What’s that Sound, Volume Six: The Questioning Edition.

Noah has solidly entered the 437 Questions a Day phase. It’s high time that I get Chris’ lap counter out for a day of objectively counting them as I did for his sister. I suspect he’ll break her record by lunchtime.

He sees questioning me as something akin to an eternal game Keep Off the Ground.

The rules are as follows:

1. Questions must start upon waking and end upon falling asleep.

2. Questions must continue in a steady stream with zero pauses or you immediately lose the game.

3. If Mommy doesn’t answer the question within two seconds, another question has to be posed or you lose the game.

Game Strategy Tips:

1. When running out of questions, choose new ones based on your line of sight, such as “Why do we call these ‘floorboards’?”

2. Obvious questions are never bad questions. For instance, “Why do we call that house with the water wheel the waterwheel house?”.

3. When obvious questions are followed up with a question by the parent such as “Why do you think?”, you can immediately volley it back to them with “I don’t know why do you think?” to keep the game going.

These are just what I’ve gleaned, but Noah is a savant and could write the Expert’s Edition of the Strategy Tips.

Sometimes, his questions can also get a bit..personal. While out to dinner with someone not long ago, she got pounded with:

“Why are your teeth so brown?”

“Because when you get older, that happens.”

“Wow. How old ARE you?”

If you follow up an insulting question by making it even more insulting, it’s definitely double points.


Here are some of the questions I’ve got asked recently…

“Mommy, why do you NEED kids?”

“uh. What? Don’t you want me to need you?”

“I want to be Gramamma’s kid.”


“Hey Momma!!”


<silence, as he realized he didn’t have a question prepared>

“I wasn’t talking to you.”

“You said Hey Momma!”

“No, I said Hey Zomma.”


“Can we call Batman?”

“I don’t know his number.”

“That’s because he can’t have a phone unless the fairies make him one.”

“Well then we can’t call him, I guess.”

“When the fairies make his phone we can call him then.”


“Hey mommy when I’m a grownup can you come get me and drive me to The McWane Center? Because I think the backseat is the best seat.”

“Can we go to the outlet mall? I want to go to the outlet mall to buy puppets that aren’t in a box but have tags on them.”

…Clearly, he has diva tendencies.


“Mommy when are we going to sail up the river in a canoe? Because I really want to go to Iceland.”


Pointing to cemetery…

“When will I be dead? Because I wanna go there. And run around.”


“When can we buy daddy a taco?”


“I want to see one.”

“Let’s all go get tacos tonight!”

“No way! I am not old enough for tacos.”

“You’re totally old enough.”

“I am not old enough for lettuce.”


“Because Giann [the babysitter] told me all about it.”


And now for a blessed break from the questions, here are some other recent quotes…

Noah’s Sunday School Report, first take: “Two of the cars were wrecked today – we didn’t know if people were within them or not.”

“Wait – what? There was a wreck outside your classroom?”

Take two: “NO, Mom. Two of the cars in Sunday School were WET today. We didn’t know if people were LICKIN’ them or not.”


“I had a very bad dream.”

“Oh no! What was it about?”

“There were some Tiki Trees being mean.”

“What did the Tiki Trees do??”

“I don’t remember.”


From the back seat, Noah explained to me the facts of life.

“I might get a baby in my tummy. I probably won’t eat it. I’ll just grow it and stuff.”

I’ve never been less comforted by a probably in my life.


After getting back from a run {with Noah in the jogging stroller}, he made me wait while he stretched.

“OOooOhh! That sure was a long run, Mom.”

All that riding must’ve been hard on his joints.


Heard from the backseat: “If I was made of chocolate, Ali, I’d just be…lickin’ myself.”


“Thank you for rubbin’ me with your toe, Mommy.”

…If I hadn’t already figured out his Love Language was Physical Touch…


What happens when your husband smokes pork….your toddler incessantly begs, “I need a bath because I smell like meat!!”


“I’m gonna have to get a new mother!”


“Because you’re old!”

“Who are you going to get?”


Clearly I didn’t inherit my Mother’s youthful glow.


