Monday, February 9, 2009

Where Are We Going, Mama?

Do any of you guys have kids who like to repeat the same questions fifteen-thousand times a day? Brooklyn is such a broken record these days. I think it's just a phase she's going through and I should just smile and enjoy it. But there are days when, after repeating myself a million times, I get frustrated and I feel like an idiot saying the same things again and again.

As I walked Clay and Brooklyn into the preschool today, Brooklyn began drilling me with the same set of questions she asks me every single day.

"Mama, why is there salt on the road?"

"To melt the ice."

"The salt melts the ice?"

"Yes," I sigh. She's asked me this same question every day for the last 2 1/2 months.

"Mama, does Clay have to hold your hand?"

"Yes, he has to hold my hand in the parking lot."

"So a car doesn't hit him?"

"Yes, I don't want him to get hit." I've heard this question since September.

"Are we late, Mama?"

In all honestly, we usually are running late (shocking, I know). Today we were actually on time.

"No, Sweetie. We're on time?"

Confused, she asked, "We're not late???"

As we walk down the hall to Clay's class, Brooklyn asks the same questions she repeats every day.

"Can I have water, Mama? Look a frog! Is that a bus? Look snowmen! Is that a bear?"

"Sure, I see the frog, yes, it's a bus, I see the snowmen, yes it's a bear." It's my running litany.

After doing the whole "I have to give Clay and kiss and a hug - no, not outside his class - INSIDE his class - AFTER he sits down" thing, we left to run some errands.

"Where are we going?" Brooklyn asks.

"We have to go to the bank and the grocery store," I tell her.

"We go to the bank?"

"Yep."

"And the grocery store?"

"Yep."

"Oh."

She pauses a minute and then asks again, "We go to the grocery store, Mama?"

"Yes."

"Oh. Where are we going?"

"The grocery store and the bank."

"We go to the bank and the store?"

"Still yes."

After getting in the car and telling me to turn up the radio until the windows are rattling, she asks me once again, "Where are we going, Mama? Are we going to the bank now? I like the bank. Are we going to the bank?"

Please tell me she's just a creature of habit and feels comfort in repeating the same sentences again and again and again...

On the bright side, Brooklyn's daily conversation is generously peppered with, "I love you, Mama!" Now, there's something I never grow tired of hearing or responding to.

74 comments:

Sarah said...

Enjoy it! I miss my baby girl soo much but she won't let me go to nursing school with her. :( Seems like yesterday that she was was a baby and now she's all grown up.

Beth said...

It might be a sign of intelligence, you know? At least she has a group of questions, and they're all pertinent to the current activities. She could just say "what's that?" a lot. =)

Feisty Irish Wench said...

Hahaha, I remember one time I told one of my boys during a litany of questions "shhh, mommy can't think if you keep asking questions, then I get frustrated and mean. we don't want a mean mommy right? we want a nice mommy. so shhh"

Anonymous said...

That was such a sweet way to end that story. I get beyond frustrated to hear repeat questions a thousand times a "minute" and usually lose patience. You have such a great ability to see the positive.

Cheryl B said...

Dawn, you may be going through some tough personal times right now but just look at that picture and it must help! You look beautiful on the outside, so somewhere deep inside that hurt and conflict, beautiful things are still going on for you. You have a little angel right there on your lap and no matter what, she will love you for you and you will always love her for her....and for you. I wish you peace.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

shes so cute!

Anonymous said...

The Little Lady is trying to learn the art of conversation. Isn't that wonderful?

Miriam said...

Ah...signs her long term memory is developing! Unfortunately, it degenerates during the teen years...

Dinner/Dishes/Drinking said...

I hear ya Dawn, my 5yr old is a constant chatter, his whole life we've asked him "Noah, do you ever stop talking?" But it's sure nice to get some "mom love" from the little ones isn't it? I've been getting alot of hugs from mine lately (maybe it's all the cakes, cookies and muffins I've been baking!?)

LaNae said...

