Why Mommy? Why? Why? …. Why?
Me to Associate P: “It may not have been your first word, but if you keep it up WHY just might be your last!”
Just in the last few weeks, Associate P has begun asking “Why?” All. The. Time. I always thought people were exaggerating the extent to which kids ask “Why?” the way the exaggerate every other detail of their children’s lives….
“Johnny has THE BEST laugh”
“Susie is THE WORST eater”
“Bobby asks “Why?” ALL THE TIME”
See, it fits the hyperbole pattern parents use and abuse to describe their little ones. The problem is, this one isn’t hyperbole. when someone says their kid asks “Why?” after everything and repeats it on and on and on and on until the parent can no longer take it, they aren’t exaggerating!
So I suppose it is on us to figure out how to respond and make these truly teaching moments. Currently, I’m dabbling with trying to give honest answers and turn it around to him to make it a discussion. Sometimes I say “I don’t know” or ask him “Hmm, do you know?” A few times one or both of us will say, “I didn’t know that!” to which the other replies, “Yea! We learned something today!”
And often, after the 20th or 100th “Why?” I find myself using distraction to divert him to anything else.
Lots of good ideas in the comments of this babycenter post, “Why Does My Toddler Constantly Ask Why?”
Post a comment if you have a great idea on how to respond to “Why, Mommy?”
Sometimes I make up ridiculous answers just to amuse myself. “Mama, why are we leaving now?” “Because the moon is in the second house of Aquarius.” “Mama, why are we cutting the grass?” “We are going to use the clippings to build a spaceship to fly to Mars.” “Mama, why does your car make noise?” “Because without the noise the rabbits running inside don’t all run at the same speed.”
It seems to either confuse him or give him something to think about. Either way, I get a break from the “why”. The more creative / outrageous I am, the longer the break.
NOTE: I give him the right answer the first time around. It’s only on the second our third variation of the SAME DAMN question that I start making stuff up.
“That’s a good question, Associate P. Why do YOU think?” At least, that was my mother’s favorite.
The CEO is much more inclined to offer the outrageous answers too, Cecilia. (that was REALLY hard for me to type that, Lia). Unfortunately, I am the gullible type that when he uses that tactic with me and answers any question with confidence, I believe him. This has led to embarrassment on my end a few times… most notably shortly after moving to Florida I asked, in front of a group of Floridians, where I could find pineapple trees.
How the heck was a girl from Ohio supposed to know they grew on vines on the ground??!! When he told me they grew on trees I believed him.
My point is, while some parents might get a good laugh out of hearing their kid one day repeat an outlandish answer… “carrots are hard & orange because someone already squeezed the orange juice out of them” … my heart would break for them, knowing one day they will discover the truth and blame me for misleading them. I can’t live with that.
So I stick to the boring old, I give up response of “God made them that way – isn’t that cool?!?!” And pray he says “yes” instead of another “Why?”