The Why Phase

The Why Phase

Once upon a time, before I had children, a friend told me her son was going through a phase of constantly asking why about everything. It was driving her mad, she said, and she tried to change the subject rather than answering whenever possible. I didn’t say anything, but I remember thinking that it seemed a shame to fob him off like that. He was just curious about the world, wasn’t he? Shouldn’t his parents try to foster and grow that curiosity?

Fast forward several years and I’m right in the thick of it with my three-year-old son. This is a fairly typical conversation.

Him: Can I have a snack?

Me: No.

Him: Why?

Me: Because you’re in the middle of eating your lunch.

Him: Why?

Me: Because it’s lunchtime.

Him: Why?

And on. And on. And on. I hate being defeated but there is simply no answer to this question in many cases. A quick poll of my friends revealed that the why questions can be:

Embarrassing, as in ‘Why is that man bald?’

 Tricky, as in ‘Why is it raining?’

 Impossible, as in ‘Why don’t you have a willy, Mummy?’

I’m mortified that I silently judged my friend all those years ago, now that sometimes a day full of whys can lead to a why question of my own. Why did I have children, again?

My son is trying to make sense of the world. I understand that, and I love it. I love seeing things through his eyes and sharing in his excitement over the most mundane of things, like when he made me go up and down an escalator for a good twenty minutes recently. And why is important. It’s essential. But it’s also the bane of my life.

And then, just when I’m fantasising about running away to live alone on a desert island, he’ll surprise me. Like today, when he asked ‘Why do you love me?’ Now there’s a question I can answer all day long.

Like this? You’ll love Laura’s last Motherload blog about why she didn’t listen when people told her to Sleep When the Baby Sleeps. For the very latest from our writers, visitThe Motherload® homepage

About Laura

Laura is a copywriter, blogger and unpublished novelist. She lives in Leicestershire with her husband and their two children – Joseph (2) and Elodie (3 months).


Twitter: @Cancerandbaby 

Laura Pearson

Laura is a writer who lives in Leicestershire with her husband and their two children. When she’s not writing or reading, she can usually be found trying to get her son to put his shoes on, encouraging her daughter to sleep past 5am or moving small items from one room to another. You can follow her on Twitter and on her blog about getting cancer when she was pregnant.

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