the smell of my desperation has become a stench

A fish gets a name

Me: “Hey, do you want to go over some of the names people suggested for your fish?”

Leta: “People really left suggestions? REALLY?! YEAH! I wanna see!”

Me: “Okay, here. Let me read some of them to you and you pipe up when you like one, okay?”

Leta: “OKAY!”

Me: “Larry… Al—”

Leta: “Larry? What does that even mean?”

Me: “That’s just the first suggestion, Leta. We’re gonna be here all day if you—”

Leta: “But I’ve never even heard of a Larry.”

Me: “Larry has probably never heard of a Leta.”

Leta: “Okay, whatever. Keep going.”

Me: “Thank you. Alright, where were we? Albert… Miss Havisham…”

Leta: “Havasha-whah??!”

Me: “LETA.”

Leta: “OKAY.”

Me: “Sparkles… Fred… Prudence… Omar… Ahab… Florence… Nemo… Moby… Bruce… Turtle… hey.. I like that. Turtle.”

Leta: “Turtle? But it’s a fish. Turtle isn’t a name.”

Me: “Actually, turtle is the name FOR THE ANIMAL THAT IS A TURTLE.”

Leta: “Keep going.”

Me: “Okay… Che… Puddles… Scribbles… Silver… Mr. Limpet… oh, look. Someone here agrees with the name Turtle.”

Leta: “Come on, Mom. What else?”

Me: “Rosie… Lola… Scout… Claus… Miro… Sergeant… Fluffy… Zippy… (this continues for about ten minutes during which she says nothing and expresses no emotion)… ok. Leta, here is another person who thinks Turtle is a perfect name. In fact, a lot of people like that name.”

Leta: “Do you like that name?”

Me: “You know what, I do. I once had a friend who named her cat Chicken. I thought it was hilarious because that cat was scared as hell of everything and that probably makes no sense to you why am I allowed to talk to children?”

Leta: “Turtle… hm… Turtle…”

Me: “Listen. I don’t want to pressure you into anything. We can call that fish iCarly or SpongeBob if you want to.”

Leta: “No, I’ve thought about it. We went to that store to buy a turtle but we got a fish. Turtle will remind me of the day I met the fish. Let’s call him Turtle!”

Me: “Really? You want to go with Turtle?”

Leta: “Yeah. I like it. Turtle the fish!”

Me: “Can I tell everyone who suggested names that this is what you’ve decided?”

Leta: “Yes! And tell everyone who didn’t suggest Turtle that I’m sorry I have only one fish to name. It’s just, like, right now I can only handle ONE fish.”

Me: “I’ll tell them you said that. I think they’ll understand.”

From both me and Leta, thank you, everyone. Oh! And Turtle thanks you, too.

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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