It came out of nowhere. One day, our daughter was taking everything we said at face value. And then, all of the sudden, she asked that question that parents everywhere dread - Why?
Caylah, have a seat and eat your dinner, please. Why?
Caylah, let's go put on our shoes. Why?
Caylah, don't throw your brother out of his crib. Why?
And it goes on and on.
Dads, if you've gotten to this phase yet, you know how stressful it can be. The last thing I want to do is give the age-old answer - "Because I said so," right? But that means that I've got to come up with a quality answer in a split-second so that it sounds legit, and even then it might be met with a "why?" as soon as the words have come out of my mouth.
So right now I'm perfecting my answering reflexes. I've found that if you stretch out "becaaaaaaauuuuusssseee" it does, in fact, buy you time to actually invent an answer that does sound somewhat satisfactory. "Ask mommy," is also effective, but, surprisingly, can only be used sparingly.
Seriously, though, it's cool to see Caylah move into a new developmental phase. Conversations with her have more depth than they ever have before, and watching her process a response or thought is pretty amazing. So as the "why"s keep coming, I keep telling myself that this is a good thing.
Thankfully, we haven't gotten into the tough "why" questions yet. With the recent tragedies in Boston and West, I'm sure a lot of older kids are asking those "why"s that begin to shape their view of humanity, God, and themselves. For now, however, we're just doing good questions about rules and regulations at home.
I just hope my answers are just as good.
How about you? What strategies do you have on those "why" questions?