You know the scene.
Whether you are of the Hill Street Blues or CSI era, you know what I’m talking about: crazed gunman holed up in a house, school or bank, hostage in possession, FBI agents surrounding the premises with a Hostage Crisis Specialist at the helm of the situation. Every word is chosen carefully. Every action, painstakingly planned and executed. One wrong move, and the whole situation could blow to hell in a hand basket in 2.3 nanoseconds.
Me? I personally know what it’s like to be a Hostage Crisis Specialist. If keeping one’s cool amidst emotional, physical and verbal chaos, while pushing–gently, ever-so gently–toward the goal of extracting all criminals and hostages kids from the house before the whole scene blows to bits…is a job requirement for an FBI hostage crisis unit then I, for one, am an automatic shoe-in!
Take this morning, for example: after five days’ worth of illness, our four-year-old son was unravelling at the seams from the moment his bleary little eyes wrenched themselves open this morning. The whining, crying, moaning, protesting, whining, fighting, whining and dashing himself all over the floor escalated so quickly (and provoked the other two children in one way or another, to chime in) I had to don my proverbial SWAT Team jacket and move into tactical response mode.
At 0730 hours this morning, I made the call to the first the back-up team member–the mother with whom I share carpool driving duty–and requested she take over the morning drive to school while I coaxed the criminal my son out of the bathtub where he had been provokingly throwing foamy letters at his brother and sister .
As the clock ticked down, in MacGuyver-like fashion, I extracted two more kids from the bath, convinced the criminal my tantrum-throwing son to safely exit the danger zone and retreat to the kitchen for some breakfast, all the while diapering and dressing our kicking, squirming, protesting, two-year-old son and helping my daughter get ready for her day at kindergarten. Did I mention, I didn’t even break a sweat?
Yep, life in a household of young kids feels like a romp in the FBI Special Services unit on any given day and, so far, I’ve managed to succceed in every hostage crisis situation I’ve fielded.
(Who’s the hostage in this scenario? I don’t know…but I gotta tell ya’, it often feels like me.)