21 questions


I had barely served their dinner when he said ‘Mummy, can i ask a question?’ ‘Sure, anything honey’ I said (biggest mistake ever). Mummy why do you want me to eat this vegetable? Because it is good for you.
My son: But mummy i don’t like vegetables, they make me sick
Me: No, they dont. They are have vitamins and its part of a balanced diet
My son: Mummy what is vitamins?
Me: (Already getting frustrated). Erm, vitamins are nutrients to help you grow properly into a big boy
My son: Mummy am I a big boy?
Me: exasperated sigh. Look here mister eat your food now before I throw it away.
My son: okay. (silence)

A few minutes later…… Mummy, can I eat the meat? Mummy, should I eat the meat before i eat my food? Mummy, can you help me slice the meat in pieces.

By this time voice fades into the background. Mummy? Mummy? MUMMY?!!!!! No answer. I dont remember how the dinner ended but i remember it ended in tears. Me crying ofcourse out of frustration. Lol

I call this stage 21 questions. That moment when one question turns into millions. And I mean millions. And in your head you are screaming SHUT UP. This is a very frustrating phase and no matter how patient you are you must surely snap. No wonder my mum made up the rule ‘don’t talk when eating’.

Now, what does a mother do when all this never ending question starts? Ofcourse, you don’t want to quench your child’s curiosity but at the same time you don’t want your brain to melt before the day ends.

To succeed in this phase you need a change of attitude and a lot of patience … Surulere. One thing to note is that you dont have to answer all the questions at once. Answer at least two then say i will answer the rest later ok. Mummy is tired now. You can also ask them to write it down and you will look at it later.

Another thing is when they ask questions that you have no idea what the answer is – dont be afraid to admit that you dont know. Say, honey ‘i don’t know’ lets ask daddy(and just rope daddy in) or lets find out about it later.

Then another strategy that has worked for me is to have a question bank then choose a designated time to talk. Have that ‘date’ with them as regularly as possible. And let them know they have your undivided attention at that time and can ask you all the questions in the world. (Please make sure you time it oo – otherwise you will be there all night. Lol)

Don’t forget that as irritating as their questions can be, you are helping them to be strong thinkers. But then again they may be trying to get your attention all to themselves if you are always busy.

So how do you cope with question overload?

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