Confession time: I got a speeding ticket this week. What’s worse: I got it for speeding in a school zone. With my daughter in the back seat. Bad Mommy (head hung in shame).
I don’t have a good excuse. I was probably rushing more than usual, trying to get Eve to day care in time to have breakfast there. It was a sleepy Monday morning and we got out of the house later than usual. But honestly, I simply spaced out the 20 mph zone. I probably do so most mornings, despite the flashing yellow lights on either end.
The $40 fine was enough that I’ve been watching my speedometer like a hawk since I got pulled over. But my 3-year-old has also helped keep my speed in check.
First, I needed to explain what was happening to her: “What’s that guy doing?” she asked after the police officer took my license and went back to his patrol car. “Writing Mommy a ticket because I was driving too fast,” I explained. “Mommy!!! Why were you driving too fast????” she asked in a highly concerned voice. “I don’t know, honey.”
I texted my husband about the ticket right away (but not while driving). I wasn’t going to try to hide it from him, not just because of the whole honesty thing that is implied with marriage vows, but because I knew Eve would end up tattling on me that night anyway.
This morning, she was talking about the speeding ticket again. She said she was going to get a ticket because she would push the garage door opener button really fast. No, I said, that’s not how it works …
I assured Craig I would not get another speeding ticket (it was my second in two years and third in a decade). Eve heard this. A few minutes later, Eve asked him if he was taking her to daycare. “No,” Craig said. “I’m picking you up, but Mommy will drive you there.” She was confused. “But how will Mommy not get another ticket?” Apparently, in her mind, if I’m driving, I’m getting pulled over.
I drove the speed limit all the way to day care this morning. It felt like I was crawling. And the whole time, Eve yelled from her car seat: “Mommy, you’re driving too fast!!!” “No, I’m not!” I’m countered. She didn’t believe me. Talk about a back-seat driver.