When mom doesn’t have an answer (or exactly how long it takes to preheat an oven to 400)

I don’t know everything. I know, I know, it shocked me too!! 😉

“When, exactly, is dad coming to pick me up?”

“When are we leaving?”

“When will the oven be ready?”

and the infamous:

“Why do I have to wear a helmet?”

I have to keep telling myself: Concrete. Concrete. Concrete.

Poor Ollie has the absolute worst mother for providing legitmate, sure, and unchanging answers.

It’s just not me.

Not me, any more than not needing to know the factual, certain, and unwavering answers are for him. So when he asked me how long, exactly, it would take for the oven to preheat to 400 degrees, I knew we were in trouble.

You see, this has been going on for a long, long, time.

When Ollie was 5 or 6, we lived in a complex that had a large, long, parking lot. Perfect for training wheels and a zest for adventure. One of the things that we struggled with at the time, was the wearing of the bike helmet. Anyone who has a sensory child knows that this can either be the most comforting thing in the world, or the worst possible scenario to deal with. Every single time we would get ready for his bicycle ride, we would go through the same questions and the same answers.

“Why do I have to wear a helmet?”

“Because, Ollie, it’s about safety.”

“But why?”

“Because traffic comes in and out of the parking lot.”


“And sometimes people don’t look where they are going.”


“And they might not see you, and they could hit you.”


“And you could get hurt, Ollie.”


“And mommy would be really, really, sad because she loves you sooooo much!”

Then, and only then, with every single question answered, every single time, in that exact order, would Ollie agree to wear his helmet.

The neighbors got quite a kick out of it the first few times, admiring this 5 year old’s memory and knowledge of order. But I was growing weary.

“Because I said so,” should have been enough, in my opinion…but opinions don’t matter much when dealing with my sweet boy.

Necessity is the mother of invention, yes? Well, I was beyond needing a solution, so I did the only thing I could think of. I wrote down every single answer, to each and every question, in exactly the order that they were asked, on a huge poster board, and hung it up above our kitchen table. After he was finished with school for the day, Ollie got home and proceeded to ask about going for a bike ride.

“Why do I have to wear a helmet?” Ollie asked.

I marched him inside, pointed at the sign and said, “Ollie, these are the answers to all of your questions, so if you need to know, you can look at this sign.”

Ollie just shrugged, said, “Okay, will you help me put my helmet on?” and off he went.

It’s funny how sometimes, the answers are so simple, and yet the last ones we think of.

I love my little teacher, and am so grateful that he has the patience to deal with me.

Thank you, as always, for reading, would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. I appreciate you coming along for the ride…but remember…wear that helmet!! 🙂


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