Hearing the Word “Why” 457 Times per Day


Confessions of a Tired Grandpa-

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.

“Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.”

– Alex Haley

Let me begin by saying that the grandchildren we watched these past 36 hours were good. Of course, there were moments but they exceeded my expectation. As grandparents over 60, we have now reached the point in our lives where we pretty much have a daily routine. Having two children, ages 15-months and 3 years of age, to babysit can present some additional challenges to us.

They are active. Jonah loves to jump from one activity to another. We would just get something out and a few minutes would be spent on it and off he goes to something else. This kept me hopping around. This is something I have done for quite awhile. I could the energy being sucked from my body. Did I tell you that they had been there for no more than an hour.

Persistence was another thing he did. I commend his memory as he never forgot if you said “we will later” and it was 30 seconds later or 5 hours later. Then he repeated it and repeated it time after time. Whew. My brain has heard that form a long time.

Youthful enthusiasm was a bright spot. He loves life and you can tell his parents have installed that love into him. He found something he liked and the smiles and songs broke out. He brought his bike that we bought for his birthday and he loves to ride it on the driveway. On his bike, he has a toolbox and in it was nothing. So I suggested we find some tools he could have because an empty toolbox is rather worthless.

He loved taking his screwdrivers, pliers and particularly his tarp strap and fixing things and tying thing together with his straps. He took his bike and hooked a toy mower behind it and rode around. He didn’t do that once or twice, he unhooked the straps and re-hooked the straps dozens of time just to say he did it. It was fun watching him.

“Please”. That is expected to make you change your mind. .. and if you say it five times quickly then they think that will change your mind to a yes. You know the drill, “please,please,please, please, please”….Hard to resist but sometimes you have to…..

…and now the WHY?

“Don’t do that”  “why”?

We are going to play with that ball” “why”?

“You are riding too close to your sister, you need to move away” “why”?

….and it goes on and on and on.


I heard it for everything I said. I tried to turn the tables on him and ask him why when he told me something and he just looked at me. That is probably the best strategy to use.

Now I don’t want to leave Paige, at 15-months of age, but it was rather anti-climactic for her. She doesn’t usually pay much attention to me and most of the time her grandma as she prefers the company of her mother. But she wasn’t around so Paige spent 90% of her time hanging with grandma which was a delight to her.

Ok, I may have exaggerated 457 times he asked “why”.

It was likely 657.


“What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars’ worth of pleasure.”  ~Gene Perret