Trying to Explain “The Big Bang Theory” to Your Kids

Today is the last scheduled guest blogger from my year of “Whiteboard Wednesday Guest Posts.” Thanks for making them feel welcome every week. 

The Hook Profile PicRobert Hookey (you can call him The Hook, everyone else does), is a Niagara Falls husband/ dad/bellman/blogger/
author/mammal.  On its surface, his life is pretty unassuming, but when he dons his bellman uniform all bets are off.  As a dad, he… well, the most important thing to bear in mind is this: He means well.

Trying to Explain The Big Bang Theory to Your Kids

Ask any parent worth their salt and they’ll tell you that your entire life changes once a child becomes a part of your world. Even an activity as mundane as watching television can become a test of your parenting skills—and your grip on reality.

Case in point: on a typical night in my household, The Big Bang Theory is gracing every TV screen in the land—in three separate rooms, no less—and the wife and I cuddled up in bed. All is calm and right with the world.


Kaley Cuoco’s character, Penny, utters a line that sends me into damage control mode and tests my ability to tell the truth to my child without actually telling the truth. If you’re a parent, that made perfect sense…

PENNY: No matter how hard you try, you just can’t un-dry-hump someone’s boyfriend.

The wife and I chuckle, but our laughter soon fades as a voice rings in from my daughter’s room: “What’s dry humping?”

The smile doesn’t just run away from my face; it hails a cab, hops on a plane to Cape Canaveral, and boards a rocket for the Moon. As for my mind, I decide to consult the Daddy Rule Book and fall back to the tried and true method of… doing…


But after a few minutes of blissful silence, the question is repeated. And so I do what fathers through the ages have done: I look to my wife to do the heavy lifting.

“Come on, you’re hardwired to handle this sort of thing. It’s encoded into your DNA, for Pete’s sake!” is my doomed-to-failure argument.

Her response is non-verbal, but speaks volumes; she sacks me. Hard. My response is definitely not family friendly.

“I heard that! But what I haven’t heard was an answer!” is my daughter’s smart-aleck response. Had I not been in excruciating pain, I would have been proud of the little rugrat.

Once the lights vanish from my eyes, I begin to formulate a proper response to her query that will simultaneously satisfy my wife and keep my daughter quiet, for a little while, at least. Fortunately for me, Fate provides the answer in the form of the dog sleeping at the foot of our bed.

So I say:

The Hook WW

My wife groans.

My daughter lets out an “Oh!” of recognition.

The dog continues to sleep.

I get up to fetch some ice for my wounded . . . pride.

Once again, all was right in my world. Until the next episode of The Big Bang Theory aired…

What awkward things have you had to explain to your kids?
(or did your parents have to explain to you?)


  1. Kay says

    LOL… I experienced something similar… a few weeks back my kids went to their uncles house to see the dogs … they have 2 beagles one is huge one is small. While there my oldest who is 7 went to pet the little dog and she clasped on to her leg and started to dry hump her ( the dog is a female) … I burst out laughing being a wonderful parent that I am and my mother-in-law stepped in and told me to take care of the situation after I literally busted a gut. So I got the dog away from my daughters leg with a lot of struggling. Then my daughter asks me In the most concerned voice ever … Mom what was Lady doing to me? In the straightest face I could muster up I told her the dog was so happy to see her she had to give her the biggest huge she could give her.

  2. says

    Nice work, Hook! You sort of told her the truth, so that’s great. I normally try to make something up that sounds plausible but it always turns into a convoluted mess. My 10 year old daughter asked about anal once and my answer included roofies, aliens, a Mexican landscaper, the Proctor and Gamble CEO and lawn darts. It was most outrageous. She looked at me pretty stunned and it turned out she meant canal but she pronounced it cay-nel and I didn’t hear the C sound. They were studying the Panama Canal. You were lucky to have your wife nearby as flying solo on these queries is sometimes treacherous.

  3. says

    Haha! That’s an excellent answer that’s evasive without appearing so. I remember watching some Halloween movie where they talked about needing “A VIRGIN” and I asked the entire living room– 2 parents and 4 older brothers– “What’s a virgin?” I was told it was “a young girl, like Mary in the Bible.” This led to years of confusion…

  4. says

    When I was a kid, I had a moment like that. I was watching Silver Spoons, and I asked my father what something meant, and he started to stutter. In hindsight, it was hilarious. Now that I have a child, it’s frightening.

  5. says

    Holy crap! I laughed so freaking hard out loud as I read that….. I’m still giggling…. Thank you!

    I honestly think you handled it well.

    I get it. I have a two year old little boy in my class who is fascinated with the curves on my body. It hasn’t been uncommon for him to reach down my shirt when I hold him as he cops a feel and smiles while he says, “breasts”… Or the time most recently, when he took me completely off guard as he ran up behind me grabbed my butt, started shaking it with both hands and yelled, “booty, booty, booty!”

    It is really hard to keep a straight face through these instances and to come up with a responsible, adult response that doesn’t crush or shame him yet teaches him a lesson.

    I found, he responds and learns when I say, “My body. My business. My bubble. I respect your body, so please respect mine.” He usually responds with quiet contemplation than says, “respet body?” To which I say, “yes, please.” He hasn’t done it for a few weeks…. I think the lesson finally hit home.

    Anyway, thanks again for the chuckle.

    Happy holidays,

  6. says

    Oh that is rich! My daughter asked me what a hippie was on the way to school when she was in first grade. It started out fine (meaning sentence #1), but devolved from there and I heard my mouth talking about drugs and the difference between doctors and thugs. It got so out of control so fast I wanted to leap out of the car except I was driving. Before I could backtrack or recover we were in front of the school. She got out of the car and looked at me – not a word – so I did what most southerners do: I put on my on my best carpool lane smile and chirped, “bye sweetie, I love you, have a great day!” And then I almost left skidmarks….Great post by you!

  7. says

    A guy who works with my wife took his 4-year-old daughter to a funeral where the man had been cremated. The daughter saw a picture of the deceased next to the urn and asked where he was. Before her dad could respond, her grandmother said, “Oh, he’s in the urn.” “But how can he fit in there?” Horrified that his mother would describe cremation, he quickly explained that when we die, we shrink and become very small. Saved. …at least until the next non-cremation funeral

  8. says

    Using the dog as an example is brilliant. Well played.
    As for me, I remember when my kids would take naps in the afternoon. It was during one such time when the wife and me were engaged in some afternoon delight when my son knocked on the bedroom door. Needless to say, we were able to dress in less time than it takes a Rockette to change costumes. When my son asked why we had the door locked, I told him I had been giving Mommy “a massage”. To which he replied, “Is that what you guys call sex?”
    Long story short, it was a pizza and ice cream night.

  9. says

    If I’d have said that to my 10 yr old son, he would have started talking about our male dog’s “lipstick,” as they refer to it these days, and he would have gone off on a tangent. He also loves that show, though it has tons of sexual references. Even my 93 yr old grandfather watches it. No wonder they on three different channels at all times…

  10. says

    “The dog continues to sleep.” I love it when you sprinkle your writings with these gems. It gives meat to the scene you’re describing, rooting it in reality and making the reader feel like he’s experiencing it firsthand.

  11. says

    Ok, I am so glad I had just finished my coffee! Brilliant response, thank God you had a dog…you won’t believe this, but I am a Big Bang Theory virgin. Note to self: must remedy that ASAP.

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