There is no why.

These days you just might mistake me for Yoda.

No, I’m not little or green. My ears are (rather boringly) NOT pointy, and I’m not covered in wrinkles (although I have noticed one or two cropping up unexpectedly). Wiry whiskers do not sprout from my forehead (if they did, I’d surely pluck them!). I don’t live in a bog (although some days it does seem THAT wet here in Seattle), and my clothes are a BIT more stylish than a shapeless gunny-sack (not much, but a bit).

So why, you’re now wondering, am I likely to be confused with Yoda?

Let me explain.

CJ is in that wonderful phase of childhood where he wants to know WHY.

Some of his questions are hard… out there; ethereal; the stuff of the universe.

Why is that man angry, mommy?

Why is it dead?

Why does that man have those bags? And why is he so dirty? Why doesn’t he have a home, mommy? Why?

Why CAN’T I use all the paper towels?


Unfortunately, I think I just might be the world’s worst explainer. Take this little for-instance. We are stopped at a stoplight, and CJ notices a man sitting at the bus stop, smoking a cigarette.

CJ: What is that smoke thing, mommy?

Me: That’s a cigarette, honey. Cigarettes are BAD.

CJ: Is that man putting the ci-ger-ette in his mouth?

Me: Yes, he is.

CJ: Why mommy?

Me: Umm… I don’t know really.

CJ: When he breathes, smoke comes out. Like a dragon! (His eyes are huge, and I can tell he thinks the smoking is very, very cool.)

Me: Smoking is very bad for you CJ. Can you imagine having smoke like that in your tummy? It’s not good for you… it burns your insides.

CJ: But that man likes it?

Me: Well… yes, I suppose he does.

CJ: Why does he like it, mommy?

Me: Well… I guess he’s probably unhappy, and that’s the only thing that makes him feel better.

CJ: Smoking makes him feel better?

AAAAGGHHHHH!!! You see what I’ve done? I have SINGLE-HANDEDLY taught my four-year old son that smoking makes you feel better. I am a terrible horrible no-good very-bad mother. I should have my parenting license revoked. I should have had TRAINING for these conversations. SOMEBODY STOP ME!!

So there are the hard questions, the questions that I should probably know how to answer, but don’t. Then there are the easy questions.

CJ: Why do I have to take a bath, mommy?

Me: Because you stink. And no one likes a stinky boy.

CJ: Why?

Me: Because it makes people want to throw up when they smell stink.

CJ: It makes people THROW UP? (eyes widen in delight at the thought of something so gross as throwing up)

Me: Yes. Now get in the tub.

CJ: But why?

Me: (fierce tone of voice) BECAUSE I SAID SO.


See how easy that was? I am a good mother after all!

The worst questions of all are the ones that aren’t really questions. They’re just a “why” thrown in to fill up the silence, or to prolong the conversation, or just to make mommy squirm.

CJ: What did that song just say mommy?

Me: It said, “the bear went over the mountain.”

CJ: Why did it say that?

Me: Because that’s the song.

CJ: Why?

(weary sigh)

Finally, the other night I was pondering these answerless questions, and I realized something profound. For some things, there is no why.

This realization makes me feel better. It also makes me feel a lot like Yoda.

Next time CJ asks me WHY to an answerless question, I’ll simply shout out, THERE IS NO WHY!

A very wise mother CJ has.

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  1. But why is there no why?

  2. I feel your pain. The Why Madness has invaded our house as well and left this mama completely defeated. When you explain it, though, it’s much funnier. I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m tempted to bang my head against the wall.

  3. I am so sick and tired of having to explain the WHY of everything. Both my kids have been infected with this disease and it is MADDENING! I finally told them “Sometimes, it just IS.” Now when they ask why, I say, “Why do you think?” and they say in unison “It just IS!”

  4. Emma hasn’t hit that stage yet. Heaven help me.

    You might not live in a blog, but you live in your blog! ~bwahahahah!~

    And smoking? It makes you feel good and kills you at the same time. That’s why it’s so bad.

  5. I’m giggling so hard. I raised 2 boys and I remember all the why questions. Sometimes the answer “I’m not quite sure, we’ll look it up in the library nexttime we go” worked. Funny blog!

  6. Ah, the age when they still think you know EVERYTHING! It’s irritating now, but some day you’ll miss that.
    Take it from me, mom to an almost 13 yr old girl. She no longer thinks like that. Instead she thinks that every word that comes out of my mouth is stupid. And/or embarrassing!

