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I’ve long suspected it of course. But nothing quite like having children has confirmed beyond any doubt or hope that I am utterly clueless about most important things in life.

My 3 year-old, Linus, is in that 20 questions-phase at the moment, and more often than not I find myself replying to one of his questions with something along the lines of: “What blood contains? Well, that’s a really good question, sweetie! Um…I thiiiiink blooooood contaaaaaains….mumble, mumble…cells….mumble, mumble….carrying nutrients?….mumble, mumble…..well, I’m not sure I really know that actually. Let’s GOOGLE it!!” Needless to say, by the end of my ramblings, he has totally lost interest and has long since moved on to a more pressing question like “why do mosquitos eat blood?” A question that recurs daily at the moment and to which I cannot seem to give a satisfying answer. Any ideas other than “that’s their food”, “well, you know, just like you love ice cream, mosquitos love blood” or (the desperate) “it’s just in their nature!”?

Below is a collection of 20 questions that are frequently asked but not so frequently answered at my house.

  1. Why are you a girl
  2. Why don’t you have a willy?
  3. (or 2a if you will) When did you have a willy?
  4. (2b) Where is it now?
  5. What is under the asphalt?
  6. What do bees eat? Honey is not the answer he is looking for.
  7. Why do you have a big bum? This question is often asked very loudly in a public, confined space. When his older brother, Bjørn, was this age, we lived in Hungary and spoke Danish among ourselves when we were out. What a blessing that was!
  8. What is inside blood?
  9. Is our car still a race car? It’s a 1999 boring-green Toyota Avensis with a big dent in the rear fender but my answer is always “YES!” Would this be a good time to mention once again that Anders made the dent? Yes…I think it would!
  10. Can I drink milk from your breasts like I did when I was a baby? Most will be relieved to hear that the answer to this question is always “NO!”
  11. Why do ladies pee out of their bums? (Please don’t ask! Just leave it, ok?)
  12. What is a [cucumber/melon/chicken/egg/penis/caterpillar/knight etc. ad nauseam] made of?
  13. Why do moons like to fly?
  14. When is (insert name of guest) leaving? Asked in front of the guest, of course. Not a problem with good friends or family. Mostly awkward when asked about someone that you actually want to leave.
  15. Why does Santa bring presents? A touchy subject as Santa doesn’t actually bring presents in this house and I am not a fan of making my children believe that he does. Or that he even exists. Elves however? Of course! They’re all over our basement for most of December. We constantly trip over their little shoes and hats when we come downstairs with the laundry. And they don’t even pay rent or do the laundry, bloody little freeloaders!
  16. When will you die? This question always leaves me slightly miffed. Maybe I am too sensitive but it sometimes seems to me that the question is asked in a rather impatient tone.
  17. When will I become Bjørn (his older brother)?
  18. Why is daddy your boyfriend? I suspect he is plotting to take over that position.
  19. How far away is Italy? Good luck defining 1500 kilometers in terms that make sense to a 3 year-old.
  20. Does that fat lady have a baby in her belly? Comments to question #7 refer.

Bjørn, who is now 6 years old, is not asking nearly as many questions anymore, even though he hasn’t completely given up on trying to get some sort of answer out of me on things that are very important to him. During our summer holiday he went through an exhausting, yet highly entertaining, “would you rather”-obsession. My favourite was “would you rather kiss a cod with flaming lava lips or have a heart for a brain?” I chose the lava smooch – what would you rather? He returned to it this week when, out of the blue at 7 AM, he asked me: “Would you rather get shot or give me and Linus up?” When I told him that I would rather get shot (secretly hoping that maybe the shooter would have poor aim and only cause a flesh wound) he looked satisfied and expressed his agreement.

Mr. Lover Lover before inexplicably setting his lips on fire with lava

I don’t remember exactly when I stopped asking unexpected questions to my parents (perhaps I never stopped?). However, on the too rare occasion when I am out late with my friend Inger and get a bit overtired and perhaps even the tiniest bit tipsy, I change persona and turn into what Inger calls “The Voice”. So named, I think, because my voice will usually be somewhat husky at that point. I don’t remember when it last happened but it occurred on a weekly basis back in school. Inger would detest “The Voice” because it would ask her and other innocent bystanders questions in the “what if/imagine that” category. “If that guy had giant pockets, do you think he would sneak us into the club for free?” Poor Inger. I haven’t asked her, but thinking about it now, she may actually be grateful to me at this point for all those lame questions in the past. After all, she has three kids now, and I am sure that no matter what they ask, it will come across as highly sensible and relevant.

Is that a tipsy girl in your giant pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Of all those training classes that are offered to new parents, I don’t recall ever seeing the one I truly need: “How to know everything about anything – or at least hide your ignorance. Ten easy steps to avoid transferring your own mind-numbing stupidity to your children.” If you find it, please send me a message with time and place. I will pay good money. Any details on the contents of blood are welcome too.

P.S. Do you think that guy would have snuck us into the club if he had had those giant pockets?