Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Mom! She's blinking at me!"

Ever since my daughters were old enough to understand basic concepts, I have repeatedly told them, "Honey, you can tell me anything. Anything that's bothering you - you can tell me. I'm always here for you."

And it seems they were listening. Lately, my house is full of information.

"MOM! She's poking me!"

"MOM! She took the doll I was playing with!"

"MOM! She's playing with the door again!"

"MOM! She's sitting on the book I want to read!"

"MOM! She won't let me sit on the bed with her!"


The crowning jewel came Saturday at my mom's house. After telling them both repeatedly that they were not allowed upstairs, I realized that they'd snuck up there without permission again. I stomped up the stairs and before I even lay eyes on them yelled out, "You aren't supposed to be up here and you know it!"

When I entered the room in which they'd holed up, Peanut looked at me, eyes filled with guilt, and said earnestly, "MOM! Loaf is upstairs."

"You're upstairs," I answered back matter of factly.

Without missing a beat Loaf declared, "Mom, Peanut upstairs first."

Oh. My. GAWD.

Today, I actually told them, "unless someone is bleeding, I don't want to hear it," which goes completely and utterly against my previous you-can-tell-me-anything stance.

Then, about ten minutes after I talked with them about tattling, Loaf tattled on Peanut. Peanut's response? "MOM! Loaf is telling on me."

I used to read about tattling and wonder why it got so much ink in parenting books and blogs. It seemed like a pretty insignificant problem in the world of parenting. BOY WAS I WRONG. It is a huge deal. Enormous. It is the size deal that drives parents slowly insane and makes them long for the days when they did not have to deal with such petty, ridiculous crap.

Seriously, what am I supposed to do with this? Do you have any ideas? Come on, you can tell me. So long as your suggestion doesn't start with a whiny "MOM!" I'm open.

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Blogger Colleen said...

A teacher idea... I heard about it at a workshop day... and a preschool teacher friend of mine found it really worked.

You have a paper lunch bag set aside somewhere in particular. You stick with the "unless someone is bleeding" type idea. (The teacher used the "3 Bs - bleeding, barfing , bathroom) Any other "tattling" has to be told into the bag. When they try to tattle to you... point them to the bag. Then at the end of the day you take the time to get the bag and "listen" to everything. Be extremely dramatic... "OH MY!" "I can't believe she was doing that!" "OH, now they know they're not supposed to do that! Well, thank goodness that's over with!" Then you blow up the bag, pop it, and throw it away. Eventually the class kids got bored with it... but had sort of trained themselves not to run to the teacher.

I don't know if it would work at home or not. Could be worth a try?

10:03 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

It's a little wacky, but I like it! I'm going to give it a shot - thanks!

8:26 AM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Hmm, no advice for you here except Good Luck! I think that's just the nature of kids :) I was the tattler in my house and I received the same punishment as my brothers who were either destroying the house or pummeling each other! You would have thought I would have learned but nope - off to my bedroom to sit it out!

I only have one but lordy when there's 2 or more involved - look out!

I have to admit that I chuckled through your whole story, those girls are cute when they are driving you nuts.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tattling in my house is EPIC. And it makes me mental.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Jennifer H said...

This sounds exactly like my house. But the tattling for tattling take a prize.

Hmm, I might have to steal Maureen's idea for issuing the same punishment for the tattler as for the guilty one. (although who can tell who started what? I never can.)

Now that school is out, mine are already making me a little nuts. And in my house, I say the same thing: "unless someone is bleeding" but I add "or if the house is on fire." Too bad it doesn't work.

I'm no help. Sorry.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Minnesota Matron said...

If you use "Matron" as your blog name, you must give advice. Mine is more on arguments, generally, than tattling per se. When someone comes to me with a report or there's a conflict, I put the two in a room together and leave, telling them they can leave once they're reached a solution. It never fails -- they find some type of resolution, even if one is sometimes not entirely happy with it. And, I don't have to partake in the arguing!

5:42 PM  
Blogger ryssee said...

Ah you've got some good advice. I don't have any advice at all, but I CAN say they each want to be a "topper!" Like at work when you were 25 and everyone tried to "top" everyone else with the weekend antic stories. This HAS to be the little-kid version of that! :-)

6:20 PM  
Blogger Rocas said...

I wish I could help you with what we did back then, but I had a lobotomy done so that I would not have to relive the events in my head.

I guess that is my advice for you!

7:59 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Must be something about the weather, because my usually-get-along-great kids are at eachother's throats lately! The tattling is getting ridiculous...I may have to look into a tattling bag. If you use it, let me know how it goes.

By the way, I hate deer too. They do indeed eat everything!


11:59 PM  

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