so the fish said...
  home links archives about contact

« Last minute is my middle name | Main | Beach, briefly »

Trick Questions

Still at the beach, seem to finally have my silly website fixed, and am still too busy picking sand out of the kids' necks to write a post of my own. So today, you get a guest post from my friend and employer Marshall. You can thank me at the end, he's much funnier than me.


by Marshall Karp

Whenever I asked my father a question about baseball, he always had an answer.

When I asked him why the sky was blue, he told me to look it up in the encyclopedia.

And when I asked him anything else, he's say, "go ask your mother."

Modern fathers are not allowed to cop out quite so fast. Fathering today means more than the physical act of procreation. It is no longer acceptable for a man to father a child, roll over and go to sleep. Men have to "be there" for their children

So we learn things like how to change diapers, how to stuff screaming two-year-olds into snowsuits, and what to do when the baby eats the carpet sweepings. It's not that difficult. Any man who's ever had a puppy can get the hang of it.

The tricky part comes when, unlike puppies, the kids start talking...and asking tough questions. Most men are totally unprepared. Certainly our fathers never trained us to discuss anything deeper with children than "keep your eye on the ball, son." Or "that's a pretty little dress you have on today, Princess."

Don't despair. A little preparation helps. Here then, are some questions I have fielded from my own kids. As you run through the list you may wonder how old the inquisitive child will be when he or she asks that particular gem. A safe bet is to remember how old you were when that question crossed your own curious little mind.

Then subtract five.

On Divorce
Q. If you and Mommy get divorced, who will I live with?
A. We won't get divorced.
Q. But what if you do?
A. Then you'd live part time with me and part time with Mommy. You'd have your own room and your own toys in each house.
Q. That sound O.K. Do you think you'll ever get divorced?
A. No. We can't afford it

On Physical Differences
Q. How come you have hair there?
A. All men have hair there. It's the law.
Q. Will I get hair there?
A. Do you want hair there?
Q. No.
A. Then you won't get any.

On Racial Differences
Q. How come some people have black faces and some people have flesh colored faces?
A. I'll tell you when we get out of the elevator.

On Language
Q. What's a bastard?
A. It's a bad word.
Q. I know, but what does it mean?
A. It's a person whose mother and father aren't married.
Q. Are they divorced?
A.'s more like they never got married in the first place.
Q. You mean you can have a baby even if you're not married?
A. Only if you don't eat your vegetables.

On Trust
Q. Is there really a tooth fairy?
A. How do you think the money gets under your pillow?
Q. Gregory said your mother and father put it there.
A. Did he ever actually see his mother and father put money under his pillow?
Q. No.
A. Then there's a tooth fairy.

On Relationships
Q. Guess who I met today?
A. I give up.
Q. Marcy's Mommy's boyfriend's first wife.

On Breast Size
Q. How come that lady has big boobies and Mommy doesn't?
A. What lady?
Q. The one you've been staring at.
A. about if Daddy buys you some ice cream?

On Animals
Q. What are those two dogs doing?
A. They're practicing to be acrobats. If they get three more dogs and they make a pyramid, they'll get a job in the circus.

On Economic Status
Q. Are we rich or poor?
A. We're middle.
Q. What's middle mean?
A. It means we can afford ESPN on cable, but Mommy's gonna have to drive the Toyota for another year.

On Parental Restrictions
Q. How come I can't see that movie?
A. You're too young.
Q. How come Jeffy's father let him see that movie?
A. I told you yesterday, Jeffy's father is totally irresponsible, morally corrupt and has no idea how to raise children in today's world.
Q. I told Jeffy's father you said that, and he said he's coming over to talk to you right after his karate lesson.

On Sex
Q. Did you and Mommy do it before you were married?
A. Never.
Q. Not ever?
A. Absolutely not. Daddy wouldn't lie to you about something like that.

On Idols
Q. When I grow up, can I dress like Amy Winehouse?
A. Over my dead body. Next question.

That was just a small sampling. There are a million and one other questions a father should brace himself for. Some of those include:

What happens to people after they die?

What does God look like?

How come people in Chinese restaurants have crooked eyes?

If smoking is bad for you, how come you do it?

What's a hooker?

If I'm not allowed to pick my nose in public, how come Uncle Phil can?

Do you and Mom still have sex or did you stop after I was born?

How many times a week do you do it?

If you believe in God, how come you never go to church?

Did you ever cheat on your income taxes?

What does S&M stand for?

Did you and Mom ever smoke pot?

The questions will come at you fast and furious. Even when you're tempted to lie, don't try it. Today's kids are much too smart. Better to be prepared with some stock answers, which work for almost all occasions. These include:

Shut up and eat your broccoli.

Have you done your homework tonight?

Daddy's busy now.

Here's twenty dollars. Go to the mall.

I'll tell you when you're older.

And finally, when push comes to shove, there's always Old Reliable.

You're sitting on the sofa watching a football game, and your cherubic little five-year-old climbs onto your lap and says, "Daddy, how do you make a baby?" you can always do what I did.

Reach deep down into your male heritage, and like your father before you and his father before him, turn gently to your child and say, "Go ask your mother."

Comments (14)

Bravo! Well done. I heart this post so much!

Okay, so as soon as my twins are 10 I am going to send them to your house for answers, okay?

Beth and Chris say you are really nice so I trust you with my children.

Nice work, sir. You have scared me out of having children for a few more years ;)

I'm with Sarah - since you're so good at it, I'll be sending my kid to you for answers.

I just laminated this for Bryan to put in his wallet. Thanks for that.

You had me at "Divorce". My dearly beloved and I have often talked of divorce from the perspective of: "oh my GAWD we can barely manage one household there is NO WAY we could pull off maintaining two *separate* households, it's a good thing we like each other, we'd better try pretty freakin' hard to keep it that way!" So far so good. Except he's an asshole. Ha Ha! Just kidding. It's me that's the asshole.

All the other answers in my opinion are far better than anything I could... I mean will have to eventually come up with (or, in some cases, have already effed up)

I thought the answer to number one was that I'd have my own wardrobe at each house - not toys (Gawd dad...can't you get it right???). Other than that, I'm blaming the rest on my brother. File in Twitter under #thankgoodnessforoldersiblings.

Flesh colored faces? Hmph.. guess I have a dirt colored face then?
Really if a kid is old enough to use the word flesh they should already know the answer to that question!

As a Father of 5 and a Grandpa of 9, I can only say that this is a classic of historic proportions


I had to forward this on to a few friends... :)

(that other post went was cute too! hope she's not in trouble or anything.)

((marshall is funny. but kept wonder about the "owl" post. i need a life.))

Hi! I absolutely LUV this post. I also like the idea of laminating it for the dh.

With kids 9 & 11, I have fielded some of these but not all. I have to admit I much prefer your answers to the ones that I have given in the past.

Thanks for your perspective on parenting those difficult questions. Or as I like to call it Dodging the bullet.

I have an answer that you don't have to wait to give until you're out of the elevator.

"Because the world would be awefully boring if everyone was the same, wouldn't it!"

I've used that one for;
"Why does she have black skin and I don't?"
"Why is he in a chair with wheels?"
"Why does that man have that mark on his face?"
"Why does that lady only have 1 arm?"
etc., etc., etc.

I've received many smiles from complete strangers after these little exchanges.

Great Post! Now I am going to email it to the my wonderful hubby so he'll have the guide! ;)

Post a Comment

Remember personal info?

So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

World's Most Beautiful Child


World's Most Handsome Child


Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend

RSS Syndicate this site (XML)

Design by Emily

© Copyright 2004
All Rights Reserved.