It’s okay to “tattle”

Sitting at the playground after school, the boys were getting into it again. One wanted to play ninja, the other didn’t want to be ninja-ed in the face. One wanted to throw mulch, one wanted to sulk because he wanted to throw acorns instead while playing ninja. Emotions were running a bit high after a long day at school.

“Keep your hands to yourself, please,” I said.

“Stop throwing mulch,” another mom said.

The other moms just sighed. Because we all knew what was coming next. Four little voices, four different, frustrated cries for mom. We all took a deep breath.

The boys — three 5 year olds, and a 4 year old — started all at once. The older ones were frustrated, the youngest was almost in tears. “He said blah blah blah” and “He was doing blah blah blah” and “I told him blah blah blah” and “He called me blah blah blah”…

Holding a squirming baby Em, I was just ready to tell Bear it was time to go. Another mom started to say something along the lines of stop tattling and go figure it out. But luckily Ms L spoke first.

“Boys, boys. Let’s all take a breath so we can think clearly,” she started, turning towards them, giving them full eye contact and zero exasperation. The sweaty boys took a breath. “Now, how do you think you can solve this?” The boys were quiet. “What do you think some options are?” Ms L pressed on, us sitting and giving our attention but not our solutions.

The boys started talking, over each other, frustrated at first, but quickly calmed down and worked on working it out. They walked off together, and came to the conclusion on their own to just do something else. They happily played together for another hour.

Ms L turned around and went right back to chatting about her new job. I had to interrupt.

“Um, that was pretty awesome,” I said. I admitted my patience these days is a bit shot. And I admitted to realizing my original thought of just leaving would have escalated the situation. And I didn’t admit out loud that the other mom’s thought of stop tattling and go figure it out without offering a moment of calm attention would have sent a terrible message.

In fact, that’s what I usually see happen at the playground, or during holiday get togethers. The kids get into it — someone steals a toy, someone gets hit, someone is being a bully, someone is being bullied — and the solution I hear the most is: don’t tattle. Figure it out.

We tell our kids to come to us when there’s a problem, and the response they get is “don’t tattle” — what message does that send? It tells them not to even bother, to figure it out when clearly they need a sounding board. A moment to know that someone cares enough to help if needed.

And we wonder why our teens are starting to find suicide as the only way out. And then we ask ourselves, why didn’t they come to me? Why didn’t they tell someone? A parent, teacher, anyone?

Because maybe they learned when they were little not to tattle. And to solve their own problems on their complete own. Not to bother us with their “mundane” problems that seem so trivial to us, yet in the child’s world, is bigger than anything. Because while they don’t need us to solve every problem (that doesn’t do them any favors), they are asking for help. They are asking for a bit of comfort. They are asking us to be their mom or dad, to give them a hug and say I’m here for you, you can tell me anything.

Surely I’m not the only that feels this way. That sometimes we as parents cast aside our kiddos’ problems without even meaning to, because we think it isn’t important. That when Bear drops his Lego creation that he worked hours to build, and the little Legos scatter across the wood floor like dropped Skittles, that it is a huge deal. To him. In his five year old world. And he needs a hug, and the confidence to rebuild.

Or we think they need to solve their small, little problems on their own, otherwise it’s tattling and they’ll never learn to problem solve. Or, and tell me if I’m wrong, because “tattling” can sometimes be annoying and we just want to sit for a moment and soak in some silence. Or get some dishes washed. Or read a page in a book.

But, they’re kids. How are they supposed to learn without a little guidance?

I realize I’ve probably rambled, but that’s just how my brain works these days. Slightly fried, out of order, a continuous stream of interrupted thoughts. But this topic weighs heavy on my heart. It’s amazing what message a little eye contact, a silent nod, an “I’m listening” lean in can do to build confidence in a child. Even if you do nothing other than ask, “What do you think you can do to solve this?”

And a confident child grows into a teen with confidence — and who wouldn’t want that?


Hello (Again)

It’s a warm and breezy October night here in Texas. Yet, I sit curled under my favorite grey blanket, drinking my favorite hot coconut milk latte… decaf, for the little one who still nurses at night.

Life has definitely changed over the last year.

