Hey Mom, What’s a Bong? Answering Kid’s Drug Questions

Kids really do say the darndest things.

Usually when I am driving.

It’s a minor miracle I don’t crash the minivan with their constant random Nattering questions and hijinks. I’ve heard Mom, did birth mom have any other kids? And can I meet her now? Like tonight?

Also random statements like: We aren’t biologically related, right? Then there’s always: Do you miss Grandma? Does Daddy miss his Mom? Do you know why the sky is blue? Did you ever smoke? Did Daddy smoke?

drug questions

Here’s me driving along thinking, ‘Hey what’s for dinner? What did I thaw? Did I forget to thaw anything again? Is there a sale on coffee at No Frills? Why does husband never thaw any meat? Why is that dipstick driver in front of me not turning? Where are my favourite jeans? Do we have laundry soap? Did I write that post? What is Margarita doing? Did I miss the conference call? Do I need to reschedule? Whose lesson is tonight? Did I eat lunch? You get the idea.

The Constant Challenge of Parenting Curious Kids

My kids, I know, have been put on this earth to challenge me. In so so many ways. The random running commentary is going on in my head when I heard one pipe up the other night (forgive the pun). “Mom, What’s a bong?”

What is a Bong and Other Drug Questions

Wait, what? Back the minivan up.  Did I hear that right? The commentary in my head now switches to something like: WTH? Where did that come from? Why? For the love of all that is holy, I think, can I just get through one day without something tripping me up, or a major sib spat, or a meltdown in which one tries to jump from the moving minivan/ or run away from home? Why can’t I jump from the minivan? Or run away from home?

Not so Fast…

I can pretend I am suddenly stricken with hearing ailment, or I can distract. But the tweens are onto my tricks. One may fall for that but the other has heard the question and surely now she will seize on the word and start asking about it, or using that word at school and then the world will think we are bong using anarchists or something. Last thing I need is PTA looking at me like we are even stranger than we already are.

I wait a moment. But there it is again. “Mom, what’s a bong?”

Mom, What is a Bong?

I am trapped. Tiny fluttering wings of panic in my chest. Where the H. E. double hockey sticks did she hear that word? Is someone I know on drugs? Did someone bring one to school? Are the kids in her circle talking about drugs? Wait, um, why don’t I ask:”Where did you hear that word?”

Reading Signs and More

Her: “It  says they are on sale on that sign over there.”
Oh, I think, thank God. Followed by – why the H. E. double hockey sticks did I drive down Oxford Street?

How to Answer Drug Questions?

I evaluate a couple of answers, including saying: I don’t know. What do you think it is? Or I can make something up. Like: “it’s a floatation device.” Not sure why I am not a better liar than I am at this point in my career as a parent. Maybe it’s because lying takes too much energy and really I am running on fumes as it is.

Truth Wins

So I launch into the truth and spill that it’s a device used to do drugs. Well, bless their little hearts they know the Just Say No spiel from school. Health class is working out well for me so far. Score one for the public education system.

This spins out fast into a big old discussion about why do people do drugs? And how can stores sell drug paraphernalia? How is that legal, asks the twelve-year-old? She’s a clever one and she frequently peppers me with the hardest questions ever. Some days I am not sure why I taught them to read. My sister-in-law was against it. Also she was against teaching them to walk. In retrospect I now see why.

So truth and honesty gets me, about 20 minutes of this little exercise in chaos. All because I taught them to read. I mean, because I drove down Oxford Street in London, past the Medusa sign not far from Little Caesar’s pizza. And also I guess because I believe honesty is the best policy especially with my kids.
Eventually we stop this breakneck convo and I think to ask: What did you think it was?


What Is a Bong Anyways?

Wait, for it…

“I assumed it was a cross between a thong and a bikini.”
I think I laughed, while muttering expletives in my head. And this is why dinner is always late at my house. What’s the weirdest question your child ever asked you and how did you answer?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Jenna Em

    How funny is that – being asked about a bong! Last night I was asked how babies are made, and that half stopped me in the tracks. Luckily, my child was not looking for a very detailed explanation!

  • Mom vs. the boys

    lol a cross between a thong and a bikini, that’s a good one! It sounds like we have the same running commentary in our heads! Do all women do this? we probably do! lol Sounds like you handled it well, and holy smokes!! stores advertise bongs in windows???? seriously???

    • Paula Schuck

      I know Jennifer! My thoughts exactly, how the heck can people advertise bongs for sale. DH thinks it’s a medicinal pot shop but I didn’t think so. Anyways, I can’t wait to hear what they ask me next.

  • Sandy A

    Loved this post, Paula! It made me chuckle more than once, that’s for sure. I think we all cringe when we hear certain questions that we all know will come from our children’s mouths at some point. While driving home from a great weekend at a cottage last summer, our 7 yr old suddenly blurted out “If a baby lives inside a mommy’s tummy, how does it get out of there”? LOL…we were not talking about anything even remotely close to that topic. It’s amazing how a child’s mind works 🙂

  • Christy Garrett

    I don’t look forward to those tough questions. I have a 17 year old but she is a good kid and stays out of trouble. However, my 13 year old son gives me a run for my money. I hope that I don’t have to answer this one either but if I do I will give him an honest answer.

  • Brandi Yee

    lol oh my goodness!! Kids really do come out with the most random things that put us on the spot don’t they?? I’m not looking forward to the next few years when I know my kids will be at that same age, and asking uncomfortable questions…eeeeek! My son has been VERY curious about how a baby comes to be lately. He wants to know specifics…UGGGH lol.

  • KimBEARly D.

    And now you’ve got me re-thinking teaching my kids to read…j/k. I like my son’s questions. What really gets me is when he’s on a rhyming kick and starts making up words…and some of the words aren’t nonsense. Like “itch, ditch, switch…” Or “pam, lamb, sam, fam…” You get the idea. Little girl is still working on saying intelligible words at all, so I’m safe there for a month or two. Also, my son likes to talk loudly about the difference between boys and girls in public places. Fun times.