This adorable three year old is my grandson. I know I'm a little biased but he is a fantastic kid. He is smart and funny and kind. He is also a major tattletale. I know that tattling is a typical preschool behavior and it's important to teach kids the difference between tattling and reporting. Some things need to be reported to an adult. For instance if your older sister singes off your eyebrows during a seance. That should be reported. (I'm just saying.)
Children have a very keen sense of justice. Just try to divide up a bag of candy among a bunch of kids and you'll see how much fairness means to them. I think as they start to learn right from wrong they are super quick to point out when someone has done something that they perceive to be against the rules. Riley definitely has his own ideas of what is acceptable and what is not.
This kid takes tattling to a new level. He tattles without discrimination.
One day he and Daddy were playing ball in the house. Unfortunately a picture got knocked off the wall and the glass cracked. Daddy hung the picture back up and said "Mommy will never notice." In the moment, a three year old can be quite conspiratorial but the minute his mother walked in he immediately pointed to the picture on the wall and said "Daddy broke it."
One of his favorite people to tattle on is Grandpa. He loves to run in to the kitchen to tell me what Grandpa said or did. Recently it was "Grandpa told me to put my toy next to my suitcase and not in it." I am not sure what he hopes will happen. Maybe he thinks I'll take away Grandpa's dessert or send him to bed early. He has even ratted out his own mother for ummm…pooping. In fact if anyone leaves the room for any reason he will announce to all assembled that "so and so has gone to poop." I've found myself sitting in the potty yelling out "oh no I'm not!" and hurrying up so no one thinks he is right.
Just the other day when I picked him up for a play date he immediately told me with great indignation that his mother would not buy him a toy at the store when he asked for one. "She told me I already had toys and I didn't need it." Oh the horror…someone call CPS. What a terrible mother! He was seriously ticked. He is constantly telling on the cat for making a mess by her food bowl and he tattles on his uncle for having a dirty room.
Up until recently I thought I was exempt from the tattle monster. He and I are pretty tight. I am one of the people he most frequently tattles to. However a few nights ago this little Benedict Arnold tattled on ME. He was playing on the kitchen floor while I washed and dried a few dishes. As I reached for the dishtowel with a wet dish in my hand a few drops of water dropped on his head. He jumped up and said "you got me wet!" I said I was sorry but that didn't soothe him. He said "I need to go tell Grandpa what you did." I said "no you don't" but he said "Yeah, I really do" and he went running off to the livingroom to tell on me.
As he grows older I'm sure he'll outgrow this little habit. He will learn about keeping secrets and telling little white lies. He will learn that first grade is hard for a tattletale. He will learn to discern between what needs to be reported and what he should keep to himself but for now I'm enjoying hearing every little thing.
Now I need to go remind Grandpa that it's no cookies for him tonight. This kid knows how to hit them where it hurts.