Once upon a time when my kids were little they were very into puppets. One Christmas they received a few puppets as presents, various animals and community figures, including a chef and a police officer and a beaver or some other woodland creature. Over the years the puppets have been handed down to relatives with small children or donated, all of them except – dun-dun-dun- (You need to do this part because he has a theme song, ya know) Officer Rodriguez.
Officer Rodriguez was born in the Bronx and has been working on the police force for many, many years. He has seen it all, and witnessed many crimes being committed in my own home, including “The Case Of Who Took The Last Working AA Batteries Out Of The Television Remote Control And Put Them In A Video Game Controller” and “Who Left The Carton Of Milk In The Refrigerator With One Mouse-Sized Swallow Left And Didn’t Tell Anyone.” You may have read about these infamous cases in your local newspaper, and it should be noted, that Officer Rodriguez leaves no crime unsolved.
Ok, yeah, so I have no idea how the whole Officer Rodriguez thing came about. I think his name may come from a character who was on Miami Vice or some other old-school cop show my husband watched growing up. I have no idea what his ethnic background is. He has a Hispanic name, a vaguely Italian sounding accent (possibly because my husband speaks Italian) and he was born in America. He really loves his mother. He has always wanted to be a cop.
I have no clue how he became such an integral part of our whole child-raising thing but I do know that on many occasions, we have solved behavior issues, sibling squabble-fests, and questions about life using a damn hand puppet. This is truly one of the stupidest and dorkiest things we do as parents, and I am refusing to believe we are the only ones. You may not necessarily have a hand puppet who is now basically a member of your family, but I think all parents start doing something with their kids that for some reason becomes a sort of tradition that is unique and personal to your own people. Our thing just happens to be a puppet with a bad mustache who has a strict moral code that includes not calling your sister a “dork face.”