I think all moms know exactly how you feel. Although with my four year old I have very different feelings when he goes on and on and on. Have you ever heard about Selective Mutism? We have been dealing with it since July '08. You can read a couple of my posts about it if you are interested.

http://sixcallsthatsall.blogspot.com/2008/07/selective-mutism.html

http://sixcallsthatsall.blogspot.com/2008/10/little-jarom-update.html

http://sixcallsthatsall.blogspot.com/2008/12/lets-recap.html

I never take for granted the sound of my child's voice now. And please don't think I am offended because of your post. I know I acted like that with my three older children. This is just something we are dealing with and it's good for others to know about this "silent" condition.

Thanks for always making me smile with your posts. I enjoy every one of them!

LaNae (www.sixcallsthatsall.blogspot.com)

Diana said...

My son just turned 2 years old yesterday and is doing this. UGH! He does not talk yet, but he points to the same things over and over and over agian and just looks at us and waits til we explain what it is.
I had been hoping that it was just a stage and that he would outgrow it soon- after reading your post, I found out that it will last another couple of years! help!

RefreshMom said...

DS1 didn't really do that so I set myself up with the habit of actually trying to respond appropriately to everything he asked me. DS2 has added the "why" component to everything. My mom says it's one of those mom-curse paybacks (you know the "I hope you get a kid just like you" curse). Apparently I was a "why"-er too. Of course that's how I learned so much and why I know everything now, right?

If you ever bring your family (at least Brooklyn) on one of your west coast trips, let's get our little ones together. They can either answer each other or drive one another nuts with the questions, but maybe we'd get a good chat in while they keep each other occupied!

heather said...

Man, she sounds just like my son. You are right though, I just need to love it right now. I get so frustrated sometimes, thanks for the reminder to just take it all in.

supermom said...

After the first dozen times of answering the same question over and over I change tactics. When they ask the question I reply with "you tell me?". Sometimes the answers they come up with are bang on and others they are way off. But it stops them from repeating their mantra over and over and my patience gets to last an extra 5 minutes.

Rachel said...

My 3 1/2 year old has done this since she could talk. I hope it's a phase, but it's been over 2 years and still going on. Her thing is if you don't answer her the EXACT way you have before, she gets really, really upset. Like right now she won't go pee unless I tell her "Then you'd better run!!" when she says she needs to go. She'll stand there and scream until I say the very words "Then you'd better run!" Yesterday's constant question that I never could find her correct answer to (so she asked a thousand times, finally in tears) why we can't drive cars in houses. I still don't know why.

homeschool mamma said...

We're you in my car this morning? I have a five year old that does the same thing. If he didn't tell ridiculously funny jokes I would lose my mind.
Bev
www.homeschoolblogger.blogspot.com

scarlett said...

My 4yo does the exact same thing!

Gail said...

I remember those days. How cute, she's practicing her conversation skills.

It's probably this time you and her have togehter, and she can speak. No competition with other siblings, just you and her.

You can start asking her to rememeber where you are going. She can remind you. Then ask her where are we going next. Kinda like Dora.....Bush, Bridge, Snowy Mountain.

Enjoy her while she's at this age !!

Donna said...

Dawn,

Brooklyn and you......us and God....

Martha said...

How cute. My daughter was and is still like that at almost 12... not repeating the same questions, but totaly constant talking. People used to ask when she started to talk, and I honestly thing she was talking coming out of the womb. I don't remeber a time when she could not talk. When we are out... sometimes I have to ask her to STOP so I can concentrate at something as simple as hitting the right buttons on the debit card machine or trying to figure out how to get somewhere in the car... then she gets highly offended. I never want to squelch her conversations with me, I hope she keeps talking and sharing each moment of her day through her teenage years... but yes at times it is exhausting! (I think I rambled too much too!)

Keri Jackson said...

This is cracking me up! My 3 1/2 year old does the same thing. It drives me nuts. Or he says momma momma momma momma momma without stopping to give me a chance to see what he wants!

Angie said...

In my real life I'm a graduate student studying psycholinguistics (translation: a big word that means the psychology of how we understand language). I'm actually taking a developmental psycholinguistics course this semester(translation: I'm a nerd). When kids are learning language they have to figure out how to put words together to make sentences. I know it seems like Brooklyn is saying the same thing 10 bajillion times, but each time she's actually phrasing it a little different. In a way she's practicing all the different ways you can say something.

Tesia said...

That sounds amazingly like my 24 year old admin assistant whose conversational skills *gasp* have not graduated beyond age 2!

Anonymous said...

