Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Question of Why

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?  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Finding Time

My house is up early today.

No real reason why. And even though our kids can't/don't get out of their beds until a decent hour, the cooing from Caden's room and the singing from Caylah's can make for a lot of "action" around the house.

Even when it's a calm morning, though, it's difficult for me to find time to spend in quiet. Between getting ready for work, comparing daily schedules with my wife, and getting the day started with the kids, alone time - much less quiet time - is tough to come across.

I have been telling myself that it's just the stage we're in. It's because our kids are so young and require so much of our attention that I have an excuse to not worry about setting that time aside now. Once they get older, it'll be easier. The problem was that I was talking with a woman who has two teenagers and she was bemoaning the same reality that I was - making sure her kids got up, and taking them from here to there, and getting them through their day - that was making it tough for her find that solitude as well.

I guess it's just a matter of doing it...somehow. Getting up early, or stealing away midday, or grabbing time at night. Rarely will quiet time just fall in my lap, but needs to be something I pursue. It's important for me, and for my family.

How do you make that time to spend in solitude or quiet as a dad with small kids? Why is it important to you?