It quite beggars belief how one word can actually make you feel like standing in front of the nearest wall, adopting the necessary position and repeatedly walloping your head into it.
However, when I say ‘one word’, I refer actually to that one word being repeated over. And over. Again. Yes, I refer of course to the infamous toddler favourite, that old classic question…’WHY’.
DB1, it’s time for lunch! I cry, from within the kitchen.
‘Why?’ is the response.
Hmm. Well, what to respond with? It’s the old parental dilemma. Do I opt for patiently explaining to him that he requires food in order to provide his little body with energy etc? Or do I go with my gut instinct; that ancestral primal urge that seems hardwired into every individual from the very moment their offspring enters the world; the urge to simply bark back ‘because I told you so’?
I select, in a moment of madness, to go for the former.
‘Because you need some food!’ I call back brightly, hoping dimly that that might be the end of it. Ha. Naive.
‘Why?’ his little reedy voice wheedles back.
I stifle a sigh.
‘Come on, quickly, we need to eat now!’
It’s at about this point that the urge to headbutt something repeatly starts to occur.
‘Db1, please, come on. We need to hurry up a bit, else we’ll be late for nursery!’ I shout back.
‘Because it’s already quarter past; look, just come on!’
Silence. Another bit of inbuilt parental wisdom here, that is just known inherently from their birth. Silence is NEVER a good thing. You might believe it to be so, when you are exhausted and desperate for a break, but trust every parent and their mummy/ daddy instinct when they say that silence definitely equates to BEING UP TO NO GOOD.
‘DB1? What are you doing?’ I ask as I edge towards the lounge, not reeeeally wanting to know, but feeling that I probably should find out.
Silence. Then, from behind the sofa… ‘Why?’
Urge to shout in frustration building at a rate of knots now. Time to head out of door and race to nursery fast approaching. Desire to simply reach behind sofa and grab DB1 in a fireman’s lift and hoist his over-enquiring backside into the kitchen almost too strong to resist. Tempting. Very tempting.
‘DB1, it’s on the table now. I want you to come and eat it. Now.’
A tousled head pops up from the sofa and eyes me with barely concealed glee.
‘Now! Move it!’
Another moment of silence, as DB1 studies me and I study him. He looks in my eyes. I look into his. He knows that I know that the ‘why’s’ have run their course. So he goes for the next favourite instead.
‘Wha’ did you say?’
Find me that wall. Now.