While I admit the truth hurts in many a case, unfiltered truths coming from the mouth of a three-and-a-half-year-old do no harm at all. Especially when the pint-sized truth-bearer is Bubby.
Bubby has a lot of toys. More toys than many a kid needs or could possibly ever play with. So when choosing a small gift to send my grandsons for Valentine's Day, I settled on some dinnerware from the Target dollar bin that sported robots on the plates, bowls, and eating utensils for Bubby. I packed them into a gift bag decorated with a robot, and added a box of chocolate/peanut butter candies and a lollipop decorated with a scene from The Adventures of Tin Tin.
I thought it was a pretty darn good gift, considering that Bubby and I—at his urging—did a lot of conversing in robot talk when we were last together, that chocolate and peanut butter are the only food groups he willingly consumes, and that he joyfully expressed his love for the Tin Tin movie when he and I saw it together.
I got a call Valentine's Day evening. Bubby's sweet little voice on the other end immediately announced, "Happy Valentimes Day, Gramma. Thank you for the package."
"Oh, you're welcome, sweetie!" I said. "How did you like it?"
"I really needed a toy," Bubby replied in a serious tone.
"Yeah, but you have lots of toys," I told him. "Now you can think of Gramma every time you eat on your robot dishes."
"Oh," he said, still quite serious. "I really needed a toy."
At that point, Megan took over the phone. "Ah, the truthfulness of a three-year-old," she said.
If it were anyone else responding to my gift in such a way, I might be offended. Not at all with Bubby, though. He probably really did feel like he needed a new toy and Gramma's lack of compliance clearly disappointed. Nothing wrong with him telling it like it is.
Bubby's response to the gift didn't surprise me a bit as he usually does tell it like it is. And sometimes his lack of a filter is just so darn sweet that he's forgiven for those times when it's not.
The purpose of my recent trip to the desert was for me to stay with my grandsons while Megan and Preston attended an out-of-state conference related to Preston's job. Late into the third day of babysitting duty, I sat in the rocker feeding Baby Mac when Bubby, who had been in the nearby playroom, sidled up to the side of the rocker, leaned his head on my arm and said in the most woebegone of voices, "I have a picture of Mommy and Daddy. I just wish it was real. I miss them double."
Oh, sweet sorrow unfiltered.
Bubby's expressions of love and joy are equally unfiltered. Later that same day, Bubby was tickling Baby Mac, causing them both to giggle up a storm. Bubby finished up the tickle session, nonchalantly walked away from his baby brother, and turned to tell me, "I love him bad. And he loves me bad."
When I later relayed both Bubbyisms to Megan, she responded with, "Awww...my little love bunny."
And a love bunny he certainly is. An unfiltered love bunny, that is, for better or worse.
I'm crossing my fingers Bubby remains unfiltered for many more years to come, for I wouldn't want my grandson any other way—even if it means hearing the truth about gifts from Gramma that weren't exactly what the little love bunny had hoped for. Or needed.
Which of your relationships would most benefit from a better filter—on statements made by you or to you?