A short rant about children being hopeless at looking for things

There are lots of things that I find frustrating about being a parent; the long hours, terrible pay, complete lack of positive feedback or gratitude to name a few. There is one thing though that drives me absolutely mad. The kind of mad that I can actually feel in my shoulders and neck – a fury that fizzles in the back of my head and makes me want to hit something or someone.

(I don’t obviously, I just let the resentment simmer internally.)

The thing that makes me mad is my children’s complete inability to find anything, even when presented with very clear instructions.

“Where are the matches?” Belle asks me this morning.

Why are children so annoying?

This is how it always begins. They make no effort to actually look for anything themselves. Oh no. That would require a teeny tiny amount of initiative and why bother with that when you can just ask Mummy?

“In the cupboard under the sink I think,” I say, trying to work at the same time.

She goes to look.

“They aren’t there,” she says.

“Did you look properly?”


“Try the shelf under the coffee table,” I suggest, my voice light, the tingling already setting in across my shoulders. I know that in a minute I will have to get up to find them but I’m trying hard to resist the urge just to shout ‘MOVE OUT THE WAY!! I’LL JUST FIND THEM AS YOU ARE TOO HOPELESS!’

“I can’t find them,” she says.

“OF COURSE YOU CAN’T!” I yell. Inside my head.

“I’m going to get up now and look,” I say, calmly, “and if I find them under the sink you know how I am going to feel don’t you?”

I push my chair back, get up and go into the kitchen. I open the cupboard under the sink and move one j-cloth. The matches are there. I take them out, hand them to Belle and silently go back to sit at my desk.

“Sorry,” she says.

I say nothing.

Instead I type this until the fury subsides.



  1. 2 February, 2014 / 1:16 pm

    This is one of my pet hates. I spend half my life exasperated because I know damn well I’ll see whatever it is as soon as I’ve got up out of my seat and walked into the appropriate room. The other day I didn’t jump up to help my partner find his wallet for 4 whole minuts and by then he’d already decided to get in the car and go back to work to see if it was there. Naturally it was in full view on the arm of the sofa right by where he always sits…

  2. Monika s
    2 February, 2014 / 1:43 pm

    Oh how I hate it with a passion.
    My son is exactly the same, it’s like they don’t want to find it because they know damn well that there is no point in looking when mum is right there and can do it for them. And this applies to other half too.

  3. 2 February, 2014 / 1:54 pm

    Men, Children, they are both the same. I’m not sure if children are miniature men, or men are just overgrown children, but even if things are right there under the noses of Squeaky or Daddy, with a great big flashing neon sign, and a brass band playing the “Here I Am” song that I’ve just made up, they still can’t see anything without help. Especially if the item in question is the Sky remote, and the location is on the end of the sofa where it always is.

  4. 2 February, 2014 / 2:15 pm

    Hubby is the same. Drives me nuts x

  5. 2 February, 2014 / 2:18 pm

    Oooo I hate this, but it is my other half who does this! Makes me MAD!!!!!! Why can he not see what is right there in front of his two eyes! He is also very good at losing things in the first place!

    My 2 year old buy is actually quite good at finding things! x

  6. 2 February, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    I love this post. So true. Although I have this majorly with my husband. He is fridge blind and everything else blind. He says he looked everywhere and guaranteed I can find it in less than a minute. Lol hahahaha my toddler so far is great at helping daddy find things but I have 7 siblings I know all too well that when they reach a certain age this will happen!!!

  7. 2 February, 2014 / 2:30 pm

    Yup.. my Hubby joins this clan too.
    He can never find anything even if given full instructions telling him EXACTLY where the item is. Couldn’t find it if jumped up and bit him on the arse..!!

  8. 2 February, 2014 / 7:42 pm

    My girls are the same….It drives me crazy!!

  9. justine meyer
    2 February, 2014 / 8:02 pm

    When my kids and hubby come back after being told where to look for the item they want and tell me that it isn’t there I tell them to go back and have a “Mummy Look” surprisingly this usually works. Try it

  10. 2 February, 2014 / 10:28 pm

    That’s a familiar scene in my house…Lucas is hopeless at looking for anything. I’m going to try suggesting a “Mummy Look” and see if that has any effect!

  11. 2 February, 2014 / 11:00 pm

    You can recycle this post in a couple of months and replace children with men…

  12. 3 February, 2014 / 10:38 am

    Haha this happens in our house too! It’s very frustrating!

  13. 3 February, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    My daughter is 17 and still can’t find the nose on her face!!!! She now thinks I am a sniffer dog because I can find the things she loses in plain sight. Yes, I want to pull my hair out too, but I’d rather knock some sense into hers. Knock knock…anybody home!

  14. metoo
    3 February, 2014 / 8:22 pm

    So glad I am not the only one who has the “please don’t make me come and look, only to find it exactly where I told you it was, because you won’t like the consequences” conversation.

    It’s learned behaviour though. As a toddler, my daughter was really good at knowing where stuff was and retrieving it. Unfortunately somewhere along the line she learned that having an answer was the important thing, and if she didn’t know where something was, she would make something up, and state it with just as much confidence as if she actually did know, thus rendering herself entirely useless as a source of information.

    By contrast, my son, when asked where he had last seen some lost possession or other, memorably answered “by my feet”.

  15. zanuda
    4 February, 2014 / 6:47 pm

    My kids are more or less OK. Perhabs because they are still at the stage to look for toys only and they are pretty much know where their favourite ones are. But my husband…oh… that’s who is really helpless.

  16. Laura Pritchard
    5 March, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    I have taken a few coaching skills courses at work for my role as a manager & I try to ‘manage’ my son & husband in the same way by coaching. Rather than doing things for them I ask them to tell me what they think they should do so they find the answer themselves. Starts off time-consuming but eventually they get so sick of “being coached” that they don’t bother asking, they just come to me with a solution. At least….this is the theory!

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  18. 20 April, 2015 / 8:54 pm

    This is a running joke in our house, too. When my husband can’t find something I tell him to start counting. I always find it before he reaches 10. Usually it’s more like 3. Why? Why?

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