Brooklyn is so cute. (One of my son's friends has a little sister who was absolutely adorable when she was tiny. When people would comment on it he would say, "She's not as cute as she looks!")

My daughter sometimes chatters incessantly. We have come to the conclusion that she is just uncomfortable with silence. But someday we'll get even. When we're old we'll repeat the same stories over and over again and ask the same questions repeatedly. What goes around, comes around!

BrainLint said...

Questions with definite answers are WAY better than the 'Why?" phase. Those conversations always ended with, appropriately, 'Because I said so.'

Rachel said...

I have one that loves to ask repetitive questions. After I've answered it a couple of times I'll turn it around when she asks me and I'll ask her. She usually knows the answer too. :)

Kelly said...

My son Seamus is just like that...he asks questions that I just answered. When I get tired of answering the same 5 questions over and over again, I turn the tables on him...'What do you think?' (not sarcastically, though) works well...it gets HIM to answer his own question! I then reassure him that he is correct, and voila!...on to another set of the same 5 questions!

Vivian M said...

Somehow, a hug or an "I love you Mom" makes us instantly forget everything else! Love that picture of the two of you!

Jennifer said...

We are finshing the reno to end all renos and my two year old follows her dad around and says "Hi daddy! What doing? Painting?" Then, like a goldfish, she completely forgets she's just said this and says it again. Over and over and over. It's hilarious.

Also, I love your blog. :)

Kristi said...

Sorry to say the questions like that for us started when my littlest was 3 and she is 6 now and still repeats questions several times a day. My favorite, is "do I have school today mommy?" for about the fifteenth millionth time, as we are getting dressed for school!

Anonymous said...

My 2 1/2 year old does the same thing and I seem to remember his older sister used to do it as well. It's drives me nuts. One thing I try to do is turn the question back on him after the first 2 or 3 times. For example, I'll ask back "Why/Where/What do you think?" He usually knows the answer and 'sometimes' it pauses the questions for a short time.

Tina in Ohio said...

Good Morning,
I happened upon a "best mommy bloggers" contest in the Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine that comes home with the kids. I went ahead and nominated your blog because after the daily Scripture readings, you're my favorite daily read!
If you want to check out the contest, go to scholastic.com/parents/blogcontest.Nominations end sometime this week. If you make it to finalist, we can vote after Feb. 23, and the wining bloggers will be profiled in the June/July issue. I encourage your faithful readers to go and nominate Dawn! Extra PR for the book can't hurt, right?
Have a great day!
Tina

MaBunny said...

HEHE, you two sure are cute together!Well, now she is a running commentary of questions... soon she should be getting into the Mynah bird stage and repeating everything YOU or anyone else says:))

Kel said...

She's practicing conversation, actually-- she's trying out different tenses, noticing what effects words have, and enjoying having a back-and-forth. All kids do this to some extent, while they're learning to speak. No worries, she'll grow out of it and be more interesting to talk with once she masters English!
In case you can't tell, I'm a linguistics major, and I'm taking multiple classes in child language development at the moment :D

Cookie said...

"Still yes," sounds exactly like me talking to my kids!

Mandy said...

Ha! My three year old does the same thing. "where are we going?" "The grocery store." "Then what?" After we go through the entire day of activities, we start over. AAAH! I usually make it through three rounds before I tell her I'm not going to answer those questions any more. Thanks for all the laughs.:)

Elleah said...

That's a beautiful picture of you two!

Life is Sew Crazy! said...

OH gosh! I know exactly how you feel! My almost 3 year old has discovered the word "Why"

Why we do this?

Why are we going there?

What does it do that?
Because ____
Why?

Why?

Why?

AHHHHHHH

I love her more than words can express but I do not love the why phase!

Tara said...

This may sound odd, but reading this post makes me envy you... my three year old has non-verbal autism, and I'd give anything to hear him chattering away and asking questions. But on the other hand, I also have an 8 year old and a 13 year old who are both EXTREMELY verbal and hear "shh, the roads are slippery and I can't concentrate on driving if you keep talking!" and the like quite often... too bad there isn't a way for me to take some of their language "skills" and transfer them to their little brother, balance it out some!

Christine in NJ said...

Dawn - The picture of you and Brooklyn is absolutely beautiful!... almost as beautiful as your neverending morning conversations!... You know better then I, but treasure these moments - they are gone too fast!

