Welcome to Chickadee Junction

Welcome to Chickadee Junction

I have birdfeeders outside of my office window. My office is in my home, up on a hill, surrounded by trees. The most frequent avian visitors are the chickadees. When the feeders are empty, they come to the window and let me know. They seem to converge here, and draw my attention out...

I wrote a column about life with children for six years. Now I am the grandmother, and I would like to repost those stories. I will also be adding thoughts and reflections, and if inspired - stories from the now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Every family has one:  the Informer, a child whose mission is to make sure "Mom knows."  I was the Informer.  Now I have a child who is giving credence to the threat, "I hope you have a child just like you."

Constant tattling wears on me, erodes my spine until I am a blubbering mass of jellyfish on the living room carpet spouting,  "Go to your rooms.  All of you.  Stay there until you are adults!"

So I made a rule:  You can only tell if 1. someone is getting hurt or 2. something is getting ruined.  At least they have to stop and think first.  Slows down the meaningless reporting.

When I really get up in arms about the incoming  bulletins, the Informer backs off.  Rather than direct reports, I receive ongoing narration from the arena.

"Hey, Bro, you're not supposed to be eating crayons."  If we are talking to a little brother, then why are we raising our voice and addressing the general area of Mom?

Or,  "I thought Mom said you weren't supposed to do THAT!"  The ball is in my court.  I can choose to ignore THAT or be controlled by the Informer and satisfy the reporter by checking which THAT they are in the midst of now.

The Informer is somewhat easier to work with than the Enforcer.  The Enforcer never tattles.  The Enforcer merely takes over and handles THAT.  In the process someone ends up crying and the Informer is justified in telling.  Now I am involved anyway, but at least it's taken a few extra minutes.

I don't know why they want me in on it.  I am very predictable.  I make them sit on the stairs, go to their rooms, write an essay or run laps.  Generally the Informer and Enforcer are included.  When will they catch on and solve it peacefully among themselves?

Mima's Motes:
It did happen.  They did bond and learn to be their own society.  They learned to refrain from telling me what was going on.  Now that they are adults, they seem to enjoy telling me about their escapades - the times they did outrageously dangerous things, and didn't rat each other out.

"You did not hitch-hike to (a nearby town) with (name withheld to protect the guilty)!"

And siblings assure me this did happen.  And so I admit, I was a clueless mom once the Informer outgrew his job...

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