The Battle Against The Whys

dunno

But why?

Since the dawn of time, kids have been driving their parents nuts by asking “Why?” over and over (and over). For a while, it appeared Annie would somehow avoid this phase, but I’m sorry to say in the last few weeks she’s come down with a serious case of the Whys. Here are the eight ways I’ve tried (in vain) to win the battle against the Whys:

1. Answering The Question

We all know this doesn’t work, but I tried it anyway figuring if I just answered her questions, she’d be satisfied. But no… each answer just leads more and more whys.

2. Turning It Around On Her

“I know,” I thought. “I’ll ask her what she thinks the answer is! This will promote independent thought and make her super-smart!” Annie had other ideas, though, and answered every question with a sing-song “I don’t know.” And then: “Why, Mama?”

3. Making Up An Answer She’ll Understand

Some of Annie’s questions are maddeningly difficult. Instead of trying to explain complex science, I tried giving her answers she’d understand:

“Why is the sky blue, Mama?”

“Because giants painted it blue with paint.”

Annie shook her head and said, “Noooooooooo!” Kid totally called B.S.

4. Giving A Nonsensical Answer

I remember an interview with Paul McCartney where he said that, when he asked his dad “Why?” as a kid, his dad would say something like “Because there’s no hair on a moose’s knee.” Can’t fight with that, right? Wrong. I tried that with Annie, but she said, “Why isn’t there hair on a moose’s knee.” Gah!

5. Ignoring The Question

Like Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction,” Annie will not be ignored. If I fail to answer her question she just turns up the volume until I do: “why? Why? WHY? WWWHHHYYY???”

6. Misdirection

“Whoa! Look, Annie! The Easter Bunny! In the backyard!” This distracted Annie enough to forget her questions at first, but very quickly she got hip to my game. This strategy was also flawed because it lead to her asking, “Why is the Easter Bunny in our backyard?” followed by her original question.

7. Saying “Why not?”

When I tried this one Annie quickly replied, “Why yes!” That’s her way of saying she still wants her answer.

8. Giving Her A Taste Of Her Own Medicine

I’ve tried acting like a kid myself by bombarding Annie with “Why?” over and over (to show her how annoying it is), but she just laughs.

None of these methods have worked, of course. Anyone out there know a way to defeat the Dreaded Whys?


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