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“What’s That?”

November 15th, 2007

This is a question I hear no less than 40,000 times every day.   I’ve heard of the two-year-old’s incessant “Why?” but I find myself bewildered and even sometimes (*gasp*) secretly annoyed at this little addition to Kenny’s daily infinite ration of words.

I didn’t mind so much when this question only referred to objects – after all, Kenny has such a great vocabulary because he’s always asking questions!!   But now he has begun to apply this one to sounds, songs, situations and generally anything he wants me to explain to him.   Driving in the car, he points at the stoplight (which seconds before he identified as, “Light is GREEN!   Green says GO!”)   I say, “That’s the stoplight, Kenny.   You know that.”   “What is it?” and it turns out that he really wants me to explain why it’s there and what the cars are doing about it.   Another second passes, and it’s, “What’s that?” this time, pointing to the car radio where one of his CDs is playing.   “That’s Ernie, singing ‘Rubber Ducky.'” I say, even though he has been singing along since it started.   “What is it?” and I explain about the Sesame Street CD we bought and that Ernie has a duck in his bathtub just like Kenny.   As soon as I finish that one, he points out the window, “What’s that?” and having no idea which of the 100 things out there he’s pointing at, I start naming them.   He keeps repeating his question until I have correctly identified everything within sight, and he relaxes, satisfied.

I’m happy that he’s such an inquisitive little sponge, but the days of quietly day-dreaming in the car are definitely over.   At least until he turns into a mono-syllabic teenager…


  1. Christine says

    I remember when my daughter started talking. What a shock. Until then, my world had been fairly peaceful, except for some occassional crying. Suddenly it was endless conversation.

    At first it was exciting to find out what she was thinking about. Most of the time, it was a whole lot of fun. But when I was tired, I missed the quiet.

    November 15th, 2007 | #

  2. Crisanne says

    I feel your pain. We go through phases of “Where we going?” (over and over again), “Why?”, an immediate “What?” to anything you say even when he heard me, and of course “What’s that?” I esp. love the vague pointing out the window as I attemp to guess what he might be talking about. Thankfully his vocabulary is finally expanding enough that he can, on occasion, give me some kind of clue.

    November 15th, 2007 | #

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