I read somewhere that children ask an average of 250 questions a day. Take that, times my three kids, and you’ll understand why I have a permanent eyelid twitch and bring my wine with me into the shower.
Most of the questions are easy and take little to no thought — “Why are you yelling at that guy if he can’t hear you?” Because he is driving like a complete ass hat! For others, like, “Why do we have eyebrows?” I have Google.
But there are some questions for which I know the answer but have no idea how to explain it in a way that makes sense to a little kid. Answers that adults just know, well, because — but they initiate an endless string of questions that lead us both down a rabbit hole filled with answers that, if handled poorly, could result in years of therapy.
Here are 20 such questions, and the answers that stay in my head.
1. Where are the cows on that truck going? To heaven, the hard way.
2. Why do you and Dad sleep in the same bed? Honestly, I have no idea. Most nights I’m so exhausted from dealing with enormous mounds of bullshit all day, or wine drunk, that I barely have the mental capacity to set the alarm so I get to do it all over again tomorrow.
3. What is this song about? Wait. What the … holy shit how long have I been zoning out behind the wheel? Is that a lake? Is it still Tuesday?
4. Why do you wear mascara? Because I am a huge hypocrite every time I tell you to just be yourself and that your true friends will like you for you.
5. Where was I before I was born? The same place as the cows are going, wherever that is.
6. Why do we have to make our beds? Because I had to when I was a kid. Now eat your braunschweiger .
7. Anything involving measurement in the form of units of time. Oh my god I don’t … it’s just like … I don’t know how to … you know, it’s an HOUR! *frantically searches room for tangible object to demonstrate, wearily points at house plant * We’ll go to the zoo in two Sesame Streets and a Dora, OK?
8. How did that baby get in her tummy? … who wants ice cream!?
9. How did I get out of your tummy? Against nature’s plan.
10. Why is it thundering? Is that thunder? I just thought my headache was picking up steam.
11. Why do you always forget stuff? Because I have done a lot of things in my life that killed massive amounts of brain cells. And they were all amazing.
12. Why are you looking at your phone and not answering it? Because I don’t want any.
13. What is a tampon for? My body has a really shitty way of delivering good news, and so will yours someday.
14. Does everyone die? Yes. And that thought is terrifying to me, and should be to you as well.
15. Why do we have to go to the dentist if we are just going to die? Because I want you to marry well.
16. Why don’t you have a job? Because you and your sisters are an endless pit of need, and so were my clients. Leaving them wasn’t against the law.
17. What are hot dogs made out of? Nightmares.
18. If fast food is bad for you, why do you always take us to Taco Bell? I’m hopeful that by the time you’re an adult they’ll have a pill to reverse all the damage I did to you as a child.
19. Why do people drink beer? Because no matter how much laundry you do, there will always be more waiting. Always.
20. How does a falling star grant our wish if it is just a rock? Because Santa’s not real.
While exhausting, this is what I love most about kids: their never-ending wonder and the new revelations that constantly rock their little worlds and shape the way they view life. I just pray on a daily basis that they don’t learn on the playground why Mommy and Daddy really sleep in the same bed, though.
This post originally appeared on Scary Mommy; republished with permission.