Parenting Tips for Law Enforcement Officers
By Darynda JonesApril 6, 2020
For more from Sunshine Vicram, check out New York Times bestselling author Darynda Jones' first novel in a brand-new snarky, sassy, wickedly fun series—A Bad Day for Sunshine!
Balancing the demands of law-enforcement with family isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a single parent. Fortunately, as a former detective for Santa Fe PD and now the newly elected sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico, I can offer a few dos and don’ts—mostly don’ts—to help you harmonize the two loves of your life.
- My first tip has to be one that seems like a given, but life happens, and sometimes what sounds like a good idea at the time can take a terrible turn. Basically, never take your child on a stakeout.
- I know, again, it seems like a no-brainer, but if you do take your child—say a precocious five-year-old who swears she no longer believes in Santa Claus even though she secretly does—on a stakeout because your babysitter thinks she has Ebola and you doubted your suspect would show anyway, do not, I repeat, do not, decide to stay for just a few minutes when he does show up wearing a Santa suit in April and begins trafficking Elves on a Shelf allegedly filled with heroin.
- If you do stake out the man in the Santa suit trafficking Elves on a Shelf allegedly filled with heroin, do not let your five-year-old drink your entire triple-shot vanilla bean latte while you take incriminating photos.
- If you do let her drink your entire triple-shot vanilla bean latte while you take incriminating photos, do not let her play with the sunroof because she now has more energy than an exploding nuclear warhead.
- If you do let your five-year-old play with the sunroof because she now has more energy than an exploding nuclear warhead, do not let her accidentally kick the volume knob on the radio and crank it up to the death-metal setting.
- If she does accidentally crank up the radio to the death-metal setting, do not let her alert the suspect to your location by opening said sunroof and reenacting a mosh-pit scene on the roof of your car from that time you snuck out of the house your sophomore year to go to a Godsmack concert.
- If she does reenact a mosh-pit scene on the roof of your car from that time you snuck out of the house your sophomore year to go to a Godsmack concert, do not jump out of said car to haul her back inside while screaming, “Sweet baby Jesus!”
- If you do jump out of the car to haul her back inside while screaming, “Sweet baby Jesus,” do not let her see Santa, scramble off the other side of the car and run to him with arms held wide.
- If she does scramble off the other side of the car and run to him with arms held wide, do not let her tell him she wants her mommy to have a boyfriend for Christmas because she’s a cop and she catches bad guys so she deserves to have someone to snuggle with.
- If she does tell Santa you’re a cop and you catch bad guys so you deserve someone to snuggle with, do not panic and try to play it off as a prank and convince Santa you were sent by Vinnie the Shark, especially if Santa can see the gun and badge on your belt.
- If you do panic and try to play it off as a prank and convince him you were sent by Vinnie the Shark, do not let you daughter adopt a dubious glare, and ask, “Didn’t you arrest Vinnie the Shark two days ago?”
- If you do let your daughter ask about Vinnie’s current state of incarceration, a fact she knew because you never dreamed she actually paid attention to your ramblings, do not freeze up and let Santa get the upper hand by dragging out a knife and taking your daughter hostage in the blink of an eye.
- If you do freeze up and let Santa get the upper hand by dragging out a knife and taking your daughter hostage in the blink of an eye, do not let your mad skills kick in, no matter how mad they are, and tackle Santa to the ground while screaming for your daughter to run.
- If you do tackle Santa to the ground while screaming for your daughter to run, do not let him stab you in front of said daughter before you are able to get him into a sleeper hold and knock his ass out.
- If you do let him stab you in front of said daughter before you are able to get him into a sleeper hold and knock his ass out, do not try to convince her it’s not that bad. It’s only a flesh wound. You just need a Steri-Strip.
- If you do try to convince her it’s only a flesh wound and you just need a Steri-Strip, do not almost bleed out while waiting for your back up and ambulance to arrive.
- If you do almost bleed out in front of your only child, the same child that is now in a total state of hysteria because you decided to bring her on a stakeout when your babysitter thought she had Ebola and you doubted your suspect would show anyway, do not try to convince her the EMTs are just actors and the whole thing was a setup for the bad guy. Because your daughter is not stupid.
- If you do underestimate the skyrocketing intelligence sparkling behind those huge copper eyes, do not cringe when she looks at you, bottom lip quivering, and says, “Mommy, you killed Santa.”
And there you go! Just a few tips on what to do and what not to do with your child while on the job. Take her to a park instead. Somewhere, anywhere, less stabby.
Hope this helps, crime fighters, and stay safe out there!
—Sheriff Sunshine Vicram, Del Sol County, New Mexico
Want more Sunshine Vicram?
About A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones:
Sheriff Sunshine Vicram finds her cup o’ joe more than half full when the small village of Del Sol, New Mexico, becomes the center of national attention for a kidnapper on the loose.
Del Sol, New Mexico is known for three things: its fry-an-egg-on-the-cement summers, strong cups of coffee―and, now, a nationwide manhunt? Del Sol native Sunshine Vicram has returned to town as the elected sheriff―thanks to her adorably meddlesome parents who nominated her―and she expects her biggest crime wave to involve an elderly flasher named Doug. But a teenage girl is missing, a kidnapper is on the loose, and all of this is reminding Sunshine why she left Del Sol in the first place. Add to that the trouble at her daughter’s new school, plus and a kidnapped prized rooster named Puff Daddy, and, well, the forecast looks anything but sunny.
But even clouds have their silver linings. This one’s got Levi, Sunshine’s sexy, almost-old-flame, and a fiery-hot US Marshal. With temperatures rising everywhere she turns, Del Sol’s normally cool-minded sheriff is finding herself knee-deep in drama and danger. Can Sunshine face the call of duty―and find the kidnapper who’s terrorizing her beloved hometown―without falling head over high heels in love…or worse?