Before I had kids, I thought I knew things about the world. I went to college and I have a good job. I thought I could handle teaching my kids about the world. Through the baby time, I even started to feel like I was making progress. Point to your nose – good girl!
Then one day my baby became a toddler and her new favorite word was “Why”.
Why is the sky blue? Why is ice cold? These are simple things that you don’t usually think about. But as a parent, you have to come up with SOMETHING. You can only ignore your kids’ questions or say “because it is” for so long. They need an answer. And they will keep asking until you give them an answer.
Toddlers don’t have the same reference points that adults do. So, you have think of some response that you think is true, is also understandable to a toddler and will hopefully distract them. “It’s cold because it’s frozen, like your yogurt popsicles.”
That seems to work for a few minutes. Now she wants a popsicle. But it’s not the end of the question. She constantly repeats the question, even after I have answered her, expecting some sort of new response. Or maybe it’s a game now, who knows.
Not only do toddlers ask the big questions that you don’t have answers to, they ask questions that have no answer.
At some point you are left wondering – how do I even function when I can’t answer the simplest questions from a toddler?
Once you actually start thinking about some of the simple things toddlers ask, you realize all the things you don’t know. There are so many things you take for granted, because they are trivial and don’t matter to your every day life. There are only so many things you can worry about every day.
I know the bath water goes down the drain and then into the sewer system. After that? I don’t know. I don’t need to know. But my toddler doesn’t know and NEEDS to know. I don’t have an answer for her.
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