Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why?



 “Why, Daddy? Why?”

Olive now says those words roughly 4,729 times per day. We have officially reached the Why Stage. This closely follows on the heels of the Doing Stage where Olive would start off every conversation with a simple question: “Doing?” It could have meant “how are you doing?” or “what are you doing?” or “why are you doing that?” or even, when speaking over the phone “where are you?” Now she is more concerned about why we are doing what we are doing.

As a parent you try your best to give answers, but eventually the little inquisitor breaks you down.

“Daddy, what are you doing?”
“I’m giving Asher his bottle”
“Why?”
“Because he is hungry.”
“Why?”
“Because he hasn’t had dinner yet.”
“Why?”
“Because it wasn’t his dinner time.”
“Why?”
“Hey, would you like to watch some Dora?”
“Yes.”

I’m convinced that if we used two-year-olds to interview criminals we could get confessions for every crime.

“Where are the stolen guns?”
“I didn’t steal any guns.”
“Why?”
“Because I was out with my girlfriend when the guns were stolen.”
“Why?”
“Because she wanted to go out to dinner.”
“Why?”
“Because she said I didn’t spend enough time with her.”
“Why?”
“Oh dear God, I don’t know. Please, just make her stop asking why. I will tell you anything you want!”

Really, when she starts to ask “why” I start breaking out in a cold sweat because I know it will take me a good ten minutes to distract her away from the line of questioning. She also tends to go into a trance-like state when asking “why”…the outside world disappears and all she can focus on is the “why”.
So yesterday I introduced a new strategy, I decided to answer her as honestly and fully as possible. Here is how the conversation went.

“Okay, Olive, we need to go home now.”
“Why?”
“Because it is getting dark.”
“Why?”
“Because the sun is going down.”
“Why?”
“Why is the sun going down?”
“Yeah. Why?”
“Well, do you know how we see the stars up in the sky when it is dark out?”
“Yeah.”

Deep breath….

“Well, the sun is a big star and it is at the center of our solar system. The Earth, which we live on, is one of those planets. Our earth rotates on an axis, sort of like you spinning around. When the earth rotates, that means part of the earth is facing the sun, and some of the earth is facing away from the sun. When the sun rises in the morning it means that the earth has rotated so that the part of the planet we live on is starting to face the sun. When the sun goes down it means that our part is turning away from the sun. The sun is still there and shining, we just aren’t facing it. Kind of like when you turn your back towards a bright light. When it is dark here, the sun is shining on a different part of the earth. It takes one full day for the earth to rotate all the way around. The earth also orbits the sun and one trip around the sun equals a year. Part of the reason it is getting dark now, earlier than it was at the beginning of the summer, has to do with the earth being tilted on its axis, but that is a whole different discussion”

Pause…

“Oh.”

Victory is mine.

I can’t wait till she asks why I am eating so I can explain the digestive system.

1 comment:

  1. Ur favorite mum-in-lawSeptember 8, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Funny. I'll have to try this when I see her.

    ReplyDelete