My Toddler Is a Filterless Sponge.

Now that Ollie is a talking machine, the things that come out of his mouth are amazing! Just like his father, he has absolutely no filter; If he thinks it, out it comes. Even though, it's pretty freaking funny most of the time, it's also dangerous and baffling at times too.  

Out of no where, while walking down the street, Ollie stops in his tracks and yells, 

"Oh, no. Mommy... They have no shoes!  

Me: Well, that's a great observation, however...

It's a sign.
They are not real people.
And, um, son... they don't have feet, so they don't need shoes.  

Ollie: Why?

Crap. Here we go... 

Me: Why, what? 

Ollie: Why don't they have feet and shoes?

Me: um... because the feet aren't the important part of the sign. The sign is letting cars know to watch out for pedestrians.  

Ollie: why?

Me: So cars won't smash them.

Ollie: Why would cars smash the people?

Shit... this is just getting worse...

Me: Well, because sometimes people walk in the road, and cars might not see them, so the sign says to look out for people crossing the road, so they don't accidentally smash them.

Bracing myself for the next Why...

He says, like Hipster douche bags?

Me: Um. Well... ( Dammit FTD!!!!)  Kind of...  It was bad that guy ran out in front of daddy's car. And yes, daddy didn't smash him with his car because he was paying attention and looking for people. But it was also bad that daddy yelled at him.  And all Hipster's aren't douche bags... just the one that ran out in front of daddy's car...

In case you can't tell. A guy, very much a hipster, wasn't looking and ran across the street in front of FTD's car. It's not like we nearly hit him, but did have to slow down considerably.  FTD yells, watch out hipster! Ollie, of course, needs to know what's happened and four or five 'why' questions later,  he got... "because he's a douche bag." 

Sometimes I forget just how much of a sponge he is.  I try my best to always answer his questions thoughtfully and honestly...  Even when it takes four hundred "whys" to get him to fully understand why the people don't have feet or shoes.

Another reason I try to choose my words wisely is because the second I'm finished answering his questions, he will go to the first person he sees and relay his new knowledge.  The best part is that he does it in a way like he is schooling the person.  

Later that night, I told FTD about the sign incident and the hipster douche bag comment. When he asked Ollie about the people without shoes sign, Ollie replied with:  They don't have shoes, because they don't have feet. They are not real, so it's OK they don't have to have feet. 

It's scary to think FTD and I, the most silly filterless people, are in charge of shaping the mind of a youth.  I admit, sometimes we are guilty of having too much fun with one of Ollie's 'Why?' questions, but are quickly taught a lesson when he repeats the silly info to the next person he sees. 

Moral of the story: toddlers are sponges, and will happily repeat every word, phrase and question you answer.  So make sure you answer every freaking, 'Why', question as honestly and thoughtfully as possible... and what ever you don't call hipsters douche bags in front of them, because it takes a long time and many repeated douche bags to reprogram them.

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit