Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

No Justice in Tattle Tale

My child is genius. No. Really. I’m not kidding. How else could he have figured out at such a young age that Mommy is Queen of the Hive, Boss Extraordinaire, the Pants-Wearing Household Dictator who gets to make all the rules and whose word is law. There is no democracy here. Mommy rules.

As testimony to his brilliance and acknowledgement of my obvious power, let me share a little slice-of-daily-life. Not once. Not twice. More like five times a day, I’ll hear the pitter patter of little feet making a mad dash toward what ever room I happen to be hiding in. Following his rapid-fire progression is the sound of big-man-steps trying desperately to catch up, or to at least cut him off at the pass. It’s the race to see who will get to tell his side of the story first, who’s going to win the tattle tale competition. 

“Mommy, Daddy is making me sad,” Aaron will protest with tears in his eyes. “Aaron, tell Mommy the truth,” my husband will banter. “Mommy, the truth is that Daddy wasn’t using his nice voice.”

Right about here is when I’ll put on my judgment day mommy robe. With furrowed brow, narrowed eyes and a very serious tone,  ”Reeeaaally? Daddy why weren’t you using your nice voice with Aaron?”

And right about now is when my husband’s breathing will get a little faster and I can actually see the vein in the side of his neck start to pulse. I know he’s wondering how he lets himself become embroiled in these little tattle tale tirades and why he’s always the first one questioned. Well, DUH. He’s the adult. Does he really think I’m going to question the four-year-old first?

By now my husband will have stopped talking to me directly and will start trying to win a favorable judgment by interrogating the young witness, ”Tell Mommy what you were doing.”

Aaron’s silence as he contemplates whether or not to voluntarily confess that he was trying to kill the dog, for example, will provide just enough of a break in his tears that my husband can try to make his argument, ”Tell mommy you were beating the dog over the head with a Match Box car and when I asked you to leave the dog alone, you turned around and hit ME over the head with the Match Box car.”  

Me…trying not to snicker…”Aaron did you really hit the dog with your car?” This of course is rewarded with an evil eye from my husband who’s wondering why I’m asking about the canine abuse before commenting on the daddy abuse. DUH AGAIN. Isn’t it obvious I like the dog more? Plus, the dog isn’t allowed to defend himself. Why are you oh stupid, stupid man allowing yourself to be terrorized by a 36 inch gremlin disguised as a child? Haven’t you learned that you must protect your head at all times? What are you thinking allowing yourself to be so vulnerable that our son can whack you over the head with a heavy-metal car? For God’s sake you’re more than two feet taller than he is. Again, DUH.

Finally, after much contemplation, Aaron is ready to mount his defense, “Yea, but Mommy, Daddy isn’t being nice to me. He’s not listening to my words. He was loud to me and I feel sad.” The preschooler is already a master of deflection. I told you he’s a whiz kid. “I know baby,” I say as I take him into my arms. “Sometimes Daddy doesn’t listen very well. We have to be patient with Daddy and teach him how to be a better listener and how to use a softer voice, even when he’s frustrated. Do you think you can help Daddy with that?”

“OK Mommy,” {Sniffle, Sniffle, Hug, Hug} “Now Daddy,” he’ll begin with a pointed finger, “Mommy says you have to use a nice voice and listen to my words or we’re going to have a really, really big problem.”



That’s right. There’s no democracy in this house. No fair and impartial judge. Heck, I’m not even a benevolent dictator. The mere fact that my four-year-old demonstrates his understanding that I hold all the power…well, DUH, he’s going go to win every time.  





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5 comments to No Justice in Tattle Tale

  • Shiela

    LOL! Reminds me of how Anna refers to our house as “Mommy’s house” and lately has been taken with the fact that I let Daddy share “Mommy’s room” and sleep in “Mommy’s bed.” I frickin’ RULE!

  • Oh, I’m laughing here! Poor, poor Daddy. This was hilarious.

  • This is a very familiar scenario. LOL! In this house, the tattle-tale-age is split 50/50. We hear “I’m telling Mommy!” as often as we hear “I’m gonna tell Daddy!” The poor kid has yet to realize that Mommy and Daddy are usually on the same side. A united parenting front where he will get nothing past us. But we do manage to listen sympathetically before we reiterate the same thing the other parent said. ;-)

  • I was out jogging the other day and I heard some poor dad yelling at his two daughters to do something or other. And I heard the guy say, “Your mother isn’t here. And when Mom isn’t here, that means I’m the boss.”

    It is a universal knowledge nugget that Mama rules the roost.

  • donna

    Well you all have to remeber that IF MAMA aint HAPPY NO ONE is HAPPY and it doesn’t take kids long to figure it out. So they learn who wears the pants of the family very quickly.

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