My toddler has reached the stage where he wants to know the “why” behind everything. And for each answer I give, he has another question.
You’d think as a journalist, I’d appreciate my 3-year-old’s propensity for question-asking. Oh, sure, it’s cute at first. I want to encourage curiosity, and I love to see the way his mind works. But I’m here to tell you that non-stop interrogation is exhausting.
Here, for your amusement, is a partial list of questions he asked in the course of a single day. Just for fun, I jotted them down on my phone as he went. In most cases, I think you’ll be able to guess what answer we gave by the next question he asks.
(Watching a friend’s kids sing-along streaming on Facebook)
Mommy, why is a walrus on the farm?
Mommy, what does a walrus look like?
Can I see a walrus on your phone?
Why is that a walrus?
Why do walruses swim in the ocean?
Mommy, what does an armadillo look like?
Mommy, can I look at pictures of armadillos on your phone?
Mommy, why is that what an armadillo looks like?
Mommy, is that her cat?
Is that other cat her cat?
Why does she have two pets?
Why do we not have two pets?
Do we have a cat? (We don’t. We have a dog named Scout)
Why is Scout not a cat?
Do sloths have four toe things?
Why do sloths have four toes?
(Walking to Blue Earth Plaza, where the water feature is dry.)
Mommy, is that a canyon?
Are the sides like a canyon?
Can we see the fire? (He loves the fireplace at the plaza.)
Can we start the fire?
Is the fire warm?
Why is the fire warm?
What’s that noise?
Why is it music playing?
Can you turn the music off?
(At home with his new baby brother, Cole)
Mommy, is Cole holding your phone?
Why is he not holding your phone?
Does he have big hands?
Mommy, what’s a lilac?
Mommy, why is a lilac a flower?
Mommy, what lilac is a flower?
Mommy, what kind of flower is a lilac?
Daddy, am I going to grow big like you and mommy?
When I am an adult do I get to pick my job?
I’m going to be a fire fighter or a police man or do underwater missions. Or a baseball player. Do I need to safety goggles for my underwater missions?
I’m going to have a baby in my tummy like you, Mommy.
Mommy, why do I need safety goggles for my underwater missions? For my eyes to not get wet, so I can see under water.
What kind of rescue vehicle chases bad guys? (Here he’s not asking me but rather quizzing me for his own amusement.)
Do I have a police car?
What kind of rescue vehicle picks up cars that are broken?
Do I have a tow truck?
What kind of rescue vehicle takes people to the doctor?
Do I have a ambulance? Uh-huh, a sticker ambulance for sticker people.
(On a walk)
Mommy, why can I not see the sun?
Why is it behind the clouds?
Why is the sun farther away than the clouds?
Mommy, what planet is this?
Why is it Earth?
Why are we on this planet?
But why are we not on the other planets?
Why is it the right temperature for us to live?
Why does the sun spin around?
Why is it night? (It wasn’t.)
Why is it not night?
Where are the steamrollers?
Why are the steamrollers not here to make the road smooth?
Why are we driving in the forest? (We were near a few trees.)
Does Aunt Carrie live in the desert? (She lives in western Kansas.)
Is this Grandma’s house?
Why is this not Grandma’s house?
Is this Grandma‘s dining room?
Is that Grandma’s kitchen?
Why is it our kitchen?
Why is our house the blue house?