Michael came into the kitchen where I was cooking breakfast. He noticed that his stuffed “Angry Bird” was no longer on top of the refrigerator, where it had been incarcerated for the duration of Michael’s penance (for having, the night previous, recklessly and unabashedly launched it onto a kitchen table laden with breakables and full drinking glasses).
“Where’s my angry bird?”
“It’s on the couch,” I said.
“Oh. How did you do that?”
“How did I do what?”
“How did you do it?”
“How? Maybe you can figure out how,” I challenged, hoping to prompt his critical thinking skills.
“Because I’m not in trouble any more?”
“Well, that’s more of the reason why. You asked how I did it, not why.”
“Uh, because it’s tomorrow and I can play with it?”
“That’s true, but that’s not how I did it.”
“Are you asking how I did it or why?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Which is it?”
“How to why.”
“How to why what?”
“Are you asking me how or asking me why?”
“How you did why.”
I took my eyes off the pot on the stove for just a minute to see if I could discern the essence of his question in his face.
He just beamed at me with smiling blue eyes.
“I think SpongeBob is on,” I said.
“Okay!” and he trotted off, happily.