Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Because that's the way it is (and other answers to life's great mysteries)

I like to think of myself as a patient person. OK, maybe not always. I have been known to get a little testy when the idiot in front of me on the Parkway inadvertently goes through the Easy Pass lane even though he/she clearly knows he/she does NOT have Easy Pass, and then instead of just continuing on when the sign says “Call Easy Pass” he/she just sits there looking around like a big dope and probably trying to decide whether the sign means call Easy Pass RIGHT NOW or later. (FYI, stupid, they mean later).

But really, otherwise, I’m pretty patient.

That patience however, is being severely tested. You see, Peanut has entered the part of pre-school development known as the curiosity phase, or as I like to call it, follow up ever single statement anyone makes with, “Why?”

Why are we going to the gym?
Why do I have to put my shoes on?
Why is the sun shining?
Why is it not raining today?
Why do I have buttons on my shirt?
Why are we out of milk?

And on and on and on.

I thought that we’d skipped over this phase. My niece went through it when she was two and in the limited hours I spent with her during this phase, she drove me completely insane. I remember sitting at her house one day, exhausted of hearing her wee little voice ask “why” every .9 seconds, wondering how my sister-in-law got through the day without walking out the door, getting in her car and simply driving off whilst leaving my sweet little niece standing at the door asking, “Mommy, why are you leaving? Why? WHY?”

I was also quite smug.

My kid never did that, I thought gleefully. It must be that she’s so brilliant she doesn't need to ask about this stuff.

Well, I’m not so smug now.

I really don’t mind legit scientific questions that stem from curiosity like, why do bees like flowers, or, why is moon bigger some nights than others? I enjoy answering those questions and when I don’t know the answer, it’s fun to take her over to the computer and Google the answer together.

It’s the inane, I-already-know the-answer-but-I’m-going-to-ask-the-question-anyway questions that make me looney.

Like this recent exchange upon turning down a road:

Peanut: Why are we going this way?
Me: Because the other way takes us farther away from home and this way takes us closer.
Peanut: Why?
Me: Because our house is in this direction. This is the way our house is.
Peanut: Why?
Me: Because that’s just where it was built.
Peanut: Why?

::insert sound of me smacking head against steering wheel::

It also drives me crazy when “why” comes right after something I’ve already explained like:

Me: It’s raining today, so you have to wear your raincoat.
Peanut: Why?
Me: Why do you think?
Peanut: Because it’s raining.


I know I should probably have more patience for this, but I just don’t. I start out each day enthusiastically, but by 11 a.m. the constant onslaught of whys have worn me down. I find myself providing answers like, “Because that’s just the way it is,” or, “Because that’s what I said earlier.” UGH. Bad Mommy.

After a couple of days in a row, I start actually looking forward to going to work where, despite the mix of personalities and issues I encounter there I can at least be assured no one is going to ask me (for the third time) why I’m adding milk to my cereal or why I turned my computer on.

And the good news is? I get to go through it all over again with Loaf someday.


Just because. That's why.



Blogger ChemMom said...

Don't forget the classic answer "because I said so"

2:14 AM  
Blogger ryssee said...

THAT is funny.
At least at work, the question might be stupid, but you get paid to answer it! :-)

7:17 PM  

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