“Because I said so.” It happened. The day that I hoped would never happen when I was growing up. I said the 4 words I swore would never come out of my mouth, “Because I said so.” It was official: I just became my parents.
Jude’s curiosity has been growing along with his vocabulary over the past couple of years. Lately, his reply to everything is “Why?” Why are you getting out the blender, Mom? Why are we putting our shoes on? Why is it raining outside?
Anna and I have been trying to answer his questions the best that we can in terms that he might be able to understand. Also, we have been trying to constantly remind ourselves that he is NOT trying to drive us crazy but is just trying to learn.
Becoming your parents
On this particular day, I was running a little late trying to drop Jude off at daycare. I asked him to hang his coat on the rack next to his bag so he could go into his classroom with the other kids. He asked, “Why do you want me to hang my coat, Dad?” I was frustrated with myself for running late and lost my patience with Jude and just said, “Because I said so.” Talk about starting the day off on the wrong foot. Instead of taking the time to answer his question, I simply ignored him and basically said do it.
I am not sure if you have ever apologized to a four year-old before, but I have, multiple times. I am not ashamed that I have had to apologize because I am wrong. I am ashamed because I have let my frustrations get the best of me.
Taking the time to answer questions
I felt guilty about ignoring Jude’s questions at daycare, so I decided we needed a little time together. What better way to spend time together than go to the park and play. Jude is crazy for parks. If left up to him, he would spend the entire day outside, rain or shine, winter or summer. After going down each slide 10+ times, swinging on the swings, playing on the teeter totter and running around the the park, he was tired.
So, we stopped and got some ice cream. Nothing like filling up a kid with sugar after a day at the park. Once we got our shakes, I decided to just drive around town. After 5 minutes of driving around town, he started in with his questions. “What street are we on? Now what street are we on? Do I have to go to school tomorrow?” We drove around together, and I answered his questions as best as I could.
A lot of people whose kids are older tell me to treasure these moments because they fly by. It is hard sometimes to heed that advice when you are in the middle of it, but I’m trying.
Do you hear the “why” question at your house? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.