Ask Me A Question

I’m not sure if it’s appropriate to make light of your children while they are under the influence of drugs, but when the second little traveller had her latest ear operation, she came out of the operating theatre completely off her face.

As they wheeled her out of the elevators she gave me a big swooping wave from the end of the corridor. Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii she sang. She looked liked she’d just had her seventh beer and was about to be carried to the nearest taxi. This was the high before the low, the happy before the vomit. She was giggling while explaining the laughing gas and how it smelt like “Dad’s old socks” she was the funniest thing she’d heard all day. At one stage she giggled uncontrollably.

And then she threw up.

As G patted her back and I held the vomit bag, she stopped, looked up like a drunk from the gutter and announced “you guys are awesome”.

This morning I was awesome, this morning I drove halfway home from school and realized someone had left something in the car and drove all the way back. I will be awesome again this afternoon when someone discovers their favourite yoghurt drinks in the refrigerator, and again when I hand over the “lost” shin pads that I have just found in the cupboard.

I was not awesome yesterday.

Yesterday I was tired, yesterday I wanted to read my book. Yesterday there were too many questions and at 4 o’clock when 3 out of the 4 little travellers had escaped to the pool with friends, I realized I was not at my parenting best. I should have been at the pool with them, but I was hiding behind the excuse of looking after the fourth traveller. I was out of words. I had no more words to give. I read the fourth traveller seven books in a row because it was easier to use someone else’s words than find my own.

It’s the questions, the constant questions. Can you read this? Can you do this? Can you see this? Look at this (which sounds like a statement but its actually a question).

It amazes me that G and I can be sitting side by side in a room or a car but he is not required to answer the same amount of questions. Important questions like;

Do you think my hair will turn black when I get older?
Why don’t grownups eat chocolate all day?
If I swam without goggles will my eyes burn and then drop out?
Can you tell Henry to stop making that noise?
Do you want to see my willy?
How come we can’t have tacos for dinner?
Why does Henry make that noise?
Why doesn’t Granny have hearing aids?
Who was President Kennedy married to?
Don’t you wish you were a Kennedy with all the money and none of the deadness?

I love those questions, but sometimes, by the end of the weekend, I can’t do anymore of them. I don’t know how the carpet was weaved or why the ants walk in a line. I agree that the birds must be getting hot and I imagine that yes, if Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner (I had to google) had got married she wouldn’t have changed her name because it would be too confusing.

This morning it was back to school. In a mad flap of sports uniforms and lunch schedules and where’s my water bottle, I dropped them one by one, gate to gate, and returned to the car in complete silence.

Silence, all the way home.

I thought about their questions, their statements, and thought about what they were actually saying.

Yes, you might end up looking just like your Dad.
Grownups do look like they have all the good choices don’t they.
I know your goggles are leaking, I promise to buy you new goggles.
Henry’s been making that noise for too long, but the doctor doesn’t know why.
Your willy is truly amazing, it’s incredible what you can do with it, I almost can’t believe that I don’t want to look at it ALL the time myself.
I know Tacos are your favourite, you can have them this Friday.
Granny is as old as Gramps, but somehow she got lucky, both her ears work perfectly.
President Kennedy’s legacy has passed the test of time, but yes, money can’t buy you happiness.

I just needed a minute. I’m ready. I’m listening.

Ask me a question.

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  1. Erika Robertson says

    Brilliant ! I myself needed a day of rest yesterday hiding with my book .. A duvet day …. In order to deal with another week of teaching and kids and lunch boxes and yes , lots and lots of questions 🙂
    You did it again ! We all think it and you write it for us , oh so ver well !

  2. Omg so funny, I had a little (ok massive) giggle at the willy question! Reminded me of my 4 yr old who asked me a few months ago while he was sitting on the loo ‘Mum why does my willy go up and down?’ Not sure buddy, maybe we can ask Daddy all about that when he gets home? was my reply to which he came back with ‘I know I think its breathing’….Kids are such classics

  3. Spot on. Even when the question is directed to their father they all look at me to answer: even their father! Those constant questions are worth it when you get a cracking insight into the core of their being. Scary somethimes, but worthwhile.

  4. You are such a beautiful Mum. Inspiring! x

  5. That’s hilarious. I know I often suffer from the same ailment.

  6. Lordy, I hear you. It’s more requests from my children. My daughter feels that to properly engage with me she needs to ask me to do things for her. All. The. Time. I wouldn’t mind some of those zany questions. And I love your interpretations of them 🙂

  7. Silence can be such a rejuvenating experience for a mom.

  8. Was that G asking the willy question? 😉

  9. Kids say some funny stuff when they’re under the influence of medically-induced drugs, don’t they? I remember Son #1 at age 5, he’d tripped and fallen through a plate glass window and had a gash over his eye that required 6 stitches. The doctor had given him some laughing gas to relax him and as I held his hand he looked into my eyes and said, in a dreamy-like tone: “I think I’ll breathe forever, Mum.”

    The entire room cracked up laughing at that, lol.

    As for questions? Silence is definitely golden for mothers, some of the time xx

  10. Don’t know how you manage 4 personal children. I say personal as opposed to the 75 kids I teach. I really enjoy the quiet on my now child-free days off. My 2 personal kids have grown up and left home.

    Great post as usual.


  11. Love, love, love this post! As much as I try to educate, enlighten and encourage my children when I’m attacked with 200 questions, there are times when I PLEAD with them to just stop talking! And then I feel horrible, like a terrible mum, so I throw in a bit of awesomeness 🙂 x

  12. I have nothing brilliant to say, so I’ll just say “amen”

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