The Age of Why


[I am a captive audience to his questions when we're in the car.]

"Why do I have to put my coat on?" the Kid asked, as I tugged up his zipper.

"Because it's cold out."

"Why is it cold out?"

"Because it's winter."

"Why is it winter?"

"Well...because the earth's axis tilts and right now the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the sun."  I answered, complete with an arm movement demonstration that made a father standing across the hall at school have to stifle a laugh.

"We've been through that one several times, too," the dad sympathetically smiled.

Popular mom mythology tells me I'm supposed to be annoyed by the "why" stage, but it's kind of become a fun game.  Trying to answer honestly, but sometimes not too  honestly.  Trying to find the answer that will satisfy him and not prompt another sting of "whys".  It's enjoyably taxing to my brain--sort of like the way some people play Sudoku, I think.  

Also, his responses and the parts he thinks are important crack me up, too.

"Mama, why does Moe have to go potty?"

"Because if he didn't, he would explode."

"And then urine would go everywhere and we'd have to clean it up?"

"Yup, that would be the worst of our problems if Moe exploded."

Of course, some questions are harder.

"Mama, why is Anna [from Frozen] sad?"

"Well, because her parents were in a shipwreck, baby."

I was initially worried that our agnosticism would complicate questions like this.  We don't have a good history of explaining death to him, after all.  

But then a more religious friend reassured me with the story of how her sweet daughter now believes that heaven is in Michigan.

Ahh, the joys of the age of why!