Why and Other Words

You know the pilot episode of Lucky Louie that Mrs. Kennedy wrote about (transcribed, actually) way back in July? We saw that episode (or at least that opening scene) when it aired, and neither Al nor I found it funny. We found it annoying. Well, guess what? THAT SCENE IS NOW MY LIFE. The Beaner's favorite phrase used to be "what happened?", which could be annoying enough when repeated. But while "what happened" is still in rotation, it's been replaced at #1 by WHY? And not just one WHY?, but several, repeated after every answer a la that scene in Lucky Louie.

This will not be a surprise to any parent with a child older than 5 or so; if you've made it that far, you've already been through the endless WHY stage, and you're probably smirking right now. Heck, you probably found the Lucky Louie scene hi-fucking-larious. What I do find somewhat amusing about it is that Al takes the questioning as a parental challenge and answers each successive WHY with more and more detail—essentially re-enacting the Lucky Louie scene over and over on a daily basis. I do it too, to a certain extent, though at some point I usually cut the Beaner off with a BECAUSE.

At the mall the other day I actually had the temerity to ignore three WHYs in a row, and when the fourth one came, I responded with BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE. Which The Beaner found hilarious, and so a game of WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY...BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE ensued. If I forgot my line, the Beaner would prompt me: "No, {Beaner} says, 'WHY WHY WHY...' and then Mommy says, 'BECAUSE BECAUSE BECAUSE...'."

It can sometimes be fun to try to come up with enough detail to answer each successive WHY, so the question isn't *always* annoying. What *is* annoying is when the whole WHY set gets repeated, as in:

"Mommy, whatchu doin'?"

"Unloading the dishwasher."


"Because the dishes are clean, and I need to put them away."


"Because I need to make room for the dirty dishes."


"Because I don't want them clogging up the sink."



[10 second pause]

"Mommy, whatchu doin'?"

"I'm unloading the dishwasher."


And so on. After the third round of the same questions and the same answers, when he asked, "Mommy, whatchu doin'?", I said, YOU TELL ME. And he did... but then he said, WHY?, and I replied, MOMMY ALREADY TOLD YOU WHY. Which of course I came to regret. He spent the rest of the day saying WHY? and then, before I could fully form a response, answering his own question with MOMMY ALREADY TOLD YOU WHY. "Uh, Beaner? No I didn't. Not this time."

WHY isn't the only new word around here. He now answers requests with "sure" or "sure thing". He's started using the word "also" properly—as in, "Mommy putting on her coat? I put on my coat also." Aura mentioned that she'd heard him use the word "though", and then sure enough, I heard him say it the next day. Last night Al said to him, while we were eating Korean food for dinner, "you didn't like that pork dumpling?" The Beaner replied, "No. The rice is good, though."

Sometimes I can carry on such detailed, grown-up-like conversations with him that I forget he's only two. I'm brought back to reality when he answers WHAT. to perfectly reasonable questions, like "do you remember why you were crying last night?" (Not WHAT?, but WHAT.) Oh, and remember how I said I wasn't sure whether the requests to pee and poop at bedtime reflected progress on the toilet-training front or precocious procratistination? (No? Hm, maybe I never said it out blog.) Anyway, it's a little of both. He's become a total CHAMP at the potty. Even when he had a bit of a stomach virus last weekend, he managed to tell me BEFORE he had to go *and* wait for a stall big enough for the two of us to open up. (At the ski slope we visited last weekend, everyone coveted the handicap stall because it was the only one big enough to turn around in.) We don't have to ask him if he has to pee constantly because he tells us when he has to go.

Oh, but what I was about to talk about was the precocious procrastination. Last night, as usual, he announced that he had to pee after we'd been in bed snuggling for 15 minutes already. I sighed heavily and said OK, let's go to the bathroom then. We marched down the hall, I helped him off with his Pull-Up (we've switched from regular Huggies to Pull-Ups at night mainly because of this "I need to poop|pee" drama; Pull-Ups are easier to get on and off), and then I stood him in front of the toilet. He waited a couple seconds and then turned his head, the first sign that he's about to announce, "I don't have to pee." Instead, he started peeing—and exclaimed in surprise, "Oh! I *did* have to pee!" So there you have it: evidence that the nightly trips to the bathroom are more about procrastination than keeping his diaper dry. (Although he does keep his diaper dry about 5 nights out of 7. He's actually starting to wake in the middle of the night occasionally just because he has to pee.)

Let's see... oh yes, one more thing: He's finally started to get the concept of you vs. me. At least half the time he now says, "Grandpa got this for me" instead of "Grandpa got this for you." He practices sometimes, pointing at me and saying "you", and then at himself and saying "me". OK wait, that wasn't the last thing, this is: When his dad brought a corn dog for him down to the basement playroom (which is walled in mirrors because it used to be the previous owner's body-building gym) this afternoon, he said, "Daddy got me a corn dog," to me, and then he turned to the mirror and addressed himself: "{Beaner}, look! A corn dog!" And then he did a little dance of joy.

Posted by Lori in parenthood at 5:11 PM on February 18, 2007


I am charmed by the idea of the Corn Dog Dance of Joy.

I fully expect you to demonstrate it the next time I see you.

Posted by: ratphooey [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 18, 2007 5:50 PM

These kind of observations are what Piaget built his career on!!!!!

Posted by: byjane at February 19, 2007 6:20 PM

Hahahahahahahah...welcome to "why" hell! :)

I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself. Your description fits exactly what I've been listening to for the past four months. There's never a sufficient answer for "why," is there?

Posted by: lori at February 19, 2007 9:35 PM

Nope. :)

Posted by: Lori [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 19, 2007 10:17 PM

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