The dreaded ‘why’ stage. I knew it was coming so I wasn’t surprised when it did. “Why does daddy have to go to work”, “why do I have to brush my teeth”, “why isn’t nanna and poppy sleeping over”, “why can’t I have chocolate” (at 6am in the morning mind you). Why, why, why, why, why?
I desparately clung onto the promise I made myself NOT to say “coz why is a crooked letter”, or worse still, “because I said so, that’s why”. Okay, so maybe a few times that has slipped out. Yet again my impatience got the better of me and, well, okay, I’ll admit it. It was more than a few times that those easy answers came out so I could avoid the energy it took to give the thorough explanation these questions required and you know what? He just asked more why questions.
I learnt very quickly not to try and get one over my 4 year old as he was much cleverer and way more inquisitive than I give him credit for, and was never going to let me take the easy way out.
Anyway, just as I was getting used to the dreaded why stage and convinced myself of the incredible value that all my thorough explanations were giving to my son’s intellect, this stage was quickly replaced by the next one. But see, nobody told me about this stage. I didn’t see it coming, and it was worse, way worse than the why stage.
It was the “What does this say” stage. OOOOOOH my goodness. There is absolutely no way I can get out of answering these questions, can I? I mean my son (well both of them actually) are mad keen on letters, numbers, and whatever is written on every (and I mean every) building, car, newspaper, magazine, book, tv ad, you name it, they want to know what it says.
How could I possibly give them some lame-ass response and not read every word that they point out when this was clearly a good thing that they were so interested in this. Reading is soo important and especially with boys, interest in reading is a huge bonus. How could I squash this enthusiasm with a ‘nothing’ response or a ‘don’t worry about it’ response?
The answer is a sad “I can’t”. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I guess I’ll just have to be selfless on this one. So if you see some random woman walking around Lilydale with two kids in toe painfully reading every sign visible, that’s just me, silently praying to myself that this stage soon passes, or they hurry up and start reading for themselves.
Hmm, mental note, maybe if I accelerate their learning to read process by teaching them to read as often as I can, then this stage will pass quicker. That sounds like a plan……..but a lot of hard work, again.