After telling Noah no, he suggested thoughtfully, “You could pretend to be a babysitter – THEN we could do it…”

I need less agreeable babysitters.


“Hey Look! That traffic cone is SMILING at me!!”


“Smile, Mommy!”



“Nope – I need to take another one. Smile for REAL this time.”

And, one bonus quote from Ali: “There are way too many restaurants that you don’t believe in, Mom. Waffle House, McDonalds, Burger King. Daddy believes in ALL of the restaurants!”


A Burning Question About Toilets.

Last week, my husband bought us a new toilet. During the process, I felt like I earned a “Low Maintenance Wife of the Year” Award:


I MEAN. I don’t care whether the toilet paper rolls from the top or the bottom, and I don’t care about the geometric shape of my toilet. I’m a catch, y’all.

The timing for a new toilet was ideal, as our master bathroom currently looks like this:


Yes, the toilet is unhooked from its pipes and still has water in it. No, I don’t know why. No, I wouldn’t recommend flushing it.

Last time we redid a bathroom (the kid’s bathroom that time), I did not replace the toilet, and I’ve highly regretted that heinous oversight since that day – especially since their toilet was what caused the problem.

So I remembered my past mistakes and was determined not to repeat them.

I asked the construction crew leader about it.

“Hey – I’d like to get a new toilet while everything is ripped up. Can you make that happen?”

“Sure. I figured you’d want one. You know, one of the past residents in this house was a smoker.”

“What? What’s that got to do with my toilet?”

“Oh – you know those brown spots on the rim? Smokers often put their cigarettes on the toilet seat.”





“Yeah. Come here. I’ll show you. See those burn marks?”


“Smokers do that all the time. They have burns on their sinks, burns on their toilet seats…”


“Okay. I get the sink thing. But the TOILET SEAT?!”

“Yup. See it all the time.”

“Do they put the cigarette back in their MOUTH after resting it on the toilet seat?”

“I don’t know, ma’am. I’m not a smoker.”

“WHY the toilet seat??”

“I couldn’t tell ya.”

I was astounded.

Life didn’t make sense anymore.

What was I to do with this information?

And how exactly could he be so certain about this practice but then have no further details? You can’t just drop that bomb and give me nothing to my follow-up questions.

Clearly not all people who choose the pastime of smoking also opt for the hobby of setting their cigarettes on the toilet seat. OBVIOUSLY. But that did not stop me from asking all of my smoking friends and family if this was a norm. They all adamantly said that it was definitely not normal and that they’d never heard of it.

But I had so many questions.

1. Is the point of putting a cigarette on the toilet seat because you also are sitting on the toilet seat and don’t want to smoke and poop simultaneously?

2. If so, is it because it makes the cigarette taste like poop like when you have to change a dirty diaper in the middle of chewing your first bite of breakfast?

3. If so, doesn’t the cigarette still end up tasting like poop?

4. Do you ever worry about an explosion happening while combining your cigarette with the creation of methane gases? And should you really be moving your cigarette that much closer to the source of those gases?

5. DO YOU PUT THAT CIGARETTE BACK IN YOUR MOUTH. The answer to this question could (and probably will) change how I view humanity.

6. Is the smell of burning toilet seat helpful or harmful to the relaxation of your bowels?

7. Are you a bathroom smoker because you’re hiding your habit and if so, are you a current resident of my house?

I just don’t know what to do with this information. If you do, by all means – let me know.

Tonsillectomy: The Procedure.

When I first posted about my upcoming tonsillectomy, I was shocked at how many of you also had experienced this lovely procedure as adults. My second shock was how many thought it was the worst thing that ever happened to them.

This was not exactly, shall we say, encouraging. But I appreciated the heads up nonetheless – I often prefer to plan for the worst and be pleasantly surprised if I never make it there.

(And for the record you all also said that it was totally worth it and you never get sick anymore, too, so you weren’t complete Debbie Downers. Thanks for that.)

I was going to share about my surgery and the recovery all in one post, but a) it got too long, and b) the recovery still lingers on like the unwelcome odor after changing a poopy diaper. So first, the procedure.

May 21.