The hubs is working. A LOT. Bear is now 5. Sweet baby Em is 10 months. Clean laundry sits piled on the couch, untouched for two days now. Dishwasher’s clean, but it’s easier to pull a plate or spoon out as needed than to put it all away. I actually showered today.

I took Facebook off my phone. I couldn’t take the negativity and the constant push notifications that I swear I turn off every few weeks. I post from time-to-time on Instagram, but probably spend more time scrolling through other’s photos at 2 a.m.

I’m rambling.

I love writing, yet always stop myself from getting in too deep because I know I’ll never be another Scary Mommy or Jen Hatmaker. I hate the thought of clogging the internet with something less than interesting or earth-moving. Yet I hate the thought of not trying even more.

What if I fail? What if I offend someone? What if I misspell something?

What if my 5 year old asked me the same questions? I’d say, “Give it your best, and have fun.” So that’s what I’m going to do.

I hope you’ll follow along. And if no one ever reads this? Then that’s okay, too.


The house is quiet. Momentarily, at least. Hubs is upstairs putting our four-year-old to bed. The dishwasher stopped clanking, the air conditioner clicked off. Silence. Golden.

So much has changed, it seems, it such a short time. We have a new little blessing arriving in late November. Bear is starting pre-school in one week. Hubs’ work territory is expanding, meaning what yet we aren’t sure. We put our house on the market, then took it back off. Life is definitely as exciting as you make it, and this year is proving to be a good one so far.

It’s funny how much I miss doing something (writing), yet draw complete blanks when I actually make the effort to sit down and do it. So I’ll leave it here for now. Just for now, until tomorrow.

soccer game snack idea

I’m now officially a soccer mom. Bear started playing a couple of weeks ago and it is the cutest. thing. EVER. I’m so lucky to have two of my closest friends on our team, and our husbands are so lucky that we volunteered them to coach.  {Whatever it takes to keep the team from canceling, right?}  Which makes it even more adorable.

And which makes me unofficial Team Mom. Thankfully Pinterest has a ton of cute ideas, especially when I needed something for a last-minute after game snack. I simply stuffed plastic baggies with a bag of pretzels and an applesauce pouch, and printed these uber cute free labels that I got here. If ONLY I had had some cute Washi tape, they would have been perfect!

Preschool soccer snack idea

Honestly, the kids were so hungry they ripped the baggies open and probably no one even noticed the label, ha!

Craft: coffee cup sleeve birdfeeders

The weather around here: utterly wacky. Snowing one day, 70 degrees and raining the next. Bear and I have definitely had to get creative on how to stay entertained in the house. I figured we might as well do a craft project that also helps in my decluttering mission, so we made bird feeders out of old Starbucks coffee sleeves.

Wait, I know what you’re thinking: “Who in their right mind keeps old coffee sleeves?” Well, I do. Along with egg cartoons, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls… Hoarder? Maybe. But I always tend to think maybe I can use that for something. Or, I’ll collect them and then Freecylce them because I’m sure someone could use them for something. Yeah, my husband just loves that.

Anyhoo, so that’s how I ended up with a sack full of coffee sleeves. I found some old peanut butter cups (expired, but I just knew we could use them for something… ahem), old nuts, and a plastic knife. I put the nuts in a plastic baggie ~ along with some raisins that were hard beyond eating and an old package of trail mix ~ and let Bear have an awesome time crushing them with the meat tenderizer pounder thingy. I then poured them out on a plastic plate.

Bear had a ton of fun covering the sleeve with peanut butter. Terribly messy, but probably his favorite part. I made one too and showed Bear that he could roll the sleeve in the nuts so they would stick, but he preferred to place each individual piece on the sleeve himself. There were several uncrushed nuts that he made “designs” with ~ he was uber proud of his almond flower!

Coffee Cup Sleeve Birdfeeder Craft

Once done, I made a small hole in the sleeve and slipped a twisty through, and then left the feeders on the plate over night so the peanut butter would harden a bit. The next day, I hung one from a low tree limb and one on the squirrel feeder.

I’m assuming they were a big hit with the wildlife because the next morning they were both gone! Like, vanished. Maybe next time we’ll use something stronger than a twisty 🙂