This is What it Looks Like When Adults Don't Have Filters

I recently had a conversation with my four year old about having a “filter”. Basically, four year olds don’t have one. At all. But they are kind of starting to develop one. A little. 

Little Man and I were in his bed reading a book at bedtime and this is how our conversation went:

Him: Mom? I have to tell you something but I’m going to whisper it. 

{whispers} Your breath smells pretty bad.

Me: Sorry, I haven’t brushed my teeth yet.

Him: {no longer whispering} I mean, it actually smells really bad. It’s terrible. It smells like cheese. But not, like, rotten cheese. Just like regular cheese. And, I mean, I like regular cheese? Just not from your breath.

Me: I’m sorry my breath smells like cheese. Why did you whisper that to me?

Him: Because I didn’t want you to feel bad that your breath smells like cheese.

Me: Well then why did you tell me at all? You don’t have to tell people things that you think might hurt their feelings.

Him: But I’m not supposed to lie!

Me: It’s not lying if you just don’t say it at all. 

Him: It’s lying if I say it smells like something good like cookies? But that’s a lie because it actually smells like cheese?

Me. Yes, that would be lying. But not saying anything is not lying if you are trying not to hurt the other person’s feelings.

I could almost see the wheels turning in his little blond head.  

Him: Mom? 

Me: Yes, honey?

Him: I’m not going to tell you that your hair looks really crazy and the chicken you made tonight tasted terrible.

Me; Thanks, buddy. 

His “filter” is still a work in progress, apparently. 

That conversation made me think of all the times we as adults have to filter what we say on a daily or hourly basis. My ability to bite my tongue is most useful when I see annoying crap on social media. Which is often. Because I have some social skills- some- and I also have a desire to keep friends and not be a total asshole, I do have the ability to ignore posts that aggravate me. But, just for fun, if I didn’t, my Facebook timeline would look a little something like this:


That kind of commentary is not going to make me popular at the next PTO meeting or class Valentine’s Day party. But braggy mommy posts make me want to vomit. I tend to just stay off FB around Parent Teacher conference time so I can avoid the play by play of how great some kids are and also avoid putting a hole in my tongue from biting it so hard. 


Vaguebooking is annoying. So is the fact that there is a word called “vaguebooking”. 


Or maybe six sandwiches. 


Now I, unlike some people who are currently running for political office, am all for the freedom to follow any religion of one’s choice. I just don’t necessarily want to hear about it when I’m innocently scrolling through looking at funny memes and photos of family members. Actually, I am more than willing to overlook the innocent religious post now and then; it’s posts like the one above that threaten me if I don’t pray or type ‘amen’ or sacrifice a small animal that get my goat. Well, they don’t literally get my goat because I will NOT sacrifice OR give up my animals. And, also, I don’t actually have a goat.

Anyway, all goats aside, it’s a good thing that I usually do have the ability to filter what I say, especially when I’m on social media. Without it, things would just be awkward. And I wouldn’t have many friends.  And I know what some are thinking. “Just stay off social media!” Well, not’s let get all crazy now! How else will I see funny pictures of cats? Or find out what my neighbors ate for dinner? Or see 8 million recipes for meals I will never make? That stuff is invaluable, my friends. Can I get an AMEN? 

Here’s to hoping your breath doesn’t smell like cheese, and if it does, that the people in your life know enough not to tell you about it.