the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Mommy blogging, 101

Leta has been losing teeth at a pace almost as fast as she loses everything else she possesses. She is going to read this and go MOM! She reads everything I write about her these days so I’m going to refrain from typing fuck or shit or Jesus Coldplay Christ, OH THAT REMINDS ME, holy crap the comments on this Facebook post light up my life and give me hope to carry on and fill my nights with song.

I am only exaggerating a little bit, not very much at all, just this much: |<—>|, when I talk about Leta’s ability to misplace things, and it’s kind of not her fault. She comes by it naturally, and that is not a dig at her father. It’s just how DNA tends to work, and to show you that I’m being fair that kid inherited so many personality traits from me that I often call my mother and ask her why she never locked me in an attic while feeding me cookies laced with arsenic. Or gently shoved me in front of a bus.

This is why when Leta says she doesn’t want to have kids I’m like WRONG. YOU HAVE TO LIVE THROUGH RAISING SOMEONE WHO IS EXACTLY LIKE YOU. Circle of life. Wait, that’s not the circle of life. Wild animals eating each other is the circle of life. Hi! I got my degree from BYU and this is what happened.

First she lost one while eating a bowl of Cheerios and I posted it to Instagram (life doesn’t actually happen unless it is chronicled in an Instagram photo DON’T YOU KNOW):

You see the caption on that photo? Whoever runs the Cheerios Instagram account commented on the photo and they were not angry. In fact, they were lovely about the whole thing. AND THEN! Then General Mills sent my kids a care package in the mail full of shirts and cups and bowls and toys smattered with characters from various cereals. That is some killer PR right there. KILL-ERRRR. Kick ass, even. I just typed ass. Sorry. My butt. #NotAnAd

(Seriously, if you work in PR pay attention to that shit. Sorry, crap. UGGHHH. You know what? I will NOT be censored by an 11-yr-old. Fuck it.)

Leta started scheming right then and was like, okay, we’re going to film her singing some lyrics to a Taylor Swift song, post it to Instagram, and then Taylor is going to invite us to her apartment in New York where we are going to nuzzle the shit out of her cats and raid her refrigerator. I was like, you keep shooting for the stars, kid, and I’ll be over here on brand making my father slowly close his eyes, let go of a deep, remorseful breath and think, “I did not pull myself out of the slums of Louisville, Kentucky and endure a life of hardship only to release that into the world.”

A video posted by Heather B. Armstrong (@dooce) on

Our parents suffered so we could molest plants and record it on our phones!

A couple of weeks ago I was standing by to read with her before bed when she poked her head out of her bathroom, her toothbrush in her mouth, to shriek, “There’s a hole in my mouth!”

I was like, yeah. It’s called your throat.

“NO! Like, right here in the front!”

So I guess she was eating a burrito earlier in the evening—a very specific type of frozen burrito made by a company in Utah, sold only in Utah, so no, CAROL, when we visit you in Edina, Minnesota you can’t just grab any frozen burrito from Jerry’s Foods and think that my child will be nourished during our stay, listen to what I said earlier and buy eight boxes of Cheerios—when she bit down on something hard. Except there are no hard things in a Lynn Wilson bean and cheese burrito last time she checked, and she was telling me all of this while toothpaste dripped out of her mouth. And then the realization hit her like a wok to the face OH MY GOD SHE SWALLOWED HER TOOTH. Which I guess is the worst thing that has ever happened to her? Haha! Remember when parents used to spank their kids? Good times!

(You’re going to comment that you spank your kids and I am not going to judge you publicly. I’ll just silently hide the horror on my face behind this wool shawl as I vigorously rub a handful of crystals and commune with Mother Earth. Then I’ll need to get nude and walk through a natural hot spring, my arms spread open to let the eagle of my spirit escape into the night sky. You can already feel the breeze from its vast wings as it soars over mountains and, oh fuck. It just hit a tree. You killed my eagle.)


After I asked her to rinse her mouth before proceeding with the word volcano she charted a course of irrational thought that resembled a map of the flight paths of every plane I have flown on this year (94,000 miles and counting). Would it cut her stomach open? Would it stay in her stomach forever? Would it dissolve and release dangerous bone chemicals into her blood? What’s your damage? Who is John Galt? Who’s on first? What’s in the box?

I told her people swallow teeth all the time and it would only hurt a lot when it came out of her butt.

  • Jos

    2015/11/17 at 2:44 pm

    LMAO. I cannot wait until my kids start losing their teeth and I can send them directly to this post – do not pass go, do not collect $200 (especially not from the damn tooth fairy).

  • Sara Haugen

    2015/11/17 at 2:45 pm

    EEEEW Ate it!!

