Sunday, December 11, 2005


The Toddler has reached that critical stage that all two-year-olds reach; the why stage. Her response to almost anything is why. She informed me, yesterday, that she would like an apple. I told her that I was very sorry to deny her request but I could not give her one. She, of course asked why. I told her that we did not have any apples. Well, if you have not guessed her next question, then you must have started reading in the middle of the paragraph. (it's ok i do it all the time) Yes, she asked why.

Wel,l I did the only logical thing in this situation, I said nothing. Rather than explain to her that we haven't been to the store to buy them, I thought it best to leave it there. My explaination to her question would have only lead to more why's and eventually I would have to explain evolution to her. Honestly, all questions lead to that or to the big bang theory, so it has to stop somwhere; why not where I can prove the answer?

All toddlers do this. When the Boy, who is nine, he did not just ask why, he would ask " but why daddy?" It was as if he was grappling with the deep questions of humanity.
I would get sucked in time and time again, to thinking he did want me to explain the theory of evolution or where God came from etc. But no it really was just a toddler ploy; he had figured out that why is as powerful as no, with a few extra words why is even more powerful.

My daughter does seem to be more practical than her brother though, she does not mess around with philosophy. If I tell her no, she may ask why but will not wait for the answer at all. She will try to get the thing herself, she pulls her high chair to the counter climb up and grab what she wants, and hold on to it while I wrestle it away.

The boy on the other hand is a born negotiator. He figured out at an early age that with some things, he can make me change my mind by convincing me that: 1) he will share with me 2) it is good for him. 3) I don't let him do it so, he should be able to (that ploy never works)

We have explained to him that if he is going to try to negotiate like an adult, then he needs to act more adult and use the proper language and methods. Then he will be free to negotiate that second glass of root beer, or extra ice cream.

No two kids are alike, even if they are in the same family.

1 comment:

John said...

We have graduated from 'Why' to attempted negotiation. Evertthing I tell the youngster to do comes back with reasons why he shouldn't, or can't, or doesn't want to. Then I remind him that it wasn't a question open for debate. Sometimes I'll tell him why I told him to do something, but more often than not, he tries to turn that into a debate. I get the idea as long as he keeps me talking, the longer he's gone without doing whatever it was I told him to do. At some point, it comes down to, 'because that's what I want done.'