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What Does it Take to Silence a 5-Year-Old?

May 23, 2010

I’ve often wondered why I bothered going to college.  I mean, I really didn’t need a degree in finance to sit around and field ridiculous questions from Ali and Maya all day long.  Plus, if I’d stopped at high school I could have saved myself a lot of energy studying and my dad a whole lot of money on tuition.

The questions started bright and early this morning with Ali’s “So, what’s for breakfast?”

The good wife/mother that I am I whipped up a batch of pancakes from scratch and threw in some scrambled eggs for good measure.  Cooking didn’t provide me with immunity from questions though, as I’d hoped…  

Ali – I’m going to New York this week.  Do you think I should I fly into La Guardia or JFK?
Maya – When is breakfast going to be ready?
Ali – I need to have some clothes dry cleaned for my trip. What time does the dry cleaner close today?
Maya – I’m really hungry.  Is breakfast ready yet?
Ali – Do you think I could get some kind of discount if I bundled my flight and train ticket together?
Maya – How much longer until breakfast is ready?

After I cleaned up the last sticky drop of maple syrup I assumed I was safe from the barrage of questions for at least an hour.  But lo and behold, about 45 minutes later Maya asked, “I’m hungry, is it lunchtime yet?”  

Why certainly Maya.  Who doesn’t eat lunch at 11:30 am?

We actually had food in the fridge for once so I made up some turkey/avocado sandwiches for Ali and Maya and while I cleaned the kitchen up for a second time in less than 2 hours I continued to answer questions…

Ali – Should I catch the Friday night flight from NYC to LA at 5:30pm or 7:30pm?
Maya – Can I have some water?
Ali – I’m not sure if either flight has internet, what do you think?
Maya – I need a napkin. Can I have a napkin?
Ali – What hotel should I stay in when I’m in Boston?
Maya – What’s this green stuff in my sandwich?  Can I have another one?

The latter part of the day continued in much of the same manner.  I was a bit worried I’d lose it and go postal on everyone.  That is until I got the brillant idea to ask a question myself…

Me – Maya, where is the tape?


On to more important “Ask Me Anything” questions…

What is the food you miss most that you cannot eat now?

I definitely miss some good sourdough bread with tons of butter on it! No gluten-free bread can even compare.

What are your favorite snacks? what do you typically eat for breakfast/lunch?

Breakfast usually entails a very haphazard bowl of oatmeal or cream of buckwheat with maple syrup, made in the microwave. Sometimes, when I’m feeling especially fancy I throw some raisins on top. Lunch is often scrambled eggs with a brown rice tortilla or a random concoction like quinoa mixed with salsa, spinach, and black beans. I’ve learned that salsa makes anything palatable and I go through it like its going out of style. I don’t usually snack but if I need some energy I’ll have a couple of dates or some dried apricots.

Sorry my meals are so uninteresting.  Allergies can do that to you!

More answers to come…

52 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2010 7:53 pm

    I guess the answer to your title is tape. Lol! Too funny Ameena. Kayla used to asked me questions that just took us in circles. I teach her Chinese and English so she would ask stuff like: mom what is shrimp? Shrimp is “ha” honey. Mom what is “ha”? Ha is shrimp honey. Mom what is “shrimp” and “ha”? Grrrrr….so I totally feel your pain. I’ll have to use your tape question sometime lol. Let’s just hope she doesn’t ask me what is tape 😉

  2. May 23, 2010 8:39 pm

    LOL- the way you talk about your family is so funny! At least Maya seems to have a normal appetite! My little sister was sooo picky at that age and never wanted anything- not the case anymore, though.
    I love salsa on lots of stuff too! It’s amazing mixed with hummus (can you eat hummus?)

  3. May 23, 2010 8:41 pm

    You should stock up on that stuff! Haha

  4. May 23, 2010 8:57 pm

    Tape! Hahahahaha Ameena I love you!

  5. traynharder23 permalink
    May 23, 2010 9:32 pm

    “eat it like it’s going out of style”. my type of saying. =D

    i feel so embarrassed…i think i barrage my mom with questions like that! it’s coz they think you’re so smart! =D

    lol. your pancakes look like the ones my mom used to make me when i was young! (like 14 years old!) those crunchy edges…bomb.

  6. whydeprive permalink
    May 23, 2010 10:00 pm

    Haha Maya looks so cute with the tape over her mouth.
    I bet my parents wished they came up with that idea!

  7. May 24, 2010 12:56 am

    LOL! I love reading such anecdotes!

    The pancakes look so thick and fluffy!

