I Can’t Believe I Googled That: Parenting with Google


Seriously, what did our parents do without Google? Maybe they used an encyclopedia (“What is that?” My kids say.) Maybe they asked a friend, or maybe they just figured it out on their own. Whatever they did, I want to say to them, “Way to go.” I don’t think I could be a mom without Google.

google logo

Nope, couldn’t do it.

Both of my girls are very inquisitive and ask a lot of questions. And they will continue asking each question until they get an answer that suits them.

Don’t get me wrong. I often quiz my friends with parenting questions, how-tos, and, “Can you believe,” statements, but sometimes, usually, once the kids are finally asleep, I turn to Google for clarification and answers.

Really, I never thought I would have to research or even say some of these things, but alas, mothering and parenting are full of surprises!

  1. Will my child get sick if nursing from bleeding nipples? Sorry, I didn’t mean to start out so strong, but this one was a doozy. Our first born was our guinea pig in a way. I guess you could say, probably all first borns are. As first-time parents, we don’t always know what we are doing, so everything is trial and error. Anyway, I wasn’t prepared for the pain, blood, tears, more pain, more blood and more tears that was my first breastfeeding experience. My nipples were so raw from a poor latch that they were bleeding and cracking constantly. I remember crying and calling my husband to ask what I should do. He didn’t really know, so I went to the trusty internet and researched. Luckily, I found many mothering panels and breastfeeding websites that eased my mind and made me feel comfortable continuing to nurse, regardless of the blood. Unfortunately, Google itself can’t do anything for bloody nipples. Luckily, the pharmacy and some good motherly advice from online forums helped!
  2. Why does my 2 year-old pinch babies? We were new to the area, and I wanted to get out and meet other kids and families so we began going to a few local playgroups. Sounds like a great idea, right? Playgroup would be great, my daughter would socialize and play with other kids, and I would have the opportunity to chat with other parents. Then it would happen. A baby wail would pierce through the adult conversation and kid noise. With sideways eyes, I would look and my little toddler would be standing over the baby, looking as if to ask, “Why that baby crying?” At first, I was extremely embarrassed and did my best to have my toddler apologize. This also led to me remaining close to her while at playgroup, and not giving her a lot of freedom while babies were around. Of course, Google rescued me and my research led me to the conclusion that my daughter was figuring out cause and effect, and I learned it was a stage that she would outgrow. And she did.
  3. What do I do if my 1 year-old eats ladybugs? Ladybugs tend to infest our house at the first sign of warm weather. I’m talking about the fake ladybugs, the little red and black bugs that smell when you suck them up in your vacuum. Those little critters that ping-pang over your windows and drive you bonkers. Yes, my child used to eat those. And not just one. A lot of them. If there was a ladybug within her crawling, scooting or walking sight, she would get it and munch it down. Obviously, this also led to really interesting diaper changes, but I didn’t Google that. What I did learn is that they are not poisonous, although you should discourage your child from eating them. Which I did. This also meant I was vacuuming our house constantly, making sure every nook and cranny was ladybug free.

    Ladybugs Take Over the House
  4. How do I get my child’s fingers out of a paper shredder? No, I don’t typically let my kids use the shredder. But back on a fall day when my oldest was around 18 months, we had been out cleaning up the garden and decided to use paper shreddings to add to the garden walkways. We went in, grabbed the recycling bin and began shredding. Quietly, my daughter grabbed a folder flyer and attempted to insert it into the shredder (folded side first). Her little fingers followed, and they were stuck. Immediately, she cried. I wanted to cry. Instead, I began panicking and running through every possibility in my mind. I didn’t dare shut the machine off because I didn’t want the shredder to suck her fingers in any further and we couldn’t pull them out as they wouldn’t budge when we tried. I called 911 which dispatched an ambulance and sheriff to our house. When I went to Google, I got no help. Instead, I was presented with detailed pictures of people who had been severely injured by a paper shredder. This, of course, made me panic even more. Luckily, the sheriff arrived and pried the shredder apart with a crowbar. My daughter’s fingers were squished, but there was no blood or cuts. For that, I am forever grateful.
  5. Where do chickens lay their eggs from? We have had a few generations of chickens at our house, and our girls love them. Once this latest batch began laying, our youngest was curious where the egg comes from. I honestly wasn’t sure. I quickly learned that a chicken lays an egg from their vent, which is also the same exit used by their poop. That answered that question pretty quickly.

    Where do eggs come from?
  6. How does the baby get in your belly? I know what you are thinking, and YES, I do know how the baby gets in the belly, but what I didn’t know what to do was answer this question that my three year-old was asking on a fairly regular basis. Luckily, I was usually able to change the subject and avoid her question. Finally, I decided I better figure out what to say because she was going to keep asking. Google had a number of responses ranging from, always telling kids the truth, to telling them it was magic. I knew I didn’t want to answer her with either of those responses, so I kept looking. One piece of advice I read was to turn the question around and ask your child what they think. I approached the question my own way when I found myself pregnant with our second child. My oldest and I were having lunch and out of the blue, she asked, “Mom, how did the baby get IN your belly?” At this moment, I turned to her and said, “Well, how do you think she got in there?” With a slight pause and a few turns to look around at the people sitting near us, she leaned in and said, “I think you need to drink a lot of milk.” And that is exactly what I let my three year-old think.
  7. Why is my three year-old such a jerk? I did consult a friend of mine on this one, as she had a daughter the same age. Her response was, “Oh man, I just was wondering the same thing.” Great. At least I wasn’t alone in this feeling. Unfortunately, Google couldn’t answer my exact question. But I did learn that developmentally, my child was acting her age by testing the limits, working on advocating for herself, and trying to be more independent. I also found that this topic is so hot that there are a few books about this. Google it!

When has Google been your best and worst parenting resource? Do you think this generation of parents is lucky to have Google, or not?

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Nicole Pfende
I was born in California, and moved to Vermont when I was two, so I consider myself a native Vermonter. Married to one heck of a guy, Kelvin, who deals with all my crazy shenanigans and almost always goes along with my off the wall ideas. We live in Jericho with our two daughters, Munashe age 9, and Kuziva age 5. In life before kids, I worked in the non-profit sector working in public schools with children and families. These days you can find me chauffeuring, playing, cooking, gardening, attempting to run, cleaning or spending time with family and friends. Family time is key, and we strive to have as much play time as possible. Traveling, skiing, hiking, swimming, and eating maple creemees are some of our favorite activities. Personally, I love setting goals, writing lists, reading, gardening, organizing and dreaming of far off lands.


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