Today I have discussed with my three-year-old, in no particular order of importance or length or intensity, the following subjects: "But WHY is our car blue, Mommy?" "WHY do we eat peanut butter?" "Why that fly in here?" "But WHY is there no more apple juice?" And my favorite daily discussion, "What you DOING Mommy? Why you DOING that?"
Would you believe that only a year and a half ago I was wringing my hands over his tiny vocabulary, his utter disinterest in communicating verbally, the way his pediatrician clucked her tongue when I told her how many words he could say at fifteen months? I'd read blogs of other mothers complaining about their chatty children and I felt so sorry for myself, disbelieving such a day would ever arrive in the Cheung household.
If my bleeding ears are any indication, that day is now upon me and OMG IT IS NEVER GOING TO SHUT UP.
Ever since he really started talking, around two years old, Jack's daily amount of verbiage has steadily increased. And this is good! It's an awesome thing hearing your little baby start to use big people words and tell you what he's doing and thinking and sometimes even feeling. Unfortunately, we've now reached the threshold where the talking is no longer new! and exciting! and delightful! and is now simply CHATTER. Talk talk talk talk talk and half the time I'm not even listening. Of course, it doesn't pay to stop listening because your helpful three-year-old will shout, "Mommy! Mommy! MOMMY!" until he has your full and exhausted attention.
I feel like I've survived the typical parenting hurdles thus far, but this is really the stage that's going to kill me. I mean, there are lots of things he's not supposed to do: jump off the couch, smack his sister, build a fort in my closet. But I can 1) tell him he's not supposed to do those things and 2) DISCIPLINE him when he does. What can I do about the talking? I can't tell him to stop talking!
(Though I have, on numerous occasions.)
Just lately, like, within the last two or three days, we've now entered the realm of Asking Why. You know, the way a little twerpy grade schooler keeps asking Why? until the questions no longer make sense, and yet they do SORT OF make sense, you have to keep coming up with answers and everyone gets good and super annoyed, except for the grade schooler of course, who is thoroughly charmed with himself. But my three-year-old - I think he is genuinely ASKING. He really honestly and truly wants to know why our car is blue and GOSH IF I DON'T KNOW. Because Daddy liked blue? But WHY does Daddy like blue? Because blue is his favorite color? But WHY is blue his favorite color?! COME ON, MOMMY! BE BRILLIANT!
But I am not brilliant. I am not even all that creative. Sometimes I pretend not to hear (see above: that doesn't work.) Sometimes I tell him to be quiet, I'm tired. Sometimes I make stuff up, but that gets me in bigger trouble. ("But what ARE unicorns, Mommy?")
Every mealtime, every car ride, every walk in the stroller is accompanied by talk talk talk, chatter chatter, drone drone drone and I don't know how I'm going to make it through without one of us having to go to therapy. Thankfully, this is why God invented preschool.