Whoa, this is deep stuff

Man, I haven’t written in a while. Chris’ parents are in town, so we’ve been busy!

Less busy lately though, as Gabby goes into day 78 of being sick. Or since Tuesday, that’s like 78 days ago, right? We’ve been taking turns staying home with her. It hasn’t been more than a bad cold, but as usual the girl drags a fever like it’s her job.

This morning I was doing dishes with her. She always wants to help, so she puts the dirty dishes in the sink while I wash and rinse them. She always goes much faster than me, because I actually have to wash the stupid dishes while she just has to drop them. So the sink was quickly filling up with too many dishes.

Me: The sink is full!
Gabby: Why?
Me: Because you’re going too fast!!
Gabby, raises her hands in a “I don’t know” move: No. I’m going slow!

Writing it down doesn’t do it justice. It was just the right amount of attitude and genuine puzzlement, like she seriously couldn’t see the problem with her “obviously” decelerated speed and why it was taking me so long to catch up. I mean, c’mon mom!

The “why” thing has been funny lately. When I tell people I have a 2-year-old, they always say I probably have to answer to her “why” questions all day long. Except Gabby NEVER asked why. Ever.

I figured:
A) there’s something wrong with her. Why doesn’t she ask why?!
B) She’s so smart that she ask smarter question than the dumb endless why.

Turns out it was A I guess, because she’s starting to ask “why” a lot lately. When I was pregnant I thought I would be so excited to answer ALL her questions and I couldn’t understand why people got annoyed with kids asking questions, even the endless why’s. Well I’m sure a lot of people just get sick of answering questions, and I’m still super excited to answer them. But what really changed my mind was reading The Evolution of Calipurnia Tate a while back.

In the book, the granddaughter gets really curious about the natural world and has lots of questions, and her scientist grandfather is always telling her to figure it out on her own. He always comes through as kind of a jerk, but it amazing what it does to her growing mind. He’s forcing her to *think*.

Of course it’s just a book, but one of my fellow GeekMom writers works at a science museum and she talks about this issue sometimes. Kids asking dumb questions. Questions that make you do all the thinking and lets them get away with little more than simple memorization.

We do things for our kids. We want to provide for them and educate them. It’s always a good reminder that educating them doesn’t always mean shoveling information down their throats, it’s also about teaching them how to educate themselves.

So now that I’m hearing “why,” I try to remember to answer “why do you think?”


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