Equal opportunity tattler, parents we do it to ourselves.
I must admit that one of my least favorite Zach-qualities is the tattling. Seriously, I don’t care if the dog is licking her own butt. Or that Elliot has de-shelved all of the books. I definitely don’t like it when he tells Joel that I let him play the Wii for an hour while I read a book. I’ll even admit that I likely caused this problem by asking him, “hey, what’s your brother doing?” as a distraction method.
Okay- so I did it to myself and we’re working on it to make it stop.
We were riding in the car this morning after Elliot’s 18 month shots (yeah, he’s almost 22 months–what of it?) and Zach started mumbling about the squirrel that was digging a hole in the yard. He is well-versed in my hatred of the tree-rat, having listened to me rant about them for over a year. A bunch of not-really-listening um-humms and I thought nothing more of it.
Then later, while I was making lunch, he wandered next to me and initiated the following conversation.
“Mommy, are squirrels nocturnal?”
“Because I saw one, digging a hole in the dark.”
“Oh yeah, when did you see that?”
“Last night when I woke up and looked through the door. I was super quiet and didn’t wake you and Daddy up.” The last was said with a face full of pride at his consideration of our need for sleep.
In my head, a high-pitched shriek of “WHAT THE HELL”, but out of my mouth I just said, “you woke up in the middle of the night and opened the door?”
Again, with the puffed-out chest, “yes. I sneaked into the living room and opened the door and saw a squirrel. So they ARE nocturnal, right mom?”
Okay- there are all kinds of wrongness with this, starting with; where did the mom-instincts go that had me up at every sneeze and snuffle when he was an infant? Seriously, the kid opened his door, walked past our room, down the hall, into the living room, past the dogs, and opened the front door without me hearing him? He certainly isn’t that stealthy during the daylight hours. Next I glared at the dogs thinking, nice protection instincts you over-domesticated piles of shedding fur.
Followed closely by, squirrels aren’t nocturnal…what the hell is digging holes in my front yard at night?
Time to process these thoughts into a coherent sentence? About 15 seconds. I assume that my reminder of “you aren’t allowed to open the door unless me or Dad tell you it’s okay” was absorbed, though I’m also certain that it didn’t trump the adrenaline high from getting away with it last night.
On the bright side, at least he told on himself (and may he retain that habit until he moves out of my house). Yes, I will be going to the hardware store to get another lock, put high out of reach.
On the dammit-I-don’t-want-to-deal side, I wonder what he actually did see. Hopefully a cat? Or a bunny? Bunnies are nocturnal, right? Just when I was starting to feel like the wildlife had accepted defeat, too. We need a cat. A big one.