I remember when Riley was just starting to talk, testing out variations on “ba” (“ba pa” was his first word, for the backpack carrier he rode around in, the same one we now use to carry his brother, sunriiiise, sunseeet), and JB and I marveled over the barely-comprehensible notion that someday he would probably be talking to us in that nonstop, breathless sort of little kid way, and we joked about how he would surely hit the stage of asking “why” because isn’t that what kids do, they say “why” a lot, right?

Well, and here we are, a blink of the eye later, with a boy who often talks so much he trips over his own words and holy jesus with the WHYs. Why this, why that, why why why why why why WHY, Mommy? And sometimes I am patient and dish out endless explanations (“Because that’s how traffic lights work; see how this one’s red and that means we have to stop, but those people have a green light and that means they can go, and . . . “) and sometimes I make up weird shit to entertain myself (“Because all of the lights are controlled by a tiny invisible elephant, and his name is Frank. Make sure you wave to Frank so he turns our light green!”) and sometimes if the whys have piled on each other, over and over and over again, and I find myself trapped in some spiraling vortex of verbal madness (a la the last 2 minutes of this brilliant and pants-shittingly hilarious [NSFW] Louis C.K. routine), then I use the gold standard in parenting fall-backs, “Because I said so”, which is of course what you say when you can’t say “CLOSE YOUR GODDAMNED WHY-HOLE BEFORE I GORILLA GLUE IT SHUT, SWEETIE.”

The whys can be tiring but he is an awful lot of fun these days, talking with me like some sort of person and all. We’ve moved past the truly bizarre Martian conversations we had when he was two, and now he’ll casually say things like, “Hey, Mommy! How was your day at work?” Of course, he also likes to randomly grab one of his buttcheeks while yelling “Banana muffins!”, but that one can be blamed entirely on JB.

In the meantime, Dylan is doing a lot of elated roaring. Seriously: he roars these enormous “EERRAAAARR!” noises and it’s kind of crazy. I took him with me to Old Navy today while I poked around and he was greatly entertained but also gripped by the desire to roar nonstop. It was a little embarrassing but also sort of hilarious, how I’d wheel him up to some rack of cheap shirts and he’d take a look and shoot his arms and legs straight out in excitement and ERRRAAARR at them, like he was just blown away by the fact that they were two for $14.


In other news, I’m working on a project that has to do with fitness and health and I’m looking for stories from people who wouldn’t mind publicly sharing their successes, tips, challenges, goals, and so on. If you’d be interested in contributing, drop me an email, okay? I’d love to hear from you.


36 Responses to “Whys and whereroars”

  1. Jem on October 5th, 2008 9:45 pm

    omg, that last picture is teh cute.

  2. Scott on October 5th, 2008 9:46 pm

    Sing it, sister. If Congress had as keen an interest in “Why?” as Sofia does, things would be a whole lot better right now.

    We have had an ongoing discussion over the last 8 weeks on the topic: “Daddy, why aren’t you driving in the grass?” After several false starts (traffic laws, not wanting to break the car, not wanting to go to jail – she was particularly unswayed by that argument) I finally found an answer that satisfied her: I don’t drive in the grass because I don’t want to hurt the worms, who keep the soil healthy and help things grow.

    She found that answer so satisfying, in fact, that now she asks the question just so I can answer it. So we’re pretty much right back where we started. It’s my own fault for thinking I was smarter than she is.

  3. biscuit on October 5th, 2008 9:51 pm

    I love how Dylan’s pointing at me with his big toe!

    Hot Pocket has been really into roaring lately too + chasing the dog around trying to steal her ham hock.

    8 monthers are weird!

  4. thejunebug on October 5th, 2008 11:03 pm

    I’ll drop you an email. :)

    And OMG the roaring! Riley did that too – I remember you posted it sounded like a rabid pterodactyl. That picture of Dylan is just th best. I love it.

