Right Out

Dearest Son:

Some whys, I can handle. I can explain why the trees are coated in ice, why this soap won’t hurt your eyes. Why the moon is full, and what ‘full’ means. Why you should look at the person talking to you. Why you should never, ever use that tone of voice with your mother.

Logic, curiosity, acuity. These are wonderful traits. Good, great. Now, let’s talk about discernment.

I will happily tell you that this is apple juice. I will not tell you why. If you want to know why Paul’s going home, that’s fine. Why is this his home? That’s okay, too. But don’t, for your health and mine, ask me why he lives there.

If my and your mother’s patience and good will are such that we deem a trip to the naughty step unnecessary, don’t ask questions. Grace is a wonderful thing. The same holds true for not having to go to bed, or take a bath, or eat your broccoli. Sleeping dogs, gift horses, Fates. All true.

Here’s the thing. I spend eight hours each day apart from you, in an office where people ask—generally—logical and reasonable questions. Your mother stays with you, and also teaches twelve- and thirteen-year-olds. Lately, I fear for her sanity, and for your life.

Please, if you truly love me and your mother, please: be quiet.

Love, Daddy

5 Responses

  1. Phil
    Phil at | | Reply

    Ha! Great letter… I could write the same thing to my son about his long and drawn-out explanations for every picture he draws of a surreal creature or landscape. He just goes on and on and on about them, all day long.

  2. (un)relaxeddad
    (un)relaxeddad at | | Reply

    “But why did you write this post? But why do questions annoy you? What’s work? What’s logic? Why? Why does mummy have sanity? Why are you frightened of mummy’s sanity?
    “Why? Why? What? Why? Whywhywhywhywhywhy??????”

    Oh, I know that feeling…

  3. Jerry Grasso
    Jerry Grasso at | | Reply

    One I got from my daughter: Daddy, why did this person write this book?

    How do you answer that question?


  4. Kristina
    Kristina at | | Reply

    Oh, how I feel your pain. We went through this about a half a year ago. The only thing I can tell you is that it does eventually pass.

    But while you wait, there are games to be had!

    1) Mom and Dad can have a contest. How many “whys” can they receive back from their kiddo in a row with their answers? My brother wins at 30. Of course this has a drawback of quickening the effects of the insanity, so let’s move on.

    2) Create funny answers that make just about as much sense as the questions from whence they originated. Ex: “Because Giraffes wear sweaters when they go to the supermarket, but only on Wednesdays.”

    3) Answer in the form of a question that shows the kid just how little sense he is making. Example: Question: “Mommy, why is your shirt blue?” Answer: “Connor, why is your shirt yellow?”

    4) Give up and say, “Sorry honey, there just isn’t an answer to that question.”

  5. KC
    KC at | | Reply

    You don’t want to answer why the juice is apple juice? Made from squished apples, of course ;)

    Next question!

Leave a Reply