Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Who, What, Where, When, Why, WHY, WHY?!?

Every mother knows (and dreads) the question phase.  This period of time punctuated by incessant, irrelevant questions is a child's equivalent of psychological warfare-- the only tool at their disposal capable of rendering a parent mentally incapacitated without the use of narcotics or a 2x4 to the temple.

Thankfully, this phase seems to pass as kids' language progresses and they mature enough to understand "why" things happen, "why" people act the way they do, and "why" Mommy drinks so much wine at night.

Adler only has a few words at this point-- few enough to still be novel and cute yet he remains fickle in handing those words out.  But in a year or so he will be a full-blown toddler, full of attitude and sticky fingers and above all, questions.

I have seen the writing on the wall, and it says "WHY".  I just didn't expect the questions to come from Cael first.

 "Mom, what does the garage door do?

"What do you mean, Cael?  It goes up and down."

"Yeah, but what does it do?"

"It opens and shuts."

"I know that, but why does it do that?"

"To close the door, dude.  To protect our things."

"But why?"

"Because we don't want our things damaged or stolen."

 "Well, duh, Mom.  But why do you need the garage door for that?"

"For all of the reasons I just listed, Cael."

"Ugh, come on, Mom. What does it DO?"

He was just as frustrated as I was.  At eight, his brain is starting to think on a higher level.  I just wish I knew what the hell that level was.

"Look, I really want to be helpful for you, but I'm not sure what else to say.  The garage door moves up and down to open and shut the garage.  I want it open when I need to get in or out, and I shut it when I want to protect our things.  I use a door because a tarp or a blanket wouldn't do a good enough job.  Does that answer your question?"

"Just forget it."

What more could he want to know?  Was he looking for an engineer's detailed explanation of the chain and motor system that propel the door?  Did he not grasp the fact that, were the door a wall, the cars couldn't get out?  Or was this not about the garage door at all, but a metaphor for our ability, as a people, to open and close ourselves off to one other at the mere push of a button?

 I really didn't understand his level.  But I'd tried, and I'd done my best.  Unfortunately, this time my best wasn't enough.

"I'm sorry, man.  I just don't know what else to say."

"I'll just ask Graham.  Graham?"


"What does the garage door do?"

"It makes a sound like 'eeeeeghggggrrrrrh'."

"Yes!  Jeez, mom.  It wasn't that hard."

Take your time, Adler...

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Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.