Red, Why, & Blue

July 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Posted in Lollipop | 26 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In the spirit of American industriousness, we crammed as much as we could into our Fourth of July celebration. Two pool parties, a local craft festival, a fireworks show by the river, more hot dogs than anyone should ever eat, and juuuust the right amount of cookies.

Somewhere in there, we even found time for Lollipop and Giggles to have a short nap. So short, in fact, that we had to wake them up and fill them with sugar-laden energy-boosting apple juice to stay on schedule.

Husband and I divided and conquered, with him going for Giggles and me rousing Lollipop, who had crashed on the couch in her pink frilly nightgown and pink frilly tutu with her pink frilly blanket.

I sat down beside her and rubbed her back. Pushed a few stray hair out of her face. Tickled her elbows. “Time to get up. We’re going to see fireworks,” I said softly.

She opened her eyes and looked blankly through me for a moment. And then:

“Why are we going to see fireworks?”
“Where are they going to be?”
“Will there be green ones?”

As she finished the last question, her lashes began to droop, betraying her sweet, chipper voice.

I put my hand to her cheek. “Wake up, kiddo. It’s fireworks time.”

Her eyes fluttered open.

“Will I need a jacket?”
“Will Giggles need a jacket?”
“Is it going to rain?”

Her head lolled forward onto my knee as she quietly sighed the word “rain.”

I gently traced a finger across the back of her neck. “Kiddo, time to get up. We’ve got to get ready.”

She stretched one arm in the air.

“Are we going to eat dinner there?”
“Will they have fruit snacks?”
“Can I have some ice cream?”

Then she tucked her knees, put her hands under her chin, and nestled into the couch cushions. Asleep again.

Back and forth we went like this, me trying to wake her and her mind teetering between the fog of sleep and the brightness of curiosity. I realized that, even at rest, her brain craves information. Even at rest, she can identify details to work through, logistics puzzles to solve. Even at rest, her mind explodes with wonder.

And even at rest, her zeal for simply needing to know colors the world around her with as much sparkle as Fourth of July fireworks.

Does your child have a need to know? How do you stay focused on encouraging curiosity amid the incessant questions? And how many hot dogs is too many??


Bigger Picture Moment



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  1. How funny, Stacia! Awake enough to ask questions, asleep enough to doze off! My daughter does that stuff when she’s sleepwalking (sleep talking, running, sitting, etc.) Hopefully she had a great time.

  2. Well, we don’t do hot dogs around these parts (I call our veggie dogs “not” dogs, which amuses everyone), so I can’t answer that last one.

    Flora asks questions about EVERYTHING. I do as well as I can to address them one at a time, but it is wearing. Whenever she senses my exasperation, she hurriedly says, “I’m sorry I ask so many questions. I’m so curious!” And that usually makes me laugh, and I can go on doing my best to answer her.

    Sometimes I do tell her that I don’t know. Sometimes I make up silly stories. Sometimes we “Google” the answers. It’s all fun, though. I love that she loves to learn about our world.

    • “I’m so curious!” I love it! And we are in the tofu-dog camp over here, too, except on very rare occasions. Like the Fourth. When there was not much else to eat. I’m getting nauseous just thinking about it!

  3. There’s such a thing as too many hotdogs?

    I love listening to your kids’ conversations. Glad you had a happy 4th. 🙂

  4. It never ceases to amaze me what the kids think of, and how often they ask questions, and how much they want to know! 🙂 Patience can be so hard to come by, but when you can step back and enjoy the questions it’s amazing!
    Thanks for participating in the Bigger Picture Moment!

  5. A little dose of Lollipop and Giggles always makes me smile. I adore children’s curiosity and they quickly figured out that I could answer their questions all day long. Sadly, all night long too as they ask them well after their bedtimes and I kick myself but I STILL can’t stop myself from coming up with the answers. How many hotdogs is too many? Well, now big is the sky?

  6. My son is the same way, always wondering. How sweet your kids are. (Still wondering how you’re managing all this with three kids, by the way. I guess I know that my wonder probably means I’m pretty set with my two .)

  7. My kids are energy crises. Sure, they have questions, but what astounds me is their pure and unbridled passion for constant motion. Go go go go go. Often to figure something out, to examine it, to climb it, conquer it. I love the sleepy questions. What a joy!

  8. My guys need to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING. Thank heavens for Google is all I can say. Belated Happy 4th July!

    • I can’t believe we have not yet introduced her to the sheer magic that is Google … Next time she goes on a question spree, for sure!

