Make It Stop.

In approximately 5 days or so, I am pretty sure that my head is going to explode. To tell you the truth, that may be a relief, so I don’t plan on doing anything about it, really. As long as there is some quiet after my head explodes. I once read an article about a woman who was so tired of all of the noise in the modern world that she packed her shit up, moved into a tiny little cave somewhere and stayed silent for, like, a month. At the time I thought it sounded a little like overkill, since it wasn’t as if she was seeking enlightenment or anything, just something she may have been able to achieve with ear plugs. But now? Now I get it.

About one year ago the following conversation took place between Rowan, then three and a half, and I:

“Mama? What do you have, is it called a penis?”

“No, it’s a vagina.”

“Can I see your vagina?”


“Can you Google vagina and show me a picture?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Well, what does it look like?”

(And here was the only thing that I could think of, I shit you not:)

“A flower.”

This of course, led to a few awkward moments at school when Rowan referred to, (in front of the other children) the flowers, in the yard as “vagina flowers.”

So, I suppose it should come as no surprise to me that now, almost one year later, I have two tiny word terrorists living in my house. Believe me when I say that almost every moment of every day someone very, very short is asking me a question. And they aren’t questions like, “Mama, can I have a snack?” They are questions like, “Mama, in what country does quicksand live?” or “What is air?” In other words, they’re hard. Even Luca, a mere 2.10 years old asked me the other day, “Mama? What does dead mean?”

Here is a conversation that happened a few months ago, between Rowan and Luca.

There was a lizard on the wall in the backyard. Luca saw it and said, “Look! A lizard! I’m a dinosaur. RARRRRR!”

After a couple minutes, Luca said, “Where did the lizard go?”

“He camouflaged himself,” said Rowan.

“Camouflaged? What does camouflaged mean?

Camouflaged means blending in. The lizard is blending in!”

And I just sat there. Of course I know what camouflaged means; it’s just that Rowan answered him so succinctly! I would have been stammering “Well, you know how the wall is sand-colored? Well, when a predator comes to eat the lizard, it is important that he blends into the wall. So, his skin changes color! In order to blend in! See?”

I am an overtalker and Rowan is a college professor.

I come from a family of educators—smart people who are seekers of knowledge and are excellent at retaining and sharing that knowledge. If they lived in my house they would be all over this mess, giving succinct and accurate answers. But they don’t—and alas, I do. To me, the endless machine-gun barrage of questions makes me feel like I am being attacked by tiny midgets (yes, even tinier than your average midget) with laser beams for eyes. Like, robot midgets. Recently, while I was working on a client I have known for a long time, she said that a friend reminds her of me. “Really? In what way?”, I asked. And here is where she totally threw me because she actually replied “She is smart. Like you.” I laughed because, I swear to the sweet, invisible, possibly nonexistent Lord that I thought she was kidding. I can be described as many things—adorable, timely, controlling—but never, ever, ever has anyone described me as smart. Ever. Like, never ever, ever. And if I am, Rowan is smarter.

Here is a brief list of questions that Rowan has asked me in the last few days:

Can the moon fly?

What is a victim?

What does a chameleons skin feel like?

What does molting mean?

What lives in space?

Will protein make me stronger?

What molts?

What is invisible?

What lives inside my spit?

What does phantom mean?

At least  1,000,000 times a day I wish that John was the at-home parent, because when he is here and Rowan asks something like “Can a bird eat another bird?” he actually knows the answer. I, on the other hand would have said “let me Google it.” Rowan now believes that the following things are magic:




Because Google is where I go, at least 40 times a day in order to answer these questions that I’m getting slayed with. Lately I have even had to say, “Please, Rowan. Please stop asking me questions.” Or like today I actually had to say, “You know what I want to hear? Silence. That’s what I want to hear. I want you to think your thoughts, not say them.”  Because dude! It’s just totally over the top! I can’t even casually say things without it leading to 5 questions. If I say to John, while he is playing the guitar, “you are on fire!” (which, for the record is just a lame example—I would never say something like that) Rowan would immediately ask if it is possible to be on fire. And I can’t lie! I am missing the lie chip! So, I would have to say, yes! Yes, you can be on fire! Never, ever set yourself on fire! You would die! And it would hurt!

Well, I wouldn’t really take it that far but I would get close. Because I just. Don’t. Know. When. To. Stop. Talking. Maybe I should hire some sort of answer person that just lives in my house until Rowan is like, 10. Because, clearly, I am not equipped. Not only do I never know the right answer but when I think I do, I just sort of vomit it all over him. So either I talk him into a trance, or I lead him to ask me 10 more questions. OH MY GOD! It’s all my fault! Great. More self loathing.

Someday, when Rowan (and Luca, most likely—but let’s face it, he is still all about the penis at this stage) is earning seven figures, it will dawn on me that this has all been worth it. The fact that the vagina issue wasn’t resolved until Rowan saw a little baby’s vagina (to which he declared “Vaginas are AWESOME!” [I actually high-fived him for that one], and then, weeks later, out of the blue, “So, vaginas look a lot like butts, right?” Finally, I just handed him my anatomy coloring book and called it a day.), this means that he is a seeker, which is better than a dumb asshole. I would hate for him to be a dumb asshole. That would just suck. So, I should just chill. And maybe I ought to start studying.



Filed under All of them., Children.

8 responses to “Make It Stop.

  1. Karen Smith

    Oh. My. Gosh. Hilar!!! I just LOVEyour boys. The hardest question I’ve had to answer lately was “What is Madonna’s real name?” I’m have to go Google molt now…

  2. Dennis Pepe

    That’s the best blog yet. For someone “not smart” you sure write well.

  3. Janice

    I lived through this. Erica once turned to me in the car and said “so, what do you think of that burning bush thing?”.
    My best recommendation is, don’t Google. Goodsearch. Then you’ll not only find your answer but benefit Running to Places, too!!!

  4. Kristen

    You are brilliant my dear. I read this one aloud to Autumn (only slightly edited) because she was asking why I was laughing. We’re now on the hunt for some vagina flowers. A must have for the holidays. xo

  5. Kristen

    Another great column–you are such a gifted writer and now, look at your children–such excellent vocabularies! Your kids view you as the ultimate authority on everything (like a Goddess!–which, of course, you are–with your special V-flower-power). You are right that this will all be worth it when they are smart adults one day answering the mysteries of life for someone else (maybe your GRANDCHILD!!!).

  6. John

    I love this… You are such a gifted writer… Can’t wait until you become famous and I can say I knew you way back when…. ❤

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