Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bring on the Whys

I'm finally there. I thought I might have bypassed it. I thought I might have tiptoed quietly enough past it. I thought that perhaps, with a focused, concentrated, maniacal determination I might have defied the very thing that all other parents in the history of parenting have been unable to defy. I thought I might have escaped that infamous, infantile stage of  . . . "Why?".

And, ironically, I ask myself why? Why did I think I might get away without having to answer all of the questions my child might have about the world? And more importantly, why would I want to?

To be honest, I thought Big Tot was so fascinated and consumed in his own existence that asking why wouldn't ever occur to him. He rules the world you see. Oh, didn't you know? Yes, my son is in charge of everything. From what direction we should be walking down the street to which colour spoon he (and everyone else) should eat their yoghurt with. He seems so sure of his position as Almighty Ruler and King of the Cosmos that I couldn't imagine him asking how something works or - God forbid - for somebody else's opinion.

But nope. Today he has wanted to know why over and over again. (NB: This is a heavily edited version of events)

Why No. 1
Why are men coming to our house today? Why do they need to put special material in the loft? Why does the house need to be warm? Why is it one of our needs as a human being?

Why No. 2
Why should I eat all my lunch? Why do I need to be strong? Why do I need to be a big man? Why do I need to live a long, happy life?

Why No. 3
Why was it mini-olympics at nursery today? Why did I do really well? Why did we all get medals? Why do we need to feel special?

Why No. 4 (my personal favourite)
Why are you coming in the bathroom? Why do you need to wipe my bottom? Why did I only need two wipes when I've done such a big poo poo?

The parenting experts tell us toddlers ask why because their minds are expanding quickly, they're starting to understand cause and effect, and want to engage you in conversation. That's all fantastic stuff. They also recommend that you note down their more challenging questions and go and research the answer together. So does that mean that after the toilet incident we should have dashed to the laptop and Googled 'Two Wipe Poos'?

Maybe not. I must admit though, I do love this stage. It can be tedious and sometimes exhausting. But it can also be energising, fascinating and massively amusing. Who else, other than your own child, could take you through all of those feelings in one day? In one hour? Or sometimes in just a few minutes?

Who else could ask me, just the other day with eyes as big as saucers, as blue and clear as a spring sky, "Why are you taking me to a Mummies' Business Club? Why are you being a Tronapenur?"?

So in my head I'm saying this: "Why? So I can safely pop you into the conveniently provided toddler play session, have a chat with other entrepreneurs who are mums, network, share ideas, progress my business, discover new avenues (not to mention have a cup of tea in peace) whilst taking steps towards building a successful, international, web-based business which will potentially finance an overseas property and secure the future of you and your brother as well as your dad's and my retirement."

In real life I'm saying this: "Why? Because there are cakes there. Because being a Tronapenur is fun." Oh lordy. What would the parenting experts say?

Oh who bloody cares? Big Tot and I are having fun with this one. Bring on the whys, that's what I say. My answers aren't always sensible or even credible. Sometimes I turn the why round on him and get the most amazing answers which inevitably lift my day and my spirit (e.g. "because that's why my poo poo was a clean one because Spongebob Squarepants was in my belly and cleaned it first. That's why.").

My hubby and I are getting into it too. We've had late-night philosophical discussions about why asking why is so controversial, so fascinating, such a potentially enlightening thing to do. Think about your average conversation. How much would it change if you asked 'why'? How much more would you find about the person you're engaging with and how would it change their view of you?

Of course, it's probably best done with a smile on your face and a genuinely interested tone. Try to avoid looks of disgust and incredulous gasps if you can. Don't take your cue from a toddler here. A whining 'why?' does not invite an interesting answer from anyone. Including a parent.

And I'm fully aware the whys will get more challenging. More difficult. And perhaps sometimes upsetting for Big Tot. But I'm armed with an open mind and a full heart and I will do my best to answer him. And failing that, I've always got the other Mummy Tronapenurs to give me their expert advice over a cake and a cuppa.

Go well everyone (and don't forget to sometimes ask 'why?')


Anyone interested in the 'Mumpreneur' sessions, based at Steel House in Consett, call Anne or Gillian on 01207 585802 or visit

No comments:

Post a Comment