“Stupid” Questions

Ivy was in a great mood today.

She was good.

She was helpful.

She played with Clara.

She listened well at story-time.

She drove me insane.

Here is the problem. When Ivy is extra super happy, she talks extra super much, and it’s not just talking.  It is non-stop question asking.

Now before you think I’m a horrible intolerant mother let me refer you to this post –One Hundred and Seventy Seven.  The short story on that post is that one day Ivy asked me 208 questions in one afternoon, I learned from that experience that counting the number of questions only makes me more insane  and does nothing to stem the flow of asking.  In fact it’s been almost four months since that day and we are still in question land.

Especially when Ivy is in a extra super happy, because that means she is also in an extra super talkative mood.

The problem is that I am happy to answer real questions.  It’s the “stupid” questions I have a problem with. Every time Ivy asks me a “stupid” question I hear countless old teachers’ voices echoing in my head saying “There is no such thing as a stupid question.”

But there are.  There are lots of stupid questions.

Things like “Mom, where is Storm?” – In the same crate she’s been in for the last two months and easy to locate because she is barking.

or “Mom, are you eating?” -While we are all sitting down eating lunch together.

or “Mom, are you peeing?” -That needs no further explanation other than to say I look forward to the days of kid-free bathrooms.

Repeat questions are also stupid questions.  If you have already asked me three times what color my shirt is, time number four is, without a doubt, a stupid question.  Possibly two and three were as well.

The stupid question crowning moment came late this afternoon. Ivy and I had a conversation that almost made my head explode.  It went something like this:

Ivy: “Mom, what you doin?”

Me: “Pulling out weeds.”

Ivy: “Why?”

Me: “So we can plant garlic here.”

Ivy: “Where are you puttin’ those weeds?”

Me: “In a pile over here.”

Ivy: “What are they?”

Me: “What are what?”

Ivy: “Those.”

Me: “These weeds?”

Ivy: “Yeah, those.”

Me: “I don’t know what kind of plants they are.”

Ivy: “Mom, what are they?”

Me: “Ivy, I don’t know.”

Ivy: “No, what are they?”

Me: “I don’t know”

Ivy: “What are they?”

Me: “I don’t know!”


Me: “But I don’t know what they are.”

Ivy: “Mom, they are WEEDS, just say weeds.”

Me: “Why are you asking if you already know?”

Ivy: “I don’t know…”

Just typing that might have made five more hairs go gray…

The problem is I suspect she just wants to have a conversation with me, but all of my strategies to teach her how to start one without asking a question she already knows the answer to are massively failing. The end result is that I end up pulling out my hair on days Ivy is super happy while feeling guilty that her happy question asking makes me insane.

So please if you know how to get a kid to stop asking stupid questions let me know.

If by chance you are one of my old teachers who have accidentally come across this blog – I challenge you to take Ivy for the day and see if there is still no such thing as a “stupid” question.

2 comments on ““Stupid” Questions

  1. Helen says:

    I love this, Jessie! I remember such days so well. The fact that your daughter is so bright insures that there will continue to be non-stop questions for some time to come. When my kids’ questions wore me out, I started trying to out-question them. I was never as good as they were on thinking up questions, so often I would pitch their questions back “What do you think those plants are? Why do you think it’s like that? . . .etc.

    The photograph of your beautiful daughter is lovely!

    • Jessie says:

      Helen, I do turn questions back on her some but I should try out-questioning her more often. Your kids turned out pretty good :)I’m pretty sure I’ve never been overly questioned by any of them so that gives me lots of hope, and a plan to try! Thanks!

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