Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Why that's an airplane?"

 It has finally happened. We have entered the "why" stage of childhood development. At this point, she is clocking a good 200-300 "whys" a day for sure. This makes my parents very happy because as legend has it, I was the queen of the why. I even had to stop going to catechism because all the questions were making the nuns a little nervous. And I'm telling you, I really don't mind all the questions. Questions in and of themselves are great and, really, I am happy to answer them. Here's an example:
                "Mom, why is that man outside?"
                "He's mowing his lawn."

This is fine. The question is straightforward, and I can easily answer it. The problem is that it doesn't end there.
                "Why's he mowing his lawn?"
                "So it will look nice."
                "Why it will look nice?"
                "Because when the grass is short, it looks neat and clean."
 Even up to this point, I feel confident that the questions and subsequent answers are logical and possibly even valuable, but it doesn't end there.
                "Why it looks neat and clean?"
                "Because...because when you cut it, it becomes more even and flat."
                "Why it does that?"
                "Why does it do what?"
 We inevitably end up in this place where we both sort of forget what "it" is referring to, and she gets frustrated because she wants the line of questioning to continue, but we've both pretty much forgotten what we're talking about.
This is the part that drives me crazy. The questions that have no answers, like, "Mom, why that's an airplane?" Why is that an airplane? Because it's an airplane! How am I supposed to answer that question?! Ask me about God. Ask me about sex. Ask me about the meaning of life. But please don't ask me, "why that's an airplane?" because really El, it just is, and that's going to have to be good enough.

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