Ten Questions My Toddler Asked That I Couldn't Answer

By Alex Iwashyna, blogger at Late Enough

I never feel more dumb than when my children reach the age of two. (I clearly don't have teenagers yet.)  Because Why is the sky blue?, Why is water wet?, and Why did that bird poop on our car? were not on my SATs or MCATs nor did my diaper bag include an answer bookley.  And I'm pretty annoyed about it.

Last month, my youngest hit this milestone. The WHY MAMA milestone.

So here are ten questions that I have faced and failed. Even Google can’t answer all of them (which should make me feel better but doesn't).

(The questions tend to actually be in the order of I SAY SOMETHING and my daughter responds WHY MAMA? But for simplicity sake, I put the WHY in the beginning.)

1. Why can’t I sleep with my Hello Kitty electric toothbrush?

2. Why can’t I pee on the back deck?

3. Why are you putting on makeup?

4. Why is {insert anything happening in a movie} happening, Mama?

5. Why is it raining?

6. Why are Dada’s shoes too big for me?

7. Why are our private parts private?

8. Why can’t I lick the cat?

9. Why do I have to wear underwear to school?

10. Why can't a decorate our front door with stickers?

She asked after the fact. Clearly.

I finally succumbed to the dreaded: BECAUSE I SAID SO.

Please don’t tell my mother.



  1. I am a dad, so I hope it's OK for me to be here. I wanted the discount on the KidsDineFree.net card, basically! I am not an expert by any means, but I would like to share how I deal with these types of questions. When children ask these questions, they don't need the most technical, textbook answer that is out there. I just try to answer these questions matter-of-factly, and with patience. This is an opportunity for us as parents to develop our patience. Our daughter is 7 years old, and she can really come up with some questions! She has asked me some of the questions above. Something I have learned from our daughter (not that this applies to all children) is that she just wants AN answer, even if it is not a complete answer. Sure, she may keep saying WHY, but I see at as exercise for me: Am I able to come up with an answer that will end the WHY round once and for all (on this particular question?) Children just want knowledge. We need to be patient and give it to them. TO BE CONTINUED

  2. CONTINUED FROM ABOVE: When I really don't know any answer at all to my daughter's question, I will tell her that I don't know the answer to that question. Then follows, "Why, Dad?" I say, "Parents don't know the answer to every question; only God does." I am usually able to satisfy my daughter's thirst for knowledge, by answering her with patience and love. However, she is only in first grade! I know the questions will get harder!

  3. I have come to the conclusion that unhealthy as it may be he ” because I said so” doesn’t work for my 2nd child. First I have a 7 year old girl who actually listened. This is another one of those questions i ask myself but may never know the answer to… is this because of 1st child syndrome or a mixture of me being lots more tired after the 2nd child comes along and wears me down or a male \female thing. HE is 2! All boy and I find MYSELF in reverse roles, asking ……. why?! …… More than he does!

    I have now started, because he didn’t want to listen to ” because mommy said so” I am trying the “do it and see what happens” approach. Not dramatic in the life or death or harmful kind if way but he is not like my girl. I am shocked by the weird things he does on a minute basis. Yurning for this phase to come to an end sooner than later. Sometimes it works, most of thr times NOT ex: he wants to lick the headlights more cause he thinks mommy yelling stop it is funny! Gees….help!

  4. I used to say (before I had a kid) that I would NEVER use the lame, "because I said so" reason on my kids the way my mother did. Just as delusionally, I said that my child would always go to bed on time and never throw a temper tantrum.

    The best laid plans and all of that.

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