My 5-year-old son, Vincent, tells the truth.
Well, more specifically, he tells the truth on others.
In other words, he's a tattletale.
I don't think this is a bad thing. Vincent is telling the truth, which I taught him to do. Sometimes, though, his truthfulness is not convenient for someone trying to hide something, which my husband learned recently.
A few nights ago, Vincent came to me while I was sitting in the living room.
“Mom, come here,” he whispered.
“What Vincent?” I asked.
“No, not here. Come into the kitchen,” he whispered in my ear. “We need to be alone.”
When we were alone, Vincent began a cryptic story. “It’s about all the money you spent on dad’s clothing,” he said.
“What? I don’t understand,” I said.
“Mom, it’s about the money (for) the clothes you bought Dad for Christmas. And Dad bought some coffee, but didn't use the cup holder in the car,” he said.
I still wasn't sure what he was trying to tell me, but I eventually pieced together the story:
-I bought my husband a hooded jacket for Christmas.
-I didn't see it hanging on a chair, which was odd, since my husband never hangs up his coats (an annoying habit I just have to live with).
-My husband likes to run out for coffee and bring it back home.
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I went back in the living room and asked William where his hooded jacket was. William looked at me and then at our son. "Thanks, Vincent,” he said, knowing that Vincent had called him out.
“What happened? Did you spill coffee on your sweatshirt?” I asked.
“Yes, but just a little,” he said.
“Ha,” I said. "Vincent told me what you did. That’s pretty funny.”
“Yeah, real funny,” said William looking at Vincent.
But Vincent was unfazed. “I didn’t tattletale on you dad,” he said. “I just told the truth.”
“That’s a good thing,” I said.
Later that night, I talked to William about the incident.
“I think it’s good he tells the truth,” I said.
“Yeah, but he might get himself into trouble,” William said. “Nobody likes a tattletale.”
At the end of conversation we both agreed that it’s good Vincent tells the truth, even if it's a bit excessive at times.
And I think it’s pretty funny that Vincent tattles on his dad.
I think Vincent gets a kick out of it, too.
Samantha Dellinger is the graphic designer for Smart.