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Monday, September 29, 2008

What is That?

My youngest child has a new favorite phrase. She walks around the house or the neighborhood asking quite intently "What is that?" and then she will gleefully tell you exactly what that is most of the time. This really is akin to the "Why?" phase that most children go through. There is no end to this constant inquiry and I often find myself irate with the frustrations of hearing those little words over and over again. I have to remind myself how important this phase is to our parent / child relationship.

Her: "What is that?" (imagine a toddler with a southern drawl...)
Me: "A car."
Her: "What is that?"
Me: "A car."
Her:"What is that?"
Me: "I don't know. What is that?"
Her:"A car." (very self satisfied that Mommy did not know and she did)

Five minutes later

Her: "What is that?"
Me: "A car."
Her: "What is that?"
Me: "A car."
Her:"What is that?"
Me: "I don't know. What is that?"
Her:"A car."

It would be very easy for me to declare a cease fire to the questions and simply refuse to respond to the constant chattering that declares an unreasonable need to know "What is that?" every time I turn around. However, I recognize that this early game of chatter does lay a path for future communications. If I turn her away now, when she so readily accepts conversation and discussion, then I turn her away from communicating openly later when it really matters. If I exhibit patience (somehow) and answer frequently and even play along by asking her the same question when I know she'll have the answer, then she learns that I am open to discussing issues that may not always be fun for me.

Now, I suppose I should tell you that my child does not fully understand the dynamics of this game of communication. She only knows that she enjoys asking me over and over and over and over and over and over...ahem... sorry, I digress. To her, this is just great fun. Yet as I respond to her questions, while she secretly giggles because she already knows what that is, I show her that I am willing to be available and answer her questions no matter how silly those questions may be.

Well, it's been fun visiting with you today. Unfortunately, I must go identify common everyday objects for my incorrigible 2 yr old.

"What is that?"


The Mind of a Mom said...

M; what is that
T; That is too cute!

I like you love these types of learning times for kids. I used to take her "what is that" times and turn them into an I spy game
it helped with my frustration level.

Anonymous said...

Very cute. I think we are getting to that point with my son. I love the repetitive little questions though.

Liss said...

After this comes the good old question of "Why?"

sounds like you enjoy this game a little to :)

Mom said...

I do enjoy this game. It's so much fun to say "I don't know. What is that?" and have her tell ME what it is.

I also love the tone of voice she uses. It's so adorable.

April said...

You think this is bad just wait till you get to the What if questions.

Think Mom :Don't play in the road you'll get hit by a car.

Child: But what if the cars are going really slow so I can get out of the way.

Mom: NO don't play in the road.

Child But what if I wear bright color clothes so they see me and don't hit me.

ect. ect on and on into infinity...

LOL My Daughter is 11 and she is still doing this one :P