Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Toddler Achievement Unlocked: 'WHY?'

toddler curiosity

It hasn't been a frequent topic of discussion, but the BabbyDaddy and I have now and then ruminated on when the Babby would begin asking 'Why?' You have to admit, it's a very mature question - it acknowledges that things very likely happen for a reason and shows an interest in finding out what that reason is.

(I suppose if either of us ever bothered to read books or websites about toddlers, we would have known. But sometimes it's just more fun to find these things out as they happen.)

Turns out the answer to the above question was the Babby would ask "Why" on April 23, 2011, and the 'Why?' would be promoted by the BabbyDaddy telling the Babby not to press the Answer On/Off button on the land line base.

To no one's surprise, the first, surprising "Why, Papa?" has in the short time since that date sparked a revolution of why why why.

Why shouldn't the Babby scrape a fork along the wall? Why is it time for a diaper change? Why can't the Babby play with power cords? Why is Mama taking the temporary cat hair force field (better known as a bedsheet) off the couch? Why isn't it time for lunch? Etc.

It's terribly exciting, and I'm looking forward to being hounded by an infinite string of whys for the next four or five years. I'm sure that after the first few thousand, I'll be sick of all those questions, but for now every little "Why?" has the glow of novelty. And at least in the future, this being the age of the Internet, I can at least Google for answers when I'm hit with a why that stumps me.


  1. huh. We haven't gotten to why yet. Maybe it's because we're always offering explanations for pretty much everything we talk about? (ie WE TALK TOO MUCH)

  2. I think it's just a Babby thing - because we're the same way with the running commentary (especially when it's just me and the Babby, like I'm naming/explaining everything just to have some background noise, ugh).

    In fact, it must just be a weird Babby thing because looking it up, apparently asking 'Why?" doesn't usually start until age three.

  3. ...and she definitely can't answer "Why?" if asked.

  4. I thought the "Why?" stage was incredibly cool. It's this super cool period of rapid development of knowledge and understanding about how the world around them works. It's also an amazing opportunity to really shape a child's view of the world.

    I frequently found myself asking them, "Hmm, why do you think?" and then talking about it.

  5. My husband pretty much can't WAIT for the why stage. He's practically salivating waiting for it (I keep telling him the kid needs to learn to talk before he can say why, but that seems to be a minor point to my husband).

    I think it's such a cool thing, even if it does get annoying, the whole putting the world together stuff.

  6. @Jennifer Definitely! It's super exciting and I can't wait until it gets more complex and we're looking things up on Wikipedia together and going to the library to answer "Why?"

    (Not looking forward so much to the bad stuff, though... "Why do people kill?" etc.)

    @Ginger It really is neat even if I know I won't have the answer off the top of my head!

  7. Oh.... yes. My oldest asks why constantly. Thanks for the reminder of the fun in the question :)


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