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Thursday, June 13, 2013

When do you stop answering Why?

I recently read a list of things you should always do with your kids- because there isn't already enough guilt for parents to feel. One item on the list really struck a nerve, possibly because it is my last one.

The gist of it was: Answer all the little "Why?" Questions now so they come to you with the big questions later.

It sounds lovely doesn't it?

Let's look at some recent conversations I have had with Ranger, written pretty much verbatim since we have the talks daily.

Him: mommy, when I grow smaller I will never never wear diapers.
Me: sweetheart, you grow older and bigger not smaller and younger
Him: Why?
Me: Because we have DNA inside of us that works like computer programming and it tells our bodies to grow bigger and older not smaller and younger.
Him: why?
Me: Because we can't be born big
Him: Why?
Me: Y'all come out big enough as it is- oh look a garbage truck!

Yay for naturally occurring distractions!

I really get annoyed quickly when he asks a patently obvious why, like "what are you doing and why" when he can see what I am doing:

Him: What are you doing?
Me: Driving
Him: Why?
Me: because that is how we get to school
Him: Why?
Me: Because it is too far to walk and too cumbersome to take transit.
Him: Why?

And then there are one ones that really get me- the "What are you doing/why?" Question combo when I am doing something he has asked me to do.
Him: What are you doing?
Me: Making you a snack
Him: Why?
Me: Because you asked me to
Him: Why?
Me: Why do you want the snack? I imagine you are hungry.
Him: Why?

So you can perhaps understand why I might have been laughing hysterically when I read that "answer all the little why questions" bit.

After a while I just throw in some non sequiturs like my dad used to do. "Because grass is green" "Because trees grow down"

Sometimes I use other people's authority "Because grandma and grandpa said so" "because President Obama said so"

And one day soon I am going to start with cultural references "Because 42" "Because these are not the droids you are looking for" or "because there can be only one"

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