the smell of my desperation has become a stench

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Marlo still takes a nap in the early afternoon, and sometimes that nap is just two solid hours of dialogue between her and her stuffed animals in the dark corner of her crib. When that happens bedtime comes a lot earlier than normal because as every parent knows, a tired toddler is a nuclear bomb. You could offer the wrong thing for dinner and next thing you know there’s a hole in the earth where the western hemisphere used to be.

I still use a baby monitor to keep track of when she falls asleep and when she wakes up because sometimes that dialogue is barely louder than a whisper. And I’d otherwise think she was sleeping when actually she’s doing this:

“Shhh, puppy. Don’t tell. Imma scurr her! Like monstuuurr!”

And then I feel terrible. Because I’ve illegally wiretapped her room, and later when she comes around that corner like monstuuurr, eagerly hoping to scurr me, I’ll be like, yeah, yeah. I already knew you had that planned, SORRY TO RUIN YOUR LIFE.

Cami comes up on the weekends to keep me company, and my kids love that woman as if she were made entirely out of chocolate ice cream. Marlo is especially fond of her and becomes intensely possessive of her when we try to have a conversation. To the point that she will crawl up into Cami’s lap and place her entire body in front of Cami’s face so that she cannot see me. As if Marlo doesn’t weigh less than a sack of flour and can’t be easily picked up and held over my head so that I can finish my damn sentence: “Like I was SAYING. Does this make me look like a doily?”

(A lot has been said about my situation in the last couple of weeks, and one rumor going around is that I’m dating Cami. Someone actually took the time to say, “You and Cami are going to break up, TOO.” I am not going to dispel this rumor because those of you in touch with reality know better, and those of you who aren’t? CAMI IS ONE HELL OF A SNUGGLER. Or so I heard.)

One afternoon last week Cami put Marlo down for her afternoon nap, and then we both sat down to relax and read. Marlo remained silent for about ten minutes and then she suddenly piped up. Through the monitor we heard: “Mom? MOM?! Open my door, Mom. Mom? MOM. OPEN MY DOOR. MOM!

This request continued for about twenty minutes until I finally went into her room and reached down in her crib to touch her head. “Marlo,” I said as I brushed her hair behind her ears. “It’s time to nap. You need to sleep. I’m going to leave and close the door. Okay?”

She agreed. “Okay,” she said and then rolled over as if resigned to the state of things.

I was feeling proud about how well that maneuver worked because it usually doesn’t and then what do you know, someone wised up and yelled, “CAMI? Cami. YOU open my door. Cami open my door. CAMI OOOOPEN MYYY DOOOOR!”

It really sucks when kids aren’t dumb.

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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