It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Definition: Non Sequitur

“Come on in, guys, it’s time for lunch.”
“Yeah, because you don’t have a television.”

“What a nice tower you built, Emily!”
“Yeah, because I am building a fire truck.”

“I think maybe we will go to the library today.”
“Yeah, because my cousin has a new blue hockey stick.”

“Have you noticed how your child is using ‘because’ as a sort of introductory conjuntion to whatever happens to be running through that little head at that moment?”

“That’s happening here, too, huh?”

“Yup. I have to confess, I’m finding it a little disorienting. Even though I know better, the first split-second I’m looking for the connection that isn’t there. It throws me, every time.”

“Yes, but it’s endearing, isn’t it?”

“Oh, yes. Such a funny little monkey.”

(I am so kind. And I’m trying to see it as endearing. Really.)

“Who wants more snack?”
“Yeah, because there’s an airplane out there.”

ohfortheloveofallthatsholy what does an airplane have to do with your freakin’ SNACK???

deep breath
deep breath
deep breath

Endearing. Yeah. That’s it.

March 17, 2009 - Posted by | parents, Peeve me, the dark side |


  1. We have a term around here: “endearingly annoying”. This is a perfect example.

    Yes! That’s it EXACTLY. I am adopting that term, forthwith. Thank you!

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. This kind of banter, at least in my experience, is not limited to (but much cuter in) toddlers…

    “Will you be home for dinner tomorrow?”
    “Can I use the car?”

    “Didn’t I already show you how to do your own laundry.”
    “You said I could have $10.”

    “Is it too much to ask to put your dishes IN the sink?”
    “Mom, I need a ride to my friend’s house.”

    It’s even less endearing when they’re teens.

    Selective deafness. Such a charming trait.

    Comment by Zayna | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. My niece used “actually” instead of “because”. I found it exceptionally cute since I wasn’t around to hear it all day long 🙂

    Yes, these endearingly annoying traits (thanks, Jill!) are generally much better when experienced intermittently…

    Comment by June | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. Maya, at 4-1/2 has problems with “because,” but her issue is directionality.

    Me: Maya, why did you hit so-and-so?
    Maya: Because she was sad.

    Trust me, the kid was sad BECAUSE Maya hit her. Sigh. I keep hoping that one will ease up. And no, fortunately, Maya doesn’t hit often.

    Zayna, That particular teenaged quirk would drive me around the bend.

    Oh, Allison, I’m laughing, but I’m laughing with you. “Directionality.” Hee. I haven’t seen that one, but I see the sharing example all the time. “He’s not sharing!!” meaning, “He won’t fork over that toy the second I demand it of him.” Or “I’m a good sharer,” meaning, “I am great at forcing other people to share with me by stealing their toys.”

    Um, not quite it, kid.

    Comment by Allison | March 18, 2009 | Reply

  5. None of my children ever did that, nor grandchildren. Nor their friends … maybe it’s not an English thing?

    I’ve never seen it before, either. Not with my kids, nor their friends, nor any other of the daycare tots through the years. I think it’s just a “this-particular-child” thing.

    Comment by Z | March 19, 2009 | Reply

  6. I remember my children going through the “Why?” phase. They followed up everything I said with “Why?” At first I made an honest effort to answer their questions. Soon my answers were all the same, “Just because.”

    Now with my teenagers my standard reply is “How much is this going to cost me?”
    I think I preferred the ‘why’ phase.

    Yes. We ‘modern’ parents all decided we were never going to use that old parental stand-by “because I said so, that’s why”… and then our children teach us why our parents did it!

    Comment by Brianna Popsickle | March 24, 2009 | Reply

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