Victoria cracked us up the other day - that is not an unusual occurrence. She's a bright girl with a unique perspective on the world and very verbal, so she can say some pretty funny things... which she did and which is the purpose of this post, but I'll get to that in just a minute.
In our house, we have several rules, but two fairly important ones are:
1) Do not tattle unless blood, serious bodily injury or hugely major rule infraction occurs.
2) Settle problems between yourselves. If you come to Mama to find a solution, then Mama will guarantee that no one likes her solution. Sometimes people don't understand what I mean when I say that, so I'll give an example: recently, Victoria and Nadia were given a household chore to work on together. They ended up fussing and fighting, and came to find me to "tattle." I reminded them of these two rules and sent them back to their task. A few minutes later, they came back, saying that they just could not work together. So, I tied their hair into a knot and told them they needed to work together or there would be more serious consequences. Of course, they moaned and groaned for a few minutes, but before too long, they were laughing and they finished their job with no further problems - until they came to me to release them from their bondage - that took me a good 15 minutes.
The four big kids know these rules pretty well, and, for the most part, abide by them. Victoria and Jonathan, however, are still learning and have a way to go before they will have mastered them. Victoria, in particular, is a notorious "tattle-tale," and a drama queen who can produce a scream and cry that sound like she is being beaten to death when really all that happened was someone asked to have their Gameboy returned to them...
A friend and I were working on a puzzle the other day, when Victoria came, tattling about something. I reminded her of the rules, and sent her back out to play. Within a few minutes, she returned - tattling again - the same story, which was basically someone wasn't allowing her to dictate the way one of their games was being played. The following conversation took place:
Victoria: "Mama, ____________ keeps doing _______________ and I don't like it. Go make him/her stop.
Me: "Victoria, what do we call what you are doing right now?"
Victoria: "Ummm....." (and then no further response)
Me: "Well, honey, it sounds a lot to me like you are telling me what _____________ is doing that you don't like in the hopes that _____________ will get in trouble for it, and you will get your way. I call that tattling and you aren't supposed to tattle unless it is something really serious."
Victoria: "No, Mama. This isn't tattling. This is problem solving...."Well, I had to give her points for creativity and quick thinking (Good grief! The kid is only 5!) - and get her out of the room quickly so my friend and I could have a good laugh. So I told her that she needed to find another solution for her problem other than telling me and sent her back out to play. She must have, because she didn't return... but this is most definitely one of those "things kids say" that I don't want to forget!