 pm

    Guurl, that was effing funny! Silent laughing and tears funny.

  • Amy J.

    2011/11/21 at 6:29 pm

    Oh, you guys are wussies…I have a story where I literally couldn’t hear for a day or two after I pulled my youngest’s second tooth. She screamed so loud I felt it in my teeth…right in my face. I got the damn tooth out though, in about five seconds. I was standing there with it in my hand and she was still screaming until I yelled over her…”Hey drama queen! LOOK!”. She she started snorting and laughing and smiling and acting totally hysterically happy as if it had been no problem at all to begin with. I told her that my punishment for her deafening me and blowing snot all over my chin while I pulled the tooth was that she have five dozen children JUST LIKE her when she grows up : ).

  • hanniy

    2011/11/21 at 6:33 pm

    This is awesome….I can hardly wait until my five year old starts to loose her teeth. I can only imagine the hysterics that are going to be part of my world, and I can’t wait! What did the tooth fairy bring her???

  • EOMama

    2011/11/21 at 6:40 pm

    two weeks ago when my total drama queen of a 6-yr-old wouldn’t let us pull her disgusting dangling tooth, I came at her nose with a tissue to “catch a really bug booger” and instead I ripped out her tooth. She never saw it coming!
    I WIN.

  • beattiestudios

    2011/11/21 at 6:58 pm

    I SOOOOOOO needed to read that! I laughed out loud and the tears found their way to the corners of my eyes. I have been pulling my hair out with twin 3 year old girls today. One of them who LOVES to practice crying in the mirror to really get that pained look down. So THANKS! I needed that!



  • srising

    2011/11/21 at 7:35 pm

    that was awesome, guuurrrrl.

  • waitimaprincess

    2011/11/21 at 8:00 pm

    WHY DO THEY DO THAT? The crazed middle of the night in your face stand and shout thing? Guuuuuuurl that’s crazy! Now take your gap toothed ass to bed before I forget to get back up after I think you’re asleep to stick money under your pillow so you can wake up and wonder what I’m doing in your room. Oh, yeah, you’ve already done that. Nevermind. Ha.

  • Anu

    2011/11/21 at 8:38 pm

    Awesome post!

    “One of Leta’s top two teeth has been loose since Nixon resigned”….only you can come up with a line like that 🙂

  • Monkey

    2011/11/21 at 8:39 pm

    As someone with a phobia of loose teeth, I would like to point out that there is no need to pull the loose teeth. They will eventually come out on their own. Don’t rush the horrid, disgusting event of a mouthless tooth hanging around.

  • tonya

    2011/11/21 at 9:10 pm

    My youngest is a drama queen when it comes to loose teeth. And sometimes, those suckers just need to GO. So after I’d had all the drama I could take over a tooth, I got my daughter down on the floor, straddled her, and yanked that thing out of her screaming mouth. She was so thrilled that I got it but soon got all indignant yelling, “You SAT on me!!!!!!” and couldn’t wait to tattle on me when Daddy came home. She also told anyone who would listen that Mommy sat on her and pulled her tooth out. Which always left me explaining to appalled people that I did NOT SIT on her. I straddled her. Without bearing any weight. Which still sounded pretty bad. I told her she can swallow any future loose teeth in her sleep. Because I’m not pulling them.

  • melbourne dreaming

    2011/11/21 at 11:15 pm

    Cami is going to be an ace parent one day 🙂 sometimes you just gotta GET IT DONE, yo.

  • melbourne dreaming

    2011/11/21 at 11:16 pm

    Cami is going to be an ace parent one day 🙂 sometimes you just gotta GET IT DONE, yo.

  • The Bold Soul

    2011/11/22 at 3:34 am

    As a mom, after spending your days with a tooth-terrified 7 year old and a maniacal toddler, hanging out with 23 year old Cami is a HUGE upgrade in maturity. Plus she rocks in the style department, too.

  • tallnoe

    2011/11/22 at 5:22 am

    That’s funny. We used to talk about tying the loose tooth to a string and tying the other end to a doorknob. I was scared to death of that.

    Thanks Uncle David. I prefer Aunt Cami.

