When your toddler starts asking; why?

I have been warned by many parents that the ‘why phase’ is bloody annoying. I always expected it must be pretty funny.

If you are unaware of the the phase is, it is pretty simple. It is when your child learns to talk and starts asking why to everything you say. This could be a genuine question, but also just a generic response to whatever you have said.

This phase has hit us with Taormina. Her speech has always been pretty good and I’m shocked it has taken her this long to get to the ‘why phase’.

At first, the why phase was pretty funny as I had thought. I got asked why to most things and gave some funny answers and had a little laugh to myself. But then, I started getting asked why for no particular reason at all. Not because she was being inquisitive. It’s because she was using it as a tactic, usually a delaying tactic for something like going to bed!

Me: It’s time to go to bed Taormina.

T: Why is it time to go to bed?

Me: Because it’s bedtime.

T: Why is it bedtime?

Me: Because it’s dark.

T: Why is it dark?

Me: *Pulling my hair out*

So, I decided to have a bit of fun with the questions she has asked to see how far it can go. The other day our conversation went as follows;

Me: We are just going to get some petrol.

T: Why are we getting petrol?

Me: Because the car needs petrol.

T: Why does the car need petrol?

Me: Because it has a combustion engine.

T: Why does it have a cobushion engine? (spelling is correct on how she pronounced it)

Me: Because the vehicle industry chose combustion engines as the normal type of engine.

T: Why did the ickle industry choose the cobushion engine?

Me: I believe it was the availability and current research into that type of engine.

At this point I’m thinking surely she can’t keep going. I thought she was asking why and not actually listening, but she’s repeating back to me what I’m saying.

T: Why was it avaybity and search?

Me: Not sure, but now we also have fully electric engines.

T: Why do we have electric engines?

Me: Oh my gosh, look at the horse out of the window.

T: Where? Where?

Me: Oh dear I think you missed it.

There wasn’t a horse. I just had to create a distraction because she was beating me!

T: Why did I miss it?

Me: *silent, because I have accepted I lost the game*


You see, having a toddler can be so testing on you as a person. It isn’t easy. Sometimes I feel I am fighting a losing battle in my parenting ability. I totally look up to my wife as a parent. She is a complete natural and has the patience of a saint. Sometimes I do have to just go take 5 and chill out because ultimately, a toddler is simply learning. They are testing boundaries and experimenting. You as a parent have the agenda to keep the household going, feed, wash, tidy, work, etc… but the toddler just wants to have fun!

I think it is always important at the end of each evening, when you’ve had a tough day to remember the little things like the combustion engine conversation as a positive thought to sleep on. Enjoy the little things whilst you can.


  1. June 10, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    Haha, “oh look, a horse!” works for a very long time. (I still use it with my 6 and a half year old haha!)
    I don’t really remember Lily going through this, – well I didn’t join the family until she was 3 and a half, so maybe I missed it…but she’s making up for it now! Everything I explain or tell her is retorted with “How do you know?!” which, I’m not sure if that is more annoying than “why” or not?! Either way, I find myself pulling my hair out at that one too lol.
    “Because I said so” was my mums favourite line when she’d had enough!

    • June 10, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Ha, I keep saying “because I said so” to my daughter as well but then she responds with “why do you say do”. I just have to laugh it off!

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