The Three Year Old Way

So far as I can, tell the main difference between two year olds and three year olds is that three year olds talk more.

A lot more.

Let’s say you were driving in a car with a two year old and she demanded water but there wasn’t any. You would tell her that there was no water and then there would be a high probability that pouting and screaming would follow. It would be loud, dramatic, completely unreasonable and involve lots of foot flailing on the two year olds part and teeth gritting on the mother’s part and then it would be done.

That’s the two year old way.

However, if you were driving in a car with a three year old and she demanded water but there wasn’t any, it might go something like this…

Jane: “I’m thirsty.”

Me: “Sorry, I don’t have any water.”

Jane: “Can I have some water please.”

Me: “No Jane, I don’t have any water.”

Jane: “PLEASE, can I have some water.”

Me: “Jane. I don’t have anything to drink in the car or I would give you some but I don’t have anything.”

Jane: “Mom, I’m thirsty!”

Me: “I know.”

Jane: “Can I have some Diet Coke.”

Me: “I don’t even have any Diet Coke. I don’t have anything to drink. See?” (As I hand back all available empty liquid containers so she can see for herself.)


Me: “When we get home you can have some, sure.”

Jane: (crying) “Please can I have some water.”

Me: “As soon as we get home.”

Jane: “Mom? Can we go to the gas station?”

Me: “Well there aren’t any gas stations here and anyways I forgot my wallet so I don’t have any money with me to  buy anything to drink.”

Jane: “Please can we go to the gas station?”

Me: “All there is between here and home is cornfields and I don’t have any money to buy anything. So, we’ll get water at home.”

Jane: “I’m THIRSTY!!!”

Me:  …..

Jane: “Please can I have water.”

Me: ….

Jane: “MOM! I NEED WATER!!!!!”

Me:  “Seriously, I have nothing! I can’t get anything, we’ll be home soon, you just have to wait!”

Jane: “PLEASE!!!!!!”


Thirty minutes of this continual and terrible conversation later you’d be twenty minutes past the point where your sanity chose to jump into a snowy ditch and abandon you but you’d be home, getting the kid an *&#% drink of water.

That’s the three year old way.

And they call it the terrible twos…



“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.