Let me start by saying that I love my children. More than anything in this world. More than the nirvana of shopping alone at Target, more than Ben & Jerry’s Truffle Kerfuffle. Even more than Maggie Smith on “Downton Abbey”.
If I hear the word “Mom” just one more time today, I am going to lose my ever-lovin’ mind. In fact, I just googled “how many questions do kids ask in a day” because I know I’m not alone here. Are you ready for this? According to a UK study, moms field nearly 300 questions a day from their offspring, making them the most quizzed people around, above even teachers, doctors, and nurses.
Fun fact: Girls aged four are the most curious, averaging a question every one minute, 56 seconds of their waking day.
No wonder emails go unanswered, laundry piles up, library books expire before they are read, we scramble at the last minute for that birthday gift (please don’t ever leave me, Amazon Prime).
We are constantly interrupted during any given task.
As an experiment, one day I decided to make a list of all the times I heard the word “Mom” followed by a question or comment. I grabbed a small notebook like Harriet the Spy and lasted exactly six hours before my hand cramped from all the writing.
In those six hours, I was beckoned ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-NINE times. While I won’t torture you with reading all 159 questions and comments posed to me, here’s a small sampling below:
“Mom, who are you?” (Like, in an existential way?)
“Mom, has any human ever had 26 children?” (Yes. And they all have a reality TV show.)
“Mom, guess how many butt cheeks are in our house?” (Um…does the dog count?)
“Mom, this kid at school said that one middle finger equals 20 BAD WORDS. How is that possible?” (Oh, it’s possible.)
“Mom, I just found a HUMONGOUS house in California and it only costs $14 million dollars.” (Okay, I’ll get right on that purchase, sweetie.)
“Mom, can I put a ghost detector app on your phone?” (I’d kind of rather not know when there’s a ghost near me sooo…no.)
“Mom, I have a super duper secret.” (There should be no secrets from your mother. Ever.)
“Mom, you gotta see this picture of Miley Cyrus!!” (Please let it be the Hannah Montana version of her.)
“Mom, do you want to play catch with me?” (Can’t, because I need a free hand to write down the 29 questions you will ask me while playing.)
“Mom, I can run down the hall and back 10 times in 37 seconds. Do you want to try?” (I’m good, thanks.)
“Mom, do I have to get the flu shot tomorrow? Because I’d like another few days to rest in peace before they poke a hole in my arm.” (3rd child is so dramatic)
“Mom, I need a band-aid.” (x3)
“Mom, what are we doing today?” (Apparently asking and answering questions)
“Mom, can I invite a friend over?” (Will they ask me any questions?)
“Mom, what’s for dinner?” (Who has time to cook??)
“Mom, can I have candy?” (If a mouthful of candy keeps you quiet for 2 minutes, then yes.)
“Mom, I changed my mind about my Halloween costume.” (AGAIN??)
“Mom, can you tell the dog to move?” (Because I speak dog and you don’t?)
“Mom, can I see heaven but not die first?” (Ok, I am officially not qualified to answer any more questions.)
“Mom (watching me write), why do you keep writing stuff down?”
“Mom, we have nothing good to eat.” (Staring into the overflowing refrigerator)
“Mom, have you seen my phone?” (x3)
“Mom, I can’t find my phone.”
“Mom, can I borrow your phone?”
“Mom, can you buy some posterboard?”
“Mom, what are you writing?”
“How many questions I’m asked in a day.”
“Why? Is it a lot?”
“Seriously?? I’m adding that one.”
18-year-old daughter (away at college)
“Mom…did you change the Netflix password?” (Of course I did, you haven’t called me in two days)
Mind you, I did this experiment on a Sunday, and my husband was home the whole time. He is a great, very involved, hands-on dad.
But do you know how many questions I heard them ask him during that time? ONE. When I said no to playing catch with my daughter, she asked him to play. He immediately said yes, probably because he wasn’t exhausted from 158 prior questions.
When I sat down to write this post, I stared at the list for each of my three kids. And something hit me like a ton of bricks.
The older they get, the less questions they ask. The less thoughts and feelings they share.
Those big kids have their friends and their smarter-than-a-mom phones.
My older kids would never ask me what the population of China is, they would simply Google it.
But to my little one, I’m still the go-to…the one with all the answers.
And I guess that’s a pretty great thing to be.
It’s hard to face the fact that, though my older kids still need me, it’s just not in the same way my younger child does.
Someday all too soon my 9-year-old will be an 18-year-old. And one morning, I’ll wake up and there won’t be anyone left to pepper me with questions all day long.
And the thought of that makes me sad. And so for as long as they’re asking, I’ll be right here answering. ❤
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