the smell of my desperation has become a stench

“I also despise whistlers”

Leta is reading a book in her room after school. Side note: on a recent trip to the library she checked out six books and read all of them within two days. Yes, I’m bragging. Wanna arm wrestle? You’ll probably beat me, but that doesn’t matter. Because my kid is still a better reader than you.

Suddenly she hears whistling outside her door, so she jumps off of her bed and pokes her head into the hallway. No one is there so she returns to her book. Had this been me, I would have taken my book into the hallway, found the whistling culprit (Tyrant, he who whistles as much as he breathes, he who whistles off key, he who whistles random, senseless notes that resemble no song ever written because he knows it’ll get into your brain and nibble on critical synapses), and smacked him in the head. And it wouldn’t have been illegal because no judge on earth is going to side with a whistler.

Leta hasn’t lived enough life to consider violence as an option, although one day we will have that discussion: 1) attack if you feel like your life is in danger, 2) attack if you feel like someone else’s life is in danger, and finally 3) attack anyone blowing air through their lips.

She again hears whistling in the hallway, so she gets up to inspect. She sees no one and returns to her book. This scenario repeats itself six or seven times. You’ve got to admire that kind of patience. I mean, that’s six or seven times too many. I’m as liberal as you can get when it comes to gun rights, but if someone is going to menace my child with whistling I don’t see anything wrong with owning a machete.

Oh my god, people are going to take me seriously, aren’t they? You guys, I would never harm a whistler. I might hire someone to, but I’d totally cover my tracks, okay?

Finally, after an eighth encounter with this indiscriminate whistling, Leta ventures out into the hallway to figure out what’s going on. This is what Tyrant has been waiting for all along, and he abruptly jumps out from behind a wall and roars. You know what? Roar all you want, dude. Meow. Bray. Imitate a hyena. Burp the alphabet. BECAUSE THEN YOUR MOUTH CANNOT BE USED FOR WHISTLING.

Leta doesn’t flinch. In fact, she just stands there blinking her eyes.

“Did I scare you?” Tyrant asks, confused. I mean, she is my daughter. And all he has to do is imagine the word SPIDER while standing next to me and I will scream while seeking shelter underneath the couch.

“No,” she answers. “But you did ANNOY me.”

Don’t worry. I high-fived her on behalf of all of us.

  • HowToBeADad

    2012/05/24 at 2:03 pm

    If you’re at BlogHer, I will arm wrestle you. But you will probably win.


  • William

    2012/05/24 at 2:09 pm

    MY money would be with you against Charlie at arm wrestling.

  • HowToBeADad

    2012/05/24 at 2:22 pm

    Dude, William. I’m allowed to self-deprecate. But that was just MEAN! 😉

  • kristanhoffman

    2012/05/24 at 2:30 pm

    Leta FTW Armstrong.

  • brightpirate

    2012/05/24 at 2:31 pm

    This might be my favorite Dooce post ever. EVER.

  • billysSillyCoconut

    2012/05/24 at 2:32 pm

    Leta has absolutely been alive long enough to consider violence as an option. She just doesn’t have any brothers.


    Mother of 2 boys

  • dooce

    2012/05/24 at 2:54 pm

    @billysSillyCoconut haha! True!

  • tnzed

    2012/05/24 at 3:07 pm

    I have decided that J. K. Rowling based a certain Hermione Granger on the yet-to-be born Leta Armstrong. And that my friends, really is magic.

  • lisdom

    2012/05/24 at 3:08 pm

    It’s so nice to know someone who hates whistlers/whistling as much as I do. My #1 question for whistlers is this: Why do you think ANYBODY wants to hear that? Because nobody does!! NOBODY.

  • EliBailey

    2012/05/24 at 3:27 pm

    Yay Leta! That’s awesome. Also I agree with billysSillyCoconut (I have four older brothers).

    My husband whistles sometimes, for no apparent reason other than to drive me crazy. I retaliate by burping as loud as possible. We’re so grown up, eh?

  • big dog momma

    2012/05/24 at 3:30 pm

    Whistling? Pshaw! We have a *hummer* in my office! He can’t go two seconds without humming a tune! Give me a whistler any day of the year, but take that damned hummer outside and shoot him! (not as liberal as you, I’ll take a gun over a machete). 🙂

  • jillm5

    2012/05/24 at 3:46 pm

    I despise all whistling and whistlers!

  • tokenblogger

    2012/05/24 at 4:11 pm

    I got nothing. I whistle…

    …and hum.

    And I don’t even know I’m whistling or humming.

  • Regency Romantic

    2012/05/24 at 4:22 pm

    I bet she said it with perfectly disapproving eyebrows, too.

    I want to high five her AND buy her a root beer float. Just awesome. 🙂

  • jenwilson

    2012/05/24 at 8:02 pm

    In our house, whistlers get yelled at. By my five-year-old.

    I’m quite impressed that Leta didn’t jump five feet. But then, maybe it was because she knew SOMEONE or SOMETHING was there? (Or maybe just I would have because I’m a wuss.)

    She definitely deserved that high five.

  • MelissaJ

    2012/05/24 at 8:47 pm

    no, but you did ANNOY me.

    that has got to be the greatest line an 8 year old has ever spoken. it brings a bit of a tear to my eye.

    thank you for high-5ing her for us!

    tell her that she has made the internet proud!

  • MelissaJ

    2012/05/24 at 8:47 pm

    no, but you did ANNOY me.

    that has got to be the greatest line an 8 year old has ever spoken. it brings a bit of a tear to my eye.

    thank you for high-5ing her for us!

    tell her that she has made the internet proud!

  • Babydoll

    2012/05/25 at 12:22 am

    This made my day. It’s a mark of good parenting that Leta also despises whistlers.

    Remember – the only rule of Whistling Club is don’t.

  • Sabine

    2012/05/25 at 7:28 am

    I just love her. I especially love that she’s been a curmudgeon more or less all her life.

  • Sully

    2012/05/25 at 8:58 am

    I have a male version of Leta. He reads and then reads and then reads. He isn’t as dramatic, but can squeal/shriek if anyone messes with him so that he doesn’t get bullied because the noise is so horrific.

    Getting to my point, a couple of weeks ago, MaleLeta was in the restroom doing his nightly bedtime routine. While he is in there my husband gets under the covers on MaleLeta’s bed and pulls the cover over his face. MaleLeta returns to his room and notices something on his bed. He pats and knows someone is in there. At this point, I would have run screaming from the room for my parents. Nope, he pulls the covers back to see what/ who is under there.

    Craziness. Why is he not a chicken like me? My parents let me see scary things on TV. Maybe that is to blame.

  • momof8

    2012/05/26 at 1:16 am

    Leta = Awesome!

  • Lara

    2012/05/30 at 1:13 pm

    Oh, sweet Jesus, I have missed your blog! See, I used to have a job, where I had all the time in the world to check once a day, if not more. But then I had a BABY, and she is the most time-consuming boss EVER, so I never have time to check in with you now that I’m staying at home. Leta’s annoyance totally made my afternoon nap time. Totally worth not laying down for a little shut-eye myself!

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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