Everyone talks about the question stage that kids go through. You know, the one when your day is filled with why, why, why. While sometimes you just don’t have an answer, a lot of times you do, so I make it my mission to answer a lot of these questions. In the process, I am pleased to say, I am using applied knowledge from grade school.
Little Miss asks me a lot about the weather, which has made me call upon my science lessons from God knows how long ago. She often asks me, “Why is it a rainy day?” I tell her how the clouds suck up the water from the rivers, lakes and oceans and then they get too full to hold all the water so they let it out as rain. Then we talk about how the rain helps the flowers grow. And there you have it, three-year-old science lesson.
We also talk about why rain turns to snow and visa versa. That one is a little harder to explain with temperatures and all, but that’s the thing about these questions and answers, it makes you think. Rather than just telling her “because” or “it’s snowing because it’s winter” I am taking the time to think of the answer and break it down for her little mind to understand.
The best one so far was when Little Miss asked me about Mr. Man’s… we will just say, parts. Up until now, she didn’t really seem to notice that he was different than she was, but in the bath the other day (how much longer can I continue bathing them together, by the way? I sense the end might be near.) she wanted to know what his pieces were.
So I said, “Well, boys have different parts than girls. You have girl parts and he has boy parts.” So of course, she said, “Why?”
How to explain this to a three year old. I thought it over and said, “Your pieces make you a girl and can make you a mommy when you grow up and Mr. Man’s pieces make him a boy so he can be a daddy when he grows up.” Little Miss processed this information and said, “Watch me pour the water over my head,” which I took to mean my response had sufficed in answering her curiosity.
I don’t find her question phase to be annoying, no matter how many times she says why. I just keep answering and answering. It’s like a game, and if I have the information, why not share it? Who knows how much she will retain about water evaporation, how traffic signals work or whatever other crazy conversations we get into, but at least she is curious and learning to learn. And I think it’s a great experience for both of us.