my son the mouth-breather

my son the mouth-breather, by est. 1975 at #funny #humor #parenting #est1975blog #est1975 #established1975 @est1975blog

On most mornings, my husband tries to wake up before dawn. It almost never actually happens, but what *does* happen is that his phone’s alarms go off at 3 AM, 4 AM, 5 AM, and 6 AM. With plenty of snoozes in between.

I sleep through all of it.

My son used to get chronic bloody noses. We eventually had his nasal passages cauterized, but before that, there was a good long year of him waking up in the wee hours of the night, screaming, crying, with blood gushing out of his adorable face. He would call for us, frightened out of his little mind: “Papa! Mama!”

I would sleep through all of it.

Loud things happen at our house all the time, and a lot of them happen after lights-out. The cat will spend a half hour hacking up an enormous hairball. Our ancient furnace will shudder, thunk, and sometimes shut down altogether with a god-awful CLANK. A thunderstorm will rant and rage, causing the garbage can to blow over, hit the ground with a thud, and roll down the sidewalk.

I’ll give you one guess as to whether I sleep through all of it.

And just in case you’re wondering, I really am ASLEEP. Not “oh, the baby is crying, pretend you don’t hear it” asleep but “ZzzzzzzzzsdfjsdhSNRKzzzzzz” asleep. My deep sleep is the deep sleep of the gods. It takes me a long time to get there, but once I’m out, I’m OUT. Nothing can wake me.

Except for one thing.

But before I tell you what it is, let me back up for a second and give you a little bit of context.

My son, who is seven years old and an only child, complains a lot about being “cold and scared and lonely” in his bedroom at night. He makes these claims despite the following facts:

  • We let him sleep with the bedroom door wide open;
  • We keep the hallway light on, even though it is brighter than a thousand suns;
  • His bedroom is less than two feet away from our bedroom;
  • We keep the thermostat at a toasty 72 degrees;
  • He has over one hundred thousand million blankets and stuffed animals to keep him warm; and
  • We have provided him with (among other things): a night light, a radio, and a white noise machine.

Oh, and the cat likes to sleep with him. At the foot of his bed. A snuggly warm companion if ever there was one.

my son the mouth-breather by est.1975 at #funny #humor #parenting #est1975blog #est1975 #established1975 @est1975blog
Cold and scared and lonely, my ass.

So. Because of my son’s totally “reasonable” and “legitimate” concern about freezing to death in his sleep, alone and petrified and unloved, his bedtime now heralds a nightly dramatic production of Why Can’t I Sleep In Your Bed With You? A Play in Three Hundred Acts. It usually starts at about 7 PM and wraps up around 9:30 PM, with many glasses of water, trips to the bathroom, goodnight kisses and hugs, and random complaints involved in between. He falls asleep eventually, of course.

For a little while.

But then, anywhere between 4 AM and 6 AM, my dear son will awake from slumber to “use the toilet.” And of course by “use the toilet,” I mean “stumble sleep-drunk into our bathroom for a pee, then forget to flush the john or wash his hands, then climb over us into our bed, while we’re dead asleep and too out of it to fight him off.”

At which point he crams himself between us and falls instantly asleep, with his head turned towards me and his mouth WIDE. OPEN. And that’s when it happens.

I wake up.

If you’ve never smelled the breath of a 7-year-old mouth-breather in the middle of the night, then you should consider yourself one lucky son of a B. Seriously. I mean it. Little-kid morning breath is a gnarly combination of odors so awful they’re almost beyond description. There’s a fungal and tangy element, like overpowering foot stench, yet it’s also somehow rotten and disturbingly sweet, like a decomposing corpse in the bayou. If I were forced to define it in three words, I would use the words “overwhelming,” “putrid,” and “excuse me while I barf.”

My point is that my son’s 4 AM breath has GIRTH. It has HEFT. It has POWER.

It can wake me from a straight-up dead slumber, like nothing else can.

