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Why Mom is Brain-Dead

…Or Why 27/6 is the new 24/7

The other evening, my husband and I looked at each other across the dinner table with one of those looks that contains a whole conversation in a single eyebrow. Here’s how the conversation went:

Husband: Are they always like this?

Me: Yes! Why do you think I’m so tired at the end of the day?

What his eyebrow was referring to was the constant barrage of questions coming at us from both sides of the table. Both kids were peppering us with question after question, seemingly at random, and without pause. This is normal.

After our silent eyebrow conversation, I said out loud, “I’ve often wished I had one of those palm clickers that umpires carry so they can count things.” He laughed, knowing I meant that would be the only way to keep track of how many questions came at us in an evening. He said, “You could do it the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.”

At that, our oldest, who can’t stand to be left out of a conversation, piped up, “What are you talking about? What’s a clicker? And what do you need pen and paper for?”

See what I mean? Rapid fire like that. All. Day. Long.Questions

I hopped up, grabbed my grocery list, a pen, and my kitchen timer. I started it immediately and put down three tally marks for the questions she had just asked as I said, “Nothing honey, I’ll tell you tomorrow.” Then I proceeded to discretely make tally marks for each question that came at us from both girls. After a few minutes it was time to get baths going, so I turned off the timer and added up the marks. There were 27 (and I’m being conservative because I’m pretty sure a couple got past us before we marked them) and the timer read “6:00”. As in minutes. Twenty Seven questions in 6 minutes.

The math is pretty simple. If you extrapolate that number out a bit, it means 270 questions in an hour. Over the course of a normal day (given one hour together in the morning before school, and 6 hours between school and bedtime in the evening) that adds up to…wait, I’m getting my calculator out…1,890 questions. And on the weekends it’s worse. All that time together. All those questions. I’m tired just thinking about it. This is why I look forward to 8am on Monday mornings. I send the kids off to school and look around my empty house. So quiet. No one wants anything, no one wants to know anything. Just blessed silence.

Obviously not all the questions are difficult to answer, or require much thought, but they can’t go unanswered because then I just get more questions. “Mom, did you hear me? Do you know? What would happen if we gave Gigi (the guinea pig) chocolate strawberries? Suddenly one innocent pet care question has turned into three.

People use the phrase “24/7” to mean “every hour of every day” or “at all times” but I’m thinking of campaigning (at least with my other mommy friends) to change the reference to “27/6” because at our house the only constant is the questions. So I hereby deliver to you today the new vocabulary convention of “27/6” which I’m sure will quickly make its way into the urban dictionary.

In honor of this momentous event, I am proud to bring you a sampling of some of the more brain-draining questions that come up in our daily life.

  • “Mommy, what does the word ‘toxic’ mean?”
  • “Mom, do things ever go wrong in surgeries?” (This was on the eve of her surgery to remove her adenoids.)
  • “Mommy, how do giraffes become boys or girls?”
  • “What are ‘genetics’? (The follow up to my evasive answer of the previous question.)
  • “Mom, what is protein?”
  • “Mommy, what if we had these little things that went around our heads, that had flowers on them and were sort of stretchy and sort of not stretchy?” (This was accompanied by a lot of gestures which did nothing to help me understand the concept.)
  • “What does it mean to be a ‘newlywed’?”
  • “Mommy, can I still believe in mermaids, even if I know that the tooth fairy is really you?”
  • And my personal favorite…””What does ‘completely speechless’ mean?”


Friday 13th of June 2014

Hi Meredith, I included this in a post about laughing at parenting that went up on my blog last night. Thanks for making me laugh! Marie @ Normal Everyday Life


Sunday 15th of June 2014

Thank you Marie! I'll go check it out. Glad it made you laugh...


Saturday 26th of April 2014

Lol meredfith. very true and interesting. Most of the questions, at some stage, start to be trick questions where your answer can nail you immediately so be careful. Also the last of your sample questions, the answer was simple. You would have said " exactly how I am now" lol.


Tuesday 29th of April 2014

So true Welli! I've walked into quite a few setups, which make me think my kids might be smarter than me already!

Michele Harvey

Friday 25th of April 2014

You obviously have inquisitive children. Asking questions is a sign of intelligence. How old are your children? When my children reached a certain age and would come to me with lots of questions, I would tell them to get on the computer, do a search, and find the answers themselves. Thank you. I enjoyed your post.


Tuesday 29th of April 2014

Thanks Michele, I console myself with the idea that it's a sign of intelligence and healthy curiosity. :) Don't know what we'd do without google and wikipedia!


Thursday 24th of April 2014

That's the truth. I'd rather them get their stupid answers from me! :)


Thursday 24th of April 2014

LOL.. I can relate to this on so many levels. I have witnessed my kids talk to me about absolutely nothing and everything at the same time for 45 min straight. Hey it is better that they ask us the questions than get stupid answers from their friends.


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook