Sticky #2: Where, when, why?

As Bella continues picking up more words, she's begun using "adult" phrases and asking questions that surprise me with the amount of logic and problem solving required. I am astounded by her not only because she's amazing, but also because her brother was nowhere near as vocal or inquisitive at her age.

For instance, yesterday Daphne went to live with her new family. We really didn't prepare either child to lose the dog because it happened quickly. So, Javi gets home from school and notices nothing different until I tell him that Daphne went to her new family.

Bella gets home and immediately starts yelling, "Where pup pup?! Where pup pup go?" I told her that the puppy went bye-bye and she just rolled her eyes. Then she began her quest to find the dog. "Pup pup go night-night!" she squealed as she ran to the spot between the couch and love seat where Daphne loves to curl up in Bella's pink beanbag. But there was no pup pup.

And on it went. "Pup pup go outside?" "Pup pup in the house?" "Pup pup in the car?" "Pup pup go potty?" To each questions, I told her gently, "No, Bay. The puppy went bye bye."

But I was impressed by Bella's ability to consider all the options for where the dog might be hiding, and how she wouldn't give up the search until she'd exhausted all of those options. She also seemed to be considering clues. Just when she was on the verge of giving up, she'd spot the dog bowls with water and food in them or the chew toy in the middle of our bedroom floor and her enthusiasm for the search would pick up again.

But the question "Where?" isn't a new one in this house. She's been asking me where things are, when things will happen, and why not for a while now. When we tell her it's time to go to bed, she'll ask "Where my blanket?" When I'm cooking she'll ask, "When dinner team? When we eat eat?!" And the one that strikes fear in the heart of every parent: Why? "C'mon, monkey, let's go." "Why mama?"

Ah, yes. The eternal why. As impressed as I am by Bella's inquisitive little personality, I am really hopeful that we still have another year or so before the Why reaches epic proportions. I'm still recovering from the Great Why of 2003 when I began hiding from Javi to avoid having to answer Why for hours.

At the end of that phase, I had learned the key to Why. And I'll share it with you in the hopes it'll save you sanity. Just pretend to be the dumbest person on Earth. It goes like this:
Child: Mama, why is it hot in the summer?

Mama: Because we're closer to the sun.

Child: How can we be closer to the sun?

Mama: We live on a planet and during the summer it's closer to the sun.

Child: Why is it closer?

Mama: I don't know, baby.

Child: What do you mean you don't know?

Mama: I just don't know. That's why you should go to college. So you can figure it out.
And with that, the line of questioning is stopped until the next one pops up five minutes later. Try it - it's fun!

In the meantime, I'll enjoy my Bella's little mind as it matures and she continues thinking and reasoning her way through the world.


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