My kids have entered into what can only be described as the tattle-tale stage. They love tattle-telling on each other, it seems, and will spend more time coming to find me in the house just so they can tell on their sibling than it would take for them to just try and work things out together. They've mastered the tattle-tale voice, too--L. got it down first because, I discovered recently, he heard it on Phineas and Ferb. The voice goes like this: "MaaaaaMaaaaaa! L. poked me with his FINGeeeeeeer!" In fairness to T., when she tells on L. it's usually about concrete things that he did do, like pushing, or taking something that belonged to her. L. is still working on the cause and effect relationship behind tattle-telling, so when he calls to me about something T. did, he usually ends up on the wrong side of it: "MaaaaaaMaaaaa! T. said I was being MEEEEEEan!" We are trying very hard to work on all this with the kids. Peace and harmony between both L. and T. has been hard to reach these days, and learning how to work out their own conflicts is an important life lesson. There comes a point, when your kids move beyond the preschool years and into elementary school, that learning to mediate their own disputes becomes very important. But it can be slow coming, especially when one child has challenges that stand in the way of his ability to self-reflect, and to work with others. Sometimes--often--it gets old, the tattle-telling and the bickering. But even in the middle of the worst of it, though, my kids make me smile. Yesterday I was in the office working on an e-mail when L. called to me from the family room: "MaaaaaMaaaaa!" I sighed, and steeled myself, my train of thought abruptly derailed by the tell-tale inflection in voice, the accusatory rise at the beginning of L.'s words. "T. is butchering the English LANguaaaaaaage!"