Why does he keep blowing that whistle? Why can’t I use my hands? Why aren’t they wearing their uniforms? Why are they camping on the field? Why do they lock the bathroom?
Where’s the green team? Why don’t we have snacks? Why can’t we go home? Why do boys stink? How much longer?
This is just a very small sampling of the barrage of questions I attempted to answer, most unsuccessfully, from 6-year-old granddaughter Ellie Kathryn Sunday afternoon while we were in Oxford for her older sister Addi Claire’s soccer practice.
Ellie and I were watching the practice from the sideline bench when she took issue with the coach.
“Why does he keep blowing that whistle?” she asked with an irritated tone. I tried to explain so he could correct some things the players were doing wrong.
“Well, it’s annoying,” Ellie said.
We hadn’t been there but a few minutes when she announced she needed to go to the bathroom. We began making the walk across the park to the restroom facility when we passed a bunch of very young players that were finishing up a soccer day camp.
“They’re camping? They don’t look like their camping,” she told me.
I tried, but never could explain that to her satisfaction.
As I feared, we got to the restrooms and they were locked. She instructed me I needed to call the park directors and tell them to come unlock the door because she had to go.
A long conversation ensued over how I don’t know who to call and the short version of it was “Nana” (my wife Lisa) would know who to call.
Ellie insisted she had to go, so I suggested we go to the other side of my Jeep, parked in the far corner of the Park, where no one can see us and she can go there.
“No! That’s disgusting,” she told me quite loudly.
I explained if I had to go “real bad” as she said she had to, that’s what I would do. That led to me getting a lecture of how awful boys are, ending with the question “Why do boys stink?”
Before I could respond, she had moved on to how hungry she was. The concession stand she frequents on all game days was closed and we hadn’t packed any snacks, which flabbergasted Ellie. She doesn’t believe you can walk across the street without packing every kind of snack imaginable.
I told her we would take care of her hunger as soon as practice was over.
I borrowed a soccer ball from the team and we began playing on the neighboring field in hopes of distracting her from the other dilemmas. She grew tired of not being able to keep me from taking the ball away from her so she started picking it up with her hands.
“You can’t use your hands in soccer,” I said.
“Why not?” Ellie asked. “It’s easier if you use your hands.”
On the ride home, we were a few miles out of Oxford when she asked if we were in Bruce. When I said no, she asked if we were in Oxford. I answered no again.
“Well, we have to be in one or the other,” Ellie demanded. I explained we will get to Paris and Banner before we get to Bruce.
“Paris is here?” she asked incredulously. “Where’s the big tower?”
“The Eiffel Tower?” I asked uncertain that’s what she was referring to.
“Yes! That’s it,” she said.
I explained that’s a different Paris, to which she said we should drive there one day. I told her that’s one of those trips that involves getting on an airplane, which led to more questions.
The questioning continued throughout the ride home and also spread into subjects such as school, birthdays and why it rains so much.
She asks some real whoppers at times, but I love that she’s so curious about everything. I welcome all the questions. Coming up with all the answers, now that’s a whole other thing.