Why?

My eldest children have developed this habit.

Me: “child, pick up your shoes.” (let’s pretend I said please, I do try)

Child: “why?”

Me: “grrrr.  because I said so…”

child: “Harumph…”

five minutes later…

me: “child come eat dinner.”

child: “why?”

me: “GRRRRR!!!”

child: “okay, okay”

And it goes like this no matter the request.  I ask for something, they ask why.

And here’s the thing with that:

I want them to question authority.

But…

I don’t want them to question me.

There’s a whole in the bucket…

Other stuff that stuck with me this week:

1.  The lady who worked at Longwood Gardens who said: “Where’s your back up?  Why would you bring four kids out alone.”  I still pat myself on the back for not doing what I wanted to do (and later told my husband I did later that night).  Which was to clutch my hands to my face and fake sob while telling said intrusive woman that I “couldn’t talk about it” while rushing away…  Instead I just told her the truth – “It’s just me today.  It was come out with four kids alone or stay home with four kids alone.  I chose the gardens.”

2. My father called me to tell me that the car in front of him had a bumper sticker that read “Don’t kill your baby, bitch”  or some other equally inflammatory anti-abortion mumbo jumbo and called me in a rage.  He stated that he was so upset that he wanted to run the person off the road.  I talked him down.  But just barely.  I honestly had no idea my dad was so very pro choice.   It made me proud. (and a little worried about road rage)

3.  I called my son prince watermelon all day on Tuesday.  He responded every time.  I called my daughter princess applesauce once, and she asked me stop.  Struck me that this is the fundamental difference between 5 and 7.

4. Birth mom has been questioning the way we are caring for her kids.  Little questions like “why does the baby still have that cough?” and “when will the older child have his evaluation”  come to me from the caseworker after every visit now and they send me through the roof.   I scream in my head as I say “The doctor, who saw her yesterday, said it’s teething.” and “they say it’ll be about two weeks”. But my blood boils…

5. Every time I talk to my father he asks about my kids and how they are dealing with sharing mom and dad with the babies.  Every time I tell him they seem fine.  Almost every time he launches into the dire warning that I have to be careful and attentive because they are probably suffering and I am just too busy to notice.  This week, I hung up and do what I often do after these conversations.  I quizzed my kids in about seventy different ways to get them to admit they are struggling.  This week, just like every other time I’ve done this they think I’m strange for thinking the little ones are anything other than fun.

7.  The music in my mind this morning.

me:  Get up. Go to work.

me:  why?

me: grrrrrr….

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3 thoughts on “Why?

  1. After I read (what else?) a blog post about how Laura and Mary Ingalls weren’t mauled by a bear because when Ma said, “Girls, go in the house,” they just dropped what they were doing and went, I thought, great, I’m raising bear bait. So I made a new rule: the kids are always welcome to ask why I’m telling them to do something…if they have already done it or are in process of doing it. It’s cut down on the why?s but not necessarily moved them off the “likely bear bait” list. Still working on the compliance, but at least the automatic “why?” is abating.

  2. I hate the “why?’s”. I thought I had gotten off scot free because we didn’t go through that at 2 or 3. So now I am constantly over-talking everything because I put out a request and a reason. Because, like you, I don’t want a child who follows orders blindly, even from me. There’s a lot of “please put your dish in the sink because I worked hard to get dinner on the table and I don’t want an extra chore for myself and if we leave it there, we might get bugs in the house”. Bugs in the house is a great motivator.

    I think if there was a bear your tone would tell them that they had better listen now and ask later. Kids are good like that.

    Also, I just found out that the LIW series was only loosely based on fact recently (I guess I was last to know, because no one else is shocked) and I cried. At my desk. At work.

    And yay, dad!

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