We have entered the Era of Endless Question. The Age of “Why?”
I appreciate the question. Blind faith has never worked that well for me. A small bag of skepticism is always a good thing to carry around in your backpack.
But my God, it’s like we’re raising Fox Mulder.
So far, the questions have been relatively easy.
I have told Jack why the Hulk is green (“Gamma radiation and anger, mostly.”), why Reid is a little guy (“Because that’s the way everyone comes out.”), why he has to eat his vegetables (“Because otherwise, you will get rickets and scurvy.”), why the Joker is a bad guy (“Because some people are just bad, buddy. That’s the choice they make.”), why he has to go to bed (“Because if you don’t go to sleep, you might lose your marbles.”) and why he can’t get out of bed yet (“Because it’s not even six in the morning.”).
We’ve had our sad questions, too. About why we can’t see Grandmommy anymore. (“Because she is with God now.”).
A couple of weeks ago, Jack did something that merited punishment, a send-to-your-room offense of some kind that I can’t remember. He started crying, badly, and also needed a diaper change. I had him on the changing table while he’s melting down and he says, “Are you mad at me?”
“I’m not happy with you.”
“You’re not going to hit me, are you?”
It stopped me like a slap, because I immediately start thinking, where did he hear this? Does one of his teachers hit him at school? Did he see some Dad punch his kid?
“No, buddy. I would never hit you.”
“Why?” He stood there, snuffling.
“Because I’m your Daddy. And Daddies don’t hit.”
I didn’t mind telling him that answer, again and again, until I was sure he would believe me enough to never ask it again.
There is much to be learned, seeing the world with fresh eyes.
But bringing a three year-old’s curiosity to every conversation is the only proven way to drive someone insane. Try this at home. Tell your story in comments.
“I could really use a drink.”
“Long day. An endless client meeting. Some guy ate three hard boiled eggs right next to me on the train ride home. You know how I feel about hard boiled eggs.”
“They’re gross. They smell like farts.”
“How do I know? Because they come out of a chicken’s ass.”
*pulls out smartphone* “Because that’s how chickens ovulate or something. I don’t know.” *taps glass* *opens Google*
“Why what? Why do chickens ovulate or why do I now know? Chickens ovulate that way because they do. I don’t know because I never had chickens.”
*fingernails press into fists, leaving small half moon marks* “Because I grew up in the city. We didn’t have chickens.”
“Because the enormous rats that roamed the streets ate them all.”
“It was God’s will.”
“I have no idea. He is a mystery.”