- Momma, did you eat an apple with me?
- Yes I did.
- Why did you eat that apple, Momma?
- I ate the apple because I was hungry, sweetheart.
- Why were you hungry?
- Um. I guess I was hungry because my body wanted more energy. My stomach told me that I needed to eat food to digest. One of the things our bodies do is convert foods we eat and digest into energy so that we can keep moving around and having fun.
- Why do our bodies make energy?
- It’s just how we evolved. I imagine that most, if not all, living things need to get energy from some place. You and I are human and in the case of human evolution, we’ve just been selected to obtain energy from food.
- Why are you human?
- I’m human because Grandma and Grandpa are human. When I was conceived, they passed all of their genetic information on to me and that made me human.
- Why are Grandma and Grandpa human?
- Well their parents were human too. And their parents before them. And their parents before them. A very long time ago our ancestors were probably more similar to apes, but over time our bodies and our brains changed to adapt to our environment until we became human. Every generation since then has been human, and that includes Grandma and Grandpa and me and Daddy and you.
- Oh. Am I human?
- Yes, you’re human too.
- But I am not human, Momma! That is silly! I am just Charlotte.
As soon as she began asking “why?“ all the time, I promised myself that I would answer all of her questions truthfully.
In my defense, I had no idea that she was going to be interested in everything. Why do the clouds move? Why is that man’s hair black? Why doesn’t Millie purr? Why are ladybugs so small? Why do boys have penises? Why do caterpillars tickle her arm? Why are snails so slow? Why does that car not look like our car? Why is the baby still in my belly? Why is Daddy at work? Why do we not play with wires? Why are some mushrooms poisonous?
You would not believe the number of new things I have learned in the last month on my quest to answer her questions.
** Charlotte is two years and nine months old. I am fourteen weeks pregnant.