Being stopped by the police is bad enough.
Having your children in the car when it happens adds a whole another dimension -- along with a little humor.
We were on our way home when I saw the lights in my rear view mirror.
"What are we doing?" Ashley asked as we pulled over.
"There's a policeman behind us."
"Is he here for us?"
"Apparently so," I said as the police car pulled up behind me.
"Are we in trouble?" she asked.
"You're not in trouble, but Mommy might be."
"What did you do?" she asked incredulously.
Apparently I didn't stop completely at the stop sign before I turned.
As I was getting my license and registration,Ashley leaned forward and said to the police officer, "You seem very nice."
"Thank you," he said.
"Policemen are usually nice, Ashley," I said as I handed him my license and registration.
As he walked back to his cruiser to run my license, Ashley asked, "Why are you in trouble, Mommy?"
"Because I didn't follow the rules, Ashley."
There's a certain irony to being reprimanded by your child. There's even greater irony when the child doing the reprimanding is the one who often treats rules as suggested guidelines to be ignored when they get in your way.
"Well, Ashley, you know how sometimes you don't obey the rules?" She nodded. "Well, this time I didn't follow the rules."
"Oh, this is very bad," she said solemnly.
"So, Mom," she piped up a few minutes later in a matter-of-fact tone of voice,"who's going to take care of us if he takes you to jail?'
"He's not taking me to jail, Ashley."
"How do you know?
"Because people don't go to jail for running a stop sign."
"But, Mom, you didn't follow the rules and he's in charge."
"Yes, Ashley, but he's not sending me to jail. He's going to give me a ticket. That's what happens when you run a stop sign."
Thankfully, this line of questioning was brought to an end when the policeman returned.
Whether it was my daughter's flattery or my clean driving record (or some combination of both), he let me go with a warning.
"Did he give you a lottery ticket?" Ashley asked as we pulled back onto the road.
Oh, if only police officers gave lottery tickets at traffic stops.