The Question

Henry Hotdog has two questions which are asked on an almost daily basis.

“Can I get into your bed?”


“May I please use your toilet?”

There is much to be learnt from these two questions.

Firstly, I am obviously much better at being the grammar police in the daylight hours than I am at 4am which is when he’s usually climbing into my bed.

I have no idea on why he’s still asking for permission to use my en-suite. I have never once said no. I’ve never once berated anyone for using a bathroom, I’ve actually spent a large part of my life encouraging young people to use the facilities, but it is one of my most loved questions of the day. I can be standing blowdrying my hair when my son posing as a house guest will enter the room and ask “May I use your toilet?”

He doesn’t ask permission to use my iPad, he doesn’t ask permission to eat the last brownie or finish off the  remnants of the milk. He feels no need to seek permission when taking the pen from my desk, the toast from my plate or the fruit from my hand – but the toilet? The toilet is obviously special.

With the death of a much loved teacher, a series of goodbyes to good friends, and a number of social events our children have had and interesting range of questions over the past few weeks.

“Do you think you know when you’re about to die?”

“How many boys did you kiss before Dad?”

“How old were you when you got your cursive licence?” (this is an important question when you’re in Grade Three and you have just gained your cursive licence).

Would you eat a chicken wing from the bin? Not that I did, recently, but would you?

Was your university full of girls or did they let boys go there as well?

Did they have MTV when you were a kid? Were there just old people on it?

In the old days my questions were surface level, physical. Where’s your willy Mum? What happened to your willy Mum? When will your willy grow Mum? Are you sad you didn’t get a willy Mum?

Persistent, comical, fixated and temporary. One day, he just stopped asking.

I sat this morning side by side with Ms 15, not a question asked, just moments shared. Complete comfort in each others company. I have to wait for the questions now, patiently. Answers can be misconstrued and require a little more thought.

Eventually Henry Hotdog will stop asking for permission to use our bathroom, one day I’ll realise it’s been weeks, then months since he’s crawled into our bed and whispered in my ear.

I’m going to miss those questions.


My least favourite is ‘what’s for you dinner?’. What’s your favourite question? 

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