  • paperbagprncess

    2011/11/22 at 7:46 am

    OMG I was TOTALLY Leta when I was losing my teeth. I eventually sleep deprived my mother so badly over it she lost her mind. I remember her asking for a hug and PROMISING me that she wouldn’t touch my tooth (since that’s what I was afraid of) and then pinning me down, yanking it out and walking away as if she just won the superbowl. My complete disbelief that my mother just LIED to me and I TRUSTED her went unheard because I think she promptly took a nap. I wouldn’t worry about therapy. Now that there’s little ones running around in my house, I really want to give my mom a high five.

  • blonde momshell

    2011/11/22 at 8:24 am

    My 7-year-old just declared this morning that his tooth is loose (first one) so you just scared the crap out of me. ‘Guurl,’ I don’t have a 20-something amateur dentist/angel who speaks mainstream hip-hop. You’re lucky. But at least there’s a strict Barney embargo at this house…we do however have Thomas the Freak Train, which I’m convinced is the motorized version of Chucky. I’m not sure I can deal with those creepy eyes moving back-and-forth for no F’ing reason while trying to manage the medical/psychological trauma of tooth loss. UGH. But I appreciate this little heads up. I’m both entertained and terrified.

  • megrit411

    2011/11/22 at 8:39 am

    Barney is evil! Man I used to baby-sit a girl (who is now 21) and she watched that crazy dinosaur. I hoped he would just fade away.
    Cami is awesome!

  • Mrs. Williams

    2011/11/22 at 12:55 pm

    The great thing about kids is that as the parent, you have ultimate control in crafting the lies they end up believing, such as Santa and the tooth fairy. Unlike my mother, who told me to put the teeth I lost under my pillow, I told my daughter otherwise.

    “The tooth fairy is afraid of being seen, so you’ll need to put your tooth under the pillow on the couch (downstairs).”

    Lovely! I’ve never had to do the James Bond missions into her bedroom in the middle of the night. Of course, this only works if you lie that way right off the bat …

  • cnico

    2011/11/22 at 12:56 pm

    My fave… “the tooth fairy doesn’t do toilets”

    Also, Heather, this is OT… but I thought you would like this link… I have nothing to do with this guy painting a huge mural in London… but it is really awesome AND is also a crossfit workout! How cool is that? anyway, fyi.

    ps… If Leta already lost 2 teeth, is this third one a permanent tooth that will have to be replaced? curious…

  • DaySleeper

    2011/11/22 at 1:48 pm

    dude. hilarious! loved it.

  • ladygray

    2011/11/22 at 3:04 pm

    NOTHING creeps me out more than teeth coming OUT of someones mouth. Shudder.

    That said: the posts you write about Leta’s teeth adventures are so freaking hysterical. You get it about the grossness of teeth, and are much better at expressing it than I.

    Additionally: think we can borrow Cami in say, oh, approximately 3 years?

  • MsMLJ

    2011/11/22 at 6:07 pm

    My mom taught second grade. She used to pull her student’s teeth out. I, too, am a teacher but the thought of pulling someone else’s teeth horrifies me. Plus, I am pretty sure that it could possibly be illegal now.

    The last part of your story reminds me of when my brother was little. My mom said that he used to lean over her face in the middle of the night and whisper-scream, “MOOOOM! I’m going to frow up!” Yeah. I think this is why I don’t presently have any children.

  • muse2323

    2011/11/22 at 11:50 pm

    Okay, I just had my gallbladder out yesterday and I really should’ve known better than to read your blog, because laughing really, really hurts right now. And now I’m trying so hard not to laugh, which is only making it worse.

  • Erin Human

    2011/11/23 at 8:21 am

    Oh my gahhd, so funny…

    I was just like that about my teeth as a child. I don’t think I ever got over the mortal fear of parts of my body becoming loose and falling off, until I gave birth, and then yeah, I’m over it.

  • jenwilson

    2011/11/23 at 11:12 am

    Thank you for allowing me to choke on my own saliva.

    When I was 23, I was (still am) friends with someone who graduated high school the year I was born. SO WHAT?! Haters can suck it.

  • harboredinca

    2011/11/23 at 11:29 am

    this was the funniest post since, I don’t know…forever!! Perfect!

  • Danica

    2011/11/23 at 1:25 pm

    This was some funny sheeit! Classic Dooce.

  • bawb23

    2011/11/23 at 3:26 pm

    You didn’t get a picture? Even after she asked you to take one? What kind of mommyblogger are you? Missed opportunity.

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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