Tag Archives: #preschoolers

The Day in Questions

In my favorite musical, Rent (stay with me), one of the most powerful moments comes when the cast belts out the song, “Seasons of Love.” In it, they passionately plea that you should “measure your life in love.” For years, I really took this to heart and tried to measure the “525, 600 minutes” of my year in just that, love. And then, my oldest son started talking. And almost instantly it started to feel like my life was measured less in love and more in the seemingly endless number of questions he asks on a daily basis. I get it, as his Mom it’s my responsibility to guide and encourage his exploration of the world. But honestly, it’s fucking exhausting. And it often feels like my answers never satiate him. “I don’t know” and “that’s just the way it is” are never acceptable so I spend all day trying to come up with creative reasonings when all I really want to do is drive from point A to point B listening to Bieber’s latest hits and not get the third degree about every little thing that pops into his mind. 

Knowing that this is a pipe dream however, I decided I would turn his queries into a modified version of a baby book entry. I neglected to document when he figured out how to write his name for the first time or when he learned to ride his bike. But now, thanks to my notebook and a tally counter, I will forever remember the day he asked me if he could have a room full of Boomwhackers (February 7, 2016).

And here for you now, that day, in 190 questions…

6:35am – At some point in the night he gets in bed with us. I have no recollection of this but am stirred out of my dream by his little voice so close to my ear I wonder if it’s actually coming from inside my brain…

Question 1: “Will you rub my arm?”

Question 2: “Is it morning?”

Question 3: “Can I get up now?”

Question 4: “Who will play with me?”

Question 5: “Will you play with me?”

Question 6: “WHY ISN’T ANYONE PLAYING WITH ME????”

6:37am

I attempt to pry my eyes open but am, as of yet, unable to speak. This displeases him a great deal. Sometime around 7am I am now upright with eyes open and caffeine in hand. He notices the tally counter around my neck…

Questions 14 – 16: “What is that?”

Shit. I neglected to think of an excuse for why I’m wearing this ridiculous thing. I deflect, certain that any acknowledgment of its purpose will only lead to more questions.

Question 24:  “Mommy, where’s Chewbacca?”

Here we go. I’d say roughly half of the questions I am asked on a daily basis revolve around something he can’t find. Answer: “Honey, I don’t know. Where did you have him last?” He hates this response. Answering his question with another question elicits a reaction similar to what happens when he loses a game of UNO. In case you’re wondering, that shit ain’t pretty. 

Questions 25 – 32 all revolve around me helping him find Chewbacca and just really giving no fucks that I answer with “I don’t know” each and every time. This kid is relentless.

It is now 9:40am and the topic of whether or not we will have a third child has come up. 

Question 51: “What if we had 43 babies?”

Question 52: “What if we had 101 babies?”

Question 53: “What if we had INFINITY babies??”

My response looks like this…

IMG_5308

Thank god for an impromptu playdate. For a glorious two hours the questions to me dwindle and I can enjoy some meaningful conversation with my friend. We use our time wisely, looking up who has the most Twitter followers (it’s Katy Perry).

At 1:30pm we leave the playdate. 1:31pm…

Question 65: “Mommy, when can I have a playdate with Watson? I really want a playdate with Watson.”

We have just left Watson’s house. I’m pretty sure at this point he’s just screwing with me.

Question 69: “Can I have carrots today?” I quickly check the rearview mirror to make sure I have the right child. Yep, that’s him. Answer: “Sure, buddy!” I’m pretty sure I’m being set up…I am.

Question 73: “Mommy, when is the next time I can get a treat?” Oh, here it comes. Answer: “Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up, so probably you could get a pastry or something then.”

Question 74: “What’s a pastry” Answer: “A pastry is a type of sweet treat.”

