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Tattling times two

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published June 21, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

I’d been out of the kitchen long enough to get my shoes this morning when I heard a wail. Little Guy rushed over and epoxied himself to my knees.

“Momma, budder poosh me!”

First reaction: Wow! A four-word sentence!

Second reaction: Aw, crap. Another tattler.

Tattling’s been all the rage at our house for almost a year, ever since Little Guy got old enough to walk and start annoying the life out of his brother. Before, Little Guy had been only a minor pain. He could creep around pretty well, but his ability to take Big Guy’s stuff was limited. Suddenly, he could get up and grab whatever he wanted.

I did not, however, expect to reach the cross-tattle so soon. But, then, Little Guy has been learning from the master.

Mommy, Little Guy’s blocking the TV.

Mommy, Little Guy took my bear.

Mommy, Little Guy dumped his milk.

Those types of tattles, I shrug off. They don’t fall into the “need to know” category.

Other tattles, the “keeping Little Guy out of trouble” variety, I actually appreciate. “Mommy, Little Guy has a glass.” “Thank you for keeping him from getting hurt,” I’ll say. “That’s the kind of thing I need to know.”

Of course, Big Guy is not old enough to tell the difference between the righteous tattle and the tattle designed to land Little Guy in trouble.

We were just starting to work on that. Unfortunately, we’ve now hit the “how the heck do I sort this out” stage.

I probably wouldn’t have tried to sort it out, except in this morning’s case, actual physical harm might or might not have happened.

I pried Little Guy off my legs, went back to the kitchen and asked, “What happened?”

“Nothing,” said Big Guy, suddenly immersed in an in-depth study of the sprinkles on his banana muffin.

That clearly was not true. “Something happened. Little Guy’s crying.”

“He was trying to take my Thomas and fell off the chair.”

Not impossible. But if he’d fallen off the chair, I would have heard a thud before the wail.

“You sure?” I asked.

He nodded, still looking down.

Guilt, or fear of being blamed for something he didn’t do? Flip a coin. Times like this, I wish I’d bought that Nanny Cam a few years back, not to keep an eye on the baby-sitter, but to truth-police the guys.

Little Guy rallied for a final plea. “Budder poosh me,” he moaned. Oh, the injustice of it all, his eyes said.

I had to let it go, and I hated that. Because one of them had gotten away with scamming me, and I had no idea which.

Clearly, Big Guy is capable of pooshing his brother around. But is Little Guy capable of lying?

It’s possible both were telling the truth – Big Guy could have given Little Guy a tap that in his mind didn’t qualify as a poosh, while in Little Guy’s eyes it was a body blow.

End result: tie game. Little Guy didn’t get the over-the-top amount of “poor babies” he was looking for, and Big Guy didn’t turn the tables and land budder in trouble.

And both will live to tattle another day.

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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