It’s the understatement of the century but parenting is tough. Tough and weird and leads people into unforeseen circumstances that are like, does this really happen? To other people or ever? And the answer is usually yes, this is weird and yet common and a side effect of parenting that was written in the very, very fine print of whatever imaginary contract is signed when someone agrees to be a parent.
In the past, where people would have hissed their problems to understanding neighbors in the hope that maybe someone, two towns over or the friend’s girlfriend of a cousin had encountered this issue and survived… but now we turn to Google. It only makes sense that as the most helpful search tool on the Internet, Google is now also a receptacle for the weirdest questions known to parent-kind to ever exist.
Some questions are odd and yet almost everyone has them, some seem like they should be super obvious and some are just… well, ridiculous. The point is, we’ve all had weird questions in our day. But yes, some are weirder than others.
It’s a bit odd the way potty training is so gendered. On one hand, the kid is so young that it seems like a pretty early time to introduce stereotypically gendered items as a way to incentivize them (think pretty clothes to convince a baby girl to commit to potty training). On the other hand, they are working with different equipment so sure, it makes sense that the parents of boys and girls stick to their own in this regard. Also on the third hand, so many babies are dressed in such gendered clothing early on that it obviously doesn’t feel like a leap to the parents to continue down that road.
This is the kind of question that was probably typed out into the Google search bar by a mix of exhausted, sloppy fingers, mumbling into Siri and a forehead that kept drooping off to sleep and pressing the wrong letter on the keyboard. How, indeed? And of course, there’s that unsatisfying answer that sometimes a parent just gets a baby who doesn’t sleep well. Doesn’t mean they’ll grow up to be any different of a person, it just means that this question has no perfect answer.
Parents of newborns have the completely understandable worry that they’re going to do something that seems normal and ends up being a huge mistake that a body so fragile and tiny can’t handle. So while it seems like the answer to this would be fairly obvious (in a sink with the gentlest products), those first few sleep-deprived months are a great time to enact the no question is a dumb question policy. Now, that policy expires down the road but an A for caring so much.
It’s a question that doesn’t feel like it necessarily needs an answer but if you’re spending all day cooped up with a baby, it probably feels relevant. When a crying baby is your main company, you start to need to get inside the head of an infant more than the regular adult. There’s just no simple answer- babies cry because of hunger and being tired and discomfort and also, just because they’re babies. The part of this question that matters is how to differentiate between those needs but otherwise, there’s really no solution.
The “how much” section of this question feels like a reasonable ask for a new parent but the “what”… that feels a bit off. Um, almonds? Sorry to be a smart aleck, but probably baby food. Just a wild guess. No burgers and donuts for baby, just formula or breastmilk or baby food. It’s not a very long menu for a little person to have to choose from and they’ll let you know when they’re full so…baby probably has a better answer to this than any website.
The questions that positively show desperation and tell an entire story in who was asking this and exactly how long they’d gone without sleep - those questions have to be my favorite. It’s not very empathetic, but it’s pretty funny. Maybe the person searching this even knew that nobody knows when the baby will absolutely, for sure start sleeping through the night. But they had to send a wish out into the universe, just to feel seen and to have a hope of things changing for the better.
For sure because they’re a three-year-old. Google will probably point-blank tell you that without even a “sorry”. The answer to the question is contained within it and those beauties get extra points. I can just see this question being typed into a phone while the three-year-old levels a Color Me Mine or manages to spray an entire lasagna all over the room. Why would a three year old listen to anyone or anything? They’re three.
Just another beautiful implication of the world being lived in that’s inspired this question. Sure, a toddler who bites is just common and grounded enough to be regular (definitely common enough to make it onto the list of most searched questions) but yikes, what a problem to be facing. Most people are worried about paying bills and staying healthy. This person has that plus a baby that also bites.
I suppose I already knew this, but for this question to be so frequently asked means that we’re living in a world full of tiny boots and coats scrunched up on muddy floors in a heap of bacteria. Again, check out with the world we live in but it’s still a fun reminder of the universe’s chaos, which children obviously contribute to a huge amount. Little agents of chaos, slamming their outerwear on the ground before the zipper is even open.
Just how open-ended and gigantically sweeping this question is has to be the secret to its beauty. Did Google just give a gigantic shrug when this parent hit Enter and then the page randomly closed? There’s only so much we can expect from the Internet and granted, it’s a huge amount but that doesn’t mean Google has all the answers to life’s mysteries. The image of a long article about child psychology laying it all out to an obviously frustrated parent is just gold.
Another question that’s enough to make a laptop completely break down and go on the fritz forever. The Internet exists as a receptacle for all of the world’s knowledge but that doesn’t mean it can solve humanity’s problems entirely. Google this at your own risk but it’s such an unanswerable question that the person asking must know somewhere deep down that they’ll never get an answer. Even if they don’t want to acknowledge that feeling, a little honest part of themselves knows this problem just doesn’t have an easy fix.
Now, this is a question with an easy fix, hopefully. After all of these gigantic existential wonderings, this seems most likely to be the question with a step-by-step answer and easily enumerated points. It seems more like a question being politely asked than a cry of despair and confusion at life’s obstacles. Then again, could be way more difficult and you end up with a kid who still sucks their thumb in high school. Truly only time will tell and Google will guess.
I guess it was better to avoid the judgment and ask Google this over a person standing next to you, but since we’re now discussing this… maybe it was just a lose/lose. A godparent is a person, relative or a close friend usually, appointed to a child’s care in case something were to happen to the biological parent. That’s assuming you still don’t know what a godparent is ... It’s only a very common concept and word.
Oh boy, sounds a little bit after the fact if we’re asking the “why”. The follow up to this search was probably, “Ok now what do I do about my child’s ginormous case of lice?” Clearly, something happened that made you wonder if your child’s scalp was infested with tiny bugs. Maybe how and why that happened isn’t the point so much as what to do about it moving forward. If you’re that worried they have lice, it’s most likely they definitely have lice.
Um, because they're delicious? Not really (but also kind of). A better question for Google to handle each and every day is, "Why don’t kids eat more boogers?" They’re right there for the taking, they’re weird and squishy and it’s the kind of pointless nonsense kids just do. Of course, it’s fun to stick a pudgy finger in a tiny nostril - like any amount of scolding can deter that. Eating that booger is just the icing on a very gross cake, that shouldn’t go out in public until it works some issues out.
I can’t say it enough- so specific. Maybe the better question is how much do you want to watch Venom and can you make the time to first watch Venom alone, weed out anything that may not be appropriate and then show it to the kid. Also, it’s almost certain that an action superhero movie shouldn’t be shown to a kid on account of all the monsters that just live in normal everyday life and the huge amounts of violence. Again, a more useful search would be “babysitters in my area” so you can just watch Venom on your own.
This question really feels like a follow up to that original Venom question. Okay, maybe that movie isn’t okay for me to watch with my kid (and specifically, a month old) but can my kid even see the movie happening? Wow, now we’re really looking for loopholes on the long road to watching Venom. Also, they can probably see vague shapes but their close-up vision isn’t fully developed. So sure, if this person is stuck on watching Venom with their one-month-old child, just keep the sound on very low and face the kid towards you and away from the screen.
This is weirdly poetic. It would make a lot more sense if the person Googling this was also pregnant, but I almost prefer to think this is the parent of a fully birthed, out and about child who just wants to know if they share an almost telepathic link. The answer is… maybe? What? What are you talking about? Did the kid say something that made it seem like they do and what exactly are you trying to get from this situation?
Okay sure, this is the more interesting of that “why do babies cry” question. It doesn’t seem important if you have company to hang out with other than a baby, but if it’s all hanging out with an infant 24/7, this is probably a more pressing question. Animals dream to practice skills and learn from experiences so unless a baby is just totally conked out in some heavy duty REM (which they probably are since they have so much growing to do), they might be dreaming?
