I recently saw this meme (or whatever those crazy kids are calling it these days) on Facebook:
A year or so ago, I would have thought this statistic was majorly exaggerated. Do people even say 437 WORDS a day? But one year ago, Little M was not yet four years old and I could still hear some of the thoughts inside my own head . Now, just a few weeks shy of his fifth birthday, I’m wondering if that number might be a little short. Perhaps they didn’t bother to count the questions that lack even the slightest bit of sentence-structure and, well, any form of common sense at all.
You know, the kinds of questions where your kid might as well be saying to you: “I’m asking a question just to hear myself talk, and although I’m well aware that vacuum cleaners don’t have fangs, I’m still going to ask about it. You’re the parent, take my puzzling jargon as a sign that I’m tired, hungry, bored, restless, nervous, and/or insane and act accordingly. Do it.”
Off topic, but I just looked up a synonym for the word “jargon” and Word suggested “gobbledygook.” WTF, Microsoft?
So anyway, I have taken it upon myself to document just a few of Little M’s recent inquiries, some of which I found hilarious and had to literally tear the insides of my cheeks to shreds to keep from going “BAHAHAH” right in his little inquisitive face.
Who am I kidding? I laugh when he’s funny, whether he means to be or not. He’s too young to take himself seriously, and I’m too easily amused by him to restrain myself either way. So below are some of the questions I can recall Little M asking over the past week or two, in no particular order:
- Is the baby a waffle monster?
- Can I have gum for dessert?
- Can we eat breakfast and dinner at the same time?
- I get to sit in Daddy’s chair? Am I the man of the house now?
- Do I speak Spanish?
- When I go to college, will I have a pretty girlfriend?
- Can I have gum for lunch?
- What do they sell at the vegetable store? (I then asked him what he thinks they sell at a vegetable store, to which he replied “Trader Joes.”)
- After we go over the Verrazano Bridge, will we be in Sesame Place or Brooklyn?
- Can I have coffee with my cake too?
- If I help my team at soccer can I have gum?
- Daddy is fixing his car in the garage. When are you going to fix dinner?
- Poppy gave me five moneys -um I mean dollars- today. Now I can go to Disney World, right?
- Why does everybody always go to Costco?
- Why doesn’t the baby go in timeout when she gives her dinner to Ike (our dog)?
- The baby has a stinky in her diaper. Can I see her poop?
- What time is 3:00?
- I put all my toys in your bag, Mommy. Can you help me close it?
- Ok, I’ll take the toys out. Can I put them in your shoe instead?
- Do you put ketchup on your carrots, too?
- Do sharks eat dinosaurs?
- Why do Ike’s farts smell so bad?
- There’s a spider on the door. Can I keep it as a pet?
- Look, I caught a bunch of cicadas! Can I put them in the bathtub?
- Can you call Daddy and tell him to give me gum when he gets home from work?
I think you get the point. My son has a mild obsession with gum. Oh, and he likes asking questions.
I was feeling kind of investigative, so I googled “why kids ask so many questions” (can I consider myself “feeling investigative” EVERY time I google something? If so, what about the time I googled my own name? What was I investigating, then? Myself?). I found a short Washington Post article from a few years ago that said: “A research team from the University of Hawaii and the University of Michigan found that kids are asking ‘why’ as a means to get information about the world. The research found that when children received explanatory information, they were more likely to end the questioning.”
Who the hell is doing this research? And have they ever met ANY FOUR YEAR OLD ON EARTH? Did they mean to say “they are more likely to end the questioning…after they’ve finally passed out from the inevitable exhaustion of constant mouth-running from dawn to dusk?”
I also found out that incessantly asking questions is considered to be evidence of a gifted child. I really hope they are right. Because when my son asks me why he can’t use his toothbrush to brush the dog’s teeth, “gifted” is the last word that pops into my head.