the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Noise ordinance

My alarm goes off at 6:45 AM, and with my eyes still closed I reflexively reach over, fumble around the detritus on my nightstand until I find the monitor. I click the button to turn it on only to hear Marlo in the middle of shouting, “MMMOOOOHHMMM!” And then I can hear it through her closed door and my closed door, an endless string of MMMOOOOHHMMM!s amplified in stereo by the monitor. I can tell by the emphasis on the vowel that she is shouting this not because she is in any danger but because she likes the way it sounds coming out of her mouth. If I were in her room I’d use one hand to stick a wet finger in her ear and the other hand to reach inside both of her nostrils.

This goes on for about five minutes until I finally roll out of bed, slip on a pair of workout pants and open the door to my bedroom. I’m still waking up and don’t see Leta standing RIGHT THERE, her arms crossed, her weight leaning on her right hip to highlight the fact that she is totally serious, for real, not even joking, she most certainly did not steal this pose from iCarly, okay maybe she did BUT THAT IS NOT THE POINT.

I bump into her, apologize and say, “Hey, good morning. I didn’t see you there.”

“Um… yeah,” she says, not breaking the stern line of her mouth. “So,” she continues. “Do you not hear that? Like, are you deaf?

“Am I like, deaf?”

“Yeah,” she says. “CAN YOU HEAR?!”

“Are you talking about the nonsense coming from your sister’s room?” I ask, because the only other thing I can hear is the menacing ghost-howl of impending teenage years that will one day stab me in the face and leave me for dead.

“Listen,” she says. “My room is right next to hers. Yours is much farther away.”

“Okay.”

OKAY? How am I supposed to sleep through that kind of noise?”

“You’re talking to me like I’m your landlord.”

“You need to fix this, Mom. Otherwise I’m never going to get any sleep and there goes my attention span at school!”

You guys, she is totally getting all of her security deposit back when she moves out.

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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