So I have been driven to take preemptive measures, people. I now sleep facing the wall at all times. I build a “head-fort” of pillows before bed, and I dive under it for relief if necessary. In dire situations, when the wretched stench is powerful enough to waft over my shoulders, I resort to emergency evacuation measures and just go sleep in my son’s bed. His pillows smell bad, but they don’t smell anywhere near as bad as his funky, nasty face abyss.

I mean mouth.

my son the mouth-breather by est. 1975 at #funny #humor #parenting @est1975blog #est1975 #est1975blog @established1975


An earlier version of this piece was published in January 2015 on humor/parenting blog A Day in the Life of a Drama Queen’s Momma.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

Photo credits:
“Lullaby”: William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) – Lullaby (1875) — Modified
“Two Sleeping Children”: Title = Two Sleeping Children; Year = c.1612-13; Artist=Peter Paul Rubens; Licensing: {{PD-Art}} –Modified

that’s paris: SO much frenching

I love France.

I mean, I’ve never actually been there. And everything I know about it has been gleaned from the following sources:

  • Those stupid forced-perspective pictures of the Eiffel Tower that all American tourists take;
  • Impressionist paintings that I feel pressured to like but never do;
  • That tired “Royale with Cheese” scene from Pulp Fiction; and
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus, which I read in AP English and remember almost nothing about.

But still. France seems great. They have those awesome black-and-white striped shirts, am I right?! And there’s mimes all over the place, and sad clowns, and I think there’s lots of bicycles with breadbaskets. Also, some famous people hail from France! Gérard Depardieu, for example. And that one chick from Chocolat. And Brigitte something. She had boobs.

Humina what now?

Anyway, I love France so much that I wrote a story about it. More specifically, I wrote a story about Paris—a city I’ve never visited, and have read absolutely nothing about. “Then what on Earth could you possibly have written about?” you probably don’t care. Well, here’s an excerpt to whet your whistle:

that's paris

Funny, non? You can find the rest of my story, “This One Time in Paris,” in the recently-released anthology That’s Paris: An Anthology of Life, Love, and Sarcasm in the City of Light. Published by Velvet Morning Press, That’s Paris is a collection of both fiction and non-fiction stories from people who have traveled to Paris, lived in Paris, and (like me) never even set foot in Paris, but nevertheless have staunch opinions about it.

that's paris 2

Among the book’s contributors are: the author of three fashion books, the writer of a recently-released book on Rwanda, Amazon best-selling authors, journalists, a personal chef, and winners of various blogging awards (that’s me!) That’s Paris features new talent as well as established writers, but all of the contributors have one thing in common—their stories capture the essence of what it’s like to breathe Parisian air. Which may or may not smell like Brie farts.

Click here to find a full list of the contributors as well as short biographies on each one, and while you’re there, be sure to read all about the charity Room to Read, to which all author proceeds from anthology sales of That’s Paris are donated.

Seriously, this book is terrific and I am so proud to be a part of it. With a line-up of amazing contributors and all author proceeds going to charity, there is absolutely NO reason for you not to buy 5,000 copies.

Right. Now.


If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.

a wild man crush appears!

"Anthonis van Dyck 051" by Anthony van Dyck - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

Before I launch into this piece, let me say up top that I have FULL PERMISSION FROM MY HUSBAND to write about this particular topic. All of you loyal so-and-sos can rest assured that I am in no way exploiting him or disrespecting his privacy for the sake of my art. He has given me the 100% go ahead. In fact, I’ll tell you exactly how the conversation went:


Me: I need your permission to write about something.

Him: You have it.

Me: But you don’t even know what it is yet.

Him: I’m fine with you writing about whatever.

Me: That’s totally adorable and I love you, but I still think I should check.

Him: All right, what is it?

Me: I want to write about your man crushes.

Him: …

Me: …

Him: …eh.

Me: So is that a yes?

Him: *sigh* FINE.


See? Total permission.

Those of you who are est. 1975 regulars already know quite a bit about my husband. You know the nature of his “coffee drinking habits.” You’ve heard the ridiculous things that come out of his mouth. You remember that one time he stabbed a table with a knife.

