But Why. . . .

PHOTO PROMPT © David Stewart

“Mommy, what are those . . . . balls?”

“They’re babies, Mark. They’re floating downstream to be claimed by their parents.”

“But . . . .is that how you and Daddy got me?”


“But how did you know? They don’t have faces, or name tags!”

The right parents just find the right babies. It works.”

But what if no one finds their baby?”

“I, um, I’m not sure, Mark.”

“And why are there so many more girls than boys?”

“Mark, you ask too many questions. I don’t always know every answer.”

“But Mom—“

“Hush. Let’s get some ice cream.”

Babies are Smarter than we Think!


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt


This is a word with which most of us are familiar, but I was curious about its etymology.  You know I’m a word nerd, right?  I like to know where words came from, and the internet makes it very easy to find out.

Here’s what  Etymology Online has to say:

capable (adj.)Look up capable at Dictionary.com1560s, from Middle French capable or directly from Late Latin capabilis “receptive; able to grasp or hold,” used by theologians, from Latin capax “able to hold much, broad, wide, roomy;” also “receptive, fit for;” adjectival form of capere “to grasp, lay hold, take, catch; undertake; take in, hold; be large enough for; comprehend,” from PIE *kap- “to grasp” (source also of Sanskrit kapati “two handfuls;one Greek kaptein “to swallow, gulp down;” Lettish kampiu “seize;” Old Irish cacht “servant-girl,” literally “captive;” Welsh caeth “captive, slave;” Gothic haban “have, hold;” Old English hæft “handle,” habban “to have, hold,” Modern English have). Related: Capably.

Boiling that all down to one concept, it seems the most important connotation would be that of being able to grasp, hold, or understand a concept. A newborn infant is not capable of building a vocabulary, but by the time that infant has discovered his munchy little toes, he also shows a clear response to words he hears frequently.  He is capable of grasping a concept, of responding with facial expressions and verbal jabbering.

I believe that we sadly underestimate a child’s ability to grasp concepts and ideas. They are a lot smarter than we think they are. They are capable of manipulating their parents and especially their grandparents by the time they are between six and 12 months old. At that age, they are keenly observant of the adults around them, and have learned how to elicit responses  from those adults.

We think we’re training them. The truth is, in that first year of life, they’re training us. “Come when I cry.  I need something, and it’s your job to supply that need.”  It’s a lesson we learn, really, within the first fews weeks after we bring the adorable little tyrants home. The thing we don’t always learn quickly enough is the difference between what they actually need and what they simply want. 

If we are incapable of learning when to say “No” to these little creatures, then by the time they are 20 or so they truly believe it is their right to have whatever it is they want. When someone does say, emphatically, “NO!”  they can’t handle it at all and melt down into puddles of helplessness and temper  They are incapable of grasping the concept that they are NOT entitled to everything, anything, all the time, on demand.

Well, this has turned in a different direction altogether from what I had in mind.  Seems I’m not capable of thinking in straight lines this morning; I’m just tossing out whatever pops into my head.

This might be a good time to stop.


How Many Times?


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Amy wondered how many times more this would happen as her feet hit the cold floor and she searched for her slippers.  How many more times would she be yanked rudely from sleep to go and tend a fussing baby?  How many times would she have to leave the warm nest of her bed to take care of a child with a belly ache, or leg cramps, or a coughing fit?

“This is our last baby,” she thought. “No more infants demanding 24/7 attention. I wonder how long before I’ll get a full, uninterrupted eight hours of sleep?  Ha!  Probably never happen.  I’m so much in the habit of tw0 o’clock feedings, I’ll probably be waking up Tom over there to feed him a sandwich!”

She smiled to herself as he belted the robe around her still-post-pregnancy waist. Well, for all the countless times she’d done this,  she figured she could do it a few more without going bonkers. She always managed to make it through the nights and the days, sometimes napping in her chair when the littlest ones were getting their afternoon sleep. She did dearly love her four munchkins.  It was just that sometimes she was. . . . well, just tired.  Tired to the bone.  Felt as if she’d never been anything but a mommy, on call all the time.

And then the years whizzed by in a blur of activity, work, teens, weddings, grandbabies–and she could sleep the night through except for those dratted calls of nature that seemed to beset women her age.

Well. It gave her some time to remember, as she drifted back off to sleep; to remember, and to be thankful.