August 4th, 2009

Curiosity Killed the Mom


I have a little boy. His name is Milo. But I should’ve named him Sherlock. The kid can’t leave anything alone.

He machine guns questions at me like it’s his job. Like he will simply die on the spot if I don’t explain how the drawbridge goes up / what Seattle’s highest temperature record is / where coffee comes from / when the next earthquake will be.

Believe me when I say that I think curiosity is a great quality, an awesome gift, in anyone. But, dear God, sometimes I just want the inquest to stop.

As a grown up, I mostly go about my day taking for granted the way the world works. Of course the refrigerator light goes off and on when I open the door, of course the garbage man takes our trash away, of course I weep when I realize my husband has consumed the entire chocolate stash.

It’s all new to Milo, though. And he wants to know the facts, ma’am. Every nut and bolt must be explained.

A typical drive to school might go like this:

Milo: “Mommy, why is that car’s tire like that?”

Me: “Like what?”

Milo: “All squished down. How does that happen?”

Me: “Well, maybe the tire drove over a nail. Or maybe there was just a slow leak.”

What follows is a long list of follow up questions: What, exactly, is a slow leak? What causes slow leaks? Can our tire get a slow leak? By this time, I’m scrambling for answers. And I’m tired. Because it’s the sixteenth such conversation of the day and I’m out of ideas and I’m steering with my forehead.

Often I’ll just groan, “I don’t know, Milo. I wish I knew, but I just don’t.”

And if he wants to infuriate me, he’ll say, “Let’s ask dad. Dad knows everything.”

Teeth clenched, I retort, “We’ll look it up when we get home.”

Because I am the mom and I’m perfectly capable of supplying answers to my curious little boy. Except when I’m passed out in the driver’s seat. And then, well, I’m more unconscious than capable.

More from this Author

This Weeks Tip

OK, it stings just thinking about it. Those shaving “incidents” that go terribly wrong and leave you with painful and unsightly razor burn. Well, you’re a Mom, so chances are you have this home remedy at the ready: A thin layer of plain yogurt will take a way the sting and moisturize at the same time. Let it sit for 5 minutes or so, then rinse and dry.