  8. May 24, 2010 4:06 am

    I wonder why I went to university too…not serving me much now considering I did things I ought not have.

    You need time for yourself…to sit and eat without all the flying questions…but that’s life I guess 🙂

  9. May 24, 2010 4:20 am

    A Mom’s work is never done–my mom still teases me about that because at heart, you’re always your mother’s child. So enjoy the next 60+ years of Maya asking you ridiculous questions. 😉

  10. May 24, 2010 4:40 am

    Your pancakes put my first attempt at pancakes to shame! But I guess that having a husband and daughter to cook for gives you plenty of practice. That’s the story I’m sticking to to make myself feel better about my lack of pancake skills, anyways 😉

    You should start charging for your wisdom. And I’m actually really impressed that Maya would eat an avocado at such a young age. I didn’t touch the thing until I was somewhere in my 20’s, and I wasn’t quite sold after my first experience, either.

  11. May 24, 2010 4:56 am

    LOL- Ali should book the 7:30 flight… that way, you will have a night to yourself. 😉

  12. May 24, 2010 5:20 am

    LOL…this post cracked me up 🙂 Hope Ali has a good trip!

  13. May 24, 2010 5:43 am

    Haha I love their one-track minds! You document it all quite cleverly: saying nothing but revealing everything.

  14. May 24, 2010 6:19 am

    This was such a funny post. A great way to start the week. I used to ask a TON of questions, so mom would turn to me and say why is there air. I’d start thinking about it and give her a few moments of peace.

  15. May 24, 2010 6:23 am

    So those pancakes look pretty amazing.. I kinda want to eat them through the computer. If only!
    Kids and questions… they NEVER END.

  16. May 24, 2010 6:30 am

    ooh breakfast looks so yummy!!

    I have a good friend from college w/ celiacs disease–she said she used to just come home from class and eat a piece of bread, plain and it was her favorite thing ever. No bueno 😦

  17. May 24, 2010 6:31 am

    Love this post!
    Yea, I wonder sometimes what my future degree will ACTUALLY lead to and if all of this time and stress will be worth it!

    Your pancakes look amazing and what a cutie! 🙂

  18. May 24, 2010 6:33 am

    hahaha you are so cute! and so is she!! kids are HILARIOUS-babysitting is so entertaining for me! LOVE those pancakes!

  19. May 24, 2010 6:56 am

    hahah to the tape. definitely something i would do to my siblings…only maybe i’d use duct tape 😉

    that breakfast looks fabulous! you can always come cook for me and i wouldn’t pepper you with 20 questions 😉

  20. highonhealthy permalink
    May 24, 2010 7:16 am

    Haha, I love the tape! I need to use that handy little trick the next time someone annoys me.

    Those are seriously some really pretty pancakes. I burn 99% of mine.

  21. May 24, 2010 8:00 am

    Have you tried Udi’s bread? I swear on my life you can not tell it is gluten-free. It is AMAZING!!!

  22. actorsdiet permalink
    May 24, 2010 8:03 am

    i agree about salsa – fixes everything! and i agree with kelly above – udi’s bread is pretty great. i sampled some a while back, but i see it in the freezer section at whole foods.

  23. May 24, 2010 8:04 am

    Mmmm-that reminds me, I haven’t made pancakes for breakfast in a long time. I need to try making it from scratch-never tried that(yes,yes lazy me). BTW-ever tried gulab jamuns made from the Bisquick pancake mix? Had it at a party(sugar/sweets are not completely off my list-but it’s definitely under control) and I couldn’t believe that it was made from pancake mix!!!
    Maya is SO adorable- should try the tape trick with my 3year old 😉

  24. May 24, 2010 8:06 am

    You’re hilarious. You make beautiful pancakes! So, Maya actually eats a turkey and avocado sandwich? When I was her age, I’m pretty sure I didn’t eat anything that was green, and I certainly didn’t think that bread, meat, and this green thing should mix. She’s adorable with her mouth taped shut. That didn’t sound right, did it?

  25. May 24, 2010 8:09 am

    aww you poor thing being overwhelmed w/ questions!!your pancakes look amazing. so fluffy! i want to devour them through my screen! 🙂

  26. May 24, 2010 8:18 am

    Hey… my blog is working fine on both my Mac (firefox) and my Blackberry. What browser are you using?

  27. May 24, 2010 8:19 am

    you so crack me up!

    I love your simple meals! I would eat like that even without the allergies….

    in fact a lot of the time i DO!

