Overheard This Morning

In a semi-awake zombie state I (think I) heard this conversation, or some close version of it, take place at the foot of my bed at 6 a.m. I deem it an excellent example of parenting and the only logical way to navigate the endless roller coaster of “Whys” that streams from a child’s mouth beginning at age 3:

Punkernoodle 1: Where are you going, Daddy?

Daddy (while drying off from the shower): I’m going to work, sweetie.

Punkernoodle 1: Why?

Daddy: Because that’s where I go during the day while Mommy stays with you.

Punkernoodle 1: Why?

Daddy: Because I have to go to work, so I can support our family.

Punkernoodle 1 (ever-so-slight twinge of sadness/hysteria setting in): Whyyyyyy?

Daddy: Well, because I go to work so I can pay for our house and your toys and your clothes and good food for us to eat.

Punkernoodle 1: WHY, Daddy?

Daddy (attacking it from another angle): Because some parents stay home during the day to work, like Mommy does taking care of you. And other parents go to the office, like I do.

Punkernoodle 1 (slightly distracted): Mommy takes good care of me.

Daddy (feeling the end of the Inquisition is in sight): That’s right, Mommy takes good care of you and your sister. She takes good care of all of us.

Punkernoodle 1: Why?

Daddy (wait a minute, here….): Because she’s your Mommy. And she loves you. And so do I.

Punkernoodle 1 (not so fast, Bucko): But I don’t want you to go.

Daddy (searching for socks): I know sweetie, but I’ll be home soon. And you’ll have fun today at school and with Mommy.

Punkernoodle 1 (tears suddenly flowing, hysteria quickly reaching crescendo): Whyyyiiiiieeeeeee????????

Daddy: Because, sweetie. (That one was weak, he can’t hide it).

Punkernoodle 1: Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh???

Daddy (Tone of finality while glancing at clock, which shows he has 43 seconds to pack briefcase, eat breakfast, make coffee and get to bus stop): Because, girl. Nothing in life is free.

Ah. The nothing-in-life-is-free line. It’s really never too early to start teaching these kids about global economics and the fierce social food chain they’re already fighting to climb. Alright, sweetie – let’s go eat some Cheerios. And thanks Daddy, for providing not only food but such valuable life lessons.

Mommy: Do you want to go meet Daddy at the bus stop after work?

Punkernoodle 1: Why???

One response to “Overheard This Morning

  1. I love the last exchange! Sometimes I just turn it around and ask, “well why do you think?” sometimes . . . just sometimes . . . he will answer his own “why”

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