10 Questions You Never Thought You’d Ask as a Parent


There is at least one moment every single day of my life for the past 7 years that I have asked a question or muttered a phrase that I never once thought I’d say, ever, in the course of my lifetime (#ThingsISaidToday). It’s what happens when you turn into a parent. Suddenly you begin carrying on completely random and off-the-wall conversations, saying things that only other parents will understand and realizing that if a stranger could hear you, they’d probably back slowly away on the assumption you are certifiable. But it’s just what happens when you become a parent. Kids are insane, and they make you say things you’d never say otherwise (and let me assure you that you will hear your mother come out of your mouth more often than you’re comfortable with). In fact, this is a habit that starts before you even give birth; just a few weeks before your baby is due, you’ll start asking questions you never thought you’d ask. Here are a few of my favorites.

Did my mucous plug just fall out?

I know, it’s disgusting; but when you’re at the end of your pregnancy and you’re wishing and hoping and praying to go into labor any second now so that you never have to be pregnant again ever, you will ask this. Why? Because you read about it in your pregnancy books, but you have no idea if it’s actually happening. Want to know something? I had four kids over the course of three pregnancies and I asked this question (to myself) a dozen times, and I still don’t know the answer.

Did you just pull cheerios out of your diaper?

Last week I noticed that one of my 14-month-old twins was snacking constantly on cheerios. I’d given them a handful with their fruit earlier, but they devoured it to the point that there wasn’t a thing left in their high chairs or that made it onto the floor. Where was the baby getting cheerios? It was then I realized that she was pulling them out of the top of her diaper! While eating, she must have been dropping them down the top of her dress and into the top of her diaper where her little bloomers were not covering, and she was snacking on them from her diaper when the mood struck. So. Gross.

Where did you hide the cat?!

I ask this question often after realizing one day that my two oldest were playing hide and seek with the cat, and it meant hiding the cat in a little purse or a bag or a pillow and then allowing the other to look for him.

What happened to your sister’s boogers?

There was once a time in which my youngest daughter, one half of my set of twins, had a very runny nose. While I went to retrieve a tissue, I came back to find that her twin brother had wiped her boogers off her face and then put them into his mouth. Yuck.

You stuck mommy’s tampons where?!

I’m not even going to tell you where they ended up, because it’s just not something you need to know. But I never thought for a second over the course of my entire life I’d ask a question about this. I never thought I’d ask a question about tampons, ever, other than to ask my husband to add them to the list if he was the one running to the store. But then you have kids and you suddenly start asking questions you didn’t even know were real questions. It’s the curse of being a parent; the things you say every single day.

Do you want me to give you something to cry about?

As a child, I was terrified my parents might actually give me something to cry about if I didn’t stop (or whine about depending on my current state of discontent). I was terrified. I also swore I’d never ask my kids the same (rhetorical) question. Now I ask it weekly, at least, even though I know that I have no intention of following through (something my parents admitted they felt asking that question, too).

Did you just pee in that cup?

Our kids get to take a bath with a cup nearby so we can dump it on their heads to wash their hair while they bathe. That cut has since been removed since the day I caught our then 3-year-old peeing in the cup and then dumping it into the bath water. She is so gross.

What did her poo look like? Hard, soft? Colored?

Yet again, this is one of those questions you never think you’re going to ask, but you do ask it more than you feel is completely necessary. And you ask this one to other people, too, not just yourself or your spouse. This is one of those questions that parents ask of one another when helping diagnose the ailments and illnesses of our friends’ kids.

Am I being punished for something I don’t know I did?

With four kids, I’m shocked I don’t look up to the sky and mutter this is helpless exasperation on a regular basis. Instead, I look up that direction and whisper thanks more often than not for blessing me with great kids. But the point is this; my kids can be animals at times, and I sometimes wonder if I’m being punished for something I did that I don’t even remember doing.

Why would you let the babies play in the toilet knowing you forgot to flush?

The kind of question you ask only a 3-year-old; and then proceed to have the worst morning of your life. It happened to me in February. My kids made it a point to do everything in their power to make me insane that morning, and this is just one of the questions that began the morning on the wrong foot. The realization that the twins had then used what they found in the un-flushed potty to paint the walls really put me over the edge.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images


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