Parents are asked as many as 55 questions a day by their children over the school holidays, a survey conducted by the children’s TV show Daisy & Ollie estimates. They include everything from philosophical queries to badgering. Here, the top 10 are answered as honestly as possible, while minimising the possibility of follow-up questions.
Your question may be understood in two ways. If you are asking about the purpose of existence, the meaning of life and the reason any of us are here, the answer is simple: we are here by mistake. If, as I suspect, your question is related to circumstance, as in: “Why do I have to wear clothes in Tesco?” the answer is also simple: because I said so.
Are we nearly there yet?
Allow me to point out your mistake: you have not named a destination; you just said “there”. We are always nearly “somewhere”, which is why it’s not a lie when I answer “Yes, nearly” every time you ask.
Why can’t I stay up late?
The real reason is because I need three hours at the end of every day where I don’t have to answer your questions. But I was worried you might repeat that to your teacher, so I made up the thing about how you only grow when you are asleep.
Why do I have to go to school?
You can’t blame me for this – it’s the law. I voted for the guy who wanted to ban school, but he lost. Fingers crossed for the next election.
Why do I have to go to bed?
I recognise this as a canny effort to rephrase question three in the hope of getting a more satisfactory answer. But all I have for you on this occasion is a final warning from Santa’s office.
How come you’re allowed that and I’m not?
I can’t tell whether you are referring to the gin and tonic in my left hand or the last Calippo from the freezer in my right. But in either case the answer is: IT’S SUMMER.
How did I get into mummy’s tummy?
Do you know, I ask myself this question almost every day. I mean, what the hell happened? Your mother may have a better answer, but, honestly, neither of us remembers much about the evening in question.
Why do I need to eat vegetables?
You need to practise eating vegetables so you know how to pretend to like them when you get invited to other people’s houses.
Where do babies come from?
Do you want this Calippo? Here, you can have it.
Why do we have to wash?
Listen, kid, you start down that road and pretty soon you are like: “What’s the point of doing anything?” It doesn’t take long, believe me. But, if you want, you can take the Calippo into the bath with you. I sometimes do when no one’s home.