Most parents are asked anywhere between a million to a gazillion questions a day by their small people. Where’s my Lego? Can I have a snack? Am I a Superhero? Do I have to go to bed? Can I draw a picture on the wall? The answers are normally simple; yes, no, maybe, and definitely not.
Seriously? 437 questions a day! Allow me to break that down for you; On average, a child is up for about 12 hours. So that is 36.4 questions every hour. That’s a question every 1.6 minutes. Now it can take 50 seconds for them to get the actual question out. It always starts with “Muuummmyyyyyyy” and you have to answer “yes” immediately, unless you want to go 10 rounds of “Muuummmyyyyyyy”. It then takes you maybe another 10 seconds to answer their question. There’s a minute gone. So that basically equates to non stop questions people. Every minute of every hour for 12 hours! Imagine a day when you are stuck in waiting for one of those any time between 8am and 6pm deliveries (that always turn up at 6pm). It’s just you and your kid and all those questions.
And sometimes out pops a question that’s not so simple and straight forward to answer, and quite frankly leaves you flummoxed.
“Mummy? What are these? Are they guns? Can you shoot things from them?“
Thankfully he ran off before I had a chance to explain that no, they were not guns, they were in fact my boobs. And yes, he did prod them when asking in a way that warranted ‘honk honk’ sound effects.
My small people have this notion that “Mummy knows everything.” Maybe I used to. But the truth is, two rounds of pregnancy with the side effect of baby brain seems to have reduced my intelligence somewhat. Combine that with the mind numbing hours I have spent watching CBeebies, and it’s safe to say my brain has turned to mush.
So when I’m asked a more complicated question that always comes from nowhere, I often find my mind goes blank and I stand there floundering, staring down the barrel of two big blue eyes beseeching me for an answer. And whilst my mind is searching for an answer, I am either:
a) Trying not to laugh at the more absurd questions.
b) Trying to think of an age appropriate answer that won’t scar him for life, take away his innocence, or scare the crap out of him, etc.
c) Thinking of tactics to change the subject so I can Google the answer later, and maintain my “Mummy knows everything” status.
Questions that have left me somewhat reeling and wishing Daddy was home from work, include:
What is a Decepticon?
I definitely need Daddy for this one. I know it has something to do with Transformers. The limited information I can tell you about Transformers is that there is a yellow one called Bumble Bee and I can sing “Transformers. Robots in disguise”. From which I gather that Transformers are some kind of robots in some kind of disguise, right? I can tell you all the characters from Raa Raa and Postman Pat (old school version, not the weird special delivery service Pat’s got going on nowadays). I could probably recite The Gruffalo verbatim and I know all of Roald Dahl’s books. But Transformers? I can’t even transform them. Even the one touch ones made for 4 year olds!
If there is a war will Daddy have to go and be a soldier?
The simple answer to this is no. However this question was delivered just as I was putting the key in the door on our return from school. The question was also accompanied by big shoulder heaving sobs, heavy tears, and “I don’t want Daddy to go to war, I don’t want Daddy to die.” It was one of those “where the hell has this come from moments”. After some cuddles and reassurance (and actually getting in the door) I was able to piece together that they had talked about Remembrance Day in assembly. I do think it’s important for children to learn about the war, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen in reception year! The talk in assembly was far more than his barely 5-year-old brain could comprehend. But lesson learnt. Next November I will be far more prepared. I’ll have better answers than “Holy crap!.”
Why can Superman fly, but Batman can’t?
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Because Superman’s cooler?
Am I Chinese?
Another school inspired question as he had been learning about Chinese New Year. Simply, no. But he then proceeded to go through the entire reception year asking where every child was from. I don’t know all the children. Even if he does tell me their surname!
Did your willy fall off?
“Did you break it?”
“Where’s it gone then?”
Why oh why can’t I pee alone!
“How did the baby come out?”
When I discovered the big one was going to be a big brother, my husband and I had a chat about some of the questions the big one might have, and how we would answer them. He never asked anything about how the baby got in there for my whole pregnancy. Even after the birth. Nothing. A year later my friend has a baby and out popped all the questions. Stupidly I only prepared answers for how it got in there, not how it was going to come out.
No matter how big or small the question, sometimes as parents we don’t have the answers!
What questions have your small people asked that have left you flummoxed?