“Where is the fire truck going? Why aren’t the lights on? What will they do at the fire? Do the blinkers make noise? Why are we stopped at a red light? When will it turn green? What if we stop at a green light? Are those children going home? Can we ride our bikes home from school? When will our car move? Why are those cars moving? What is the name of this song? Why is it called that?”
This is just a sample of what it is like to spend a day, actually to spend 5 minutes, with my dearest darling W. You see, he is 3 years old and the world is one big “why?” The best questions are the ones he asks again and again. Maybe because he likes my answer or maybe he is hoping for a different one. Either way, he seems content and the questions keep coming.
One particular day they seemed to come at me rapid fire. My name seemed to be on the tip of his tongue every 4.5 seconds, and if I didn’t answer fast enough he would call out “MOMMY! Why aren’t you answering me?” I had gone upstairs, at his request, to get his favorite car transporter down from a shelf in the closet. By the time I had gotten from the bottom of the stairs to the top of the closet he had asked me 5 questions already. I was trying to keep up and feeling so very exhausted by the intensity of his inquiries.
As I loaded W and Baby J into the car for carpool, I found myself looking forward to a bit of a break. They were both captive in their seats, snacking happily. There would be no one to chase after for the next 30 minutes or so and nothing to clean up. I found myself settling in for as much relaxation as carpool can be when the questions began again.
“Why is that his name? Why is he wearing that shirt? Is it going to rain? What will happen if it rains? What about the thunder? Why does it thunder? Does God like thunder? Will our house get wet? Will you turn the wipers on? What aren’t you turning on the wipers?” And on and on and on.
I looked back at him with his legs crossed at the ankles, something that he’s done when he is content ever since he was a baby, and my heart swelled. Maybe it was delirium related to too many questions, but nevertheless, I was full of love for (and exhaustion from) him. There he sat with his ruffled hair, his cherub cheeks, and meaty hands mispronouncing his words by mixing up sounds and lisping every now and then. I looked at him and realized that even though today I desperately wanted a break from the questions, that one day he might not ask them. One day he might want to get into the car and not talk. One day the questions might be directed to someone other than me. That thought was almost too much to bear, the thought of this little boy growing up.
So I lifted up a little prayer, a bargain with God. “I’ll keep answering the questions and I will be patient about it,” I thought. “If You promise that they will always come.”
Find the joy~
Jessica McCauley, M.Ed. is a parenting coach/consultant. She draws on her background as a Montessori educator and Child Life Specialist to help families navigate the challenges of the early childhood years. Contact Jessica at http://smallhandsbigsteps.com/contact/ for more information or to schedule a consultation.