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Why is Water Wet?

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Mar 28, 2013) - Prime Ministers, doctors and teachers: just a few people that are bombarded with questions on a daily basis. But they've got nothing on Britain's super mums. Indeed, thanks to the insatiable curiosity of their kids, mums are the most questioned people in the entire country: each answering 2881 daily questions from their inquisitive infants - the equivalent of 105,120 a year.

That's according to new research of mums released today by leading online family retailer Littlewoods.com*, which reveals for the very first time the sheer extent of questions kids will ask their mums. From the basic: "why do we have to go to school?" to the more taxing: "what are clouds made of?" to the downright personal: "Why are you so old?" British kids ask 23 questions per hour, every hour. That's more than David Cameron gets in even the most heated of Prime Minister Questions (PMQ's).


Job or Situation vs No. of questions asked per hour*

UK mums - 23 questions

Prime Minister (during PMQs) - 22 questions

Mastermind contestant - 20 questions

Primary school teacher - 19 questions

Doctor / Nurse - 18 questions

Customer service assistant - 17 questions

Football manager (Roy Hodgson in his first UK press conference) - 15 questions

Secondary School teacher - 14 questions

Waiter / Waitress - 13 questions

Cabin crew - 11 questions

Such interrogations don't just last for an hour or two either. From a morning cuppa (7.19am) to the start of Corrie (7.59pm) Britain's heroic mums face an exhausting 12.5 hour day of questioning. During meal times is the most grueling time (11 questions asked), closely followed by when out at the shops (10) and reading a story (9).

Most inquisitive infants

On average, four-year-old girls are the most curious of the bunch, asking an incredible 390 questions per day. Nine-year-old boys, however, are seemingly more content with their knowledge asking a marginally less intense 144 questions per day.

Although, with age, the number of questions asked gradually falls, the difficulty actually increases quite considerably. So much so that 82 per cent of mums admit to being regularly stumped by a question from their kids. What's more, 90 per cent admitted they have regularly turned to the modern day font of all knowledge: Google to help them. This perhaps goes some way to explaining the growing number of tablets (120,000) forecast to be sold through Littlewoods this year - a significant increase on 2012.

The five toughest questions asked to mums:

  1. Why is water wet? (35 per cent)

  2. Where does the sky end? (34 per cent)

  3. What are shadows made of? (33 per cent)

  4. Why is the sky blue? (20 per cent)

  5. How do fish breathe under water? (18 per cent)

Whilst the nation's supermums are busy appearing in what feels like their own episode of Question Time, Dads are getting away scot-free. In fact, four in five kids (82 per cent) admit they will always ask their mums a question before their dads. The main reason for this being that they think their dads are "stupid" (43 per cent), followed by "Dad asks me to ask mum" (24 per cent).

Across the UK, kids in Birmingham had the most queries, asking an average of 338 questions per day. Following closely behind are those little'uns in London (325), York (325) and Edinburgh (313).

Gary Kibble, Retail Brand Director for Littlewoods.com, commented, "This research proves that the nation's Mums are bombarded with questions from their children on a daily basis. The fact that they are asked even more questions than David Cameron just goes to show that mums have one of the toughest jobs in the country. Here at Littlewoods, we recognise the incredible job that mums do, which is why we've been asking kids up and down the country what makes their mum so special. For more information simply visit http://blog.littlewoods.com".

Notes to editors:

* Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Littlewoods.com in March, 2013. The survey respondents were UK mums with children between the ages of two and 10.

1 According to 1,000 UK mums surveyed, the average child between two and 10 years-old will ask their mum 23 questions per hour. The first question is asked at 07.19am am and the last 19.59pm - signaling that for the 12.5 hours mums receive questioning, which equates to 288 questions per day.

* Questions by profession table (all of the below were based on the number of questions asked during a one hour period, or as close to one hour as possible).

* Prime Minister - based on the average number of questions asked during PMQ's with David Cameron at the House of Parliament between 04.03.13 - 06.03.13.

* Mastermind contestant - based on episodes 24 and 25, 2013.

* Primary School Teacher - based on results from five primary schools across the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas, UK. The average was worked out.

* Doctor / Nurse - based on two doctors working in outpatients at Wycombe Hospital. The average was obtained from two days from 01.03.13 - 03.03.13.

* Customer service assistant - based on the median number of questions asked to four customer service workers at an Asda branch in Dunstable, Bedfordshire on 10.03.13.

* Football manager - based on Roy Hodgson's first press conference as England manager [http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17915466].

* Secondary School Teacher - based on results from four secondary schools across the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas, UK. The average was worked out.

* Waiter / waitress - based on the average number of questions asked to four waiters and five waitresses between 06.03.13 - 08.03.13.

* Air Stewardess - based on the average number of questions asked to airhostesses by passengers on board three different plane operators between 04.03.13 - 11.03.13; Thompson, British Airways and Easy Jet.

About Littlewoods.com

  • Littlewoods is part of Shop Direct Group - the UK's leading multi-brand digital retailer

  • Littlewoods boasts celebrity collections from Coleen Rooney, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and many more

  • The Shop Direct Group brands receive over 700,000 website visits every day
    Shop Direct Group delivers more than 25m parcels a year to millions of customers and sells more than 800 brands - including leading fashion labels and our own brands

  • The Shop Direct Group brands include: