Posted by: DD | June 21, 2006

No. 216 – Because I Said So!

It’s taken less than five years. I have officially turned into the mother I said I would never be. In other words, I’ve basically turned into my mother.

I have broken several of the rules I had set in my head when it came to parenting. One of what I thought would be my easiest rules was how to respond to the my son’s unrelenting and persistent Whys, which was to answer the why with an appropriate answer or turn the question around and ask him what he thought. That’s what these "Experts" say. Seriously, look at those zombies! Those blank, over-zealous smiles are due to their own kids asking Why so often, that they’ve had their brain leached out through their nostrils.

X started this phase a little later than most children. He was well into his third year before his little brain wrapped around the power he had to basically drive us out of our fucking minds.

First let me defend the fact that I love the question, "What is that?" It’s always in relationship to something X can see. If he can see it, I can see it. What is that? It’s a cement mixer. What is that? It’s a bra. What is that? It’s cat puke.

Now, for a mental exercise for everyone, what I would like you to do is imagine that for each of those answers, X has now responded with "Why?" Usually I try to pretend that the ice-pick he is figuratively jabbing in my ear sounds more like, "What do you do with a cement mixer / bra / cat puke?" But tonight I snapped.

We had just got back from swimming lessons. He was in his wet swim trunks. "X, before you can play outside you need to go in and take off your swim suit and put on some underwear and shorts."

(All together now…) "WHY?"


In some later posts, I will address spanking, independent dressing, and name calling.



  1. Follow it up with, “you little fuck,” and you’ll be as bad a mom as me. All the while, I remind myself that it’s just gonna get worse. Huh? How can parenting have lasted so damn long?

    PS – I keep re-entering my personal info for commenting here. I feel like a ghost without a cookie. Anybody else?

  2. Because I said so is a totally appropriate answer for that question. Screw the experts. Kids can only retain little bits of info, explaining the whole, wet, cold, sick, etc thing would mean nothing to him. Good job mom!

  3. ..Now…the sizing just captures the level of frustration perfectly…

  4. I always say, “I dunno. What do you think?” And send my son off to ponder πŸ™‚

  5. I catch myself saying things that were said to me as a kid also – even though I promised myself I never would. I think it’s inevitable. What you said wasn’t the end of the world either DD – it’s frustrating when they ask stupid questions, you got frustrated. The older they get the more it seems to happen also.

  6. I really can’t think of a better answer than that myself. I think that ‘because I said so’ is actually grossly underrated and under-utilized… (I need to use it more with my husband)

  7. The Boy went through this phase early – much earlier than we expected, so we were totally unprepared for it. I have gone so far as to tell him this – “Son, people will tell you there is no such thing as a stupid question. They are liars. That was a stupid question. Now you tell me why.”

    Imagine my surprise! It works!

  8. “Because mold and mildew will begin to develop on your skin. This will lead to chronic rot and require that you spend many weeks in a hospital away from home, in pain, and with no sweets.”
    Okay, so maybe it’s stretching the truth a but but I find this type of approach works quite well. No, I’m not likely to win any mother of the year awards either.

  9. P hasn’t hit the “why” stage yet, for which I am eternally grateful, as he already drives me crazy with his “what is…? why do…?” that he does constantly. I think you were well justified in using that card right then and there.

  10. Oh Nooooooooooooooo (Say it like Mr. Bill)

    Not the dreaded: “Because I Said So!”


  11. Ditto the mom who wants to use that on her husband. Hell, I’m going to use it at work! Thanks for the reminder. πŸ™‚

  12. too funny!

    Next time, swat his little fanny when you say it!

    That will put an end to that behavior really fast. πŸ™‚

    Thinking of you,

  13. Brains leached out through the nostrils– ROLFLMAO!

    Thanks. I needed that.

  14. I like DinoD’s answer, but is he old enough to understand crotch-rot yet??

    Mag hasn’t started the “Why’s” yet. I’m still trying to get her out of the “selective hearing” thing…

  15. I think it happens to the best of us. I am sure it will come out of my mouth one day too.

  16. It’s strange to me when you don’t post, so I came by to say hello. Hope you’re being a stellar mom again today.

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