Oh I do love my little man, sometimes when I read him a story in bed I just want to snuggle down there and then and cuddle him all night. That is, until, he says ‘Mummy… why does the sun come out in the morning and the moon come out at night? and why can’t the moon and the sun be out at the same time? and why do we have to go to bed when it’s dark? and what are we going to do when the sun comes up? Why? Why? Why? WHY?’ By this point I have swiftly jumped up turned off the light and bid him a fond farewell until the morning.
Sounds harsh doesn’t it? But this kid can ask questions until the sun does come out by which time he could probably answer every musing for himself! When I’m having a good day, got a decent amount of Z’s in the bank and the other child is being agreeable (which she is fairly often to be fair!) I have quite a lot of patience and interest in these questions. On the days where you’ve been on a dummy hunt several times in the night and then been rudely awoken at 5.30am, I find the questions (maybe from the third onwards) severely irritating!
I do really love his thirst for information, the way he absorbs and processes the world around him, but it can be downright exhausting especially when you just don’t have an answer.
Let’s go through some examples…
One of my favourites, ‘Mummy do fish have toes?’ Came completely out of the blue the other day. I do like these amusing ones I have to say. My answer was somewhere along the lines of ‘No because they don’t have feet’ luckily he didn’t go any further with that one.
Another cracker recently was ‘Mummy, why does an ant have a tail like a cocoon?’ I mean!!! Was quite proud of this one I have to say. We’d been looking at a set of board books of Flossie’s with pictures of animals in and he’d started to show a real interest in all the different animals and putting them into their categories. Oh yeh if anyone has a good way to explain to a 3 year old the difference between living in the wild and living in captivity please comment below. I just haven’t hit the nail on the head yet when it comes to describing what wild means.. This is what I mean, imagine trying to explain this when all you really want to do is dive head first into a Malibu and coke (just me?) and get into bed with all your clothes on.
Back to the questions.. He also asked me the other day why his Grampy doesn’t have any hair.. ha! I just had to laugh at this one and he was fairly satisfied that he’d come out with something funny. What I didn’t explain to him was that male pattern baldness comes from your mothers father. I’ll leave him to work that out.
These all sound fairly innocent so far right? Those are the good ones. The ones that really grate on me though, often happen whilst watching a film or reading a book or generally any time together where you want to sit and be reasonably quiet. Watching films together is a recent phenomenon. Oh how I looked forward to the days when he would sit and concentrate for long enough that we could just cuddle together and enjoy some of Disney’s finest. As with a fair few things I’d looked forward to once I became a parent, things didn’t go exactly as I imagined. Rather we end up with questions like ‘Mummy what is he/she/it doing?’ When they’re CLEARLY doing something that is incredibly CLEAR to see like ‘walking’ or ‘eating’. I think this emoji best sums up my feeling when it comes to these sort of questions 😒. To top it off he’ll then ask ‘why?’ I mean.. come on!? After attempting to answer why someone is walking or stretching, a few times I usually now just say ‘just watch it and you’ll find out!!!!’ When I write ‘say’ what I really mean is shout in exasperation!
Also the other questions that rate fairly high on the irritability scale are related to why he has to do something he doesn’t want to do. For example yesterday when leaving the park
Henry: ‘But why do we have to go home??’
Me : ‘Because Flossie needs a nap’
Henry: ‘But why mummy!’
Me: ‘Because she needs to sleep’
Henry ‘But why!! I don’t want to go home it’s boring!’
And you see where I’m going with this I’m sure. I think it is also equally obvious why these questions are annoying.
Recently though we’ve had a few really deep and meaningful questions like
‘Mummy, why do some people have brown faces and some people have yellow faces?’
This was after about 20 mins stuck in traffic which we were eventually stuck in for a further hour. When he asks questions like this I really have to think about it. I want to do him justice in the way I explain these things as well as convey the right way (I believe) to think and feel about the world. Seeing as we were stuck in horrendous traffic I had a bit of time to think about it, though with a screaming baby in the back it wasn’t the most conducive of thinking spaces. I eventually said something along the lines of
‘Well some people have black skin and some people have white skin, we all have different colour skin’ to which he said ‘so people with black skin have brown faces and people with white skin have yellow faces’. I do really love the way his mind works sometimes but I also decided to check my foundation colour match when I got home..
Also, since Floss came along we have had a fair few questions about what makes girls, girls and what makes boys, boys. This led to him asking rather loudly in the lingerie department of Debenhams ‘Mummy why don’t girls have willies?’ And also then ask what the random boulder holder contraption I was holding is called. Unfortunately there weren’t many people around to join us in self conscious laughter but it’s one to embarrass him with when he’s older I think!
While we’re on the subject of human anatomy he’s been quite curious about why I had to go into hospital to have Floss, which led to him asking that dreading question ‘Mummy how do babies come out?’. Argh, I wasn’t expecting to have to answer this sort of thing just yet! I decided to be (semi) honest and say that they come out of your bottom. Mainly because we don’t really have a word for lady parts and I REALLY didn’t want to have to go into that sort of detail. Well, he was just incredulous and, ladies and gentlemen I bring you this piece of comedy gold from Henry Gibson aged 3, he practically spat out ‘out of your BOTTOM! But mummy they’re not a POO!’ Wah! This definitely brightened up our evening..! And you know when a 3 year old knows they’ve made you laugh they decide to ride that wave for all it’s worth. So by the time he’d shouted ‘poo!’ for the 15th time he couldn’t quite understand why we no longer found it funny. Takes a while for that life lesson to sink in I think.
So there we have it, just a small sample of those questions that simultaneously drive me nuts, leave me in awe and have me in stitches. You know what the best thing about this is… I have this all to come again in about 2 years time! Though apparently I only have myself to blame as my mum quite kindly pointed out that I actually, was exactly the same if not worse. I guess that’s why I’m so incredibly knowledgeable and amazingly intelligent….. 😉