A little girl comes home from grade school and asks her mother:
“Where did I come from?”
The mother is shocked and embarrassed to have that conversation with her young daughter but proceeds into the whole “birds & bees” discussion.
When she’s finished, she asks her daughter: “Do you understand better now where you came from?”
The little girl says: “No. Joanne said she was from Idaho.”
Don’t answer the wrong question. Ask for clarification.
Good phrases to ask or say are:
“So you’re asking me if….?”
“Tell me more about that.”
“I’m not sure I fully understand what you’re asking. Can you elaborate?”
Don’t worry about looking stupid. That’s in your head, not theirs. They will be impressed that you care enough to ask for clarification.