Being the wife of a cop certainly comes with its challenges. Last-minute overtime has left us reeling and scrambling for a sitter more than once, and dinners as a family -- I do not know that of which you speak.
But lately I've noticed a new phenomenon. That of the "Daddy Cop".
Don't get me wrong - my husband is an excellent father. Because of our unique arrangement, he spends most days with the kids (or I should say he did, before Nick started school this past fall - now its just him and Will). He's the one who knows all the other Mommies at preschool because he's the one who takes Will. He's the one who volunteers for kindergarten field trips and to make a special presentation (in uniform) about when a five-year-old should and should not call 9-1-1.
He also has in his nature a certain "cop-ness", and I've seen that extending to our boys lately as well.
I mean, it was nice, for awhile, to threaten naughty kids with the prospect of being put in the back of a squad car. But they quickly realized that was for "Real bad guys, Mommy," and that threat has since been retired.
But my hubby always always has crap in his pockets, including a small pocket knife that more often than not is used to cut straws shorter in restaurants. (His theory is that if its shorter, they actually have to pick up the cup and hold it lower instead of bending the straw which he claims leads to more spills. When its me alone with them I'm not quite so "quirky", but if the man wants to cut a straw with this as his reasoning, I say have at 'er.) Every night when he comes home from work, he empties his pockets onto the kitchen counter.
This peeves me to no end.
I've countless times tried to establish a basket or a dish as a home for the detritus only to find a basket or dish empty along side a pile of receipts, pens, gum wrappers and the pocket knife.
I call "Uncle".
Instead, once a week or whenever I get sick of looking at it, anything in the unclaimed pile of crap gets thrown away. (Yes honey, I really haven't "seen that receipt around somewhere...")
One day, however, The Hubster was outside doing some manly chore with the boys "helping". After half an hour in the chill November air, he had 20 tiny frozen fingers and two runny noses, so he sent the boys in to play.
Here is, again, where I'll point out that I don't do things this way. Being alone with two small boys is -- literally -- being double-teamed. There are brains up in them heads and any kid worth their salt can think up all kinds of crazy ways to hurt themselves in no time flat. And my kids have.
Hardwood floors? We'll take the pillow cases off our pillows and see how far down the hallway we can slide!
Stairs? We'll take that empty box and play "sledding"!
Bunk beds? Haven't you ever played "Spiderman"?
So leaving them unattended with free reign of the house was not exactly The Hubster's best idea yet.
When he finally came in from outside, he sees, over the heads of boys who are giggling and hiding whatever it was that they'd been into, that there has been a kitchen chair slid across the room and pushed up against the counter. Thinking this wasn't exactly new, he headed over to return the chair to its proper place at the table.
And there it was...amongst the crumpled hair cut coupons and ATM receipts...his pocket knife. With the blade open.
He immediately called both boys into the kitchen.
"Who touched Daddy's pocket knife?"
"I know someone pulled over this chair and touched Daddy's pocket knife. That's a no-no."
Silent sideways glances.
"You could really get hurt! This knife is sharp and it could make you bleed!"
Eyes go big in what appears to be surprise. Neither kid says a word.
"I want you to tell Daddy RIGHT NOW who touched this knife!"
A chorus of "not me!"s.
"William? Did you do this? You know you shouldn't touch knives!"
Will shakes his head.
"Nicholas? Was it you?"
Another head shaking.
"SOMEONE touched this knife - OPENED this knife. Don't lie to me now!"
Lips begin to tremble.
"Nick - was it Will? Just tell Daddy."
"Will? Did your brother do this?"
Tears form and threaten to overflow...
"Saying nothing is as good as lying you know!"
And then, as if he hadn't gone far enough with a three- and a five-year-old, he says,
"You know, Daddy could send this to work and they'd dust it for prints. They could tell me who it was and then that person would have touched Daddy's knife and lied about it!"
Tears flow freely as the result of the interrogation. Nick, mouth wide open because he's crying and no sound has come out yet, points at his brother. Will cries, yelling, "I SORRY DADDY! I SORRY DADDY!"
My kids are going to need so much therapy...