Oliver asks a lot of questions these days. <— understatement of the year

Mostly I’m happy that he’s a curious and observant child, but it can be exhausting and, dare I admit, annoying at times.

Oliver had an appointment in Richmond last Tuesday afternoon. Richmond is a suburb of Vancouver, about a 30 to 40 minute drive from our place. Shortly before we were set to leave, I saw online that a sinkhole had just occurred on one of the roads between Vancouver and Richmond.

Silly me, thinking out loud, told Oliver, “We’re going to have to leave early for our appointment because there’s a problem by the Oak Street Bridge.”

What happened, Mommy?

“There was a sinkhole.”

Then, the barrage of questions:

What’s a sinkhole? Why was there a sinkhole, Mommy? Is the road broken? Why is the road broken? Did somebody break the road apart? Why did somebody not break the road? Are they going to fix it? Why is it going to take a long time to fix it? Can the cars not drive on Oak Street? Are we going to pass by it? Why are we not going to pass by it? Can we go and see it? Why not?

And so it went, until I had no more answers. But Oliver was not content to go through this conversation only once. He wanted to re-hash it about a dozen times; each iteration more exhausting and mind-numbing than the last.

After his appointment we walked over to Whole Foods to buy some groceries for supper. Unsurprisingly, Oliver started asking about the sinkhole again, and I became rather short with him. Upon entering the store, I saw a friend of mine, and vented to him that Oliver was driving me absolutely crazy with all of his questions.

I grabbed a $6.00 container of pre-cut cantaloupe and asked Oliver to carry it for me, to keep his hands (and hopefully his thoughts) occupied while we shopped. Suddenly Oliver noticed a Whole Foods employee working in the produce section — someone totally new that we’d never met before. He waltzed over to him and told him, “Something happened by the Oak Street bridge. There’s a sinkhole.”

Turns out the information was relevant and helpful to this guy, as the sinkhole was on his usual route home. They chatted for a few moments, and then the gentleman said, “Wait right here,” and disappeared into the back. He came out with a “Try Me” sticker which, if you aren’t familiar with Whole Foods, is a sticker that any employee can stick on an item to make it free. Yes, Oliver’s annoying obsession with the sinkhole charmed a total stranger into gifting us a free $6.00 container of cantaloupe. And a free serving of humble pie for me.

As we left Whole Foods, the questions started again:

Did I get a cantaloupe present from the man at Whole Foods? Why did I get free cantaloupe, Mommy? Why did the man like talking to me?

…Is there still a problem by the Oak Street Bridge?

"Ask too many questions? Who, me??"

“Ask too many questions? Who, me??”


  1. Oh goodness me. As I read all of Oliver’s questions I could hear my son saying the EXACT same things…. It is so draining, isn’t it?? It’s hard not to get so irritated and impatient. Don’t have any words of wisdom to share other than “I feel your pain”!!!!

  2. What poor parenting? – sounds to me like you did the right thing. You answered your toddler’s questions and karma rewarded you with free cantaloupe. Courage is doing the right thing even when the mind resists.

    You can turn these questions into an opportunity to get him to think for himself and use his imagination. “Interesting question. What do you think the answer to that would be?” Not to every question, of course, but good to flip it around. You never know what kids will come with.

  3. Haven’t checked your blog in months…and this is the most awesome first post to come back to! Hahaha. My boy does THE SAME THING!!!! Pretty cool it all worked out in a nice way for you all that day!

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