Kids say the darndest things, and, generally, when they do, everyone has a good laugh, posts it to Facebook, and moves on. It’s when they ask the darndest things that gives you pause. Because then you have to respond. And you’re not ready to respond. At least not to this collection of the most awkward questions nobody warns you that your kid will ask — until now. Consider yourself warned, but realize you’re still on your own for coming up with a coherent answer. Cue the “Dads say the darndest things” theme music …
‘Where do babies come from?’
Could there be any other #1 on this list? The question that launched a thousand awful children’s books is one you’ll probably never be ready for no matter how much you think you’ve prepared. The best thing you can do is hope you find the one decent book on the topic, and that your kid has no follow-up questions.
‘Where did my goldfish/doggy/Grandma go?’
The professional advice for answering this question is: “Be honest, clear, and concise.” You, however, are not a professional, and will more likely fumble your way through some spiel about Grandma going to live on a farm with all the other goldfish that’ll make things a whole lot worse before they get better.
‘What are those 2 farm animals doing?’
… And that’s why the “They went to live on a farm” response is a horrible, horrible idea. Gross. But the most uncomfortable trip ever to the petting zoo is still better than having this question arise in your house. “Daddy and mommy were just … uh … doing judo practice.”
‘Why does that person look funny?’
While the downsides of the “Every kid is a special little snowflake” parenting philosophy are well documented, there’s merit in teaching your kid early that literally every person they will ever see is different than them. Otherwise, the first time your kid sees anyone unfamiliar looking — whether due to their race, body type, or haircut — you’ll witness the fine line between innocence and insensitivity.
‘What’s my Happy Meal made of?’
This question sucks twice. Once because nobody should have to explain killing innocent (albeit delicious) animals to a 3-year-old, and twice because nobody truly knows the answer. Which part of the chicken is the nugget, again? And since when do they come in rings? How do they get the bones out of the McRib? That’s not natural, man.
‘Why does your room smell like a skunk?’
You should have no problem talking your way out of this one, at least for now. The day will come, however, when your kid is old enough for you to respond with, “That’s my business. Unrelated question: did you happen to see a bag of oregano lying around anywhere?”
‘What’s this taste like?’
This one is more of an “Actions speak louder than words” question in that your kid won’t actually ask it before they proceed to put everything they encounter in their mouth. Things they could choke on. Things that could never fit. Things no man has ever wanted to taste. Things you were saving for dessert. Things that will be memorialized in hilarious, tabloid-worthy x-rays. Every. Damn. Thing.
‘Which one of us is your favorite?’
So … who is it? Because you definitely have one, and your kid knows it. Not only that, but they already know who it is. They’re just prodding to see if all those awful things they’ve been writing about you in their journal are justified.