The Why Phase

I was so excited about the Why Phase.  Honestly, how much fun would that be?  I’m a fountain of useless knowledge.  I love learning useless knowledge.  I love learning period.  In high school drama, the award I was given was The Most Likely To Know Everything (Or She’ll Find it Out).  In college, I had a roommate that loved to torture me with random years, asking me what happened in that year.  I would go ballistic racking my brain, pulling out facts, until I turned on the computer and listed rulers, wars, and all kinds of facts.

Every parenting book talked about how important the Why Phase was, how it was a sign of intelligence and inquisitiveness.  I worried as Tornado E out grew the months it was suppose to be in.  I wondered if my son actually cared to learn about the world around him.  I wondered if I was raising a day laborer, fast food restaurant cashier or a politician.  I waited and prepared.  I was well prepared for questions like:

Why’s the sky blue?

Why’s the grass green?

Why’s that an “E”?

Why is Papi bald?

Why do we go to church?

Why does Daddy make Daddy noise when he sleeps?

When the Why Phase started, did I get any of those questions?  No.  I got questions like these:

Why do I have to go to bed?

Why am I tired?

Why are you tired?

Why am I whiney?

Why is my bed so high?

Why did you do that?

Why can’t I have candy in my bed?

Why am I hungry for candy right now?

Why can’t I have juice?

Why will it leak?

Why do I have to have water?

Why is Tornado S trying to sleep?

Why can’t I sleep in Tornado S’s bed?

Why will he wake up?

Why can’t I sleep with you?

Why do I have to sleep in my own bed?

Why do I have to go to bed?

Why can’t I stay up?

Why am I tired?

Why do I have to put my underwear on?

Yeah, it’s not cute and inquisitive.  It’s not a sign that my kid is smart, trying to figure out the logic of the world.  It’s not a sign of intelligence.  It’s a sign of hidden rebellion.  It’s a sign of anarchy.  It’s a sign that my kid wants the rules to bend to his understanding.  He’s trying to be subversive.  He’s trying to break down the penis rules through his interpretation of logic.

Why do I have to wipe my bottom?

Why will I get diaper rash?

Why will it hurt?

Why do I have to wear underwear?

Why can’t I go naked?

Why do I have to wear clothes in the car?

Why do I have to wear clothes at Grandma’s and Papi’s house?

Why can’t I play with my penis here?

Why can’t I play with my penis in your room?

Does Daddy play with his penis in your room?

Why are you quiet?

Why didn’t you say anything?

Mommy!  Did you hear me?

Why do I have to put my underwear on?

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The Box Phase

Like most phases my boys have, I can trace the box phase to an uncle.  I don’t know if this is normal in most families or if trouble only runs deep where my brothers are (which it just might be the later).  Evan had a box phase, and now Sean is entering into his without any prompting by my brothers, though we are visiting them this weekend and who knows what new phase my brothers will create, like the boxing phase or placing toys in one’s mouth to spit them out again.


When Evan was just over a year old, my brother placed him in a FedEx box and scooted him around the room.  Evan loved this.  From that day on, he would sit in his box to watch TV or play content in his little box where he had only enough room to fold his legs.  He didn’t care if I was around or not.  When my brother, who was living with us for the summer, came home from work, Evan would run to his box, pleading for his uncle to push him around.  It wasn’t long before another “uncle” ( a close family friend) started pushing Evan around in the laundry basket.  Boxes are so cool.


I thought that this phase with uncle-induced, but the other day I watched Sean dump out a small crate of toys on the floor so that he could climb into it.  He snuggled in to watch TV and to play with the toys he just dumped as I left him to take a quick shower.  Sean didn’t care that Evan was jumping on the bed; he didn’t care that I wasn’t there to play with him.  He was perfectly content in his little crate.


The problem with this box is it is in the master bedroom, and it’s the box I keep all the toys that wonder into our room.  (How I wish for a non-toy room.)  Yesterday Sean was snug as a bug in his box when he realized he was a bit lonely and wanted to play with someone.  He started shouting for Evan, who was content to ignore Sean as he emptied the DVD shelves of all their DVDs.  I was trying to put things away, moving from one floor to the next, watching this little interplay and wondering what I can do to keep the boys from dumping the DVD library.


So what I have discovered on this new phase in child development is that it occurs between one and two years.  The child must be able to walk and climb well as to be able to maneuver in and out of the box with ease.  This is very important because the child will panic if he (I haven’t seen a girl do this, but my research is preliminary.) cannot get out of the box, which just ruins the fun.  The child is very content to stay in the box much longer than an adult would want to squeeze his/herself into a box with enough room to fold his/her legs.  It an interesting moment as the child has learned to play by himself, allienating the mother.  They tend to grow out of this phase when they can’t find a box to fit into anymore.  Granted, once they get to bigger boxes, they have all kinds of fun.


Stay tune as I explore the developments of childhood.  Perhaps if I discover enough new phases I can have a whole system of child behavior named after me.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?



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