As I was laying in bed pondering life a couple of weeks ago, I rolled over to Chris and shared a troubling thought.

“I don’t think that Ali has the right idea about police. Did you see that wide-eyed look of fear in her eyes when those policemen walked into Chick-Fil-A tonight? I’ve done a horrible job in this crucial area of child rearing.”

He agreed.

Ali often anxiously reminds me, “Don’t go too fast or you’ll get a Bad Ticket from the Police!!” and morosely states facts like, “When adults disobey, the Police come and take them to jail!!”, and “I’m going to learn to be wise now so that when I’m big, the Police don’t come and take me to jail!!!”

Yes, it was clear that I had fallen down on my duty to our civil servants.

But I was not about to wake Ali up at 11pm at night and explain to her how Policemen actually protect us and such, so I made a mental note to do some proper training very soon.

Sometimes, mental notes have a way of biting you in the butt.

A few mornings ago, Ali wanted to call Gramamma.

I never realized this before, but Gramamma has a horribly un-grandchild friendly phone number – it starts with 914.

So of course, Ali’s clumsy little fingers dialed 911.

I heard it dialing, realized what happened, and instinctively hung up the phone. Immediately realizing I should have waited until they answered and explained our mistake, I told her we had to wait a minute, because they were probably going to call us back.

They didn’t, so I assumed it hadn’t rung long enough, and let her call Gramamma.

About 20 minutes later, I had completely forgotten about the incident – until the phone rang.

It was City Hall.


“Hello, we got a 911 call from this number. Is everyone okay?”

“Yes, I’m sorry – my daughter was trying to call her Grandmother whose number starts with 914 – it was just a mistake.”

“Okay ma’am. But I have a policeman stationed outside of your house right now – would you please go tell him that?”

“Oh – okay.”

Now normally this wouldn’t have been that humiliating (at least in comparison to other humiliation-by-child moments), but there was a small matter of, shall we say, The Predicament.

The Predicament had been caused by the shrill ring of our house phone (which hardly ever rings), that apparently sounded like a hungry crying baby to my, um, baby feeding system.

And so, in a twist of cruel fate, something else had happened that almost never happens, and I had a gigantic circle of soaking milk covering the entire upper-left quadrant of my shirt.

I looked out the window. I saw the police car staking out my house from across the street. I looked down at The Predicament.

In a panic, I started looking around for a dry shirt to magically appear. It did not.

As I was considering sprinting upstairs and changing before I made the Milky Walk of Shame to the police car, he got out of his car and walked up to the door.

Knock, knock, knock.


I opened the door, non-crying baby in one arm, Jupiter-sized milk circle on the other side, and Ali standing, wide-eyed, next to me.

“ everything all right, ma’am?”

I rushed the words out, hoping (but already too late) to get them all out before he looked…down.

“I’mSorrySheWasTryingToCallGramamma AndAccidentallyCalled911.”

He took another glance at The Predicament.

“Well okay…I’ll be leaving now.”

And so, Ali now has a full understanding of Police and their many roles, what happens when you dial 911, and the sometimes faulty lactational system.

27 thoughts on “The Police: Not Just for Bad Tickets.

  1. Oh yes The Predicament. Happens to me ALL the time……Just never when the police are at my front door! Your life is too funny!

  2. Lol!

    That reminds me of a few “Predicaments” with some unfortunate UPS guys…

    “Jupiter-sized milk circle” had me rolling. Too true!

  3. I have a fear of The Perdicament happening to me. So much so that I never go without those awful things they make just for those moments.

  4. My body totally remembers the Predicament, even though my last one was years ago. I’m pretty sure that if I thought long enough about it, my 8-years-dry breasts would spontaneously lactate all over me. But I’m curious — why didn’t you cover the circle of dampness with the non-crying baby? It’s never too early to teach your kid to take one for the team.

    1. It was THAT LARGE AND WET – he wouldn’t have covered it, and would have just been soaked.

      Either that or I wasn’t together enough to have that brilliant idea.

  5. Lol! Hazel thinks the police are “bad guys” too. Although, she has confused two elderly people in a beat up pick-up truck as police and encouraged her daddy to “drive faster to get away from the bad police man!” I do take the blame since I’ve told her the police will put her in jail if she takes her seat belt off while we are driving. It might be mean but it was HIGHLY effective.

    1. In the case of preventing terribly unsafe situations with your child, I’m sure the police will forgive you for the bad idea you’ve given her! :)

  6. I confess that I never understood “the Predicament”. Breastfed both babies but that never happened to me because I never stopped leaking to varying degrees. It was dramatically increased by baby crying but I had to wear the nursing pads at all times or there never would have been a dry moment. In my strange little world I tend to assume that what happens to me happens to everyone.
    So are you dry at all other times?

    1. During my first month of nursing both of my kids, I’d have to wear those. But after that, I rarely have had any problems at all – only at the most inopportune times, like a policeman showing up at the door.

  7. That is too cute! I was planning on telling my 2-year old the police would take him away if he doesn’t eat his peas – I’m gonna have to rethink that strategy LOL.

  8. My kids have made pretty much the same comments about the police too. Always think you will get a ticket and go to jail.

  9. Oh that’s funny! And I must tell you, having a husband that’s a police officer, I can pretty well assure you that of all the calls that officer had to answer that day, you were most definitely the most normal-looking. You can’t imagine the stories… he tells me that most homes he goes into look like something from either TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive” show or the movie “Precious” sad, but just to give you some perspective!

    Just a thought- have you ever taken Alli to visit a police precinct? Here in Nashville, my hubby says that every now and then a family will bring their kids with them to visit the precinct and bake cookies, or make cards or something for the officers and it’s more to show their kids that the police are the “good guys” and get to meet them (And the officers don’t mind goodies every now and then either-haha!) Of course, you would need to call ahead to know what time would be best, etc. but I’d venture to say that it would at least make for a good post!

  10. I was also wondering why you didn’t use Noah as a cover-up but understand that in panic mode that may not have dawned on you. I also love the un-child-friendly phone number bit. Back when you only had to dial 7 numbers to call someone instead of 10 I goofed up my grandma’s phone number. Weird situation of what was/wasn’t long distance because of county lines and whatnot but our number started 769 and hers started 725. So I dialed 769 and then the last 4 of hers and some man answered (my grandpa died when I was 3 so it clearly wasn’t him!) and I got very upset that he wouldn’t let me talk to my grandma and what was he doing at her house anyways?! After a bit of confusion I took the phone to my mom and told her some man was at her mom’s house and that’s when she figured out what I dialed. =) (I was maybe 8 when this happened?)

    And just to make this an even longer comment, =) , I think it’s funny that Nathan and I talked about this same thing of teaching our kids that police are the good guys this weekend! Our sheriff’s office had a competition for the K9 units and we got to go watch and then meet the officers and their dogs afterwards! It was so much fun! And we both said afterwards it would be the perfect thing to take our kids to so they could learn both about the good guys and how to approach big dogs without getting bit!

    1. We still dial seven numbers down here in the humble south!! Do you have to use 10 any time??

      And, oddly enough, I just found out last night that Ali is going to get to go on a field trip to the police department. More great training!!

  11. Once, my dear hubby told the pizza guy to go on in the house, but I was burping the baby and hadnt yet put the feeding system away! That predicament precluded a tip for that delivery guy.

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