On average we get about five "whys" in any given conversation. Here's one that happened recently, as we were watching fish, waiting for our car to get pulled out of the parking lot (yay for cheap valet in Brazil - super nice when you have a big car on narrow roads and don't want to try to parallel park.)
Me: No, Lucas.
Me: Because the fish needs to be in water, so you can't take it out.
Lucas: But why?
Me: Because if you take the fish out, it will flop all over the place. Fish need water to live.
Lucas: But why?
Me: Because they swim in the water and if you take it out, it can't swim.
Me: No buts, let's get out of here! (distraction technique at it's finest)
Sometimes I think he also has the memory of a fish because I swear we had that conversation at least three times while we waited for our car.
Now, I don't want to brush off my kid and abruptly end every conversation that starts with "why". I want to encourage a love of learning, and it starts with being able to ask questions. I never want my kids to think they can't ask me something. So I try to answer as simply and briefly as possible so he will understand, and stay patient while repeating things over and over and over.
But I don't have all the answers, no surprise there. I do have some questions of my own though.
Why do kids choose the most inopportune moment to have a potty crisis?
Why do kids think the toilet bowl is a good alternative to the sink for washing hands?
Why do kids put everything into their mouth? (including previously mentioned "potty hands")
Why do kids wake up just as you're ready for bed, lights out, teeth brushed and dozing off? It's like they have special radar or something.
Most of these questions remain in my mind, probably never to be answered, but my kids are also the target of "why" questions, usually this one:
"Lucas, why did you do that?"
As my kids get older, develop a better grasp on their language, communication and knowledge, I have an idea as to how to deal with the "whys"...
Lucas: Mommy, why is the sky blue?
Me: Why do you think the sky is blue?
Share your "why" questions (yours or your kids) in the comments!