Ben Kao Milestones and growing up The darndest kid quotes and antics The Kao Kids What to Expect... As a Mother

Of ‘Whys’ and ‘Buts’

May 3, 2012

When Ben turned two, he started asking why. His whys came fast and furious and it seemed like he wouldn’t really settle for any shoddy answers. We tried our best to encourage that inquisitiveness and not kill his curiosity. I sometimes lost my patience because I felt he asked for the sake of asking (most of the time). Still, I tried my darn best to answer his whys with a smile.

Me: Get ready to go to school!
Ben: Why?
Me: Because when you go to school, you’ll learn new stuff, play with friends and have lots of fun.
Ben: Why? I don’t want to go to school…
Me: I need to work…
Ben: Why?
Me: And there’s no one to take care of you.
Ben: Why do you need to work?

Version 1.0 

Me: Because I need to earn money, and with money, we can put food on the table, clothes on your body and toy cars in your pocket.

Ben: Why? I can have more toys now? You have money?

~~~

Fatherkao overheard this exchange once and said this shouldn’t be the values we impart, so the next time he asked (we have this conversation on a daily basis, even now that he is three), I answered with v1.1.

Me: Get ready to go to school!

Ben: Why?

Me: You go to school and learn new stuff, play with friends and have lots of fun.
Ben: Why? I don’t want to go to school.
Me: I need to work and there’s no one to take care of you.
Ben: Why do you need to work?

Enter Version 1.1

Me: Because work is meaningful and our lives would be more fulfilling, and this is how God made us, to find work that is meaningful and be satisfied. At work, we can be the best we can be and use our God-given gifts and talents and…

Ben: (putting on his uniform) Can I bring a toy to school?

~~~

So besides imparting the value of work, explaining why the moon comes out at night and the sun in the morning, why all children need naps, why he needs to eat his food, how sweets destroy his teeth, I’ve pretty much covered all categories of questions he’s ever asked. Lately, he’s stopped asking why (I’m quite glad I get a little breather now that he’s out of the why phase). He’s now using the conjunction, ‘but’, and it’s annoying the hell out of me.

Me: Get ready to go to school!
Ben: But I don’t want…
Me: You need to go to school and learn new stuff, play with friends and have lots of fun.
Ben: But school is not fun.
Me: You mean to say you don’t have fun in school? You said you enjoyed music class and playing with Ryan yesterday.
Ben: But I don’t like my friends. They are not nice.
Me: What do you mean they aren’t nice?
Ben: But they bully me.
Me: Did you tell your teachers?
Ben: Yes, I did. But yesterday you said I don’t need to go to school.
Me: I say that on Saturdays and Sundays.
Ben: But today is Saturday.
Me: No, it’s not. Now get ready for school.
Ben: But I don’t want… (the cycle repeats itself)
Me: (exasperated, and thinking if I should use the ‘I’m your mother, so just listen’ option) Here we go again…

~~~

I’m waiting for the other coordinating conjunctions to appear in our conversations, like so, yet, and nor. I can so imagine what this boy would say:

I’m very tired, Mama, so I am going back to bed…

I don’t want to go, yet I have to…

I don’t want to wake up, nor do I want to go to school…

Kids, they sure learn grammar fast!

You Might Also Like

2 Comments

  • Reply Abby May 4, 2012 at 3:14 AM

    Oh Gosh I hope I don’t lose my patience when the time comes! Version 1.1. is good can I borrow next time? :-)

    • Reply motherkao May 4, 2012 at 5:23 AM

      Abby, feel free to adapt and use! :-)

    Leave a Reply