Christine

Anonymous said...

I know it drives you nuts BUT...keep her talking now and she will not stop!!! It will be wonderful when she gets older and you need her to be honest with you. She will tell you how she feels, what she needs, what scares her, and most importantly....what her boyfriends, think feel say,,want!!! Trust me I KNOW from experiance. You are a lucky mama!!
Colleen
St Helens OR

Outnumbered2to1 said...

When I began to tune out my daughter when she would do this, she would just say, "Mom? Mom? Are you listening to me?" She still is my big talker.

Jessica said...

Oh that phase is so exhausting. But, by your telling you haven't yet yelled "YES WE'RE TAKING CLAY TO SCHOOL AND EVERYONE IS ON SILENT UNTIL WE GET HOME!!!" I think you're doing fantastic. Cause i would never have yelled at my kids like that...ever...I've just heard it's done....

Goldibug said...

I believe all little ones go through this phase. It's a great one isn't it? Btw you and your daughter look gorgeous in that picuture! I'm loving it!

Krystle said...

Adorable picture of the two of you.

KAL071203 said...

oh how well I remember that phase, Collie also contiually add "What" and "Why" even though I know full well he heard the first 80 times I answered him...My Babe just turned one so we'll be heading into that phase again all to soon I'm sure! Good luck, also that pic of you and Brooklyn is adorable!

Anonymous said...

Trust me, you are NOT the only one with a toddler on "repeat mode". My 3.5 year old does the same thing!! By the end of the day my ears are ringing because it's finally quiet and I can think again. That is an adorable picture of you two, by the way. I love it.
-Katie

Donna T said...

My son did this all the time. He's 5 and still does it. Every time we pass a body of water on our way home, he asks if it's ice on it and makes a comment about ice skating on it. He also asks if the open part is water or ice. I say it's open water and the rest of the ice is not safe for skating. Every time we drive by.

Lisa said...

My son is also 3 and seems to be just as full of questions. It is annoying but then he will ask something funny or say something cute or just tell me he loves me and it negates all the repetitive "why's".

Dianne said...

I enjoyed your post because my kids seem to always be broken records who are also competing for my attention in the car. I usually find myself getting frustrated. But after reading LaNae's comment about her son's selective mutism and Tara's comment about her non-verbal son, I actually found myself cherishing the noise in the car today. Thank you for helping me get the right perspective, Dawn, LaNae and Tara!

Peldyn said...

Love it! I just got to experience this again when we took our granddaughter who is two out for a day shopping on Sunday. I had forgotten how much I missed that toddler repartee. Of course it is easy when you can give them back to mommy (grin}, I don't have to deal with it on a day to day basis and get tired of it so it was a treat.

Kristen said...

Yes i have one like that too, and sometimes i just feel like ignoring it and then she comes up with the funniest question out of the blue! thanks for reminding us we aren't the only ones dealing with the unrelenting questions! you always make me laugh!

Rick said...

It's your fault - should have never taught her how to talk. I suppose you'll still end up teaching her how to drive.

Table for Seven said...

I didn't read the comments, and you've probably already been told this, but whenever I flip it around on them and ask them the same question in an "I'm really interested tone," they stop asking me. It's as if they are now the ones with the info and it gives them some sort of control. I don't get it, but it works. "I don't know why the salt is one the road Brooklyn. Why IS the salt on the road?"

I'm telling ya, it works every time.

Sara said...

Aww, my baby (18mo old) doesn't talk in sentences yet, so I'm looking forward to more than one word at a time!

anawinston said...

What a great photo. You look great!

Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Great post, and Brooklyn is so cute. She's learning language, and that's how they do it (but you know that already!!) It shows you how smart she is. Something I did with my kids (and still do) when they ask questions is to answer it with a question. "Are we going to the grocery store?" "Yes, what kind of things do we buy at the grocery store?" She's trying to figure out the logistics of conversation.
Hope you are doing well, Dawn. How's the book doing?

Anonymous said...

LOVE that picture of you and Brooklyn!!!

Donna in PA :)

Michelle said...

Actually... you just made me feel a ton better. You have six kids and you want to know when this "phase" is going to end for your youngest. That means that someday this phase will end for Mister Man and Little Miss -- and apparently before they hit seven or so? Please?

