3V0813.01 Why because! (4/14/80)

Peggy has been driving us crazy with her “why?” queries (I am much
more aware of this than I was with the two earlier children). Her use of
the question is at least twofold (see also 4/12/80 entry), as
conversation continuer and as argument. By continuer, I mean Peggy
uses “why” as a means to keep another person talking to her; thus it is
the equivalent in function to a command. “Why” comes into service as
an argument often because Peggy’s requests can not brook refusal.
It expresses her unwillingness to accept a negative response to her
requests but does more as well (where there’s talk, there is hope).
It engages us in giving explanations and interjecting the conjunction
“because” as an initial element in responses [thus “because” must
signify something important, worthwhile understanding]. Thus Peggy
finds causal arguments opposed (and signified by “because”) as a type
of communication marginally under her influence. Her appreciation of
this is marked by her response when I forbid her to walk down the
driveway. She explained she wanted to play with Scurry (who was near
the road). When I still refused , she explained in angry opposition,
“Why because!”

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