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“Don’t take yourself too seriously” is a phrase many of us have often heard, whether we’ve uttered it to ourselves or been advised to take note by others. The problem with adulthood is knowledge. While knowledge is an incredible thing that we learn from a very young age to constantly strive for, there is something to be said about the innocence of ignorance, too — the type that doesn’t allow for filters, and often results in some sweet, smart, and strange material.

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A few years ago, lifelong artist Martin Bruckner noticed something special. While his wife barely picked up her head from her plate of food to tilt her head in confusion, Bruckner found himself hearing his 2-year-old daughter, Harper, saying the darndest thing: “Please don’t put spaghetti between your toes.”

Later in the night, as Bruckner got Harper ready for a bath, he found himself saying a similarly wacky thing: “Did you just drop your cheese in the tub again?”

It was a moment of realization that, when you hang around the no-filter-say-it-like-you-mean-it 2-year-old daughter of yours, you might find yourself letting down your guard and saying some pretty funny things, too.

As a result, Bruckner began illustrating his daughter’s best lines, be them sweet or downright strange, allowing him to both remember and memorialize her finest moments.

It began with about eight drawings that Bruckner put into a book for his wife as a Mother’s Day gift. But after sharing them on Facebook, his work went viral, with parents everywhere chiming in to the very relatable images.

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As any parent likely knows, days with young children can be quite challenging. You may lose your temper, patience, support, and love, and find yourself exhausted of both energy and appreciation. And then suddenly an adorable moment sweeps you off your feet, causing you to forget the rigours of the day.

“The world we live in today … I think everyone can agree it’s not great,” Bruckner says. “The news brings you down. But even people that don’t have kids, they say, ‘Thank you for this.’ ”
“It brightens their day,” he continues. “That means a lot.”

Harper is now five years old, and, according to Bruckner, the older she gets, the less likely she is to utter strange sentiments. Though far and few these days, each one that he catches is still just as special. For instance, recently Bruckner overhead Harper giving her barbies a pep talk for Easter. She said, “Ladies, we have all day to have fun. But Jesus is coming soon, and this house is a mess.”

The following illustrations will certainly make you giggle, but they’re also a great reminder to just enjoy the incredible imaginations and sweet wonder of children, because as many adults can attest to, that adult filter is hard to knock.

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