Saturday, July 21, 2012


As I mentioned before, Eldest is scary smart. Though he is only 4 years old, he can do some really neat tricks, like reading chapter books, addition and subtraction, and driving me batty. During my better moments, I love to watch his little brain work—the way he approaches the world is fascinating. There are times, however, when I just want to do something simple, like exit the house, without all the questions, you know? 

“Where are we going? Can I bring my truck? Is my truck made of metal or plastic? Why is it plastic? What makes it plastic? Why do they call it plastic?”
“For the love of all that is good and holy, put your shoes on! No zapatos, no preguntas. Comprende? Once the shoes are on, you can ask all the questions you want.”

“What are zap toes?”
“PUT YOUR SHOES ON! Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh!”

I know that every child goes through a “why?” phase. I don’t want to make this into a competition. But if it was a competition, I would totally win. Hands down. No contest.
I was in the kitchen, enjoying one of those rare moments when Babies 2 through 3 were sleeping and Eldest was entertaining himself, differentiating equations or whatever he does with his crayons in that notebook of his.

“Can I help you, Mommy?” Eldest asked.
My brain screamed, Nooooooooooooo! No. No way. N-O! But I said, “Sure.”

Eldest: “What are you doing with that knife?”
Me: What does it look like I am doing? I’m knitting the American flag. “I am slicing up this melon, sweetie.”

Eldest: “Why?”

Me: Because you can’t unhinge your jaw and swallow it whole. “So that we can eat it.”
Eldest: “Why are you cutting off that green stuff?”

Me: Eat it and tell me why I’m cutting it off. “That is the rind. It does not taste very good.”
Eldest: “Why not?”

Me: Maybe if I just stay silent he will stop asking questions.
Eldest: “Why does it not taste very good?”

Me: Should have known that was not going to work. “Because it is hard and probably tastes bitter. I honestly haven’t tried it.”
Eldest: “What makes something taste bitter?

Me: Uhhhhh… “Uhhhhh…”
Eldest: “How do you know it is a melon?”

Me: Because it’s called a waterMELON. “I think it has something to do with it having a rind and the seeds on the inside.” 
Eldest: “Why do melons have seeds on the inside?”

Me: I don’t know! I’m not a freakin’ melonologist! “I am not sure. We could look it up.”
Eldest: “Nah. I want to help you. Can I help you? What can I do?”

Me: What you can do is stop asking me questions. “In a little bit I will be done with the knife and you can help me make pudding.”
Eldest: “Why can’t I use the knife?”

Me: Because you have the dexterity of a moose wearing oven mitts. “You need to be older before you can learn to use a knife.”
Eldest: “How old do I need to be?”

Me: One million. “Maybe 10 years old?”
Eldest: “Why?”

Me: So you don’t cut your arm off. “Let’s get our pudding making supplies.”

Eldest: “What do we need to make the pudding?”
Me: One less person in this kitchen. You can choose which one. I’m not picky. “We need a bowl, a whisk, this box of mix—”

Eldest: “What is in the box of mix?”
Me: Magical powder that makes little boys quiet. “Chocolate, uh…um…pudding stuff…”

Eldest: “Why does it say Jello? I thought we were making pudding.”
Me: Here we go. “That is a brand name. A brand is the name of the company who makes a product. In this case, Jello is the company who makes mixes for instant jello and pudding.”

Eldest: “Why are you mixing so fast?”
Me: Because the faster I mix, the faster this will be over. “Mixing helps the powder dissolve.”

Eldest: “Why does mixing fast make the powder dissolve?”
Me: Crap! I think I learned this. What was it? What WAS it? “If I am remembering correctly, there are three ways to help one substance dissolve in another: speed of stirring, temperature, and…maybe particle size?”

Eldest: “Why don’t we change the temperature?”
Me: Cuz if you try to mix instant pudding into hot milk it turns into a big glob of brown goo. (Not that I ever made that mistake.) “The instructions say to use cold milk.”

Eldest: “Why do the instructions say to use cold milk?”

Me: I am so very tired. “Because that is what they say.”
Eldest: “Mommy?”

Me: What now?! “Yes, baby?”

Eldest: “I like helping you. You are the best mommy ever.”
Me: I am such a jerk.


Teri said...

I can't believe there are no comments on this blog. This conversation you're having in your head is hysterical!!


Patricia Purcell said...

Hehee! I try the 'look it up' option all the time. Then later, one of my kids is sure to hold me to it.

There Must Be A Third Option said...

Oh no! If he starts to actually want me to look stuff up, I am in trouble. :)

Sparkling said...

I always say you have to outanswer them. Just keep answering! They're going to ask anyway, so why not tell them the answers and see how smart you really are!! My mother would always just stop the questioning by yelling at us to stop asking so many questions. SO stifling of the creativity!!

There Must Be A Third Option said...

I try to keep up with 'em, I really do! I never want him to stop asking questions. I would, however, like an astrophysicist or two in my list of "phone a friends." Little dude can ask some stumpers! :)