Question 75: “But what if my pastry fell over, can I get another one?” Answer: “Sure”

Question 76: “So, when is Valentine’s Day?” Answer: “Next Sunday”

Question 77: “It’s not today?” Answer: “No, it’s next Sunday”

Question 78: “Why isn’t it today?” Answer: “Because today is the 7th and Valentine’s Day is on the 14th, which is next Sunday.”

Question 79: (crying) “But I want it to be today! Why isn’t next Sunday today?!” Answer I say in my head: “Because life is really unfair sometimes, dude. Like me, being held hostage in this car by your ridiculous questions.” Answer I say out loud: “I don’t know, sweetie. That’s just the way the calendar works. Maybe ask Daddy about it later and see what he says” (haha!)

The day, and the questions, continue…

Question 108: “What are you eating?” How the hell can he hear me eating a cookie from two rooms away?? I try to swallow it quickly, but it’s no use. Now he’s staring at me and he knows. He always knows.

At around 4pm we start doing crafts.

Question 131: “What if I opened up these scissors and cut off my thumb?” Answer: “That would hurt a lot.”

Question 132: “Would we have to call the Fire Department?” Answer: “No, we would call the ambulance, or I would take you to the emergency room.”

Question 133: “Why wouldn’t we call the Fire Department?” Answer: “Because there wouldn’t be a fire.”

Question 134: “Well would we call the Police?” Answer: “No, we wouldn’t call them either.”

Question 135: “Why not?” Answer: “How about you just don’t cut off your thumb and then we don’t have to worry about it.” 

6:15pm. Dinner. I prepare a chicken dish he is uninterested in eating.

Questions 165 – 168 are all the same, “Why?” He wants to know why I have made this dish and why he must eat it. I can tell we’re about to negotiate here because after Question 108 I decided to avoid a nuclear meltdown and relented on my stance that his next sweet treat would be on Valentine’s Day. Instead, I told him he could have a cookie after he ate his dinner. I remind him of this.

Question 169: “Okay, so how many bites?” Answer: “10 bites”

Question 170: “Of just the chicken?” Answer: “No, of the chicken and the rice and the vegetables.” He takes a bite.

Question 171: “So was that one or no?” Answer: “That was one.”

Question 172: “So how many is left?” I think you know where this is heading…I answer the question from the kitchen, where I am pouring myself a glass of wine.

At approximately 7:30pm, he is in bed. Teeth brushed, books read, lights out.

Question 187: “Will you tell me a story?” Answer: “No, this day is done. We can do stories tomorrow.”

Questions 188 & 189: “Can I have a little milk? Just a teeny tiny little smidgen of milk, please?” Answer: “No. You can have milk in the morning.”

Question 190: “Do you love me to the moon and back?” Answer: Absolutely! Sweet dreams, my little love.” (He’s no dummy – he knows how to end the day so I leave the room thinking he’s the sweetest S.O.B. ever to walk the face of the Earth)

I know what you’re thinking. One of these days the only questions he’ll ask me will be, “Will you drop me off further away from school?” and “Why do you hate my girlfriend (and/or boyfriend) so much?!” And I will miss these days. And maybe that’s true. But for now, I would just like one day where I don’t feel like I’m playing an endless game of Jeopardy with my own smug little Alex Trebek. As much as I love him. My son that is. Well and Alex Trebek too, I suppose.

Playing Is Awesome?

It's game time. I repeat, grab the wine.
It’s game time. I repeat, grab the wine.

I remember when my baby was five months old, we started going to Baby Group. It was my savior, my safe place, my guide to being a mom. I have eleven nieces and nephews but I hadn’t been that interested enough in babies to become informed about them. I would go over to one of my sibling’s houses, love them and then get the hell outta there. I am the youngest of six kids. I was unmarried and then eventually married but still child-free. I had happy hours and parties and openings and premiers and tons of fun things to do to actually give a crap about “raising” a baby. I left that shit to my awesome siblings. And then, one fine Christmas Day, I peed on a stick and ” PREGNANT” was pushed on me like a joint on a teen at a Lourde concert. Ooooohhh, feck.

