Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Incessant questions question

Jonathan has entered the phase of asking endless questions. I try to answer them the best that I can but most of the questions don't have answers or I know that he knows the answer but he asks anyway. Over and over and over again. Some of them are circular, too. For instance -

Jonathan: (pointing at a picture in a book) What is this, Mommy?
Me: That's a porcupine.
Jonathan: What's a porcupine?
Me: Well, that is, that animal in that picture in your book.
Jonathan: This is?
Me: Yes.
Jonathan: This is a porcupine?
Me: Yes, that's a porcupine.
Jonathan: What's a porcupine?
Me: That animal right there with the spikes.
Jonathan: This one?
Me: Yes.
Jonathan: This is a porcupine?
Me: Yes, Jonathan, that is a porcupine.
Jonathan: Which one?
Me: This one...

The conversation continues, but you get the picture. I try so hard to be patient but after a few hours of questions I start to go crazy.

So, how do I try to curb the incessant questions without stiffling his natural curiousity? Or, is this just another one of those parenting things that if you can persevere through without becoming a basket case you will be one step further down the road to sainthood?


Emily said...

Go for the sainthood. Soon as he leaves this phase you'll have another one entering into it, if your kids are anything like mine. I need to take my own advice, though, and work on my response. My son likes to hold up random things and say "Do you think this looks like a ___(starship, t-rex, baseball bat etc etc)." When I say "not really" he'll say "But look at it, Mom, look at it really closely." "Okay," I say, "you're right, it looks just like a ______"
"It does?" he replies. "Why do you think it would look like that," (said in a tone of voice that implies he has NO idea why his idiot mother would think X looks like such and such. Then he will keep asking me that question, demanding that I defend my statement. If I retract my statement and go back to saying they aren't at all alike then he will follow me around the house pointing out their similarities. Anyway, if I can handle such crazy-making with patience and goodwill then I will let you know so you can venerate me. In the meantime... good luck not going completely crazy!

Colleen said...

Thanks, Emily. It's good to know that at least I'm not the only one stuggling. Your son sounds so much like Jonathan! Looking back on them, these round and round discussions are pretty funny, I guess I need to remember that when they happen while I'm cooking supper!

Lillian said...

Kids are wonderful saint makers ... if we allow them!!