Your Help Requested: Burning Questions

Mar 30 2016

Some people’s kids ask them for glasses of water at night. Or to read one more book. Or to have an extra snack. Or they mention they’re scared or hot or cold or itchy or wet or sick or not tired at all and why do I have to go to bed right now and nobody in the WHOLE WORLD makes their kids go to bed as early as you do, Mom.

I’ve heard.

Our kids tried all those things which never worked because we were always consistent. By which I mean, they always worked and we were never consistent except at saying, OhMyGoshGoToBED and IWillGiveYouANYTHINGIfYouWillJustSLEEP.

Still, even though our kids had effective Stay Up Past Bedtime methods, they like to invent new ones from time to time. To keep us on our toes, I suppose. Or steeped in misery. Or to punish us for that lack of consistency.

Their latest method? I’m calling it: Ask All the Questions.

Yep. That’s what bedtime is these days. Telling them 45 times to brush their teeth. Reminding them to both pee and flush the toilet. Hollering at them that this is Bedtime, not TackleYourBrotherInTheHallwayTilHeCries-time. And threatening them with the dreaded Early Bedtime should they not heed my words.

We tuck them in bed.

We breathe the sigh of relief like we haven’t yet learned that it’s not over.

And then the Questions begin.

“Hey, Mom?”

“What?” ( <– This is where I always go wrong.)

“Why do people wear spandex?”

“Seriously? This is not the time. Go to bed.”

Ten seconds later…

“Hey, Mom?”


“How much are people paid in China?”

“Child! Go to bed.”

Twelve seconds later…

“Hey, Mom?”


“Can I tell you the plan I have for our yard? We’ll need a lot of temporary fencing, some chicken wire, some plastic bags, a goat and a pair of scissors.”

“Oh geez. Go to bed.”

Twenty seconds later…

“Hey, Mom? … Mom. … Moooommmm!”


“I am! I just need to know; why do we have drink coasters?”

Guys. Seriously. These are actual questions I was asked just last night. And here’s my problem — it’s not the failure that is bedtime; it’s not the lack of consistency; it’s not that this takes forever and will never improve because we don’t have the chutzpah to crack the whip — it’s that I have promised them answers to these questions.

Yep — I have unwisely promised answers to questions. “In the morning,” I say. “STOP TALKING,” I say. And “GO. TO. BED!” And when they reply, “But Mom! I need to know,” I promise them answers. Answers I do not have.

So I’m just putting that out there. In case you have answers looking for a home, I will take them off your hands.

Here are some of the things we need to know. Again, just from last night. I’ll have a whole new list in the morning, which is why I need your help. STAT.

  1. “Why do people wear spandex?”
  2. “Is head lice the only kind of lice there is or is there also kinds of lice like foot lice and butt lice?”
  3. “Has Stephen Hawking ever been to space? And if not, because of his wheelchair, that is mean, and they should let him go to space, and how can we help make him go there?”
  4. “Is it bad for boy penises to get fiery and hot and red?”
  5. “How come you never buy us marmalade?”
  6. “What’s the difference between suspended and expelled?”
  7. “How come you always say mean things like, ‘Keep your hands to yourself?'”

Answers welcome.