her first and *hopefully last* run in with the coppers :)
It's late saturday afternoon in winter
One of your daughters is wearing just a tutu (and a dirt beard)
Your little toddler has removed her track pants and is just wearing a jumper and nappy
(and a huge green snotty dirt covered face)
Your yard is a mess (intensive cleaning going on and we pushed all the junk outside.)
There may have been a little *witching hour* screaming happening
The Mr is sitting there in his PJ's reading a book on the back deck when:
Some police walk into the backyard through the open garage.
They are here to talk about our parenting practices
OH MY GOODNESS!! EMBARRASSMENT MUCH!
WE LOOK LIKE A BUNCH OF FERALS!
(I was just about to put everyone in the bath before we got prettied up to go to a restaurant)
Why you ask?
Someone had rung the police about our 8 year old daughter being on the garage/house roof
(earlier in the day) .
yes yes I know. Climbing on the roof is *not* the safest thing in the world, but she is always very careful, is a very good climber, has never had an accident, and knows not to go near the edge. There is no ladder involved, she just climbs up the metal X struts of the garage, onto the fence and onto the roof. There is risk involved of course but one we are willing to take. Often her father goes up with her, but if she climbs when there is only one parent here, we feel it safer to stay down with our 4 and 1 year old rather than climb the roof.
To the police's credit they were very polite, but had to take down all our details and interview Miss A extensively about whether her parents know when she climbs, if she ever climbs in the rain, does she wear shoes, does she know it scares passerby's who then ring the police. I've never been questioned by the police over anything... I'm so glad The Mr was home who did all the talking cause I would have just burst into tears.
All the while snotty faced baby is crying.
I was mortified and so embarrased.
When placed in this situation I wanted to say..
BUT.... we are very good happily married parents, we have a no smacking/hitting policy in our house, I'm a stay at home mum who is with my children 98% of the time, I cook meals from scratch everyday, they are only allowed to watch tv on Thursdays and the weekend, they have only had 2 absences from school, they are read to and bathed every night, I try my hardest to do arts and crafts with them, I've never drunk alcohol or done drugs in my life, so I have never been 'under any influence' while looking after my kids, we bike and walk to school and go to the park regularly. In my 10 years of parenting I had never been to the emergency room/hospital until last year (for at school accident)...
But, but, *stutter* but..
Nothing... *hangs head* and says
Sorry Officers. We weren't aware that someone was scared by our daughter climbing on the roof. We'll tell her not to do it anymore.
And Miss A said "Well I havent climbed on the roof in ATLEAST 3 weeks!"
It's her quiet place, she likes to go up there to watch the clouds, another neighbour sometimes goes up with her (her mother is very freerange and thinks its great and is fine with it), she goes up there to escape her older sister who isn't confident with heights and wont climb up there, basically she loves it up there and has never had any problems.
So STRIKE ONE for us.
I was mortified people, mortified! I've never been so embarrassed (Ok well maybe I have)
So late Saturday night when my toddler was keeping me up I dwelt on it and dwelt on it.
I was so sad.
Then I also got to thinking about how this teaches me about judging.
When we see someone dirty, messy house, dishelved kids, sad, angry, lost, confused
we should not judge.
This might not be who they are.
OR who they think they are.
I was so embarrassed when I was caught out at 'that time of the day' with my family.
We live well and live large. We make a huge mess everyday. But everyday we clean it.
IT'S NOT FUN to be caught out in the middle of the mess.
When it makes you look bad - like you don't care about your children.
Especially when I know the truth.
So now I KNOW how it feels to be wrongly judged.
A lesson learnt. A lesson learnt.
I would have prefered if said worried person approached us personally, but if I think of it from their view I suppose I'm glad someone was worried enough to call the police. I also realise our children are very short for their age so perhaps our 8 year old could have been easily mistaken for a much younger child. My feelings were also placated when all of my neighbours (an elderly Greek lady and a single mum, and another older couple) all said that we were some of the best parents they have ever seen and would have gladly said so to the police if needed :)
And of course when she tried to climb the roof today I forbade her (cause you know I've got a reputation to uphold!) to which Miss A said "WELL the POLICE didn't say I COULDN'T climb on the roof! Just to BE CAREFUL when I do."
Gah! Double Gah!
Though I do remember going up on the roof of our double story house on a long rickety ladder with my dad as a child...