Monday, June 16, 2008


We’ve entered the “Why?” phase in a big way. Not so much when we ask Nessa to do something, but more when she sees us doing something, or just when something catches her attention and strikes her as unusual.

“Why did you go downstairs, Daddy?”
“Why do you have a red napkin?”
“Why did you put my pants so the legs were by your feet?”
“Why did that bird do that?”
“Why do you have that shirt on?”

(At least when Nessa asks that last question, I know she’s just being three and not commenting upon the suitability of my sartorial choices.)

We also get some questions that are much more interesting. At the park last Friday, Nessa was listening to a song about “riding the wheel of emotion” when suddenly she asked “What’s an ocean?” So I explained that the song was about emotions, being happy or sad or angry. Then she wanted to know about riding them. I said something lame about how being happy and then sad was confusing, and then looked at Tami and said “It’s a metaphor, kid. Just go with it.”

Sadly, none of my vaunted liberal arts education—even the parts that involved textual analysis—prepared me to explain the concept of metaphor to a child of three.

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