Monday, September 19, 2011

the letter why

Before I had kids, I would dream of magical afternoons spent in sunbeams, counting piggies and answering questions.

Mama, why is the sky blue? Where do unicorns come from? Can I go to the moon?

I was anxious to answer these questions. I couldn't wait to tell my children about narwhals and bats and elephants who are reunited with their friends after twenty years. I couldn't wait for the WHY stage, as they call it.

Joke's on me, right?

Because they don't ask reasonable, magical, practical questions. They spend two excruciating hours asking in different ways why you have to paint the house.

Here are just a tiny fraction of the questions shouted at me today:

1. Mommy, why is THAT GUY?

2. Why did somebody fall off the roof?

3. Where did that tree go?

4. Where did this (a minute piece of trash) come from?

5. Why is outside?

6. If my teacher isn't married anymore, why did she tell me to give her a present?

7. If a bad guy comes in the house, can I kick him?

8. Why can't you make more batteries?

9. If that girl can have candy, does her mommy love her more than you love me?

Seriously. I'm going insane.

But it makes sense. Childhood isn't linear. It's confusing. Kids are trying to make sense of a huge world that we adults can barely comprehend. So why would the questions be easy? At least they're asking questions, and I'm doing my best to answer them.

And at least no one has yet asked me where babies come from.


Disclaimer: For the love of all that's holy, DON'T BE THAT PERSON who tells me:

a) how brief childhood is, and to enjoy every moment,
b) that answering questions/caring for kids is my job as a mother, or
c) that I was probably just as curious at that age and am now being repaid by karma.

I KNOW, okay? We're good. I'm just venting.


Heather said...

My six year old stepson is in a 'what if' stage. What if we had ten dogs? What if Daddy took one car to work and Uncle Bear took the other car and they left us at the store and we couldn't get home? What if I stepped on that stick? What if I was Boba Fett and Daddy was Jengo Fett and you were Jengo Fett?
It's become a personal challenge to answer each what if as accurately as possible...depending on how much coffee I have in my system at the moment.

Paige Kellerman said...

My little miracles spent the day taking the house apart. I feel ya..

Tanya said...

People who respond with a) - c) are 1) childless or 2) the centerfold on STFUParents.

kelly the nut said...

I'm with you. I was a much better mom before I had kids.

K A B L O O E Y said...

I'm loving "Why is outside" very much, but then, I don't have to provide the answer. Woody Allen could, I suppose.

stephanie constantin said...

#9 is definitely my favorite! lol The 'where do babies come from' question is MUCH easier to answer when you have a c-section!

Alice Istanbul said...

omg, the comments are as funny as the blog post. You have some witty readers, D.

My favorite is "why doesn't broccoli have bones? what if we didn't have bones?"

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

Tanya FTW!

Everyone else, I FEEL YOU.

Alice, we would probably eat more broccoli if it had bones. =)

Jon Plsek said...

My younger brother once asked us, "Why are my eye browns?" No real answer for that one.
Maybe try answering their questions with a few questions of your own. See how they like it.

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

Plsek, they're ready for that. You turn the question on them, feeling all clever, and they say, "NO. YOU THE MOMMY. YOU TELL ME."

So then I just make up an answer, usually involving ogres.