Saturday, April 30, 2011

Enlighten Me.....Talking to the Kids

This is a word for word quote from 3 year old Sierra's bedtime prayer the other night,

 "Heavenly Father bless our sweet, sweet man gets the job done getting bad guys in jail."

Surely, CA Cop was blessed that night.  I mean how could anyone not answer that little prayer?

As our baby girl grows so does her desire to learn about the world that she's living in.  She is one of those fifty questions in a minute type of children who doesn't take "I don't know" as an answer for anything. She hasn't quite gotten the concept that moms and dads may not know everything, but I'm sure just about the point she turns into a teenager she'll have that one mastered!

Today in the car she asked me what skunks eat....random, I know. Umm...I paused to think about a little skunk and what might fill its fuzzy black and white belly.  She interrupted my thoughts with, "trees?".  I knew I wasn't getting out of this one so I did a quick google search at a red light and rattled off a long list of nasty things like insects, frogs, earthworms, and also (much to her enjoyment) leaves.

CA Cop's job has been surfacing in her conversation more and more.  Specifically about "bad guys" and "taking pictures of them" (no idea how she picked up on this? Next to dad when he checked his work email?) and "putting them in jail."  Also driving by the rules or else "crashing and getting big tickets that cost lots of money".

So all these different topics that are requiring me to give more and more detail have made me wonder and seek some enlightenment.....Do you have any dos or don'ts when it comes to talking about what your cop (or you if you are the cop) does at work?  So far we keep a positive worry free spin on everything (Daddy helps people, etc) they are young.  I want my babies to feel as safe and secure in their little world as they possibly can and for as long as they can.  But I also know that in the future the questions will come, so I want to be prepared.  Have you set any boundaries or do you just answer all questions honestly and openly? As they grow and begin to understand what, if anything, have you encountered in relation to being a LEO family?

Thanks for the input, these Enlighten Me posts have really been!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gear II

He sat at the kitchen table. Punching numbers into the calculator. The receipts in little organized piles all around him. A Diet Dr. Pepper completed the scene.  The kids were running around the house. I was cleaning up around them. Putting laundry away, Shasta ran a Tonka police truck up and down my back and onto the top of my head.  The siren was very loud when it went off direcly on top of my ear.  Occasionally I would make my way into the kitchen and glance at the calculator, curious to see where the total was at. And he sat. And did the math. And the minutes passed. Probably a good 30 of them.

And finally the conclusion was reached.  The last receipt took its place on what had now become a three foot stack on the kitchen table.  $6500 and some change (only one gun included in that total, the rest being all things "gear").  Thats right, folks.  The gear total for 2010 is in. A little over 10 months on the job in 2010.  I passed the numbers on to our accountant for a healthy little write off.

I am happy to report that while 2011 started off with a "bang", if you get my drift, the gear purchases have slowed significantly.  I am certain there is some UPS man out there no longer employed by this turn of events, and while I wish him well, I am grateful that he is not longer a permanent fixture on my front stoop.
So, for many reasons, I am glad that year one is behind us!  And here's to a big tax refund!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


CA Cop was on the ground.  His commands no longer effective. They had found his weak spot, almost seemed to know what buttons to push and how to test him. It was two on one. The two individuals had energy and stamina that was completely unmatched by the efforts of CA Cop. He was growing weary as he scrambled to hold onto a leg, an arm, any limb he could come in contact with as they flailed around him.  The female began her taunts, now completely aware that she was about to get her way and break free from the officer.  She yelled NO repeatedly as she tugged and pulled.  The male made connection, a flat fist to the shoulder of CA Cop, he laughed out loud seeming to enjoy the struggle.  Athough tired CA Cop was unfazed by the blow and continued his efforts. 

But finally the struggle was growing to be too much.  He knew it was a battle that he was not going to be able to handle on his own and as of yet he still did not hear his back up coming to his aid.

With desperation clearly audible in his voice he called out one more time for help.....