I gave birth to that much wanted baby and yes, it was GLORIOUS and by glorious, I mean hellacious. I had PPD and mourned my old life more than one can explain with words. I was never happy. I wanted to be happy like all of those ladies in the magazines but I was not. Fast forward five months when the baby got chubby and started becoming a human who actually smiled and laughed at me, that was pretty cool! After five months of colic and hell, I started going to mentioned Baby Group. A place where parents went with questions about their kids and some amazing GURU gave you ALL of the answers! It saved my life. In this group there was a lot of talk about “floor time”and I was all, “I have to get on the floor with my baby?” I thought that was the place where my cats slept and where dirty shoes passed the time, I did not want to go there.

20 minutes of floor time a day was recommended. Ugh OK, so now I am on the floor with my kid, putting her on her acid reflux belly to make sure she didn’t end up totally daft. She hated it and I hated it but we stuck with it and she evolved faster than she had been when I was plopping her in the old Rock N Play Sleeper (which saved my life btw) and tuning in to “The View“.  My kid is four now so bear with my TV references.

Time passed and many years of excuse making and most days, giving the poor kid some play time, she became a full-on preschooler. “Mommy, let’s play…”. Nails on a chalkboard to my ear holes. I don’t want to play anything, with anyone, ever! Ask Daddy, he loves to play. Daddy also owns his own business and has seriously limited time to play during the week and the kid was tenacious and wanted to play with me. I had to play every day at some point. It felt like Guantanamo Bay. You be the mama dog and I’ll be the baby dog. You be the mama lion and I’ll be the baby lion. You be the bat leopard and I’ll be the merpup. Shit got crazy and elaborate and I didn’t care for it one bit. Also, she’s very mandating when she plays, which I am fully aware will benefit her later in life but so would a little flexibility.

Now, Chutes and Ladders is laid out on the table like this year’s taxes.Those tiny squares preschoolers are supposed to move along while counting each one – RIDICULOUS AND IMPOSSIBLE. Face painting? She asks me to make her a cat and then cries and says she looks like a spider. Go Fish? I can see all of her cards, no fun. Old Maid? She still doesn’t fully get it, plus it’s totally insulting to strong, single females. War? Kid can’t even count correctly yet so where are we going with this? Pogo stick? I have to hold the stick the entire time. Ride bikes? I have to carry the bike 3/4 the way home. Painting? Yes, I like it but she differs from the allocated materials and starts painting her vagina, exclaiming she now is a grown up and has hair on her vagina! Woohoo! Paw Patrol? I damn the day I ever bought those over-priced little assholes. Her rocket ship looks like a giant penis and it just makes me feel uncomfortable. Barbies got into my house somehow, which means me dressing and undressing them the entire time because her little hands get tired of shoving those freaking plastic daggers Barbie calls fingers through holes half the size of the eye of a needle. I am not good at this stuff, people.

The Tower of Terror
The Tower of Terror. Note the penis shaped rocket ship bottom left.

I love to take care of her. I love to read to her, I like puzzles and taking her out on the town. I like to make her lunches, buy her clothes and map out her life for her 🙂 I love being her mom but getting down onto the cat’s bed, A.K.A. the floor, where I start to wheeze and sneeze and God forbid start spotting all of the crap in the shag carpet, always ends up in me pulling out the vacuum and thank the tiny, little, blessed 7lb. 4oz. Baby Jesus, she thinks vacuuming is the best, damn game ever.

I know, I know, soon enough I will be appalled at her eye rolling and I will be SO heartbroken when she chooses her friends over me and acts like spending time with her parents is some sort of punishment but I think I’ll miss playing like I miss getting my heart broken, getting a pap smear or getting bamboozled into a play date with someone I can’t stand. I have my strengths, I know them and embrace them and I just hold my breath everyday and pray that she masters the art of independent play sometime soon. Ya’d think for an only child she’d already have figured this out!