Chris woke me up at a ridiculous hour that should not exist, as we had to be at the hospital at 5:45. I played loud music all the way there, feeling unusually pumped for being awake before sunrise and imminently close to what all promised to be two weeks of mouth hell.

We arrived and I watched the sunrise through the dirty hospital waiting room glass.


The receptionist rudely interrupted my photo op to give me my paperwork and ask for my insurance card and driver’s license.

“Oh crap! I didn’t bring ANYTHING with me…<insert panic>…OH wait – my husband handled all that.”

Seriously. Marry a man who plans ahead on your behalf. It is SUCH a good choice.

Chris dug my wallet out of his backpack and handed it to me silently.

The receptionist asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

I filled out all of the paperwork, which asked me why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I wrote my explanation.

A nurse came and retrieved me to hook me into a super fancy hospital gown that has a backwards vacuum attached to it to fill me with warm, tingly air (I guess they got tired of keeping all of those hot blankets around in recovery. What HAS happened to southern hospitality?) While attaching my blowers, she asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

She then asked me to take a pregnancy test, to which Chris said, “If it makes a difference, I’ve had a vasectomy.”

She looked at us both in the eyes, then said “No, it doesn’t make a difference.”

I appreciated her vote of confidence in me.

The anesthesiologist came in to talk about all of my knock-out needs and asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

Another nurse came in to hook me up with the drugs that my anesthesiologist wanted me to have pre-anesthesia, and asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I explained.

The surgeon came in – the one who told me I must have a tonsillectomy one month prior, and asked why I was having a tonsillectomy.

I began doubting my presence in the hospital at that moment and wondering if I could unhook my own dress from the vacuum and if I did, what exactly would be visible through that large circular hole.

Instead, I explained.

Finally, just when I thought the explaining would never end, they took me back to the OR and knocked me out. At least when I woke up I wouldn’t be able to talk to the recovery nurses who would, I was positive, want to know why I chose to have a tonsillectomy.

(Because I am certain that my graceful Uvula will look better without my ugly bulbous tonsils crowding her out. There. I explained.)

I woke up to offers of popsicles and ice chips, but seeing as how I couldn’t hold my eyes open, thought all of these options were severely premature.

I worked on my eyeballs while listening to the conversations in the curtained-off recovery areas around me, trying to remember them all because they were SO bloggable.

(I remembered none.)

Finally, they brought Chris in to sit with me. After a minute, he informed me that I was way too lucid to record me coming out of anesthesia.

He sounded slightly disappointed.

He also told me that my voice hadn’t changed.

He sounded slightly relieved.

Then he told me about his conversation with my surgeon – that he told Chris my tonsils were “full of stones and seeds of infection” and that they would have kept getting me sick if we hadn’t gotten them removed.

I mused out loud that Tonsils are just like Jedi. They protect you and keep you from getting sick…unless they go to the dark side. Then they make you sick and you find out that they are your Daddy.

The only thing that really hurt were my calves. I asked the nurse if the knife slipped and WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH MY CALVES, and she said something vague about the effects of anesthesia. I was pretty sure they’d been doing some sort of experimentation on me and I wasn’t happy. I’ve done a lot of running work on those calves in the past year for them to get messed up during a MOUTH surgery.

(A couple weeks into recovery they started hurting again and I was certain I would die from blood clots due to anesthesia. I did not.)

She wheeled me to the car, and Chris took me home. I was surprised at how well I could talk and how not horrific my throat felt. We took a nap together that afternoon, me propped up in a sitting position and snoring like a bullfrog in heat, him laying next to me and pretending not to hear.

That afternoon, we talked about how not-so-bad I felt, yet how foreboding the whole thing was. Everyone had said that a different day that was the worst for them – Day 3, Day 5, Day 8….I felt as if I’d been pushed off a cliff and I was currently enjoying the ride down, but there was no way to stop the imminent fall. Or like I’d just stepped foot in a haunted house, and I would never know whether the next scary thing was the worst or if the worst was yet to come.

Foreboding. It’s my least favorite movie quality.

(Right after train wreck.)

Good thing I didn’t know that I would experience a buttload of both in the next month.