What is that? Who did it? You want what? When is it due? It’s where? These are a few questions I ask over and over and over on a daily basis. Usually, the answers are three simple words, “I don’t know.” When I became a mother I was like a lot of women, it was going to be wonderful and my child would never do anything wrong. I was wrong!
Sixteen years ago I gave birth my son, two weeks overdue and my precious baby boy, but still a boy. Just as he began walking so did the questions. Why are you dangling your legs off the second-floor balcony, as I grab his arm and pull him to his feet. Where are you? Found you! in the bathroom flooding the toilet. Oh, you just wanted to go for a walk alone with your toy lawn mower three blocks away, headed towards a busy street? Um, NO! What is that you are rubbing everywhere? Desitin? Do you know how hard it is to get Desitin off walls, carpet and out of a toddlers hair? I quickly learned as he got older, that the questions were never going to stop coming out of me and the answers were only going to become more absurd. To add to it, we gave him a sister when he was three and a half. He loved her, just like a vampire loves garlic. From there the questions began coming more frequent since I was now asking both of them questions. What is that on the floor? Usually followed by the blame game. Why aren’t you asleep yet? Yes, I know it’s still light outside but it’s bedtime. Who made this mess? Cue, the blame game again.
I worked 40 plus hours a week, am a wife and mother, so when my son started school I was the mom that didn’t cry! The mom that was willing to take the teacher anything she wanted for having my child most of her day. The same went for my daughter’s wonderful babysitter. At the end of the day and after picking everyone up, the questions would start again. What did you do in school? Really? Nothing! Why did you pull the fire alarm? Well, now you know what it does! When did you stop eating broccoli? Yesterday? Okay, but you’re still eating it.
So what do you do when you work full time, have a husband and two kids? Well, in our case we had another kid. Our younger daughter was born and by this point, the other two were almost six and nine and a half, so they adored their baby sister. Having another one did not stop the questions, they just changed a little. Why are ya’ll yelling while your sister is sleeping? Imagine that, the blame game. Where is your homework? What do you mean your sister ate your homework? Unfortunately, this was true, and I did have to explain to a teacher that it really did happen.
I now have a husband, a teenager, a preteen and an elementary age child. In my mind, things should be getting easier, but of course, that is not the case at all. It’s true, teenagers aren’t easy, neither are preteen girls or all of the activities that they have decided they wanted to do. Schedules have to be made, parents are split up so each child has a parent at every performance, concert or program and the questions continue. You have to be where in 15 minutes? That’s 30 minutes away, why are you just telling me about this now? What do you mean you lost your homework? Did you check your backpack? Check it! Who is responsible for this mess and why is the floor sticky? So let me understand this correctly, no one did it and no one knows what is on the floor? Well, OKAY!
Now, most questions to my kids always elicit the response of, “I don’t know,” and those are always followed up with further questions. I may never get the answer as to who did what, when are you going to learn, why did you do that, or where are you going. And in the end, I may be the one to clean up a mess made by a “ghost”, have to search the backpack abyss, play referee, or answer their questions. I will continue to roll my eyes with the responses, bite my tongue and cut my eyes at them when I get the, “I don’t know” response. After all, I am the mom here and what better way to interact with them than to ask questions, no matter the answer, even “I don’t know.”