Jul 15, 2005

Why, Mom, Why?

7/15/2005 — cori
Gavin asks me 21 questions at least once a day. His mind NEVER stops. He can't go on if he doesn't know the answer. I feel bad for him that I am his only point of reference right now. The answers he gets come from me - for better or for worse.

When he first learned to start talking, that is when the questions began. They would come out in two and three at a time. Here are some samples from my actual journal entries titled, 'Gavin Questions - Just the Beginning of Things to Come':

  • Starting at 2 years old, he would point to random people in the aisle at the grocery store and ask, "What his name, Mom?". I would then respond with the obvious, "I don't know sweetie." This did not cut it. He MUST know the answer, any answer. So, his response to my feeble attempt to evade the question would be, "Guess his name, Mom." From that point on, I wasn't safe in any store. I had to come mentally prepared to bestow new names on everyone we met in the aisles. The pressure even got to me many times and I would just break down and ask the poor soul who was unfortunate enough to be in the isle with us, "Excuse me sir, what is your name? My son would like to know." That is the beginning of when I began to not care what people thought of me - my son has a question and dog-gone-it, I'm gonna give him an answer!
  • Also at age two, I'm already being asked on a daily basis, "How dat work, Mom? Teach Nanan (that's how he says his name) how that work."
  • At 3 his questions progressed to more substantial, thought provoking quandries such as, "Mom, is a toot kinda like a tummy cough?". Are we as parents supposed to have answers for such things? I think I just matter-of-factly responded with "Yes, honey, that's what they are." If I were to make a big deal of such matters, it would only spawn further questions and debate and I don't think I have enough education under my belt - yet.
  • Upon entering his 4th year of life, he continues to be amazed with bodily functions and the how's and why's of those functions. My newest question from Gavin to ponder and then answer would be, "Why do we close our eyes when we sneeze?" Excellent question, my son! My intelligent answer was, of course, "Because we're surprised, honey". Thankfully, that sufficed for now.
  • Still at the humble age of 4 he comes out with doozies such as this one, "Why are baby birds born in eggs and not in their mommy's tummy & why are baby's born in their mommy's tummy & not in eggs?" To which I smartly replied, "Because, honey, Mommy birds' tummys would be too heavy to fly."

Those were apple pie compared to the onslaught I receive on a daily basis now that he is 6. They come at me so fast, I don't even have time to write them down, normally. But today, I did. Here is a small sampling of the daily drill I am subject to from sunup till way after the sun goes down (often times I'm researching on-line at night so I can give an intelligent answer to him the next day):

  • "Mom, why can't you close your mouth when you yawn?" Gavin asks as I'm driving back from Walmart. First of all, I just used every last brain cell I had to manuver my way thru that place they call a 'super center' - we're just lucky I have the way home memorized and don't have to think too much. Life questions or science questions just send my mind into a tail spin at this point in the day. I'm getting smart after all these years though. I'm starting to answer him, by asking him a question first (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em). So, I ask him, "Why do you think that is, Gavin?". He has deduced, after not having any human anatomy or physiology classes what-so-ever in his short life, that it is because your jaw is locked when you yawn. I was astounded at his reasoning skills and told him we would consult the computer when we got home. AskJeeves.com comes in pretty handy these days.
  • We were not even a mile away from home on the same car ride from the previous bullet point when he brings up another question he has obviously been mulling over for some time now. "Mom," he asks, "how are bricks made?" My state of mind is still shaky being that I'm still just minutes away from the whole 'Walmart experience', it's late afternoon and I've got one thing on my mind, "what am I going to cook for dinner?", and lastly, I just evaded the last question and still appear to him to have enough authority of earthly matters to answer yet another key question in his pursuit of 'the whys of life'. The first thing my mind thought of when I heard the word 'brick' was, (and I know this is stupid, so just bear with me and follow my train of thought) how the Isrealites back in the Old Testament were slaves to the Egyptians and spent their days making bricks. So, I tell him about that and am successful, yet again, at evading the real answer. I ended up asking him after my little story telling session what he thought they were made of and his answer was quite remarkable. He believes that you mix sand, concrete and dye and freeze it to make a brick. Way to use your mind Gavin!
  • Lastly, as we're walking in the door from this same aforementioned shopping trip, I get another question, "Mom, how do hills get so high?" I just broke down and admitted that I really wasn't all that sure and he respsonded with, "Mom, that's okay. I just think that's the way God made them."

I love you Gavin! I love your endless questions and your boundless curiosity! However, I think I need to start subscribing to the latest Science Journals and do a little 'light reading' nightly before bed so I can start to give more accurate answers. But until then, I think that just trusting that "That's the way God made it" is the best thing for now. The faith of a child - its a beautiful thing.

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