👩 Guest Post: Tamara of Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom, as Go Ask Mommy

photo credit: comiquero via photopin cc
photo credit: comiquero via photopin cc

So, I think I should pace myself.

Like, I’m coming out of non-blogger rehab, and I don’t want to pull something. Or even tweak it. So today, the Go Ask Daddy reins shall be passed. Across the ocean, even. My kids might be pissed. This is two straight weeks I didn’t touch their questions.

They’ll be fine. I’ll make tortillas or something. Don’t tell them I was actually at TP Hogan’s blog this week, answering her kids’ questions.

A while back, Tamara from Confessions of a Part-Time Mom contacted me because she was putting something special together for a blogger we both knew. But that’s Tamara. Kind, generous, thoughtful. With a healthy disdain for German soccer.

In other words, a true friend to Coach Daddy Nation.

Today, she’s taken over the Go Ask Daddy desk. She forms a formidable team with her son, C – a kid who knows his national flags, NHL teams, and international hockey stars. Soccer too. And cool stuff like movies with cars in them.

Give them a warm welcome – and thank you, Tamara.

photo credit: Boogeyman13 via photopin cc
photo credit: Boogeyman13 via photopin cc

I always love to read the latest edition of Go Ask Daddy over at Coach Daddy’s Blog. Every Friday he’ll answer five questions his kids asked him. They typically include semi-scary sea creatures, sports, entertainment, and other subjects. I like the life questions best. Example: when you’re pregnant, does the baby eat? Is Elvis dead?

Once I forwarded a question that my almost 6-year-old son Colin asked, to Eli. It was why he hates the RED WINGS so much. He then suggested to answer them myself – on his blog.

What an honor to be here, I am a bit  so nervous! So I think it’s best to take the plunge right now and get to the questions:

“In the entire world, how many languages are there?”

tamara1“Way more than there are countries, I’d say.”

Geez, I had no idea! Roughly 6,912 is the answer. However, 2,000 of those languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers. Here’s a list of the most widely spoken languages:

“Mommy, is that the tallest cactus there is?” (Pointing to the one in our living room)

“No, there are way taller ones.”

“How tall, and where can I see them?”

Mexican giant cardon, you can find it in Baja California, and it’s almost 20m tall (63 feet), that’s about as tall as four giraffes!

At the parking garage: “How do they know a car just pulled in?”

“They installed motion detectors, I guess.”

“How do they work?”

*clearing my throat* – excellent question, why don’t you ask your Granddad when you see him tomorrow…”

2. What’s my name using the letters of the aviation alphabet? 

tamara2Actually, it’s called NATO phonetic alphabet, and the answer is:

Charlie, Oscar, Lima, India, November

He bursts into laughter!

Upon hearing an airplane flying above us:

“Where is this plane going? What airline is it?”

Ha, there’s actually an app for that! And it’s addictive too! Hit the plane symbol, and it’ll tell you everything and more!

Tamara Gerber
Tamara Gerber

How does an airplane fly?

You know, I have been wondering about that too. So much that I went and worked for an airline for a while. They taught me that it’s important to avoid AOG at all costs, but not this! I’m starting to understand why I should have paid attention in school. One day, a bright, blue-eyed kid would be looking at me expectantly…

Honey, remember how sometimes when something falls on the floor we joke about that meanie Newton? He sits right underneath you and pulls on you and all the things you carry, constantly trying to cause you to trip and drop your things? Because of him, the aircraft needs someone to give it a lift that is stronger than its weight.

He interrupts me “Mom, this is too complicated. Let’s just say they have really powerful engines, shall we?”


Where do sharks occur?

Sharks are not part of the census, so we can’t know for sure. If you assume that most sharks live where most sharks attack, then your list is:

  1. USA (Florida, California, Texas, Hawaii, North Carolina – careful there, Coach Daddy!)
  2. Australia
  3. Brazil
  4. South Africa
  5. Reunion Island (Indian Ocean)

What can you do to avoid being attacked by a shark?

tamara5Don’t go there! If you’re at the beach, take warning signs seriously, if you can’t see any signs, check with a lifeguard or other locals.