Is this person holding a sweaty baby and very confused as to whether or not the baby went for a dip when they weren’t looking? Or are they someone considering whether or not parenthood is right for them and this is the deciding factor? Either way, don’t all people sweat? Why is this a question? How old of a baby are we talking and how sweaty? I don’t know, make sure the kid is protected from the sun but yeah, we’re not dogs who have to pant to cool down.
Okay, this is a question that’s obviously consumed the nation. No one other than a NASA-level chemist has ever looked at slime and been like, oh yeah that looks like an easy and obvious combination of these specific ingredients. It’s perplexing and messy, just like the name implies. The very sight of slime has been known to frighten and perplex many a parent.
As reasonable as that last question is, this one feels like a doozie. There are only a few explanations for this question - either the person has never seen a unicorn but has heard that the animal is pretty awesome, or they’ve seen one and are so very bad at drawing that they need an entire book to break down the fundamentals of drawing… or they’re a combination of the two and they’ve gotten themselves in the hilarious situation of needing to produce a unicorn drawing for a high stakes reason.
Again, what about how to deal with this issue and not necessarily the causes behind it. Also, the reason for teething is really in the word itself. It’s not called gumming or mouthing because the child is going through the fairly icky and definitely uncomfortable phase of growing teeth. Yeah, it’s a gross phrase for a reason - that’s one of the tougher obstacles towards full-blown childhood for a baby to overcome. It’s probably how elephants feel about growing tusks - unavoidable but unfortunate.
Yikes, can I step out for just a moment and let the Internet or WebMD handle this one? It’s not that I don’t care about your child’s poo returning to its natural hue. I do. Wow - so much rhyming. It’s just… I don’t want to know either. I respect a parent’s interest in it and everybody needs an advocate in this world but… k, bye. Not my kid, not my problem. Be back in a few minutes when this issue is all handled.
Well, it’s an inevitable one. If there’s anything to be learned from this list of questions it’s that bodily movements follow every parent, in their thoughts or in their lives, until that sweet day where it’s no longer their problem (except it will always be their problem and probably who their kid asks even before Googling it if they’re really impulsive). Will there ever come a day when a parent isn’t kept in the loop about their child’s number two’s? Yeah, try answering that one Google.
I really hope that the answer Google gave to this specific question was, “hey, why not go on a walk? Go do something that’ll make you happy! Call up that old friend that you haven’t spoken to in ages!”. A picture of an ice cream cone and a link to something fun to do this weekend should really be the answer the Internet provides. But if there’s one thing robots haven’t developed enough to learn to do, it’s artfully changing the subject for everyone’s benefit.
Google has no choice about it, but it really has to keep a straight face for questions that any other human would just straight up walk away from. The obvious answer to this is that it’s more likely if the parents are tall and mostly wait and see. But that’s the very nice way the Internet will put it. The way any friend or family member will answer it is, once again, to either leave or just jump straight into mocking. Because seriously, who knows? Not Google and not me.
Are there any computers out there with the built-in technology to just shrug? The baby drools so much because it’s a baby and whereas we adults also have spit in our mouths, we know that it has to stay in our mouths. And that baby doesn’t know that and that’s why they’re probably so much happier than their older counterparts. That baby is drooling so much because there’s only so much time in life when it’s acceptable and that time, for them, is right now. Live in the moment, baby!
Is the child Googling this while their parent scours the Internet for an answer about why they’re so hyper and silly? Maybe it's just a kid who is both very much a child and presents those issues to the parent, but also knows that anyone who has to ask Google about so many obvious questions is probably a lost cause. So they’re starting on the long road to independence pronto. Or it’s an adult and this is well-meaning but a little sad.
No matter how long the article or book that claims to offer the answer to this question is, it's not long enough. And it’s probably already much longer than anyone feels like reading. But it’s also one of those gigantic life questions that can be answered in like, three words or less. And probably not by a Google search but just maybe, by one of those magnets with inspiring phrases. As for the three-word answer- best of luck.