tonight was one of those teachable moments that i think we'll be able to use as leverage with our girls for quite some time.
it was an ordinary, chaotic, post-dinner, pre-bed prep, dance party night until daughter 1 tried to pull the house phone out of daughter 2's hands as she was playing with it. caught in the crossfire, i could hear a garbled voice on the line.
me - "hello?"
him - "911, what's your emergency?"
me - "oh, sir my apologies, there is no emergency here. my 3 year old was playing with the phone and must have dialed 911. i'm really sorry. everyone here is ok."
him - "ma'am, we still have to send out a deputy to ensure that everyone is ok."
me - "really?"
him - "yes ma'am, a deputy will be there shortly."
we told the girls that the police were coming to talk to them because they were playing with the phone and you NEVER dial 911 unless it's an emergency. needless to say, the girls were a bit shaken. we might have gone a little overboard... there was mention of emergencies, blood, jail, police taking you away etc...
the youngest (a.k.a the perpetrator - she really had no idea she dialed the digits) lost her nut! the oldest ran in her room to hide in the closet from the deputy.
within a few minutes a female deputy arrived and all hell broke loose. tears, screaming, "i don't want the police to take me", etc. etc. and now the deputy was freaked out.
"ma'am, it's ok, tell her everything is ok. can you calm her down?"
after much ado, the perp calmed down. we were able to wrap up the evening with a relatively calm bedtime with just one little reminder that the police know where we live and will come over again if you aren't following directions. i don't think i've ever seen my kids move so fast.
as i was tucking the girls into bed, daughter 1 shoots off a litany of questions and comments about the nights events. daughter 2 passed out from emotional exhaustion.
1. "mom, are there kid jails?" (and i say, "yes, they call it "juvey" or juvenile detention")
2. "what do they wear in kid jails?" to which she answers herself, "oh, i know, they wear orange, red and green and it all looks the same, just shirts and shorts. boring". (i'm wondering if she's catching episodes of CSI or Law & Order after hours???)
3. "mom, i ran into my bedroom closet when the police officer was here because i didn't want her to take us. i don't want to be an orphan".
a teachable moment / toddler trauma = some serious parenting leverage. did i go a little overboard with the whole taking the kid thing, perhaps, but i can sure make my kids listen... for now!