Stay out of the water at night or during twilight. Dawn and dusk are their breakfast/dinner time. Plus sharks are like me, they can’t see all that well, especially when it’s dark. Even if they’ve got glasses, they keep losing them, believe me, it’s no fun to swim with bad eyesight!

Don’t dress like a fish – no bright colors, no jewelry, otherwise, you look like a pretty snack to them!

Swim with one ore more buddies. There’s power in numbers!

Don’t draw their attention to you by splashing or moving erratically – the shark may think you’re a seal. Swim steadily.

What should I do if a shark approaches me?

Stay calm and maintain your position (which is probably what you do automatically, cause you’re just petrified with horror!). If the shark is just curious he’ll leave.

What should I do if a shark comes closer and threatens to attack me?

Swim away quickly, but smoothly. Remember, no kicking and splashing!

If you can’t escape and have an object with you, try to hit the shark in the eyes, the gills or the nose – they hate dealing with difficult prey and are smart enough to realize that no regular food strikes back like this. Or have you ever been pestered by a cookie?

Don’t play dead – sharks eat dead meat! (Never mind, They will also eat you alive)

What do they typically eat?

They like fish sticks, just like you! 😉 However they don’t have an oven, so they stick to sea turtles, seals, sea lions, even whales!

How bad is a shark bite?

Sharks can generate up to 1250 psi (pounds per square inch) in jaw power. Their teeth not only cut through flesh like a knife through butter but can sever a human limb completely. In other words: real bad!

Are there animals with worse bites? The croc, right?

This list is totally subject to correction. There is a lot of conflicting info out there, and frankly, I am not up to find out for myself 😉 Either way you don’t want to mess with those guys:

  1. Nile / Saltwater Crocodile (6000 psi)
  2. American Alligator
  3. Hippopotamus
  4. Silverback Gorilla
  5. Bull Shark
  6. Grizzly / Polar Bear (did you hear about that Greenland shark who ate a polar bear?)
  7. Spotted / Striped Hyena
  8. Bengal Tiger

Number 7416 – way further down on the list, the human being, bites with a force of 120 psi. Piece of cake.

Bonus Question

What do sharks and bees and airplanes and cars have in common?

Sharks and airplanes have a bad reputation – wrongfully!

Statistically, driving a car is far deadlier than flying. Still, people drive every day without giving it any thought.  Since records on shark fatalities began in 1580 only 152 deaths by shark attacks have been reported. By comparison, bees kill an average of 500 people worldwide every year – starting 1580 this would add up to a whopping 217.000 people!! Don’t even get me started on car accidents.

By now you are either ready for a snack – or the Shark Attack Quiz

new shark quote


  1. Thank you so much, E, for offering me a seat at your GO ASK desk, and you’ve even left me a glass of wine and a snack? It that doesn’t make for a formidable working environment, I don’t know what does…
    People, there is proof that Coach Daddy didn’t do the slightest tweaking on my post… he even let me capitalize the name of the ineffable hockey team… That’s how decent he is 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well, that wine might have been J-Law’s. She’s notorious for pouring a glass and leaving it out. The snack? If it’s sweet or salty, it was probably mine. But, you’re welcome, Tamara.

      That capitalization was taken as a parody, and therefore, unedited. Thanks for stepping up today!

      1. There was no lipstick on the glass. What other snacks are there apart from sweet or savory? Pulling my leg here, right?
        Parody? Pavel Datsyuk liked something I wrote on his FB wall. We are best friends 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        There’s healthy snacks, of course … but can they be called snacks, really? If that’s the case, I am also besties with my favorite Marketplace reporter.

  2. laurie27wsmith says:

    Kids ask the darndest questions. Cows kill more people annually than sharks. I wonder if it’s a conspiracy?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel an animal revolt is more likely to come from the bovine community than the ocean, mate. It’s just a matter of time.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Remember the song, ‘Cows with guns.’

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that – love it! (see, I was right).

