Do you remember a time when your child was a cute little immobile drooling new born? When you would whisper to them, “I can’t wait until can walk,” or “I can’t wait until you can play catch,” or “I can’t wait until you can wipe your own butt”. It can’t be only me. I remember whispering those sweet nothings into my little boy’s ears until one day, he was running (me ragged), feeding himself (and the floor), and using the bathroom (not just the toilet, sink, or bathtub).
There was a time when I wished my little man, could walk and talk. I talked to him all the time. I told him what was going on around him, what we were going to do, and what we were going to eat, to which the response was always bealjdljdnadincadkds lkdnasflnacjnac alkdnaslcnsakcd. Now? He talks to me, actually TALKS to me, and ASKS questions…TONS of questions. His favorite question? Why? Mommy, Why that man walking over there? Mommy, Why that lady in her car? Mommy, why we have to go shopping? Mommy, why that man sweating so much?
Of course now that he understands and can speak back to me in english, not gibberish, he will also respond when I ask him questions OR ask him to complete a task. For example his favorite response is usually, you guessed it, Why? “Baby, its time to use the bathroom.” “Why?” “Son, it’s time to go to school.” “Why?” “Batman is not really a bat, he just dresses up and kind of looks like one.” “Why?” “It’s raining today.” “Why?”. Who knew that three little letters or one little word would make you so crazy?! I certainly didn’t!
I also remember there was a time when I would watch him wiggle around on his play mat and encourage him to sit up or crawl. Even saying out loud, I can’t wait until we can do more than just stare at each other. You know when you say things out loud like that, it usually grows legs, arms, and a brain right? Now, I am paying in cups of coffee and what little energy I have in my old lady spirit in my young persons body. I like to THINK that, MAYBE, he ended up reaching milestones way before he should have because of this. I’m also thinking that I am now the caregiver to a grown man child living in a littler persons body. This kid thinks he can scale and repel off mountains (aka couches) and that he’s always in an Iron Man race (racing me from the car to the house or around the block, whichever is longest and most tiring usually).
So now our conversations consist mostly of back and forth questioning, all day, even in his sleep, possibly in mine.
“Why are you climbing on that?” “Why Mommy?”
“What are you doing?” “Why Mommy?”
“Can you please pick up your toys now?” “Why Mommy?”
“Can you ask daddy?”, “What do you want to eat?”, “What should we do today?” “Why Mommy?”
“Let’s take a bath”, “Let’s eat dinner”, “You need to wash your hands after you wipe your butt.” “Why Mommy?”
Normally I try to come up with a really smart sounding, but age appropriate response so that he will complete the task or answer the question.
“You can’t jump on the chair in the restaurant little man.”
“Because, the man waiter is going to get mad and tell us we have to leave.”
“Because he doesn’t want you to ruin the chair.”
“Not why! Yes Mommy!”
“Whhhhhhhh…”(death stare)”….yes mommy.”
I just have to keep reminding myself that this is a right of passage. It will never be over, and we, as parents, will get questioned again and again by our kids and our peers. I did it to my mom, you did it to yours, my mom did it to hers, for centuries kids have been asking WHY?! and for the next few centuries, the vicious cycle will continue. BUT WHY!?
*****(I know, count your blessings right? I get that there are people out there with kids who are struggling for survival. I get it. But, I think I should take this time to remind you that, I speak from a place of love, and I do not regret nor am I complaining about my life. My life is awesome. This is mostly for me, to tell you, that it’s okay that our lives drive us crazy, and in the words of the great Micahel Jackson, you are not alone!)