Toddler Q&A

Some questions require phoning a friend.

When I imagined life as a mother, it wasn’t tending to a two month old at 3am or changing a protesting one year old’s nappy that I pictured, but rather, long conversations with a verbose toddler questioning everything around him…and that time has come! At the age of 2 years, 4 months, 5 days, 14 hours (approximately) my boy has reached a significant milestone. Today he uttered his very first “why?” and with the release of that one syllable, changed the course of our lives forever, asserting his mind and sharing its wondrous workings. The momentous occasion was in response to his daddy telling him I had gone to work. Why? Oh, if only he knew I ask myself that very question four days a week. From now on, I am going to have to in turn question myself and the ‘truths’ I share, as well as expectations I have on everything from the need to say please and thank you, to the reason he must get up off a supermarket floor that he is glued to with the formidable adhesive formulation that is will power, snot, and tears.

Aside from the inevitable instances where I will likely wish he’d get on with what I ask and not question things, I am excited about conversations to come; the broad range of topics I will have to research and learn alongside him; and, the fresh take on things I have taken for granted, waking up my comparatively dulled sense of curiosity and wonder.

Why doesn’t the moon fall down? Why is it called a zipper? Why do some camels have one hump and some have two?  Why did the chicken cross the road? Even thinking up hypothetical creative questions is hard work!

I expect there to be plenty of questions I will not have neat answers for, but will encourage his interest nonetheless: questions about our very existence, death, bigotry, inequality, the nature of time, the future. So let the fun begin- I have no prepared answers and will have to take it one question at a time. Actually, I do have one prepared answer- if he ever asks:

Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

 I’ll break out in sudden song like they do in musicals and respond with:

Why do stars fall down from the sky, every time you walk by?

Depending on where we are and whether he is at the age of being embarrassed by me, that may be the last “why?” I ever get.


Has a child every stumped you with ‘Why?’ Please share the question and your response, to help me compile a FAQ list that I will carry on me at all times for reference in the event of no internet service.

58 thoughts on “Toddler Q&A

  1. One important lesson is that you can never win the ‘Why’ game. I did have the opportunity to get my own back a couple of years ago when speaking on the phone to my grandson now living in Australia. It was about a year since the family had left, and he was past the ‘why?’ stage; when I said ‘Why?’ he giggled at the memory of his own usage.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Never? I plan to give really long winded answers and will insist on powerpoint presentations and field trips to get to the bottom of these questions. I am in it to WIN! Haha.

      That’s adorable that he found it funny. How old was he when he got past it? Any questions that stand out?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. When I spoke to him he was 3+ I don’t remember specific questions, but the main thing was that he would always follow any answer with another ‘Why?’, accompanied by a grin to demonstrate that he knew exactly what he was doing

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, he makes me melt countless times a day. I like your no lying policy. We have that approach too. To the dismay of some people, we won’t be telling him stories about a fat old man who visits houses via a chimney…enough magic in the real world as it is. Hope you’re well xx

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah! Motherhood. I wish I had some advice for you. Those days are long gone and I don’t really remember my girls asking “Why?” very much. Looking forward to hearing about your Internet searches and Power Point answers lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great article. And oh god yes. I never realised how little I knew the names for things until I had a toddler.
    “What’s that?” He says, pointing to the curled section of pipe on a trumpet. He won’t be quieted with a simple answer- “a trumpet”. “No, what’s THAT?”
    A pipe?? I don’t know, lets google it.
    Now, at 3, he wants to know every name for every bug and insect that ever existed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. That very specific and detailed questioning is adorable. How wonderful that you’ll be an insect expert in no time- it may even inspire a career change! I already know way more about diggers, trucks and trains than I’d ever imagined I would haha. Like did you know the worlds largest digger is as wide as a house (not sure whose house) and has up to 50 buckets on a wheel? What’s the most amazing insect fact you have uncovered?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know there is a bug that, in its first stage of life, lives underwater but needs air to live. So it goes to the surface, and drags a bubble down into the water. I also know that a particular shark has several shark babies in utero, but they eat each other (still in utero) until there is only one left. When it is born, it quickly swims away so it’s mother doesn’t eat it. Nature is weird.
        That’s a big digger! My son would love that.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is amazing! And did you know a father frog holds the pre-frog form (egg? Tadpole?) in his throat till its birthday? I clicked on link to your block but it was a no go zone- is your blog deleted?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish you much happy astonishment with your son’s questions😊! Are you familiar with the song “Dat Dere” by Oscar Brown, Jr.? It’s an oldy but goody – a precious classic regarding a father and his young son’s questions. Check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My daughter has been in the “why” phase for some time now, and while it can be frustrating at times, it can also be really fun. It gives me a chance to look at the world with new eyes. Sometimes my answers aren’t good enough for my daughter so she will come up with her own explanation as to why something is the way it is, and that’s fun too. Enjoy this time with your darling little one, I’m sure we’ll look back on these “Why” questions later in life and miss them dearly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! thanks for reading and sharing your story. I agree- these times are so precious and we will look back on them dearly…it all happens so quickly, doesn’t it? Enjoy those fun and sweet moments with you little girl 🙂