However, those of you who are new to the world of est. 1975 may crave a few more details about my husband. So I jumped on over to Facebook and asked my family and friends to help me out:


That was the question. Here are just a few of the answers:

Craigslist (My sister thinks she’s funny.)

and the easy winner, from My Girl Natalie:


Now. Some might argue that a truly “dudely” straight dude wouldn’t admit to having crushes on other men. I adamantly disagree. I find any straight man confident enough to stroll up and down the gender spectrum for crush material to be extremely dudely. Not to mention hot, sexy, and whatever the adjective is for “my panties just melted the fuck off, ran down my leg, and collected at my feet in a puddle of liquefied cotton.”

And because my husband is just that dudely, he has (semi) graciously agreed to let me share with you, my readers:


Strap yourself in.


1. Rafael Nadal. Okay. You may wonder why ANYONE would have a crush on a man who makes faces like this:

The answer is simple. My husband has a little crush on Rafa because he has a little crush on HIMSELF. But don’t take my word for it. Just look at the facts:

  • Rafa is from Spain. Just like my husband.
  • He’s exceedingly gracious and polite. Just like my husband.
  • He’s a professional tennis player. Just like my husband. In dreams.
  • He did a practically naked photo shoot with Bar Rafaeli. Just like my husband. In other, dirtier kinds of dreams.

But I’m gonna cut my husband some slack on this one. Weird faces or no, LOOK AT THOSE FUCKING ARMS.

EDIT: After my husband read this post, we actually had this conversation:

Him: There are way better pictures of Nadal’s muscles.

Me: Honey, there were 65,000 images of Nadal on Getty Images. I wasn’t going to look through all of them.

Him: You should have.

Me: …

Him: I would have.


2. Tim Armstrong.  Front man for punk bands Rancid and The Transplants, Tim Armstrong is without a doubt the wettest of my husband’s wet dreams:

Guys, I don’t understand this one. I never have and I never will. My husband has been at Fan Boy: Level Infinite over this man for the entire thirteen years we’ve been together and I JUST. DON’T. GET. IT.  The man is not particularly attractive. His voice is not what I’d call “easy on the ear.” And, according to the one person I know who has actually interacted with him, he’s… well, let’s just use the phrase “socially disabled.”

And yet, when asked to give me the 5 words that best describe Tim Armstrong, these were what immediately jumped to my husband’s lips:

  • Awesome
  • Terrific
  • Energetic
  • Genius
  • Better than Sarah

So. Yeah.


3. Adam Rothenberg. Unless you’re a fan of the BBC police procedural Ripper Street, you’ve probably never heard of this guy:

The only American actor in the entire cast of Ripper Street, Adam Rothenberg plays the role of Captain Homer Jackson, a former Pinkerton agent who has fallen from grace and fled to Victorian-era Whitechapel. Sarcastic, intelligent, and cynical, this character fulfills the classic BBC trope of the Underestimated but Savvy American Who Delivers Witty Quips and Wry Observations. You know the one. The handsome, troubled comic relief. He makes my husband swoon.

I’ll be honest—this man crush delights me in a way the other two do not. Here’s why:

  • My husband refers to Rothenberg’s character on Ripper Street as simply “The American.” Guess who else my husband refers to as “The American”?
  • Rothenberg is a brooding brunette with a pale complexion. Guess who else is a brooding brunette with a pale complexion?
  • Rothenberg plays a bitter, sarcastic weirdo who is constantly putting his foot in his mouth and getting himself in trouble. Guess who else is a bitter, sarcastic weirdo who blah de blah?
  • Rothenberg’s character gets himself *out* of trouble by being charming and persuasive and calling people “darlin’.” Guess who else pulls this same kind of bullshit?

Yeah. This guy is totally the man version of me. Actually, if my husband *didn’t* have a crush on him, I’d be worried.


So there you have it. The three men my husband would totally man-bang. I have to admit I’d take a crack at two of them myself (sorry, Tim Armstrong.) Seriously, did you look at Rafa’s biceps? He can make weird faces all night long. That’s why there’s a light switch next to the bed.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.


Photo credits:
“Anthonis van Dyck 051” by Anthony van Dyck – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – — Modified