When we were on the verge of becoming parents, we were showered with well-meaning advice and recollections from people who had ‘been there, done that’. One recurring comment was that along with the terrible twos we should order an extra bundle of patience for the ‘why’ stage.
So, when Chief was on the edge of turning two, and Munch was freshly sprung onto the world, we braced ourselves for this torrent. If there was going to be any boundary testing surely it would be now we had a new addition to our family?
We did have some questions directed our way, why is the sky blue, why is the sun hot, why do ants live in colonies, that sort of thing. But not the top of the lungs screeching of why do we have to leave the park/ stay in our seat/ not splash the furthest in the swimming pool questions that we were expecting. We thought that perhaps we’d had some sort of lucky escape from those, and wondered whether that meant something else was lurking around the corner. Then it hit us. We were going through an almighty ‘why’ stage, it was just that the questions were coming from us.
“Why are your trousers on your head?”
“Why is your t-shirt on your foot?”
“Why are you wearing my socks?”
“Why are you taking a close up photograph of your brother’s ear?”
And, perhaps my favourite, “why is there toast on the window?!”
The questions were always met with the same, confident, “why not?”.
Chief commented during a conversation this morning that adults should be able to have days of running around a park having fun too. Yes, why not? Why can’t we engage with the world a little more, leave the bill paying to a tightly scheduled slot and kick back and relax a bit. It shouldn’t have taken three young children to impress this upon us but, somewhat embarrassingly, it did.
8 – 14 May 2017 is Mental Health Awareness Week here in the UK. One campaign coming loud and clear through social media channels is about self-care. The idea of running wildly through a park with the wind in your hair instead of staying in and doing the chores is perhaps a good step in the right direction to achieving this.
So, next time you’re pondering leaving the vacuuming and reading a chapter of a new book instead, or ignoring the cobwebs in the corner of your rooms and taking a long walk or run, please, think of my boys and say “why not?”.