  9. And, it never stops. Never!

  10. I love this post! My little one is a bit too little to be asking many questions at 16 months old, but he hasn’t wanted to sleep much lately… he’s so busy checking everything out, saying, “What’s this?” (Which actually sounds like “wassis?”) I take walks with him around the house all the time, pointing to things and telling him what they are.

    He hasn’t tried a hot dog yet, though…

  11. Lovely post Stacia. My daughter on the rare occasions we have to get her up from a nap early is anything but communicative and takes forever to come around – just like her Daddy 🙂

  12. Aww, your sweet, pink frilly Lollipop! How cute! Yes, their curious minds are always running. It’s amazing. It was my 5yo daughter’s first time seeing the fireworks this year (for Canada Day) and she just loved it. She was enthralled. I felt badly for not taking her sooner! Oh, and hotdogs? I don’t have an answer for that. We were at my son’s baseball tournament for the whole long weekend, so burgers and hotdogs were pretty much lunch and supper every day! And the players got FREE hotdogs! It wasn’t pretty. 😛

  13. My oldest has a speech delay. He didn’t talk until he was 2 and a half. He didn’t ask questions until he was 4. He is almost 5 now and he has a HUGE need to know. And I have a HUGE need to answer all his questions. Because there was a time I prayed for him just to say 3 words.

    My youngest needs to know, too. His questions are a little more abstract. I adore just talking to them.

    And how many hot dogs are too many? Hmmm have you seen those hot dog eating competitions? ha…

  14. Poor little sleepy head.. she is such a sweetie.

    I struggle with the questions the ‘why, buts and how comes’of my eldest daughter she is 7. they drive me crazy BUT I do try to answer and those that I think she should know I make her answer LOL

    My son on the other hand with his diagnosis of autism very really plagues me with questions though I do have to ‘Wake up Jeff’ every day at least 20 times in the day ( you know from the Wiggles right). I swore i would throw him a big party (well throw one for me cause he doesn’t like big parties) when I felt the need to tell him to stop asking questions. He has been close to it a few times but not close enough.

    Not big hot dog eaters in my family so can’t answer the hot dog question.

  15. Oh how sweet (and hysterical) this is! My daughter also asks quesitons All Day Long. And now I see maybe I’m lucky she doesn’t ask them in her sleep! Their brains are Always working, aren’t they? No wonder they get up so early, and wake so easily at night! Sorry I haven’t visited in a while! Summer is getting me OUTSIDE more! But I’ve missed you… I just love your words.

    • Thanks, Becca! I’ve missed your words, too. One day I’ll have free time again … Right??! =>

  16. I would have thrown some bizarre answer in there just to mess with her. But that’s just me. My 6 year old is a barrage of questions, all. day. long. I know it’s a stage and he’s soaking in all the knowledge he can, but sometimes I just want to say enough, already.

  17. Oh the need to know. WB has it in every fiber of his being. He.Must.Always.Know. It can be quiet tiring sometimes. And thrilling at others.

  18. Oh, You just brought me back abut 10 or 15 years to when mine were young and did that. So precious.

  19. This is so sweet. So adorable. And beautifully written. The subject matter, the rhythm of the words – it almost lulls you to sleep like the perfect bedtime story.

  20. What a little sweetie! I have a hard time not getting irritated when my daughter goes on information-overload-mode, but…it works out so much better when I can just relax and answer. I do have to admit, though…sometimes I sneak around an answer by saying, “Hmmm…why do YOU think it does that?” Encourages curiosity, bypasses my tired brain 🙂 Cheating, for sure!

    So…How many hot dogs do YOU think is too many? 😉

    • I am absolutely a fan of bypassing tired brains! I was lucky she was asking these questions in her sleep this time and I didn’t have to answer. =>

  21. My daughter is always asking questions. Sometimes I am tired from answering them, but it reminds me of her developing mind and all the wonder she sees in everyday things. It makes me stop and think about things and appreciate the innocence of a young mind.

  22. That’s sweet (ha ha, sweeter when it’s someone else’s child and someone else’s mom who has to deal with the questions ;-)). My 6 year old’s the same way – “Why are you going 41 miles if the speed limit says 35?” “Why does Daddy drive faster than he is supposed to?” We are getting alot of traffic violation questions these days – in the bigger picture he is starting to really respect rules and is getting confused when he sees his parents not following them to a T. I try to answer honestly and I try to get at every question, though at times I have considered proposing a “silent” hour once a day…

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