The Big Kid has never been much of a tattletale. She may report what other kids do, but she does it out of a place of confusion. Her giant grandma heart literally doesn't understand how it's possible that some people can knowingly break rules without having a nervous breakdown.
If she tells me about something that happened, she's not trying to get anyone in trouble. She's trying to understand.
I didn't realize it until the shenanigans were over, but I think that's why I heard Mila's tale of woe earlier today. I apparently have not yet developed that thing many moms have where they automatically tune out tattling.
It might be time to learn how to do that.
The whole thing started very early this morning. Mila somehow discovered the stash of hidden pacifiers. They've been stowed in a vase for so long that I had forgotten they were still in the house. Mila was overjoyed, to put it lightly. She quickly grabbed a dusty pacifier, stuck it in her face, and then covered it with the palm of her hand so I wouldn't notice that there was a giant yellow thing sitting there.
She was pretty pleased with herself for a moment there, but then she apparently started to worry that her hand wasn't enough to block me from stealing the pacifier from her. Her nervousness drove her to trying to hide it. With her eyes firmly on me, Mila quickly shoved the pacifier into the nearest backpack. The backpack happened to be Alexis' dance bag.
I told Alexis to let it be. The pacifier wasn't hurting anything sitting in the backpack and I figured I would steal it back later.
Of course, I forgot to steal it. Hours went by and the girls wound up in the back seat of the car. Dance class had ended, so the backpack sat between the girls.
Mila remembered that she had a prize hiding in it.
She asked for the backpack nicely at first, but Alexis had forgotten why her sister would want access to something so important. The girls don't often fight, but in that moment they almost did. Alexis told Mila to get lost, Mila asked for the bag again and again, and I just sat quietly in the front as I waited for traffic to clear.
Mila grew frustrated. She started to fuss, so I reminded her to use her words.
The good news is that Mila is pretty good about using her words. If you remind her that fussing doesn't fix anything, she usually will find a word or two that helps. This time she found a bunch of words.
"Aless-sis, dat's not nice. Give it back!" she said. Then, "Mom, Aless-sis mean!"
She added some more words for effect, but the gist of it was, "That kid over there stole something of mine and she won't give it back. FIX IT WAAAAAAAH."
And with that, Mila unlocked the Tattling On Her Sibling achievement.