Posted by: Modern Mom | February 19, 2014

Our Friend the Police Man

When I achieved Mother of the Year status, about this time last year, my then 2-year-old met a fine police officer that my husband went to school with. Probably the nicest police officer you could ever hope to meet. Anyway… I won the award for locking my son inside my car in the grocery store parking lot. Hubby was out of town. So, what does a girl in a panic do? Call the police, of course.

Did you know that police don’t respond to such calls? What’s up with that? No longer can you count on your local law officer to help you unlock your vehicle and pretend they do this kind of thing all the time, and won’t laugh behind your back at the station while they eat doughnuts. No. But they will ask you all kinds of personal information on the phone before they tell you they won’t respond. Probably so they can ask if anybody knows you. Fortunately I’m not from this little town originally. Also fortunately, my husband is.

Now, before you lecture me on how to use a cell phone I’d like to comment that I was not part of the smart phone generation at the time. I had a dumb phone. A very dumb phone. So, I was standing there wondering what to do. I can’t just leave a baby in a car in a parking lot while I go inside and ask for a phone book. (really? who uses those anymore?) I might be arrested. No sooner had I thought this than a squad car pulls into the lot.

It was the officer I had met recently at my husband’s high school reunion. He had heard my name when I called in, apparently, and came to make sure things were OK. I guess the reason they don’t respond to lock-out calls is that newer cars are really hard to jimmy. Probably a good thing. For people who don’t lock their kids in cars.

Anyway, he offered to give me a ride home to get a spare key while his partner stayed with my son and the car. My hero. I am proud to say that the first time I rode in a cop car was in the front seat.

So…. ever since that day “Officer Kelly” has been living in the recesses of my little boy’s mind. I didn’t know this until…

I was having a particularly difficult time with him and his defiance phase. We heard a police siren outside, and he asked me where they were going. I took the opportunity to make some adjustments to his attitude. So I said, matter-of-factly, “They’re probably coming for you.”

His eyes widened. “Did you call Officer Kelly?” I didn’t realize he had remembered, so it threw me a little, but I’m quick on my feet.

“Sure did. I told him you’ve been back talking your mom.” I tried to stifle a laugh.

This sent him into a panic. “I’ll be good, mom. I won’t back talk you anymore. I promise. Please call them and tell them not to come!”

“Okay, but only if you’re good.” I picked up the phone and pretended to dial and talk. Miraculously the siren stopped, and he was convinced. I love timing like that. It worked, too. When I need him to toe the line, I tell him I’ll call our friend Officer Kelly. He snaps right in line. Officer Kelly knows nothing of this, of course. But I sure appreciate being able to use that old memory of him to my advantage occasionally. We mamas have to use extreme measures sometimes. Thanks Kelly. Both for saving my bacon and for keeping my kid in line without even knowing it.

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