Saturday, 19 April 2008


Mac has been in a very questioning mood today. David took charge at breakfast so that I could leaf through Heat magazine with a cup of coffee in peace. I listened idly to the exchange going on over by the fridge as I slouched at the table. "What would you like for breakfast?" David asked Mac. I cringed. Never ever ask him that without limiting his options. I usually say "What would you like for breakfast? Toast, strawberry cereal or apple porridge?". He then happily chooses from one of my choices. Asking Mac an open ended question is like waving a red rag at a bull. I slid down in my seat as Mac pondered his response.

"Erm, some eggs please daddy and toast and mumlade and bacon and sausages and 'shrooms and apple." David looked over at me. I didn't see him do that, I sensed it. I was engrossed in the letters page.

"Okay, how about toast and marmalade then?" said the breakfast amateur. "No daddy, want eggs and sausages and bacon and bread and yoghurt and porridge." David laughed nervously and stuck his head in the fridge. "You can't have all of that, you'll burst!". "Why?" said Mac, thereby starting the first of many uses of that word today.

"Why are flowers pretty?" - this while we were in Sainsburys, along with "Why does fish smell fishy?". "Why do footballers spit?" as he watched one of Arsenal's finest do that thing that professional footballers seem to think is manly. "Why are books made of paper?" as we perused the childrens section of Nunhead library. "Why is daddy going to hide in the bathroom?" as David disappeared up the stairs. You can imagine how I was feeling by about ten to one. "I've got a headache!" I muttered as I rifled through the cupboard for some paracetomol. "Why?" piped up the voice behind me. "Because I've been doing a lot of thinking." I said as I threw two down my neck. "Why?". Deep breathing from me as I answered "Because you've been asking a lot of questions today." "Why?"

I knew the answer to that: "Because you're learning about lots of things and it's only natural to ask questions". "Why?" asked my wonder child as he patted the sofa seat next to him. "I can't sit down yet, I'm doing lunch" "Why?". "Because it's lunchtime!" "Why?"

I could go on but if I incorporate every single question I've answered today into this post then I'll get RSI.

I must just tell you this one though. I decided to turn the tables on him and answered "why?" to when he asked me if he "had to" eat the carrots in his Shepherd's Pie tonight. He rolled his eyes, put his hands on his hips and said "Because I don't like carrots that's why. Honestly mummy, you do ask some silly questions sometimes."


Rosie said...

It all sounds very familiar! My mother used to reply "Because I said so!" so I have avoided that response at all costs. It is not easy!

Potty Mummy said...

...or you could use my default when I have had too long a day with too many questions, which I am ashamed to say is 'Because I am the mummy and I am in charge!' This is invariably answered - again - with 'why?'. And then the only rational response is: 'I just don't know...'

Silvana said...

Oh I love it! Sounds just like our house. This phase isn't going to last long enough though is it. Soon enough they won't be wanting to talking to us and it'll be all grumpy "don't want to to" and "stop keep kissing me" rather than the 'why can't I marry you?' that I got yesterday

Elsie Button said...

just found you through dulwich mum - from the whole soph/dom saga! great blog. i too often dish out cooking duties so that i can get my head stuck into Heat. As for the whys - i am bracing myself for this phase which is pretty imminent i suspect

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Rosie, I must admit I was tempted to say that. And "Because I'm mummy and I say so!" Potty Mummy. But I resisted. Just

Silvana, today the "why" and been replaced with "don't want to" in answer to EVERYTHING. he hadn't wanted breakfast, to read his book, to watch TV, to help me with dinner but he's just told David that he might quite like some ice cream after dinner.

Welcome Elsie! And what a saga it was!

Anonymous said...

Why do people write this nonsense?

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Why read it if you think it's nonsense. PLEASE tell me you're nothing to do with Soph and/or Dominic.

dulwichmum said...

Darling NMoO,

Is the IP 86.140.81 - Leatherhead? I thought so. I thought that a gap year was for travelling, not surfing the net. Oh well, I hope her mother winds her mobile up for her soon, it sounds like she might be bored. Diddums!

Hayley said...

My son used to be full of questions, now age 14 he knows everything!

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant post again. Your son sounds very sensible to me and extremely bright. I'm getting the question thing now, and it drives me mad sometimes, but I smile to myself and realise that it's inquisitiveness and there ain't nothin' wrong with that!

Open ended questions are usually a bad idea in this house too!

Crystal xx

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Nunhead, London, United Kingdom
I'm a mum of one, wife of one and owner to several dogs, a variety of breeds and sizes. I live in the up and coming area (or so they say) of Nunhead and have mad neighbours, strange friends and certifiable relatives. I shop locally, although I do defect to Sainsburys once a week - shoot me now local shopkeepers.