Can I ask you a question?

Posted on February 22, 2011

I read today, in O magazine (so it must be true), that asking a lot of questions can help “keep your mind nimble” (their words, not mine) as you age. I was kind of excited by this. Not only because it seems that Misters 4 and 7 will be incredibly sharp 109 year olds (I figure it will take them this long to run out of questions). But because I will be too. Well, maybe not 109 (my Bio Age score at the gym the other day was close to that now). But sharp.

To give you an idea of why, I thought I’d run you through some of the questions I asked today. This does not include the questions I had to answer (which included such gems as “why does that car look funny?” – answer: because it’s a hearse – and “where is that story that was due today?” – answer: the dog ate my homework). Just a small sample of the ones that originated from me.

“What do you want for breakfast?”

“Where are your shoes?”

“Where are your shoes?”

“Where are your shoes?”

“Why did you change the time for Reading and not tell me?”

“What do you think of this story idea?”

“What is career resilience?”

“What foods should we eat for more energy?”

“How can I network when I have to pick the kids up after school?”

“How does Skype work?”

“What would life be like for a country solicitor?”

“Would any woman in her right mind drive 1000km to talk to a man who ‘needed space’?”

“Do you really need that receipt to finish my tax?”

“What is the difference between a bully and a bitch?”

“When do you need this by?”

“What are the 10 essential things that everyone should know about insurance?”

“Where the hell did I put that receipt?”

“Where are your shoes?”

Of course, I have barely scraped the surface. But, as you can see, I am well on the way to a very nimble mind in old age. Also well on the way to making my children sleep in their shoes.

What about you? Are you asking a lot of questions? Are they meaningful questions?


  1. Kirsty

    I’ve got the skype thing sorted – but if you work out where the shoes go PLEASE let me know. It’s like magic (a bad kind!) they just… dissapear. Cazooey Cazam. All gone. No more shoes!

  2. Cate Bolt

    Only one queiston lately


  3. Deer Baby

    Laughing at traceyb65’s question. That pretty much sums up my average day. That and ‘well, where do you think you left it?’

    Yesterday we went to see some “Modern Art” so the questions coming out of my children’s mouths were more entertaining than usual.

    But on an average day that’s pretty much it. Today I am doing research so the questions I need to ask are
    – how and when does a person get embalmed?
    – how much harm would a blank cartridge fired out of a gun do you?
    – are white tigers a genetic throwback?

  4. Emma M

    Lord, that is a lot of questions! Little hope for me then as I probably ask about that number in a week. But am asked a lot, in the line of ‘have you seen my keys/wallet/notebook/work pants/lunch box/phone/bit that keeps my head screwed on?”

  5. River

    I remember asking questions like:-
    have you put all your homework back into your bag for tomorrow?
    What about your pencils?
    Did you sharpen them?
    Did you unwrap your lunch before you tossed it to the dog?
    How could you lose something so big? (Library book)
    Why didn’t you put it in the wash last weekend when you knew you’d need it again today? (sports uniform)

  6. traceyb65

    did you pack everything you need?

    did you pack everything you need?

    did you pack everything you need?

    did you pack everything you need?

    did you pack everything you need?

    did you pack everything you need?

    did you pack everything you need?

    did you pack everything you need?

    why didn’t you pack everything you needed?



  7. MultipleMum

    Lol Lady Estrogen. That is an excellent response. There are way too many questions at our place, from me and to me. I like yours though. Much less repetitive than mine!

  8. therhythmmethod

    Some great questions in there. And I like Lady Estrogen’s take on the bully v bitch.
    I can’t help but wonder what life would be like for a country solicitor too? Knowing everybody’s business, but and having to be buttoned up all the time. Perhaps wishing for a bigger, better life in the city?
    I love that kids ask lots of questions. I was always too shy for questions as a kid. Better out than in, I say.

  9. stellaorbit.com

    I recall my mother telling me once how she just wished for a day without having to use the interrogative. She didn’t get one. I know now what she means!

  10. Fussy Eater's Mum

    I’m giving up on questions around my house and instead adopting the role of Dictator.

    Instead of “Who didn’t flush the toilet?” (that’s big in our house too), it’s “Flush the bl***y toilet!!!!” I don’t care what the Darlings want in their lunch box, they will eat what I put in there!

    So I may not make it to 109, or if I do I will be surrounded by lots of cats and be known as the cranky lady down the street. But until some of my questions start getting answered, I give up!

  11. Jodi Gibson

    Can definitely relate the endless questions from the children. And the husband I must add!
    Husbands most common question is:
    Where is my phone?

    Kids most common questions?
    What’s for dinner? (Miss 2.5 asks this all day long and then doesn’t even eat her dinner!)

    My most common question is?
    Why? Full stop!

  12. Cheryl Gerbera

    Yes, I do ask a lot of questions. Like a lot.
    Sometimes I can’t even catch up with my mind (I say, sushhh.. stop with the questioning. just rest!) But you know, doesn’t happen that way.

    Is it weekend yet?
    What, it’s only Monday?
    Lunch time yet?
    What, it’s only 10?

    Bigger questions like :
    When will we go to Maldives (before, God forbid, it sinks)?
    When will money be enough?
    When will we live in that suburb?

    and the lists go on..


  13. Thea

    Is it wine o’clock yet?
    Is it bed time yet?

