Monday, June 4, 2012

The Why Game

When kids are little, they are incredibly curious creatures. They love to ask the question, "Why?" In fact, no matter what you answer, they come back with the same question, "Why?" over and over. "Why, why, why?" It's like a funhouse room of mirrors and it can go on forever.

"Put your boots on."
"Because it's snowing."
"Because the water in the air froze."
"Because it's 20-degrees out."
"Because it's winter in Vermont."
"Because the Earth rotated and we're not near the sun."

Finally, the mom or dad gives up and answers, "Just because that's how it is." Or the even more honest, "I don't know." It's tough to go from being all-knowing parent to total ignoramus in just a few monosyllabic queries. But, there you have it.

Actually, the so-called "Why Game" is good practice for when your adorable little interrogator grows into a tween or teen. For two reasons, really. First, your adolescent offspring will question everything. And, I do mean every thing. And, second, because by that point, they already know that you know nothing.

But, it's always fun to turn the tables. I have several "Why?"s of my own these days:

"Why does my daughter forget what I've asked her to do ten minutes ago but remembers every promise I've made for the past ten years?"

"Why can't she get up at 6:30 am on a school day when she has no problem whatsoever getting up at 5:00 am to go to an offsite dressage competition?"

"Why can she hear a text message come in when her iPhone is in another room, but can't hear her father calling her to come downstairs for dinner?"

"Why did it take her weeks to finish To Kill A Mockingbird when she read the entire Twilight series over a weekend?"

"Why is she able to clean a horse, his tack and his stall but can't make her bed?"

"Why is she too full to eat the rest of her chicken but still has room for cookie dough, popcorn, ice cream and Skittles?"

"Why does it take her half an hour to get dressed if the whole point is to look like she doesn't care what she's wearing?"

"Why is any suggestion I make 'lame' when the exact same suggestion made by a BFF is greeted with enthusiasm?"

"Why did she miss so many answers on her math test when she can tell me to the penny how much allowance we owe her?"

And my personal favorite (paraphrased from the Colin Firth movie What a Girl Wants) ...

"Why is she so worried about fitting in when she was obviously meant to stand out."


  1. "Why does my daughter forget what I've asked her to do ten minutes ago but remembers every promise I've made for the past ten years?"

    Oh that one is so true but it was with my older boys. I don't have any girls. I like your list. Gave me a bit of a chuckle today.

  2. I think you are talking about my daughters too! It all sounds so familiar.