The Arduous Age of Why

Mummy's Writing Darling

The Age of Why

My four year old has reached a mile stone. He has entered the age of ‘Why’. I had heard of this stage but had underestimated the damaging effect of this era on the parents. My sympathy is with you if you are currently in this age.

It started about two weeks ago on our way to swimming:

“Why do we need roads?”

Say what now?

“Why do we need roads?”

Erm… for the cars to go on? (Phew, dodged that one, glad that’s over!)

“Why do we need cars?”

Say what now?

“Why do we need cars?”

To get from A to B?

It’s at this point you realise that you’re really and truly not qualified to answer life’s toughest questions, to be a parent or, indeed, to be a human.

And the Hell just keeps on acomin.

“Why do cars have wheels?”

I frantically looked around for a Primary school teacher or a scientist.

So that they can move? (I literally don’t know enough about wheels).

“Why do we have bollards?”

Who the actual fuck has taught you about bollards? Who has been using that word around you? Who are you right now?

Then just one after the other, again and again and again. It never, ever stops.

“Why do we have grass? Why do we need animals? Why do we need trousers? Why do we swim in water? Why do we eat food? Why do we have a night time? Why do we sleep? Why do we wake up? Why do we poo?”

Where is sodding Nina and her Neurons? Go and ask her FFS!

“Why do we need children?” was my question that morning.

Then yesterday came the best one yet.

“Mummy, what are those big things on your belly?”

He meant my breasts. I wondered what to call them at first – again, no one has qualified me to answer medical questions. Boobs? Boobies? Tits? What will be the worst thing he can repeat loudly on the bus when he sees another pair?

Those are breasts darling.

“Why do you need them?”

I thought long and hard….

Well, darling, they feed babies and they sometimes get me free drinks.

Education done.

Mummy's Writing Darling
The age of why

Is it your first?

Is it your first?

Aw… is it your first?

The questions only increase

As the bump increases

She smiles and nods

The easier answer – for them

For her – sometimes

Other times she wants to tell her story

But her story’s too long

Too long for pleasantries

With vacant acquaintances

Some days she wants to scream

“Stop getting me to casually deny

the other times I’ve held life inside”

Because it’s not the first

Between you and me

But the story is hers and hers alone

And the question is innocent

They couldn’t have known

So she smiles

“Yes, this is my first”

And crosses her toes

For her precious secrets

The secret lost souls