I heard the sounds.....I made my way upstairs to relieve the weary officer.  The kids were each half clothed in their jammies and CA Cop looked at me with tired eyes as he held out to me one princess top and a Buzz Lightyear bottom.  The kids were no match for the shift work ridden daddy as he attempted to get them ready for bed to help his busy wife.  I kissed him on the forehead and expressed my gratitude for his well intended attempts and commented that it certainly is a good thing that felons are not ages 2 and 3.

Lord knows they do not "comply".......

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vibrating Phone

So the other night CA Cop was out slaying dragons.  I was home watching TV and eating Girl Scout Cookies after having completed my frozen Smart Ones dinner (ironic, I know). I laughed to myself that while most were enjoying an eventful Saturday night I was flopping around the quiet house in slippers and spandex.  But "his weekend" would come soon enough.  We've really gotten into the routine of his current schedule just in time for it to be changing in a couple of weeks.

The clocked ticked away until it was way past my self inflicted bed time and yet I was still up.  CA Cop called me every couple hours, a welcomed treat. He wasn't too busy and felt the need to connect with the home base and, let me say it was well received, I missed him too.

"Call me before you go to bed."

It was not a typical request from my on duty officer, but I gladly agreed.

As I felt the remote slip out of my hand and realized that I had no idea what dress the last two girls on Say Yes to the Dress had chosen, I knew I better call it a night.

I called my sweetheart and as is typical, was greeted by his voicemail after about 6 rings.

Some time later, I was still up, and he was calling.

"I was clearing a house when you called, we were called to a home invasion in progress.  My gun was drawn and then my front pocket started vibrating."

"That doesn't sound very good. How distracting was that?"

So....I think I will just stick to the typical plan.  He calls me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Garbage Day

The smell from the back of his patrol car had CA Cop's eyes watering.  He had his window rolled down all the way and leaned his body to the left to allow the wind to blow against his face and up through his nostrils. 

The sun was out in Baytown. Clouds dotted the blue sky and the view was picturesque. CA Cop peered through his dark sun glasses as he drove and tried to focus amidst the distraction behind him.

The man in the back seat shook as he sat. The dry spell of a few hours had the alcoholic's body in a mild fit. His dark jeans had a large hole on the left knee and greasy goo on the upper thigh. The dirt that caked the material left some question as to whether or not the material was even jean.

As CA Cop pulled into the BART station he stopped in the unloading zone.  A BART Officer stood next to his car and watched the scene unfold. CA Cop unloaded the man and handed him a five dollar bill from his own pocket.  He offered the man some words of encouragement and then pointing toward the ticket dispensers, gave him directions and sent him on his way. Away from Baytown. The BART Officer approached CA Cop knowing exactly what had just occurred.

"Taking out the trash?" He asked.

"Yep." CA Cop smiled as he lowered his body back into his car.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wash Day

I began my usual routine of checking all the pockets, and then rechecking them again. I made the mistake only once of not checking the pockets.  That was when CA Cop was in the academy and the lint that resulted from the index card that went through the washing machine had the cadet in a frenzy as to what his punishment might be if every last microscopic piece of lint was not removed from the uniform. So I check the pockets now. Every time.

I handled the uniform this time with extra care. Holding it with as little part of my hand and fingers as possible. My mind started thinking about the "individuals" that he comes in contact with and I quick rinsed my hands off in the water pouring into the washing machine. I flipped the shirt inside out, zipped it up, and secured the top button, just as I have been "instructed" to do. Tossed it into the foamy waters that smelled delightful and grabbed the pants.  As my gaze followed the pants into the suds I thought about my washing machine. There was blood on that uniform. Blood that would now be swirled around my washing machine. My washing machine that washes my baby's clothes, my clothes.

"How much blood is on this thing?" I shouted at the off duty cop reclining in our family room. He could hear the bit of repulsion in my voice, knew that his germ-a-phobic wife was getting grossed out.

He assured me that he was "pretty sure" that blood was "probably just" his partners'.

I shut the washing machine and ran to the bathroom to scrub my compromised hands. 

So washing the uniform at home is a new "luxury" for us.  The old uniforms were dry clean only so I never thought about blood and other ickies that could be lurking about on the fabric that he adorns each shift. But now I think about it.

Perhaps I should try not to.....