Thursday, May 03, 2007


Blog Hiccups

The Girl is responding to absolutely anything with “because why?”

It's cute, for a while, and sweet, in its way, but eventually it's just annoying.

“It's time for bed.”

“Because why?”

“Because you need your sleep.”

“Because why?”

“So you won't be tired tomorrow.”

“Because why?”

And so on. (To get the full effect, draw out the vowel sound in 'why' for several seconds.)

Eventually I fall back on “because that's how God set it up.” Chad asked for reasons for belief in God, other than “because God said so.” I have one. Because it enables you to stop the endless series of “because why”s. Nothing like an uncaused causer to stop a conversation.

This phase stops, right?

I spoke with a grad student last week who said her specialty is “creative nonfiction.”

What the hell is that? Lying?


How to Annoy Faculty:

“How's the grading going? I don't miss that at all!”

Some people just have no sense of humor.

The coffeemaker died today. That's my version of a raven flying in an open window. No good can come of this.

creative non-fiction = non-fiction that people actually read for pleasure and that doesn't necessarily provide useful information, for example, David Sedaris or Dave Eggars or Augusten Burroughs.

This would be distinct from "non-fiction" in that "non-fiction" includes everything from the "for Dummies" series to books on C++ to technical manuals to books of literary criticism to books about the history of cheese.

I was (or so I'm told) very big on the why-ing as a child. I think one learns to control it, but she may be doomed to go get a PhD in English or philosophy or something else really useful like that :)
You intentionally annoy the faculty, and then the coffee-maker breaks. Do you not see a connection here? ;-)

As for the whiny phase, it does end. But when you have multiple children, you get to feel like it goes on forever. As soon as one is out of it, another is just starting up. My three year old is at the "Beacause why?" phase, too, and it's driving me crazy, LOL.
I'm also told I was full of 'why'. I believe it inspired a hearty dose of 'because I'm the parent and I said so.'

'Creative nonfiction' reminds me of the 'Biology Fiction' course my college taught. Falsifying data?
My daughter is a good little heretic, so the uncaused causer bit never worked. In a fit of desperation, I began repeating her whys? right back to her. It annoyed her enough that she quit! It also works with crocodile tears and hissy fits. Mommy can throw a hissy fit like none other, and the 4-yr-old doesn't like to be outdone.
The downside is, she now imitates me, right down to stressing about research projects and placing her pencil in her ponytail and promptly forgetting where she put it. I may have to rethink my strategy if she starts mumbling under her breath about poetic forms...
Yes, they do outgrow that phase eventually, although in the case of my son, it recurred later when he started reading philosophy! My mother, who raised eight kids, after patiently answering the "whys" for as long as she could, would say, "because y is a crooked letter" in a tone of great finality. It worked on us :>)
When I can't stand the "whys", I usually as "why do you think?" Sometimes this puts an end to it, but sometimes she bats it right back to me: "No, mommy, I want *you* to tell *me*."

The other day, she asked me "Why is it windy?" Pressure gradients and other such weather phenomena strike me as beyond the intellectual capacity of a not-quite-three-year-old, so I stood there struck dumb, until she noticed something else that piqued her curiosity, and she asked me a different, more answerable question.
"Creative nonfiction" = blogging. Or at least, it describes my blog.

I'm always amused when my partner, who is also a literature professor says, "hey, that blog post you wrote? actually it wasn't So-and-So who said [X], but Thus-and-Such." And it happened right before [Event Y], not after." To which I invariably reply, "Uh, yeah. . . I know!"

In other words, the story is True in a Larger Sense, although parts of "the facts" might be condensed or conflated or telescoped or shuffled around a bit to improve the story's clarity or highlight what seems its important part.
At my house "k-why?" was promptly answered with "k-buzz". That was that. BECAUSE I SAID SO! I AM THE MOMMY/DADDY AND THAT IS IT

Sort of dictatorial, but it works for our 3 man-children. They are 11, 7 and 4--the parents have to be in charge of the asylum sometimes! It is rare, but it happens around here

My mom says that I hit her with, "How high is the sky?" when I was three. Quick on her feet, she responded "How high do you think it is?" "Higher than a tall tree?" "Yes." "Oh, ok."
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