Embrace your inner toddler

BORTHWICK, Allison

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

Pro tip: toddlers are the smartest, most honest people in the world.

If you’re looking for some poor soul to ask, “Do I look fat in this?” or “Give it to me straight: who should the American people put in charge of the free world?” a toddler would be the only one to answer you with complete honesty.

They would put down the pull-up they flung off their bottom in defiance of the man, dislodge the pretzel from their nose, look you up and down and say in broken, sincere English, “Yes – and anybody but Donald Tr–” before they throw up all the cake they ate without you knowing because nausea is one of the few areas where Donald Trump doesn’t discriminate.

The trick is this: their brains aren’t fully developed yet. They know not of moderation or “time and place” – if they’re going to say or do something, they’re going to go all in and mean it. They either love something or they hate it and there is no in between.

Boogers are little gifts God planted in their noses, and pieces of broccoli are teeny tiny nightmare trees Satan sent up to this planet to punish them for living.

A toddler once told me I was beautiful and that he liked me and I cried for 19 hours straight. I also may or may not be wanted for kidnapping.

Speaking of me, here’s a fun story: I learned the hard, embarrassing way that “virgin” is not synonymous with “child.”

Let me explain.

If you don’t already know, toddlers have a knack for learning new words, due to the fact that basically everything they hear and see is brand new information. And when they learn a new word, they use it whenever possible, regardless of its true meaning.

So, when young Allison Borthwick was at a gathering of adults, heard nearby mumbling and saw some lady shove her boyfriend and say, “Shh, you can’t say that! There are virgins in the room!” while looking over at me, a child, a light went off in my underdeveloped brain. I learned a new word:

“Virgin” – aka “child.”

I was the smartest, most well-informed virgin in the world, and I was ready to take the world by storm with my new golden nugget of information.

Later that month I attended a family gathering – and what better occasion to fall flat on my face in a pool of my own tears and embarrassment than Thanksgiving?

My cousins and I were frolicking and playing with the energy of rabid squirrels when I heard my uncle say a bad word. I stopped dead in my tracks, turned toward him and announced to the room in a triumphant, scolding tone, “Hey! There are virgins in the room!”

I mean, I wasn’t wrong – there were, in fact, virgins in the room. But, as it turns out, that was neither the time nor the place, and “virgin” does not mean “child.”

Ya live and ya learn.

I think the moral of the story is: be a toddler every now and then. Life seems to be much more fun and informative.

Be unapologetically honest. Be weird. Say what’s on your mind.

Unless what’s on your mind is, “Allison Borthwick shouldn’t write columns anymore because she has clearly lost her mind. Also she sucks.”

Keep that to yourself. I hear she has a lot of feelings.