Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Gerbil Wheel of Why

Sometimes I feel like talking to a toddler is a bit like running on one of those gerbil wheels.  A lot of work and not a whole lot of getting anywhere. 

"Bean, go get your shoes on."


"Because we're going to the park and you need your shoes."


"Because you don't want your feet to get hurt."


"Because-- ACK!  Just go get your shoes on!"


And she'll happily trot off to get her shoes on.  It's not defiance.  I've heard her ask "why" out of defiance and generally, that sounds far more like,


Just a smidge of a whine to it, wouldn't you say?

The normal "why" happens all day long...

"Bean, you worked really hard to color that house, nice job!"


"Um, because you wanted it to look pretty?"


"Uh...  because you like pretty things?"


"I don't know kiddo, why do you like pretty things?"

"Because they're pretty!" 

Well, ok then.

Before I had kids, I was the world's most patient future mother.  I'd answer the "why" questions of neices, nephews, siblings, any kid with a sense of amusement and a genuine intention to teach.


I try.  I really do. 

But I have to admit, the phrases, "Because I said so!" and "Because I'm the MOMMY, that's why!" come out of my mouth sometimes too.  Granted, it's mostly when she's being whiny and stalling about things. 

It's fun to realize how something so seemingly benign is so productive to her development.  Her vocabulary is increasing.  Her reasoning skills are improving.  She's beginning to understand more about cause and effect. 

I love it, but man, it can be exhausting. 

My own mental gerbil wheel.  We often don't get very far in conversation, but it sure is good exercise for both of us. 

Now, I need to go be productive. 


Because I said so! 

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