I have heard that it's the intelligent kids who ask questions over and over again to ensure they comprehend it all and get it from all sides so they can then use the information again later. Then again, that may have been people just shining me on the make me feel better ;)

Magda said...

What a cute pair!!!!

Sara said...

But I'm thinking that when she starts screaming, "I hate you!!" and "You're the meanest Mom EVER!!!" you'll probably miss these little moments of her being so repetitive with her innocent questions.....

The Bertone's said...

Yes, I have two girls that repeat a bazillion times a day! I to get tired of repeating the same question over and over again! UGH! I don't get tired of my 3 yr old who likes to tell me a hundred times a day that she loves me though! :)

FreeSpirit said...

DAWN! Please stop right now and take the time to read this very short article about why kids may repeat themselves! Maybe it will help cut down on any frustration in you AND in Brooklyn. It's an amazing insight! It may not apply to your situation at all if Brooklyn has perfect grammar, but it's worth reading!
http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/articles/general-view/archive/2003/july/01/beginning-with-words/

Amanda E said...

You take such great photos! The two of you are so photogenic. Such a sweetie ( and now is the time when you are falling off your chair from gales of laughter...am I right?)
Thanks for sharing Dawn!

Anonymous said...

what?! you saw a bear?!

Jennifer said...

I love all of your stories, but the ones of Brooklyn are probably my favorite...my daughter is the same age and it sounds exactly like her!! I love the photo!

gilroy gal said...

Ah yes, I do remember those days. I think the best defense is a good offense. Beat her to the punch and start asking HER questions! That might throw her off balance enough break the cycle!
Good luck!

The Preschool Teacher said...

I try to remember after a LONG day of that with my preschoolers that when I'm doing home or with my daughter to not freak out on her. SILENCE! I want to bellow, but I listen and answer because I know, like you, that she just wants to connect and talk with me, but since she can't wax philosophical about Shakespeare. The store, life, "annoying" questions are what we have. Lol

Sue Bohlin said...

Free Spirit, BLESS YOU for providing that link! That blog contains a stunning insight that can reduce stress and frustration immediately!

I just did some research on child development in toddlers in preparation to speak to mommies and daddies at a local church. I was struck by the meaning of the incessant "why??" question: it signals that a child now recognizes cause and effect. That's pretty cool, since it's yet another thing that separates us from the animals! :-)

Anonymous said...

My kids do the repeat the question a million times gag too. But, I started asking them the same question back or asking them :Where did I say we were going?" Do you remember?" It helps. Really :)

Shellie said...

Flashback to going camping. On the way one of my sons says,
"Where going?"
"Camping"
"Why?"
"To have fun." Repeat every 5 minutes for 3 hours!

It could be worse. Ever since the day after they turned 6, one of my twins has said every day, "We're still 6." Then he started adding, "When are we going to be 7?" 296 days down, and 69 to go...

Brooklyn is a cutie.

Sharon said...

When my kids were around that age they did that...drove me crazy. So after I told them where we were going. I would ask them immediatly where we were going. Then if they asked again later I would say "you tell me" It didn't always work, but sometime the would remember and then that would be the end of that....now it didn't stop the questions of how long til we get there, how long will we be there?

Maridy Carpenter said...

My daughter, who is a couple months older than Brooklyn, does the same thing! I started telling her that I know she heard my answer and that she's beginning to annoy me so she needs to be quiet. It has worked,she stops asking the same thing over and over. But there was an unexpected drawback. I now hear her telling me that I heard her and that I'm annoying her. Kids! Whatcha gonna do with 'em?

Anonymous said...

My 3 1/2 year old does the same thing with Why after everything. "is the sun up mommy?" "yes" "why is the sun up mommy?" "because it's day time" "why is it day time mommy?" "because the sun is up?" "why is the sun up mommy?" "because it's day time" We get in these loops and eventually he gets the picture or I end it like a previous poster with "because I said so" or "that's just he way it is"... :)

Who's Visiting My Blog Right Now?

 
Home About Dawn Blog Books News & Events Press Kit FAQS Photos Video Fun Mom's Time Out Get In Touch

Dawn Meehan 2008-. All Rights Reserved.
Site Design by Pulse Point Design