  28. louisianagrown permalink
    May 24, 2010 9:16 am

    I totally eat lunch at like 11:30 every day. I’m on my grandmaw’s schedule.

  29. May 24, 2010 9:30 am

    I know the answer to this: Duct tape. 😉

  30. runrettarun permalink
    May 24, 2010 11:18 am

    My 4 year old boy is non-stop question asker. So much so that my mother-in-law bought a book about answers that kids ask. 🙂

    My 19 month old is a neverending pit of hunger and my older son is SO picky. It’s crazy how kids can be so different.

    My fave thing that I’ve had to give up recently would be yellow cheeses. I don’t know why it’s starting to bother me now. 😦

  31. May 24, 2010 11:41 am

    Andrew asks me questions that I know he knows the answers to. And he always asks me where all of his things are… doesn’t even bother looking where he knows they probably are first… MEN! 😉

  32. May 24, 2010 12:47 pm

    Lol, tape is the perfect answer! 🙂

    By the way, I have been seriously craving pancakes…yours look fantastic!

  33. oc2seattle permalink
    May 24, 2010 1:30 pm

    So funny to read about but must have been maddening! Hope you got some peace and quiet. It is SO nice that you have the ability and take the time to fix meals for your family – I hope they appreciate it!

  34. May 24, 2010 6:40 pm

    hahaha ur the best! this post made me smile so much Ameena <3!

  35. May 24, 2010 9:44 pm

    I get asked silly questions all the time too! I know people who can’t make the tiniest decision without some kind of outside input. But I don’t live with the people who bombard me, so its more of a once-in-a-while thing. I can only imagine…

    Yes, allergies can do that to you…you begin to lack variety and you just stick to the staples, because they work for you. That is exactly what I have been doing lately. My meals are uninteresting but I can’t be bothered to care at this point. The most important thing is that you do what works for you.

  36. May 25, 2010 4:05 am

    Salsa is perfect with anything, on anything or on its own…the amount I go through is ridiculous…

  37. May 25, 2010 5:24 am

    I love all the questions! How old are the girls?

    Think of your degree as insurance. That’s what I think of my first one as. Just in case I ever need it, it’s there.

  38. May 25, 2010 6:02 am

    hahaha that was so funny! I love salsa but too much effort to make it and I don’t like to buy the bottled ones. My meals are not that interesting either..after a while I realized it’s almost the same from day to day..haha.

  39. May 25, 2010 6:34 am

    Sad day – I often wonder if all the school is worth it too. I mean what I really want to do is travel the world, eat good food and write about life/food.

    Hello – who needs a degree for that?! but I guess it doesnt pay well unless you get really lucky.

    Ali’s breakfast looks awesome – props on the pancakes and eggs – mmmmm!

  40. May 25, 2010 9:15 am

    awww bless her heart. you are so blessed to have that cute little girl in your life everyday. i have no clue how to silence a 5 year old, but i tear up reading such cute posts about little kid questions, assumptions, etc. i cannot wait to have a family

  41. May 25, 2010 12:34 pm

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I’m so happy to have found yours now!

    I have to agree with you on the sourdough bread. There is no gluten free bread that compares to a big, doughy slice of regular bread!

    Your daughter is so funny. I love having conversations with kids!

  42. Katherine: What About Summer? permalink
    May 25, 2010 2:02 pm

    I feel like parents wouldn’t be impressed if I taped their children’s mouths shut while babysitting… but I really like the idea!

    I eat lunch at 11:30 haha I have the eating habits of a five year old

  43. May 26, 2010 11:41 am

    And you think I’m brilliant? You’re an incredible, incredible writer Ameena! I enjoyed this one immensely!

    PS: don’t ever regret getting an education 🙂

  44. May 26, 2010 7:10 pm


  45. May 27, 2010 5:43 am

    I like Maya. We are like-minded about brekkie 🙂

  46. Michelle permalink
    May 27, 2010 8:17 am

    I love how dense millet bread is. I switch up my breads so often that I don’t even think about other kinds. Then again, I don’t always get gluten-free, but most of my breads end up being GF anyways.

  47. May 28, 2010 6:13 am

    i love your writing style. your daughter is just adorable.

  48. Meg permalink
    May 28, 2010 9:03 am

    ah, I miss sourdough too. I have yet to find or recreate something gluten free that comes close. I’m not giving up yet though!

  49. June 9, 2010 11:04 am

    LOL. You amaze me with how you handle it everyday.

  50. March 8, 2012 3:01 pm

    The pic of your daughter with the tape on … and she’s still smiling. How adorable 🙂


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