Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

If only our parents had animated GIFS when we had these questions

When the girls and I moved across town at the beginning of March, we all had to prepare for the transformation of our morning routine. We would no longer be able to wake and bake while sitting around in our underwear and scratching our balls. Shit was gonna get real.

RELATED: Leta recently made a reference to a “meme” going around school about 4:20. I was pouring myself a glass of water—I had to leave behind my built-in water filter at the old house and am now going old school with one of these—and was so startled that I forgot I was pouring myself a glass of water. It overflowed and flooded the countertop and I didn’t even notice because my frog baby had just said four twenty. What I was feeling must have been what my mother experienced when I was 13 years old, walked into her bedroom before school and asked out of nowhere, “What is an orgasm?”

I caught her so off guard that the only thing she could think to say was, “Go ask your brother.”

I DID INDEED GO ASK MY 16-YR-OLD BROTHER.

HEY, 16-YEAR-OLD BROTHER. WHAT IS AN ORGASM.

Not surprisingly, he told me to look it up in a dictionary.

Mormons are super comfortable talking about sex, in case you did not know this.

I asked Leta what kind of 4:20 meme was going around school to determine just how much she understood. Certainly kids her age are not texting each other various GIFS of Spicoli.

Turns out she didn’t know much, only that various kids are saying, “Four twenty,” and then giggling. That’s it. That’s the whole of it. When I was seven, my best friend whispered blow job in my ear while sitting next to me on the bus to school. She immediately began giggling, and when I acted confused she said, “You know, it’s a thing.” Because she had no fucking clue what she was talking about. I wanted to roll my eyes so hard at those kids in Leta’s middle school. Actually, no. That’s not what I wanted to do.

Would you look at this lovely photo of me and my two girls? How have I veered this far off course?

I explained what 4:20 means and why—if any of those kids have any clue—it could possibly be humorous. She blinked so loudly and violently that the breeze from her eyelashes dried the puddle of water on the counter.

“That’s really kind of stupid,” she said. I agreed and told her that it’s the middle school equivalent of a five-year-old imitating fart noises.

BACK TO THE TASK AT HAND.

Moving to this house meant that Leta could no longer catch a ride with her friend to school. And in order to get both girls to school on time every morning, we’d all need to wake up earlier and leave the house 30 minutes before our normal departure time. We don’t live very far away from either school, but there is a ton of traffic at that time of morning and there are several other school zones along the way. Round trip, front door to front door, takes an hour. Given my mental health pre-move and how often I like to punish other human beings—more specifically, other Utahns—with my car, I was certain this would become the most awful part of my life.

Six weeks later I can confidently say that this hour-long commute with my girls is the best part of my day.

When we aren’t talking about what’s planned for certain classes during the day or dissecting what happened in the previous night’s episode of “Felicity,” we’re listening to music. And we’re listening to my music. I’d asked both of them if they wanted to help me make a playlist with songs specific to their tastes, and both of them said they like what I listen to. They like my playlists. I am not exactly certain how I managed to make this happen, but I have successfully avoided one of the most deadly job hazards of parenthood: Justin Bieber.

This morning as we buckled in and I turned on my April playlist, Leta asked if we could listen to “that one song you played the other day, the one about changes.” She said she loves this song, and loves that all the songs I listen to sound so different from each other. SHHH! Don’t anyone ever tell her about Oasis and how they were once my favorite band. I now have a reputation to uphold.

I grinned, scrolled to this song by Antonio Williams // Kerry McCoy and pulled out of the driveway to begin the best hour of my day.

  • Kate Gold

    Damn you. The front door to my house currently has a sign that reads: “Justin Bieber, yes yes yes yes! yes! forever! Club Here. Yes. Justin.”

    It is right above the sign that reads: “MOM no karate at the house! no! no! no! Not ever. Forever.”

    Why did I think teaching the 7 year old to write and use YouTube was a good idea?

  • I didn’t even know what 4:20 was. Thank God for Google.

  • mochamomma

    That is now The Song in our house since I heard it. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, loves it.

  • i’m so happy you’re back heather (for however long or much you want and/or need to be)! as someone that has no intention on having children, the way you talk about your girls & your relationship to parenthood is so inspiring & enjoyable. i’ve had many conversations with my husband & best friends about how you talk about your divorce & the relationships with your kids through it all. i don’t know how many times i’ve cried listening to MRS because it’s made me face the feelings i never dealt with from my own childhood that including a very long (2+ years) & very messy divorce in which we were not priority. i never realized how much resentment i held over that until i heard you talk about letting jon stay in your house & i almost had to mourn over the loss of so many things in my childhood. so i just wanted to say thank you. i know you get a looooot of shit for god knows what. but for me, i’m thankful when you speak.

  • Yahmdallah Bjorknickerfod

    It is so nice to have you back! Where else would there be such an accurate and vivid evocation of how a kid blinks when confronted with what something really means?

  • Angela

    We recently moved and our 15 minute commute because 80 minutes one-way with a 6 month old. BEST thing we have ever done!!! There’s no way of escaping each other in the car and it’s the easiest way for us to talk to each other with no interruptions. I am so, so happy you are back and I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story.

  • I am so disappointed Amazon Music doesn’t have this song let alone the artist. Bubble bursted.

    Happy belated 4/20! *GiggleSnort*

  • hereslucy

    HAHAHAHAHA! God i’m glad you’re back, Dooce. xo