Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rhetorical Questions

David used to have a great deal of trouble answering questions.  We would ask him something, prompt him with the possible answers—Yes?  Or no?—and then wait in great anticipation for the answer that might never come.

Recently, David has become quite adept at answering questions, although sometimes he still struggles to string the words together.  His answer might be a drawn out “beeecauuuse…” if he cannot quite find the right words.

He has also become accustomed to asking his own questions.  If he is upset, he will simply say “Why, why, why?” with tears welling up in his big blue eyes, a sure sign that all is about to be forgiven.

But, most often, David inquires about our actions.

“Mom-mom, why you hug?  Why you eat?  Why you laugh?”  And occasionally, “Why you cry?”

And for David, there are not rhetorical questions.  He is not like a person who asks “how are you” in passing and doesn’t even slow down long enough to wait for your response.  David wants answers and he wants the assurance that the answers do not change, so in this instance, expected responses are “because I love you, because I am hungry, because it was funny, because I am a little bit sad.”

David happens to be a devotee of ABC news, both the local broadcasts and the national news in the evening.  It is, in part, because he likes the promos that they air, but also because he is a “wheel watcher” and Wheel of Fortune airs at 6:30 on ABC, immediately following the local news.

It is a running joke in our house, because I prefer watching World News with Diane Sawyer on ABC, but Michael’s choice would be the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.  And, since the tiny TV in the kitchen seems to be the only TV in the house over which we have any—although extremely limited—control, we usually huddle in the kitchen listening to the news while we cook dinner.

It really doesn’t matter whether or not David is in the room.  If Michael changes the channel from ABC to NBC at any time during the news, David will come and change it back.  And then, Michael will usually try varying strategies.  He may wait for David to run upstairs, or turn the volume completely down before changing the channel.  Without fail, David seems to notice almost instantly and changes the channel back to ABC.  And, if Michael tries too many times, David will hide the remote to make it more difficult.

A few nights ago, there had been a promo on NBC for a story that Michael really wanted to hear, but David was persistent.

Michael was frustrated.  “WHY can’t I EVER watch Brian Williams?” he asked, without expecting an answer, without even thinking that David was within earshot.

And then David’s blond head popped into the entryway to the kitchen.

“Because I watching Diane CHOY-YER,” he answered.

Well said, David.


  1. I laughed out loud. Sorry. I feel your pain. Personally, I'm a Brian Williams fan. Someone (who will remain unnamed) in my house has to have Fox. Well, I don't do screaming, interrupting speculation. But, David. Diane CHOY-YER. Good for you. She has beautiful blue eyes!

  2. Cute but it must get frustrating sometimes. Lol I like your blog. You should check mine out sometime. Its WWW.mixedblessings4.blogspot.com