    I’m pretty sure you’re just more funny since you quit blogging.

  • antigone78

    2015/11/17 at 2:46 pm

    Jesus Christ, I missed your blogs so hard.

  • Desiree Mivelaz Johnson

    2015/11/17 at 3:11 pm

    Knowing officially that you’re from Louisville explains A WHOLE LOT! I was born and raised in Louisville and am still there! That southern attitude isn’t just a southern attitude, it’s a Louisville thing. #keepLouisvilleWeird

  • KimFunk

    2015/11/17 at 3:12 pm

    Oh lord. All the pooping progress you have made in your household will now come to a screeching halt. All your fault.

  • lisajey

    2015/11/17 at 3:24 pm

    I am officially exhausted! I want the app that turned that video into that fucking awesome gif!

  • Heather B. Armstrong

    2015/11/17 at 3:28 pm

    RIGHT?! My dad knows deep down that so much of me is so much of him. Keepin’ Lou-ah-vuhl weird.

  • sandra brown

    2015/11/17 at 3:33 pm

    WORD. Real life stuff. Love this hard.

  • Laura B

    2015/11/17 at 4:02 pm

    This is fantastic, but I prefer Jesus Tittyf***ing Christ for maximum impact on the 11-year-old consciousness

  • jess crawford!

    2015/11/17 at 4:15 pm


  • Miss lee

    2015/11/17 at 4:17 pm

    Please check Leta’s legs in case one is longer than the other. I want to know if she believed you.


  • Elspeth

    2015/11/17 at 4:21 pm

    My brother used to let them stay in his mouth so long that they were basically held in by sheer force of will. This is how I explain the fact that he lost one IN HIS SLEEP and swallowed it, still asleep.

  • Courtney

    2015/11/17 at 4:43 pm

    I had to go and read the new additions to the Facebook post. What joy they brought to my life!

    My daughter swallowed one of her teeth while eating a chicken strip because she “thought it was just one of those hard parts of the chicken”. YUCK.

  • deb

    2015/11/17 at 6:25 pm

    Your writing tangents since you stopped forcing yourself; it’s like unleashing the genius out of a genius. I can’t stand it!

  • deb

    2015/11/17 at 6:25 pm

    And that’s GREAT to be clear!

  • acm

    2015/11/17 at 6:28 pm

    Now I’m imagining the complicated conversation I’d have to have with my kid about how the Tooth Fairy is willing to SWIM THE SEWER SYSTEM to find her tooth! She needs those teeth!

  • wcopley

    2015/11/17 at 7:38 pm

    I told my kid the tooth he swallowed would bite his butt when it came out, so there’s that.

  • L - Mama(e) in Translation

    2015/11/17 at 8:41 pm

    OH man, that’s a great hilarious post. Anyway, if that makes her feel better tell Leta that I swallowed BOTH of my very first teeth that fell (there wasn’t any “Tooth fairy” in Brazil where I grew up, so I wasn’t upset). I was six years old and was eating corn on the cob. After the meal both my bottom front teeth were gone. Just like that! HA! On a really ridiculous & gross note, I still have some of my molars from when I was 12-13. Eeeew… I don’t know why I kept those things! (I must have thrown them out, maybe).

  • Lindsey Orcutt

    2015/11/17 at 9:20 pm

    I love you so much, Heather. Hilarious.

  • Nance Bogue

    2015/11/17 at 10:16 pm

    Welcome back!!!!! Your real writing has been missed!

  • Elizabeth Slaughter-Ek

    2015/11/18 at 3:27 am

    hahaha! This is so awesome. Hilarious!

  • Kim Garbison

    2015/11/18 at 11:07 am

    *sigh* I love your uncensored wonderful brain.

  • Lauren3

    2015/11/18 at 11:36 am

    Your face in that video. YOUR FAAAAAAAAAAAACE <3

  • onewithbooks

    2015/11/18 at 2:01 pm

    The only thing that made this blog better was I was listening to a Moon Hooch song (#8) when I hit play on your video and damn that was great!

  • Erin Wall Mauro

    2015/11/19 at 7:32 am

    I am so glad you are back. I missed posts like this! (My kid is 6 and is just starting to wiggle his teeth and it grosses me out so damn hard)

  • K.t. Moreis

    2015/11/19 at 7:16 pm

    My youngest child swallowed a tooth on purpose because he wanted “tooth poop” so it would bite the alligator his brother said lived in the sewer.

  • Buster Brown

    2015/11/20 at 12:29 pm

    What’s in the boooooox?!! Good shit, this post.

  • Buster Brown

    2015/11/20 at 12:29 pm

    This is awesome.

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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