There are few things about parenting that I absolutely and completely dread. The “Why?” stage is one of them. A few of our friends, who have kiddos around the same age as Runt, have been in that stage for a while now. Blissfully, we have not. I allowed myself to foolishly hopefully think that maybe, just maybe, we would just skip that whole, irritating stage. Sadly, I was wrong. Last week, we dove head first into that stage. It took me all of 9 hours to pull up that trusty response that all parents swear they’ll never use and every parent eventually busts out.
Because I said so.
I cringed the first time that I heard myself say it. I tried to believe that I would never do it again. But then I realized something. There’s a reason why generations of parents have been breaking out that response. It works! Toss that simple four-word phrase at them, and there’s really nothing left to say. (Veteran mommas, if you have experiences different than this, please, please for now, keep them to yourself. Someday, I promise I’ll come back and ‘fess up that it isn’t working anymore. But for now, please, just let me live in blissful ignorance. Isn’t enough that I’ve been robbed of the believe that we were going to skip this stage all together?)
Besides, I have proof that it works.
Most mornings, after breakfast, Runt and I ease our way into our day by spending some quiet time snuggling and reading together. Typically, there is one book that is the day’s favorite that we have to read over and over. And over. Again. On most mornings, that really isn’t much of an issue for me. But after three mornings in a row of the same book being selected as the favorite, I was about to lose my mind. So, after the fourth rendition of One Pup’s Up this morning, I pleaded with my little man to pick another book, pointing out the large stack of books sitting on his bookshelf, just waiting to have their pages turned by his chubby little fingers. Still, though, he insisted. “No…DOG!” he told me. And then I stepped into the momma version of the “Why?” stage. “WHY do we have to keep reading this one, baby?!” I whined. And that’s when it happened. He shrugged his shoulders, looked me straight in the eye, and told me, matter-of-factly…
Said so, Momma.
Then he threw me a huge, silly grin which seemed to say, “Duh.”
Not the actual moment. Lucky for you, Runt was more than happy to do a re-enactment so that I could capture it for all to see.
And I realized. There really wasn’t anything left to say. Well, except for “One pup’s up…”