I recently read that two-year-olds ignore things they don’t understand. Our daughter didn’t get that memo. Sure, I did notice for awhile that if we talked about things she didn’t follow she’d sort of tune out and look away. Then about a month or so ago she would interrupt me if I was talking to someone else and she couldn’t follow the conversation. “What mommy saying?” she’d ask. She was very aware when she wasn’t understanding something – and she didn’t like it.
But she has now moved from wanting us to repeat something to asking that question that parents come to dread. Why?
She had been asking a few random ‘whys?’ and ‘whats?’ this last week, but this past weekend I went into her room when she woke up crying around 6:30 a.m.
“Mommy, you are wearing your sleeping pants,” she said, “Why?”
“Because I was sleeping.”
“Because it’s night.”
“Because the sun went down.”
“Because the earth turns.”
“The earth! We live on the earth!” Pause. “Mommy is going to the kitchen.”
“No, I’m going to go back to bed.”
“Because I want to sleep.”
“Because I’m tired.”
“Aren’t you tired, my love?”
Thus it begins, I thought. And short of starting to cart around an encyclopaedia and the patience of Job, we’re going to need a survival strategy.
V has so far managed to stump her by proclaiming her why? an invalid question. She considered this and turned away. (Perhaps there is still some of that ‘ignoring what they don’t understand’ left in her.)
I’ve tried creating a loop.
“Time to go to sleep.”
“Because it’s night time?”
“Because it’s time to go to sleep.”
She quickly loses interest.
I’ve also tried throwing the question back at her – the good ol’ “Why do you think?”
Or there’s the limit setting – you can ask 3 more ‘whys’.
Bet you can guess the next word.