Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Tattle Tale Monster

Pretty much all of my kids have gone through a phase where they tattle. It's like crack. They just HAVE to, or they think they may die. You can see it on their faces. If they don't burst out with, "Moooom, so-and-so just ...!!!" then their very insides might possibly dissolve into some sort of ooze.

The Tattle Tale Monster has crawled back into our house, once again. I am reminding myself of the reasons for the tattling. It basically boils down to a desire for more power or control, and/or the desire for acceptance. Hmmmm ... we've added two more family members under our roof ... geeeeeez, can't imagine how those things might possibly surface?

Oh, yeah.

And with a vengeance.

My kids hit a point where they can sing-song right back to me the Tattle Tale drill:

"Moooooooooom! So-and-so did such-and-such!!"
"Really? And then what did YOU do?"

Funny, though, as I've been helping my children to find a sense of control and self worth without ratting out every solitary hint of injustice, I've also taken note of the grown-up world around me. It's amazing. Ya' know what I've found? Tattle Tales! Big, fat hairy tattlers!!

I had never really looked at it that way before, but that's exactly what we do out here in Grown-Up Land. We tell our girlfriends what some other chic did that upset us. We sit down at lunch to rat out the preacher or the deacons (well, not if you go to my church, because our preacher is perfect and smokin' hot). I KNOW, however, that someone is out there spoutin' off the preacher's WIFE's mistakes. Here's the clincher - we tattle on our husbands and wives ... a lot.

Why do we tattle on these people? Why do we spout off their mess-up's to people who will listen? Is it because we "need" to vent, or we really are looking for advice and help? Don't know about you, but I tend to do it because I have a desire for more control or power ... sometimes it's a desire for more acceptance.

I drive people nuts, because when another grown-up tattles to me about someone else, I tend to do the same exact thing to them I do to my kids: "Really? And then what did YOU do?" Meaning - did you respond kindly? Did you become part of a solution instead of adding fuel to the problem? Did you encourage them toward the right choice, because you love them? Yeah ... people really hate it when I do that.

I have to ask myself those questions every day. In reality, I don't really want to have power over others. Yet, in the heat of a moment, when I'm feeling hurt, I exert that power. I don't keep their name safe on my tongue. I don't love. I don't respect. I get crazy selfish. I hurt back.

I'm a Tattle Tale.

I have to remember to use my words.


Cheri said...

This was really fabulous. I'm linking you, if that's ok. Just shoot me an email if you'd rather I not.

Madame Rubies said...

Amen and how convicting.

Gayle said...

ouch!! so true! btw..luv the pic!