  5. Lesley on October 5th, 2008 11:18 pm

    I miss Louis CK’s hilarious shortlived show called Lucky Louie on HBO.

    Heh, the “why-hole” is just an awesome description.

    Love the pic of little roaring D. You have the cutest kids. They seem to have an unbridled enthusiasm for life (which I know is normal…it’s just nice to see).

  6. warcrygirl on October 6th, 2008 4:44 am

    Dear god that’s adorable. My friend had just weaned her first born and she went out to buy a normal bra. While browsing she kept hearing her son giggle; she looked down in time to see him squeezing the bra foam cups and giggling like a maniac. ROAR!!!

  7. Swistle on October 6th, 2008 4:46 am

    That picture is just about the best picture of any child ever. Also, I think I could eat him up in about three bites.

  8. Elisha on October 6th, 2008 5:20 am

    Dylan looks EXACTLY like JB in that last picture!!

  9. Eric's Mommy on October 6th, 2008 5:28 am

    I remember wondering what it would be like to have actual conversations with my boy. Now I can’t remember him not talking.

    Also Banana Muffins!! Hilarious
    And Dylan, too cute!!!!

  10. jonniker on October 6th, 2008 5:55 am

    Oh that picture of him is too much. Rawr! Hi Dylan!

  11. Kathryn on October 6th, 2008 6:09 am

    Ha, my parents were great about making stuff up and actually having me believe it. They once told me that ATMs had little tiny elf-like people inside them who dispensed the money, and I thoroughly believed it.

    And not that you don’t know it already, but that kid of yours is adorable. I want to nom those little feet.

  12. Casey on October 6th, 2008 6:20 am

    I LOVE that picture, and the kid although I’ve never even met him. Our son is almost to the why phase, he’s talking more and more these days. We were saying this weekend how much we really wanted him to talk (he’s 21 months and is a bit behind with his talking). Then we were looking at the flip side and saying at least he’s not driving us crazy yet with his incessant whys. I know it’s coming, glad to hear that they’ll actually buy the crazy shit you make up.

  13. Kendra on October 6th, 2008 6:38 am

    Love the picture and caption.

    P.S. Bloglines is not picking up your feed for some reason.

  14. Jenine on October 6th, 2008 6:42 am

    It occurred to me finally that the “whys” are sort of a rudimentary conversational gambit. The beginning talkers don’t really know how to move a conversation along. But they catch on to the power of why — getting their parents to talk about something the kid chooses.

    Personally when I got to the end of my why rope I would change the subject or sing a song. My oldest daughter also went through a 20 month old stage of pointing at everyone we encountered and asking, “What’s his name is? What’s her name is?” Cute, yet also tiring.

  15. Kelly Fodel on October 6th, 2008 6:50 am

    I miss Dylan’s hair!! He’s STILL precious, obviously, but the curls! They’re gone!

  16. Joanne on October 6th, 2008 6:56 am

    My three year old does not talk much and I wish he did, usually. Sometimes, though, I’m at the mall or something and I hear some other three year old with the babbling and the asking and the why-ing and I think well, maybe I don’t miss that part so much. Maybe by the time he starts talking he’ll know why and we’ll just skip that part!

    Dylan is ridiculous – so cute.

  17. Erika on October 6th, 2008 7:09 am

    Dylan is so cute he makes me want another baby.

  18. bessie.viola on October 6th, 2008 7:15 am

    OMG the rawring! Maddie is on the same kick, and will even interrupt herself mid-baby-sentence to shout at us: “Ba ba da pa da da RAWR!!! dada.”

    Dylan is so darn cute… he looks so grown up with the new hair!

  19. Julie on October 6th, 2008 7:21 am

    Don’t be wishing too strenuously for the closing of the why-hole, because you know what gapes open next?

    The but-hole.

  20. Angahrad on October 6th, 2008 7:25 am

    Was just about to ask if you’d changed your feed address then saw Kendra was also having trouble so am now assuming it’s Bloglines fault?

