Let me first say that I love law enforcement. I’m related to both a police detective and a FBI agent, and I have a super healthy respect for anyone who packs heat and carries a badge. I’m also a law-abiding citizen with no plans to land myself in the pokey anytime soon. This being said, I can now relate the history leading up to that bright and shiny moment a few days ago when my almost-3-year-old served up some great advice from the backseat of our car.
I’m gonna shoot you straight: it’s all my Mee Maw’s fault. I was maybe 4 or 5, riding in the backseat of her orange/tan Ford. We were on the main drag running through our small town, and as we topped the hill she yelled, “Look out, it’s THE FUZZ!” Of course, I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. But then she pointed to the cruiser, semi-hidden, waiting for someone to breach the 20mph speed limit. THE FUZZ. The police and I were now on a first-name basis.
Years of watching for The Fuzz from Mee Maw’s backseat gave me quite an awareness of the police, so much so that I would spot them for her and yell, “Look out, Mee Maw, it’s The Fuzz!” I did not want to meet The Fuzz, of course. Just wanted to always have them in my sights.
But a few more years passed, and on another day while riding in a car with my mother, we indeed met a policeman. He was very nice; my mother, however, might have very near had a nervous breakdown. Lesson learned from our moment of being pulled over by the police in a very busy intersection of our not-so-big town: The Fuzz are nice and my mother is peeherpants scared of them.
And then came those years of really being acquainted with the police. First, there was my step-brother-in-law, the funny cop who made me laugh…and who also handcuffed and put me into his cruiser on my 16th birthday. (Nothin’ like a visit from The Fuzz on your birthday–even if it’s your family!) A few months later, I met his colleague. I was the one sitting behind the wheel, crying my eyes out and blubbering that my dad would kill me if I got a ticket; the very nice officer was the one who took a good 20 minutes to assure me that if I simply calmed down there would be no ticket and no killing.
I’ve now had at least three roadside chats with the police–all very pleasant events–and managed to squeeze in two other conversations with officers while viewing my crunched up car. Alas, I’ve also had a “you’re getting a citation” chat, and a courtroom visit concerning said citation in which I was surrounded by The Fuzz (“Look out Mee Maw!!!”).
Sometime in my twenties, however, I began referring to The Fuzz as the Po-Po. I must admit that I feel a bit like a traitor to Mee Maw. I mean, how am I supposed to tell her that my daughters don’t shout from the backseat to point out The Fuzz???
Instead, after the police cruiser pulls into the lane ahead of us, we have this conversation:
(Mommy) “Hey, there’s the Po-Po!”
(Elder Sweet Pea) “Where??? Ooooohhhh, there’s the Po-Po!”
(Elder Sweet Pea to Younger Sweet Pea)“Look! Do you see the Po-Po?”
(Younger Sweet Pea) “I do! I do see da Po-Po!”
(A two-minute pause…)
(Younger Sweet Pea) “Don’t hit da Po-Po, mommy!”
Then again, perhaps Mee Maw would be proud…