Things That Were Caught in my Filter

Some people wish they would learn to keep their mouth shut, to not blurt out exactly what they're thinking about the topic at hand; I, however, most often wish I'd work up the nerve to say exactly what is on my mind. In real life I'm maybe a bit over polite, pretending what someone did or said did not bother me, when the truth is on the inside I'm fuming mad or slightly irritated or silently amused. Too many things get caught in my filter, and today my friend, I'm letting them out. Be warned: This might turn into a series of posts, because gosh, I've stuffed things for so long.

I said share! And if I told you to share, that means you've got to give it to me. 

It was Wednesday, June 29th, 2016, at approximately 10:18 AM, Eastern Standard Time. How did I remember these unimportant details so vividly, you ask? The answer is simple; every Wednesday at Salvation Army is practically like Black Friday at Target -- the place is swarmed with customers wanting to get the best deals before someone else snatches them up. Common courtesy is thrown aside as people rifle through the racks of clothing and household goods, searching for the items that are half price. You see, on Wednesday all but one color tag is discounted. And I know it's approximately 10:18 because doors open at 10:00 and we weren't on time.

That voice you heard telling my son he needs to share, that's coming from a small child of 3 or 4 years. He's got gorgeous hazel eyes, skin that's glowing from the summer sun, and a tussled mop of brown curls. The only thing this handsome lad doesn't have going for him is his whiny and obnoxious attitude, which is less than handsome.

This all started a few months early when our dogs got a hold of several of Carson's sandbox toys. When we stumbled upon Lightening McQueen he was so mangled and messed up we had to send his bumper in for DNA testing to identify that it was really him. Needless to say, Carson was devastated. As I dried his tears, I silently thanked the Lord that it was only the 19 cent thrift-store McQueen car that was destroyed and not those vintage Tonka truck and skidloader toys I'm sort of fond of, and promised Carson that the next time we got to Salvation Army I'd let him pick out a few new toys to replace the ruined one.

Carson doesn't forget a thing. As soon as we pulled in the parking lot he eagerly told me he was going to pick out a new car!

And so there we were, in the infant and toddler section of the store. As I sorted through little girly rompers and jumpsuits, Carson sat playing among the toys. He had a yellow school bus and a yellow dump truck in his possession, not really caring about the rest of the scattering of blue and green and pink plastic toys around him, as he tried to decide of the two which one was going home with him.

You need to share, give it to me! The little boy began to tug and pull on the dump truck in a desperate attempt to pry it from Carson's grip. There were many other toys around him, but he had eyes for only one.

Don't grab it, I firmly told the child. But he's not sharing! And when I say share, that means share! the once-handsome-but-suddenly-ugly child whined. He was trying to manipulate me and I knew it. There are plenty of other toys here for you to play with. Find something else.

Find something else. It was that statement that sent the child into a full thrown tantrum. He cried and screamed and whined on that dust-bunny covered corner of the store. In an instant the adults in his life, the ones who hadn't been supervising him very well, were suddenly present. Oh what's wrong? Why are crying? Cooed his older sister in a sing-song voice. Did somebody hurt you? He continued to cry as his mother said, rather loudly so I would hear too, It's that little boy, he's taken all of the toys for himself and won't let Johnny have one.

Now this is where the story changes a bit. Remember I told you about my filter that caught what I was truly thinking? In reality Carson and I picked up those toys and walked away, but in my mind it played out so very differently. And I want to tell you about the differently part.

Now back to the story...

... It's that little boy, he's taken all of the toys for himself and won't let Johnny have one. I don't know where Johnny got his handsome looks, but I do know where he got his ugly entitled attitude from. It was in his mother's genes too.

I couldn't take it. I wasn't going to let her get away with her rude behavior. It was time for an object lesson. My dad always said the best way to remember things is to see them play out, and it's true. To this day I still remember the many children's church stories and activities because he was always so good at acting them out. So I guess you could say what happened next I got from him.

Her cart was filled with half off clothes and treasures. I couldn't help but wish I had found a few of them first. While she was still loudly stating that her poor son didn't have anything to play with because my son - the one who only had two of the hundreds of toys in the store - had taken them all for himself, I reached in to her cart and began to help myself.

What do you think you are doing! She yelled when she finally noticed, reaching for her items that were now beginning to fill the bottom of my cart. You need to share! I told her, grabbing another t-shirt in the process. It was a few sizes too large and sort of grandma-ish, but I pretended I still wanted it. And when I say you need to share, that means you have to give it to me.

I continued to empty her cart in to mine, and when she tried to stop me again, I did it, I acted exactly like her son. I threw myself on to the floor and began crying and screaming and saying that I wanted those goose dinner plates with pink ribbons and flowers on them. When she told me to get up, that I was embarrassing myself, I screamed a little louder.

By now there was a crowd gathered around us, and when she finally said, Take the darn dinner plates and shut the ( H-E-double hockey sticks) up! I calmly removed myself from that dust-bunny covered floor at the corner of the store, told her I changed my mind and didn't want her dinner plates after all, and walked away.

I hope she remembers this little object lesson, because if she keeps babying her son whenever he doesn't get his way, he's going to grow up to be as embarrassing of an adult as that young mom with two small children in the corner of the kids section at Salvation Army on the 29th of June at 10:18 AM.

(If you're still wondering, we got the yellow dump truck.)


  1. This is GREAT! I'm glad for your sake this one got caught in the filter :-P -Kayla

  2. I want to be there when you get rid of your filter.