  21. Hotch Potchery on October 6th, 2008 7:39 am

    I thought “why-hole” was hilarious…HOWEVER, I have two teenagers and their “but-holes” are still wide open…awesome Julie!

  22. tash on October 6th, 2008 8:26 am


    Great post and so so so very true! The why-hole.. haha

  23. samantha jo campen on October 6th, 2008 8:55 am

    Awesome. Just all-over awesome.

    I rawr at Old Navy too, Dylan, but for different reasons.

  24. Angella on October 6th, 2008 11:31 am

    I can totally hear the roar through the computer screen.

  25. Maggie on October 6th, 2008 11:46 am

    That pic makes me want to go home and make a baby. RAWR!

  26. sara on October 6th, 2008 12:14 pm

    that thing about the traffic light troll dude is SO FUNNY

    when i was a kid my brother (15 years older than me) told me that a midget sat in a tower and controlled the lights at every intersection and HONEST TO GOD I believed that FOREVER!!!

    I was such an idiot

    also, afraid of midgets

  27. Michelle on October 6th, 2008 12:38 pm

    My son is a big question-asker, too. He is convinced I know all the answers because if I tell him I don’t know he will repeatedly say, “Tell me, tell me!” He asked me the other day how gas makes the car go. So I gave him a rediculously detailed explaination involving fuel injectors and pistons, etc. That must have been acceptable to him because he just said, “Ok, Mommy.”

  28. Patty on October 6th, 2008 2:21 pm

    I remember the “why?” stage so clearly, even though my son is 17 now and most of the whys come from me (WHY didn’t you tell me you were going to be driving on the freeway?? Why didn’t you let me know your friends were coming over before I came downstairs in my underwear? Why didn’t you answer your phone when I called you five thousand times?? Why? Why!!) When he was little, I remember first giving an explanation, then asking him “why do you think that’s like that?”. It certainly shut him down faster.

  29. Holly on October 6th, 2008 3:38 pm

    omg . . .dylan . . . photo . . .CUTE!!!

    I swear, if I don’t end up with a baby who roars I’m going to be SERIOUSLY disappointed!

  30. Heather D on October 6th, 2008 4:59 pm

    I’m pretty sure we need an audio clip of the Roar!

  31. Korinna on October 6th, 2008 5:15 pm

    Banana muffins! Heh!

  32. Josh on October 6th, 2008 8:12 pm

    I got in really good shape when they locked me up, partially due to my inhumanely small diet, and partially due to the fact that the only thing to do besides watch BET was exercise. But somehow I don’t think that’s what you’re going for. There’s not a whole lot of professional projects where you can say a good motivator to get in shape is being scared of huge black men.

  33. kayla on October 7th, 2008 6:57 am

    That is to funny and to cute all at the same time, it is very very true.!

  34. Melis on October 7th, 2008 7:40 am

    That picture makes my uterus ache! I agree with previous posters…we need an audio!

    We lucked out with Little Man, who managed to skip the “why?” phase however we are now stuck in the “director” phase. You know…the one where, while you are playing with him, he tells you what to say/do/etc and then gets mad when you say “Well you seem to know what he wants…why don’t YOU just say it?” (similar to Louis CK’s daughter and the hiding in the closet)

    How bad is it that he stomps around growling “You’re making me CRAZY!!!”?

  35. Cameron on October 7th, 2008 12:04 pm

    Girl: Why is the blah blah blah?
    Me: I don’t know.
    Girl: Why don’t you know?
    Me: Because I don’t
    Girl (frustrated): No daddy, why don’t you know?
    Me: Because I don’t know everything.
    Girl (more frustrated): No!! Daddy, why don’t you know?

    At that point I just make something up. :)

  36. seadragon on October 19th, 2008 2:53 pm

    How funny. My almost eight-month-old is right there with Dylan with the roaring.

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