    Makes home schooling a bit tricky when I’m so dumb!

    as a side note, I saw a bumper sticker that made me laugh…..”come to the dark side…..we have cookies!” ;)

  7. I love this post! I too use the ‘we’ll check it out at the library’ defense, but sometimes, like the smoking question…boy, they are persistent, aren’t they:)

    I just read The Thirteenth Tale recently. Great book!

  8. I told my son that smoking gives you lung cancer. Which is true. But now anytime he sees somebody smoking he harps on them, “You’re going to get lung cancer!” And unfortunately, many smokers don’t really appreciate that ;)

  9. Smoking makes you look like a dragon AND makes you feel better? Now I want to start doing it!

    My son has been a master of the Endless Series of Whys for several years now and most of the time I have no idea how to answer him. I did tell him though that smoking will kill you so now whenever he sees someone smoking he “whispers” to me “That person is going to die!” I wonder if I scarred him by telling him that.

  10. Oh I’m gonna be banging my head off the floor when we get this this stage! Why questions drive me bat-shit crazy!

  11. A brilliant blog entry which really made me laugh. Mu daughter (soon to be 4) has not got to the ‘Why’ stage yet and I am dreading it. At the moment she is saying ‘WHAT?’to everything I say which is very annoying. I should possibly get her hearing tested. I too am a bad mother (at times!)

  12. Any reference whatsoever to Star Wars and parenting gets an A++++ in my book. Most excellent job, my padawan learner. A good mother, you are.

  13. At least you give him answers! When I get to the point of that ‘weary sigh’, out come the old favourites of ‘Just’, ‘Because’ and ‘That’s why’!

  14. One time I made the mistake of saying “I don’t know,” to a why question.

    Suddenly, I was no longer the center of her universe, the smartest person in the world. “But mom!” she said. “You’re supposed to know everything! How come you don’t know everything!”

    Yeah, explain the how in that one.

  15. I am SO looking forward to the “why?” stage with the boys…I’m gonna have the perfect answers for them!

    …see how easy it is for me to lie? Scary, isn’t it?

  16. Hi! Cute subject, and I’m so glad my kids are out of that stage! lol

    Thanks for stopping by and in answer to your question. depends on what result you want for your hair. Shampoo/Conditioners for colored hair extend the life of the color (or shall I say they are suppose to). So if you want your foil color to have a longer “just from salon look” (because yes color does fade) then you would want to go with a shampoo/conditioner for color hair. Now…there is also the issue of damaged hair. Do not be confused with products that are for “color treated hair” which will add nutrients to your hair to keep it healthy. Some products offer a combination of both.

    Now on to my rant about Pantene. Not that Pantene is a bad product. It isn’t. However, since I work for the “professional” end of the industry I will be happy to recommend a “economical” professional product for you if you like. If you want to let me know what type of hair you have and if you have any damage from the foiling process and what type of style result you are looking for I will be happy to recommend both a OTC shampoo and a “professional” shampoo for you.

    So in the end I do not think I answered your question based upon I need a little more informaiton on your hair type and what end result you want for your style.

  17. Ok, I’m putting on my teacher hat for just one minute. You have such a fantastic voice to your writing. I’m always amused and feel like you are writing just to me. Awesome!

    Now, feel free to send sweet CJ down my way for some proper education. Oh wait, I think I would screw him up just as badly.

    I told BC that he couldn’t go outside naked because he’d make the other kids jealous! Hmm.

  18. LOL I think this is a post that we can relate to!

    They always like what we try to discourage, don’t they?

  19. Why do you think CJ asks why so much?

    Why aren’t my thighs thinner? Why can’t I trill my tongue?

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist :)!

  20. Love it! So true, all those questions. Now my kids ask why they have to do the things I ask them to. I love the age-old answer: because I said so. The other questions, not so easy to answer…

  21. For a while I used a strategy of very long, very detailed explanations, so long that sometimes, Matilda just doesn’t want to hear it. She puts her hand up and says, “Never mind, Mom, I don’t really need to know.”

  22. The 1000 different answers why.

    My favorite response to the “why mommy?” question is to turn the table and say “why do YOU think?” Sometimes their ability to answer the question themselves is amazing. OR it gives me a totally unique way of seeing something I wouldn’t have otherwise have seen.

  23. I cheat, I say “Because God wanted that way.”
    No one messes with God.