One of the reasons why I love toddlers so much is that they are untouched by the layers we all carry. They do not have the layers of social awareness and self-consciousness that burden all of us. They do not think before they speak – and often that makes what they say that much cuter. They share honest observations and make us take a second look at things that we would just walk right by and miss.
These were my sentiments until my third child. My third child brings no filtering to a new level – and I am pretty sure she is on a mission to see how often she can mortify her mother. She’s doing a really good job of it! Here is a list of her mission goals:
1) Make sure mom is trapped in an area she cannot escape.
2) Find my target, ideally someone in close proximity to my mom.
3) Make the most embarrassing comment I can – ideally about them, but when desperate – about my mom.
4) Repeat. Often.
Here is a list of some of her latest missions:
Location: Swim Class
Target: Balding Man
We sit next to a balding man as we watch my son in his swim class. My daughter assesses the situation. Mom’s trapped. Check. Target in sight. Check. Proceed with mortification. “Mommy” (very loudly) “Why does that man” (pointing with finger almost in his face) “have no hair?” I turn a lovely shade of crimson and ask her if she’d like to play with the toys in the far far opposite corner. “Mommy” (is it my imagination or is she getting louder) “WHY does he HAVE NO HAIR?!”
Location: Dentist’s office
Target: Unhappy, pregnant woman who is glaring at me
We sit alone in a waiting room with a young, unusually grumpy pregnant lady. My daughter smiles at her and she glares back. Perfect target! “Mommy, look!” Oh no, here we go again. “She’s got a baby in her tummy!” My daughter has been obsessed with the concept of babies in the belly. Recently she insisted on knowing how the baby gets out and with all my great wisdom I told her, “it comes out of your pee-pee.” So, she continues with the pregnant lady… “How’s the baby coming out?” My eleven year old grumbles because she know what is coming next and whispers to me, “Mom, make her stop!” Yeah, like I have that super power. She shouts to the lady, “Your baby is going to come out of your pee-pee!” The lady did not look amused.
Location: Swim Class
Target: Very heavy set man
Swim classes has been one of her favorite places to carry out missions. A large man sits behind us in swim class. “Mommy look” – those are two words that make me cringe. “A giant! Look Mommy a big giant!” I want to die. I want to crawl under the chair and hide. I half turn around and apologize to the man. He waves at my daughter. “Mommy, he’s a friendly giant!” Please kill me now.
Location: Car dealership
Target: Elderly man
I was concerned about bringing my three year old to the car dealership for an oil change. I knew they would take hours. I knew it would be a small waiting area. I knew there would be people for her to talk to. But…oil changes are free for the first (gulp) two years and so I had to go. At first I thought it wasn’t going to be so bad. No one was sitting next to us and my daughter was quietly sitting on the chair next to me eating her goldfish. What was I worried about? Then, he walked it. He sat down right next to us and dared to stare at my child. “Mommy why” my body tensed, my heart stopped and I held my breath as she finished her sentence. “Why does he have green teeth?” They weren’t exactly green, but close. She must have been feeling unusually cocky because she went in for a twofer. “What’s wrong with his nails?!” They were very dirty. “Honey do you want some more goldfish” to shove into that non-filtering mouth of yours!!
Location: My doctor’s office
Target: Entire waiting room
I unfortunately have no babysitters, so I take my daughter everywhere. I am excited for kindergarten – although it is two years away. I had to take my daughter to my doctor’s appointment. I knew I had a bladder infection and just wanted to run in and get some medicine. Of course my inquisitive daughter asked a million questions on the way to the doctor, so I explained, “Mommy has a problem with her pee-pee and I just need to get medicine.” Embarrassing information. Check. Wait for audience. Check. Announce to waiting room, “My mommy has a pee-pee problem and needs medicine!”
Location: Grocery Store
Target: Man with a pot belly lounging in the dairy section
I don’t believe my husband believed the full extent of our daughter’s mission to mortify me…until today! We were grocery shopping with all three children and the little mouth was in the shopping cart. Perfectly angelic and cute until she spotted her target. Fat man loitering in the dairy section. Check. “Why does he have a big belly?” My daughter literally screams. My husband gives an uncomfortable giggle. He has no idea that this is just the beginning. “No, that man right over there” (her infamous pointing occurs) “Why is his belly so big?” Finally I whispered to her, “You are being rude! That will hurt his feelings. That’s enough!!”
Her face crumbled as I just added her first layer of social awareness to her innocence. I held out as long as I could – but I am a broken momma.
Do you have a toddler without a filter in your home? What’s your most embarrassing story?
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