  6. The “why” game…. ohh how it drives me crazy. I understand honey. I have 3 toddlers…yes 3 of them. I hear that why 24/7 from all 3 of them. Talk about going crazy. It broke with my daughter about a year ago, she just turned 4 in May. Yep…it lasts for a couple years. Lol. Great read thank you. Feel free to roam around my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Woah! 3 toddlers! How old are the other two? Are the others twins? My mind boggles at how I would be able to handle more than 1 child. I can understand why 3 sets of ‘why?’s might be crazy making…but also so much fun, right? Thanks for reading, I’ll check out your blog sometime soon…:)


      1. Lol. Yes 3 toddlers and no… no twins. I have a son that just turned 2 November 11th, and another son that will be 3 December 6th. Everyone calls them Irish twins because they were born within a year of eachother. It’s crazy! Yes it is often stressful and I feel like pulling my hair out sometimes but we have a blast all the time. My house is never quite and there is never a dull moment around here.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s wonderful that your brother is now asking why! A huge milestone made all the more significant…wishing him all the best in hitting more milestones as he grows and learns about the world around him 😊


    1. Yay! Enjoy it! 😊 My boy doesn’t say it all that much now, but I imagine it will become a more frequent word soon ish. He is 2 years, 8 months and 2 days today. What preceeded your toddler’s ‘why?’?


      1. She was helping to make dinner by eating the dry pasta as it went in the pan, I put some olive oil on it and said she wouldn’t want to eat it now and that prompted the “why?”. I let her try it and she pulled a face and then said, “oh, that’s why mummy” 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Transport haha. Story of our lives here. Anything with wheels- diggers, bikes, trucks, tractors etc…Maybe all this knowledge will come in handy on ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ someday 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Love how you have chronicled this all so beautifully; what a treasure! I can’t recall our first why, but it looks like my son takes after his mother in math. I lost my first argument with him at 4 (“Okay, yes, in a way 1 + 1 is 11. . .”), and recently he asked me to figure out if infinity is even or odd. Here’s already over my head. 🙂 Please keep chronicling; it’ll mean the world to your son. A win for conscious parenting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 😊 I have a slowly growing collection of posts about my boy. I have been crap at printing photos and documenting hand and foot size with prints and all the million ways you can mark growth and development milestones, but he’ll have my blog 😊 I am me throughout the comments too so there is a whole lot he can learn about his non facebook mumma one day and I only hope his experience of me as his mum is true to the person he gets an idea from in reading my blog. Most of all, I hope he feels as loved by me as the love I express I feel for him in my posts 😊 (Hi Ruben, if you’re reading this some time in the future, a time when people will probably wear silver suits and have phones built into their earlobes 😂. Hope this message finds you well my beautiful boy 💕).


    2. I love the 1+1=11. Smart kid! Any is infinity odd or even? That’s a mind blowing question. I feel like my brain gives me a divide by zero error like in Excel just for having that though 😂

      A cool question my son asked recently was ‘is it dark inside grass?’ It is a vague idea now for a poem or a story. Children are amazing. We are so lucky to get the chance to witness the wonder of their development (and i guess sometimes unlucky that there are often tantrums involved in that development 😇😈)


      1. Feel the same way about the wonder of children developing their own understandings of the world. For the infinity question he stuck rigidly to the definition of even or odd I gave him, so infinity is odd just because there’s no way to divide it evenly.

        Love the question of what it looks like inside grass! Opens up all kinds of questions about light particles and scale and even our universe just being the atoms of some larger place. These moments definitely make any rough patches in behavior well worth it!


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