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        It is funny, I couldn’t get it out of my head last night, cow tse tung, see it’s still there. Oh we had a snorkler bitten on the face by a shark yesterday in Western Australia.. They showed him in hospital and if it wasn’t for his mask and snorkel he would have been shark poo by now. You know those balloons you get of animals, they’re like a silver foil construction? Well one of his mates had sent him one of a shark and there it was floating above the victim’s head. Now that’s what mates do for each other.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d do the same for you, mate!

      5. laurie27wsmith says:

        Ahh, you’re true blue mate!

    2. Even dogs kill more people than sharks. I’m at the office, can’t watch the video.
      There are so many conspiracies going on these days, I’m sure that the Germans winning the soccer world championship was one of them. All those “funny videos” popped up way too quickly, something was not right.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        They still have the ugliest kits in Europe.

      2. laurie27wsmith says:

        This is true but sharks do it with so much skill and terror. Yes, the Germans have a lot to answer for with the world cup, all that precision and skill. It’s a terrible thing.

      3. Eli Pacheco says:

        Tamara has a decidedly different view of the Germans, mate! Plus, I think the U.S. should have taken them down in group play. Just wait until the ladies play.

      4. laurie27wsmith says:

        I can only imagine she has. When do the ladies play?

      5. Eli Pacheco says:

        Next year, my brother. Next year. Your Roo ladies might even be there.

      6. laurie27wsmith says:

        Oh good, I’ll bring Marilyn I’m sure she’ll find a job on the sideline.

  3. ksbeth says:

    excellent, and i especially like the ”let’s ask grandpa” default option, that you were given an out when the plane explanation became all too much, and good to know that sharks lose their glasses, just like me. i’m not that odd after all. ) beth

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      you’re not odd, beth – just, shark-like.

      1. That’s why I wear contact lenses – hard to lose them. Well, harder than glasses anyway.
        With a son as smart as that one, I always need several ways out, and he keeps asking me to “google stuff for me, Mommy?” Like “who is the person who took the most pictures ever?”

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        You should do this every week with C’s questions.

  4. Wonderful guest post today and Eli glad you got another Friday technically off from the questions and answers portion here. But I will say I always wanted to visit Baja especially after it was in 90210 as a teen, but never realized about the Cacti there!! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Jennie Garth was my favorite. That’s all I have to say about that.

      1. Lol, and I had a huge crush on Luke Perry! But you didn’t hear that from me 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Everyone knows it, JH.

      3. Lol, true, true and I outed myself!! 😉

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        He said he just wants to be friends, though. He’s a loser.

      5. The good, old friends line! Yes, total loser for that one!!

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        Don’t worry – Calleigh Duquesne gave me the same line after a season of CSI Miami.

  5. Hahaha, Janine, so you were more into Dylan than Brendan..?
    I am glad Colin asked the cactus question, and I actually looked it up, because I was gonna say “Organ Pipe N.P.” – I was there once, and man, those cacti were reeeeaaaaally tall!!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      There isn’t much cacti in Martina Hingis-land, I imagine.

      1. Nope. Only mountains. either covered with snow or chocolate! 🙂

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Swiss chocolate, I hope?

  6. beth k says:

    Great guest post. Appropriate questions about sharks with all the tv programs about them. Well done.

    1. Thank you, Beth! So tell us about the patient who bit you with 120 psi?

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        i could manage only 85-90 psi, tops.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      shark questions are always in order.

  7. Kim says:

    Oh – this was so much fun!!! I had no idea that more people die from bee stings than shark bites!! There are lots of questions that I used to defer to my husband (still do even with teens!)!!

    1. What, teens still have questions? And ask Mom? Is that good or bad? Give me a head start here, Kim, what will I need to know in a couple of years?

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I got this question from my 16-year-old today: “A big dust storm is a Haboob – who thought of that name?”

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      We dads are made for this kind of stuff.

