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.

6 Responses to What?

  1. Grandma K.

    I think our little man has learned doublespeak and knows he has learned it! He has great humor!

  2. I found your ending remark hysterical and so parent like. I also read your post twice to see if I could understand it better. Nope. Michael was just being a kid, wasn’t he?

  3. michaelsownmom

    LMAO! That is too funny. Michael is such a cute kid and I would love to crawl in his brain and understand how he sees the world and thinks. I am glad you are able to capture these wonderful moments so we can recall them in the future. (where all is made of chrome)

  4. So you know (learning) how to be a parent of someone who uses his mind. Great. I have 5 grandchildren and they were like Michael and still are, when it comes to doublespeak. He’s growing up a little faster than I like to think. Makes me miss my little ones that are now big.

  5. After several readings of this, I am no closer to the solution than I was at the start. Maybe he is practicing to be a lawyer? Or congressman?
    Good on you Tom, for trying to get to the meaning of it all!

  6. Even my head is spinning. Thank God for SpongeBob