Moment of Reckoning: When Your 2-Year-Old Demands an Explanation…

It’s so hard to wait until he’s out of the room to burst out laughing. His serious little face…brows furrowed, hand on hip, “you’d better tell it right or else” tone in his voice… as he demands an explanation. I feel like I’m on trial… by a toddler that doesn’t yet understand half the explanations I give, but is very serious about wanting an answer.  Great comic relief!


Yesterday, I had told him that his doggie (you know, THE stuffed animal) was dirty, so he couldn’t have it during his nap.  When it was bed time, I sent him to the laundry room with his dirty clothes. He reemerged a couple minutes later.

“Mommy?” Very serious tone of voice. “Mommy, doggie not dirty.”

“What?” I asked. He reached out, took me by the hand, and led me to the dirty clothes hampers. He opened both, pointed in and said, “No, doggie. Doggie not dirty.” (Tone of voice said: silly Mommy – why don’t you know this?). “Where’s the doggie?” (Yay – at least he remembered to say “the”!)

I had to turn away for a moment to avoid bursting into laughter. I knew there was no way to explain to him that the doggie had been dirty but was now clean, so I just took him outside and showed him where the doggie was drying.

After feeling the still wet doggie, he said “Ohh.” (Tone of voice: NOW I get it…). “The doggie is asleep. Doggie sleep outside tonight. Yes, Mommy?”

“Yes,” I said, relieved that he accepted it so well…


The day before…

“Mommy. Mommy said make Jello. Mommy no make Jello. Where Jello?” he demanded, as he eyed the green liquid.

“That is Jello, Charbel. It’s just not done yet.”

“No. This no Jello. Mommy make Jello. Where the Jello?”

A couple of explanations later we hadn’t gotten any closer to understanding that Jello starts as liquid and then gets firm, so I just ended the conversation saying he would eat Jello after his nap.

Charbel, wagging his finger at me: “OK. Charbel nap. And Mommy… make Jello.”


You don’t get the full flavor of why it’s so funny unless you hear his tone of voice and see him cocking his head to the side, putting one hand on his waste, or wagging his finger…

I’m really enjoying him at this age… So confident, so eager to learn, so eager to share his new discoveries, so willing to communicate, and so anxious to understand… Just lovable!


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