  8. Ginny Marie says:

    Seriously, those are great questions! I would have to google the answer for just about all of them! But I’m very confident after reading this post that I would pass the shark attack quiz today! (Mommy brain will make me forget the right answers by tomorrow morning. 😉 )

    1. There are more where they came from… Actually I deleted a couple so the post wouldn’t get any lengthier.
      He was also asking at what age one could move out and get their own apartment (he is turning 6), or why there isn’t a video on youtube featuring President Obama’s ALS ice bucket challenge…
      Oh, and my memory has gotten worse since becoming a Mommy, too – the youngster, however, remembers everything!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        There are a bucket of lost questions I just didn’t write down before I forgot them from my girls. *moment of silence*

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      I bet you’ll pass the test again tomorrow, Ginny.

  9. tamaralikecamera says:

    I think that last meme is amazing, but I’d like it to include “young women” too because sharks and dinosaurs were the biggest fascinations of my youth!
    And the man who built my house. With his muscles and great head of hair.
    Moving along…
    I may need to do something like this on my own blog. Scarlet’s questions are getting better and better by the day. Stuff about urination and how we get baby seeds into our bellies!
    Anyone want to tackle that for me?

    1. Hey, we could do a joint venture: GO ASK TAMARA, and we’d take turns. As I am a little familiar with sharks and bees I’ll cover the baby seed question. You can do the part how the grown baby gets out, OK?

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I’d tweet the hell out of that post!

      2. tamaralikecamera says:

        Haha!! Deal.

      3. Eli Pacheco says:

        You guys should find a Tamara on every continent and have a Legion of Doom (and Tamaras).

  10. You did an excellent job, but then I knew you would.
    I had to laugh at the “aviation alphabet” question. It reminded me of a few years ago hearing my kids singing a song that was popular at the time about “Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo” and wondering whether I dared to ask them if they knew what they were actually singing . . . and wondering how to make them stop . . .

    1. Hahahaha, they most probably didn’t know, but it sounded naughty, and that made it interesting.
      Have a nice weekend, Kilo, Alpha, Romeo, Echo, November!

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Where was I when that song came out? I don’t remember it!

  11. Nina says:

    OMG this post just upped my shark fear big time lol. I did hear about the advice to punch a shark in the nose; that’s one of their most vulnerable spots. The tip about not swimming erratically is good too, although I don’t know if I’ll manage that as I’ll probably freak the heck out!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      The girls last summer spent a lot of time swimming in a spot off the N.C. coast that I later learned is one of the worst 5 for shark attacks. They’re not eager to go back!

    2. Nina, I’m a rule no. 1 person: just don’t go there. No way could I NOT kick and scream in the event of an attack, so this shark would totally have a field day…

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I might only go ankle-deep ever again.

  12. Rorybore says:

    A sea lion can give a pretty nasty bite too. That’s one I learned thanks to curious questions asked. My hubby tried to explain how airplanes fly and my eyes just glazed over after 10 seconds. I am one of those people who still can’t quite believe those big ocean cruise ships float.
    Science is hard y’all. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Wait, did you submit yourself to a sea lion bite in the interest of educating your kids? Mom of the year. I just hope they never ask about the short- and long-term implications of sitting on a cactus.

      I can’t understand the physics behind how chocolate chips stay in my cookie, much less airplanes and cruise ships.

      1. Chocolate chips have ONE JOB: to stay in the cookie! We don’t need to know why, do we? But I like your priorities. Leave science to those who are friends with Newton and the guys.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I wouldn’t want to steal their thunder.

  13. reocochran says:

    You have a lot of information in this, my dear! My brain is a little fried tonight while at the library, but I am always proud of people who ‘pass the buck’ or make up information to tell children. It looks like you really are a great parent and you use your sense of humor and computer to get information, too. Smiles, Robin

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Tamara of Confessions of a Part-time Working Mom wrote this, and I know you’d love her blog!

    2. Haha, I try not to make up information because I fear I’ll be caught soon enough. Eternally grateful for Grandpa, Google, Wikipedia and other helpers.
      How is your brain doing today?

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Not sure about Robin’s, but mine feels pretty damn good.

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