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<em>WHY</em> Is Mommy Plugging Her Ears and Humming Show Tunes at the Top of Her Lungs?

Me: Because I'm going mental.
Laylee: Why?
Me: Because you keep asking "Why?"
Laylee: Why do I keep asking you?
Me: Because you want to know about everything.
Laylee: Why?
Me: Because you're very inquisitive.
Laylee: Why?
Me: I don't know. What do you think?
Laylee: I don't know either. Why don't you tell me?
Me: Because my head is going to explode?
Laylee: Why is your head going to explode?

This isn't so much a transcription of an actual conversation I've had with Laylee recently. It's more a general transcription of every conversation we've had for the last month and a half.

My main question is, "Why is this driving me nuts?" I read the books and magazines. I had friends with children who passed through the age of 3. I knew that the "why" phase would come, and I thought I was prepared for it.

When my friends' kids would ask "why" a billion times, I'd just smile and say, "What do you think?" They'd give me their theory and I'd smugly think, "My child will be inquisitive and I will help her come to her own conclusions about the world rather than playing the 'why' game until I lose my mind." I'd seen other mothers driven to madness and I knew I would never be like that.

So far while typing this post she has asked me:

Why are you sick?
Why did you get some germs in you?
Why didn't you wash your hands enough like Dr. Jones said to?
Why did you forget?
Why do marshmallows taste like candy inside?

Although at times it feels like I'm a spy being raked over the coals by a government interrogator, I know she's just trying to figure out the world around her. Even more than that, I think she's trying to hold my attention and keep me engaged in conversation as long as possible. I can't answer a "why" question with "yes" or "no" but have to actually stop what I'm doing and think about the answer, sort of.

There was an annoying phase in high school where my friends and I answered every question thrown at us with "Your mom."

Q: Who left the milk out on the counter?
A: Your mom.

Q: Why do we have so much homework?
A: Your mom.

Q: Where do you want to go for dinner?
A: Your mom's house.

Q: Who's coming to the mall with us?
A: Your mom.

I abruptly stopped doing this after I tried it on my new college roommate and she informed me that her mom would not be coming to the mall with us because she had recently died of cancer.

Well, the other day when we were caught in an infinite "why" loop, I let it slip out.

Laylee: Why do we need to eat good food?
Me: Because we're hungry.
Laylee: Why are we hungry?
Me: Because we need to eat some good food.
Laylee: Why do we need to eat good food?
Me: Because of your mom.

Yeah, that made no sense and dissing on her mom is really not a place I want to go. So we carried on with the loop until my eyes glazed over and she stormed off in frustration.

More questions that came up while I was typing this:

Why do they have to take turns together, mom?
Why is the stepsister sad?
But, why do all of them want to get married to the prince?
Why did only Cinderella Penguin get to marry the prince?
Why can you only get to marry one man at a time?
Why is that the law?

Sometimes when the why-ish-ness hits a fever pitch, I say things I regret, like telling her what really happened to Bambi's mom.

So I ask you, "Why do I lose my patience so quickly?" Have you had experiences like this? If so, why?