    They are the most important questions in my day! I may not live very much longer. 😉

    Great post, love it!

  14. Donna @ Nappydaze

    Love it, and my hero Lady O, is right on the money I suspect!

    My son’s best recent questions was “What’s a d$#&head”, after he heard me shout it at the car that almost ran us off the road… Wasnt quite sure how to answer that one but point at the car screeching off in the distance!

  15. Melinda's Stories

    That is a fabulous list, mine is pretty close.

    what would you like for breakfast

    what would you like for lunch

    why aren’t you dressed for school

    where are your shoes and socks

    where is you lunch

    where are your shoes and socks

    and this is a snippet of about 10 minutes of morning.

  16. Virginia from blue fruit

    Just stumbled over to your blog and I gotta say you have a deliciously dry witty way with words!

    A great start to my morning ~ loving the sarcastic humour ~ you take the everyday and make it bitey.

    Oops, just realised this is a collection of statements, not questions….or is it?

    Greetings from a fellow Aussie.

  17. Stacia

    Where is that marker lid? Did you eat those Cheerios or feed them to the dog? Did you throw up on the couch, or was it the cat? Did you wipe? Did you flush? Did you wash your hands? Did you spill your juice, or is that pee? Do I even speak in declarative sentences anymore??

  18. ~~Kallie~~

    Questions loom large in my life. Two kids who ask constant (and often superfluous) questions along with my own makes for large numbers of questions daily. Every question gets an answer too. Even if it’s only my mumbling response of “Why do I ever bother asking that?” I do have one that I never ask & won’t allow my kids to either. We do not ever ask the whiny “Why me?” It’s one question that I think rarely needs asking.

  19. allison tait

    LOL – loving all these comments. Clearly we are all going to be INCREDIBLY nimble in old age. 🙂

  20. Annieb25

    It is possible we could be roomies in the old age home and still asking questions – Who are you again? Where are my glasses? Who are you again? Where are my glasses?

    I am currently and have always been a big question asker. What is ougmatin and how can it benefit our muscle strength? No idea but ougmatin is an awesome word verification word. 😉

  21. Kristy

    I’m always saying things like, “Do you want to change upstairs or downstairs?” “Do you want to eat noodles or cheese sandwich?” “Do you want nick jr. or disney channel?” “Do you want your socks on or off?”

  22. A-M

    Ha, brilliant. My concern is that I am sounding more and more like my mother every day. A-M xx

  23. Looking for Blue Sky

    At my age it’s usually : “what did I come upstairs for again?” so if I remember to ask myself that I’ll be okay, right?

  24. Caz (The Truth About Mummy)

    Oh Fabulous work here. I’m looking forward to the day I can stop asked myself “what was I thinking about and where was I going? brain cells are slowly returning post sleep deprivation.

  25. Marion Williams-Bennett

    I read that a way to keep you mind sharp at my age is to have conversations with people you don’t agree with! So, I am thinking you are onto something here with these questions…and will be for a long time!

  26. Lady Estrogen

    You got me thinking about the Bully vs Bitch thing. lol. Here’s what I got:
    A bully is someone who’s needs to be mean in order to feel better about themselves.
    A bitch already thinks she’s awesome and likes to be mean because she can.


  27. Tat

    ‘Where are your shoes?’ is a favourite of mine, too. Along with ‘Where are my shoes?’, ‘Where are my keys?’, ‘Where is my camera?’ and ‘Where is my phone?’… and I can’t forget ‘Do you need to go to the toilet?’

  28. Mama of 2 boys

    Oh Allison, I seem to ALWAYS be asking questions, so I hope the O magazine theory is accurate.
    I would love a little followup on the answers that came about from some of your questions.
    Especially the one about a woman driving 1000km’s to talk to a man needing space! So much potential in the response to that one :o)

  29. mamabook

    My Mr3 is going through the intense question phase so I have no room left for my own questions. I am just frantically searching for answers to his. They are hard, often awkward questions. Well, perhaps if I had listened in 7th grade science I would have many more answers. Until then, stalling until we are reunited with science daddy.

  30. Lucy

    Funnily enough, I installed Skype only this morning – so if you figure it all out, can you give me the answer?!

    Who forgot to flush?

    Could you get in the car please?

    What am I? A referee?

    Who forgot to flush?

    Whose turn is it supposed to be?

    Why is the dog all wet?

    Who forgot to flush?

    Who forgot to flush?

    That is so gross, that my day is punctuated by discovered other peoples unflushed poo.

  31. Susan @ Reading Upside Down

    Questions? Oh yes, we have questions in this house. The questions from the kids never stop. Ever.

    Unfortunately, I think their inquisitiveness may be genetic. I’m quite fond of a good question, or even a moderately adequate question. Everything from the meaning of life to Where is your hat? Where is your hat? Where is your hat? (honestly, I’m tempted to superglue it to my son’s head, but that’s a whole other issue.)

    I love having kids that ask questions, meaningful and frivolous. I love asking questions too, although to be honest, I could live without the Where is your hat? one. 🙂

  32. Raine and Sage

    Ha! I love this! A typical day in my life… except I might ask the shoe question ten more times. 🙂

  33. Toni

    My questions tend to be more of the “What was I looking for again?” variety, but yeah we have a lot of shoe queries too.
    I’m thinking SuperGlue, but don’t tell anyone I said so.

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