The Age of Why


There comes a time in every parent’s life when you little one starts to ask ‘why‘. And most of the time it’s the simple little kid questions like ‘why do I have to go to bed?’, or ‘why do I have to eat broccoli?’, or even ‘why do I have to take a bath?’. Questions that, as the parent, you are more than able to provide an adequate answer to – hopefully without resorting to using the words ‘because’ and ‘I’ and ‘said’ and ‘so’… in that particular order.

But every now and then, your delightful little bundle of enthusiasm will ask you something, that, in the privacy of your own home may seem innocent enough, but when raised in public, suddenly becomes the most embarrassing thing your child could ask.

Something like ‘why does poop smell so bad?’. Or how about ‘why does that person smell like pee-pee?’. Or my personal favorite, ‘why can I smell vomit? Is that person sick?’


Yes, curiosity is a wondrous thing, but like the cat it killed, it can quickly make a parent want to duck for cover.

Little P has definitely entered the age of why. And while for the most part her questions are normal little kid questions and she mostly refrains from asking the uncomfortable ones in public, she has, unfortunately,  also entered the ‘I’m going to be really whiny about every little thing’ age. So not only are M and I getting the ‘why are we going there?’ question, it’s said in that oh-so-wonderful tone of whin-i-ness that just makes a parent want to reach for that next glass of wine. What it winds up sounding like is a cross between The Nanny and one of the Munchkin’s from Oz (you are never going to get that image out of your head now are you? *insert evil laugh here*).

little girl smile
Don’t let that smile fool you – she’s quietly planning her next series of ‘but why’s’.


So, what’s a parent to do when you get the double whammy of whine (not the good kind) and why? Well, you could do what M does and patiently answer the ‘why’s’, while quietly managing to ignore the ‘whine’. I on the other hand often resort to the time-tested and Mom Approved (patent pending) use of mimicking. Yes, I realize it’s childish, but hey, guess what? We are dealing with children here!

And I’m not exactly mimicking – I do answer her questions –  I just happen to use the same Fran Drescher/Munchkin combo voice that she uses.

Does it work? 90% of the time, yes. She stops using that voice, asks me the same question in a much more pleasant voice and we get on with our lives.

And the other 10% of the time?

We usually wind up in a epic battle of wits to see who can frustrate the other person more, and how quickly. At this point, we are currently tied – the kid is nothing if not stubborn (she gets that from M).

And while I will admit that by doing so I’m not exactly embracing the whole ‘being the bigger person’ deal when I do this, I gotta tell you, it’s saved me from losing my cool a few times. It’s true. By making that really annoying voice I wind up cracking myself up, which in turn makes Little P laugh, and before you know it the question is forgotten, and we are doing something else.

So, while I may not be getting the “Mom of the Year” award for doing this, I’m at least making myself and Little P laugh. And really, isn’t that the better option?

Till next time, laugh it up.


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