No, it's not because they have a front-row seat to witness Momma getting her ass handed to her by some dude on a motorcycle. And it's not because this event has the potential to plant seeds of delinquency in the very fertile soil of your child's mind.
No, the real reason it is so awful is that the child - or mine, at least - will think Momma getting pulled over is THE GREATEST, FUNNIEST THING EVER, causing them to squeal, clap, giggle, and shout their excitement through the whole embarrassing ordeal, all the you slink lower and lower in your seat, wishing to disappear completely. And you will want to throttle your child out of total frustration.
This fun little event happened for us on Tuesday night. With the days getting longer, Scotty and I didn't leave the park until well after 7pm. Yes, I did make a right turn on red (totally legal) and yes, I did speed up to keep up with current traffic. What I did not expect to see was a policeman on a motorcycle peel out of a parking lot across the street, cross six lanes of traffic, and plant himself directly behind me, lights flashing. I mean, yes, Hualapai is well-known in Vegas as one of the most dangerous streets in town (not, not, not) and with it's many crosswalks (read: zero), yes, pedestrians are getting picked off daily (um, no). Our tax dollars are really going to good use to ensure cars do not go over the ridiculously low speed limit of 35 (what?!?) to avoid more (non-existent) fatalities. And for the record, the only things I've ever seen run over on Hualapai south of Flamingo was a crumpled paper bag and one sad gym shoe. Oh, the horror.
So as you can imagine, I was mildly annoyed that my car got singled out, literally two minutes from our house. Since leaving the park, Scotty had been playing this new game in the back seat where he screams as loudly as possible until I crack and start screaming back. When the cop pulled me over, I was thisclose to winning. But with the Bear's attention now diverted by the nice man at my window, demanding my license and registration, he began chattering incessantly about the events unfolding around him. Gleefully.
"Da motorcycle! Da...da...da police motorcycle! Da lights are on! Momma, look! Look, Momma, look! Da lights on da motorcyle are on! Oh, Scotty love da lights! Scotty LOVE da lights! Say it Mom! Mom, say it! Say 'police motorcycle!' Say 'lights!' Say it! Momma, SAY IT! SAAAAAAY IT!"
Considering my emotional fragility at this time, from the prior screaming game to having to dig through my purchases at the farmer's market to get my wallet out, which included pawing through the fresh kale I had purchased, I was really about to lose it. I mean, don't I get a break for the kale? How can you ticket someone who has fresh kale in their car? Everyone knows that no one actually likes kale. We only buy it and eat it because it's good for us. It's the most sadomasochistic vegetable known to man, and this cop wasn't going to cut me a break, despite the fact I eat kale not because I want to, but because I should. He was completely unsympathetic towards every aspect of my life - the annoying toddler, the obnoxious leafy greens, the fact that Hualapai essentially poses to no risk to anyone, ever. It was infuriating to say the least.
But I couldn't take my frustrations out on the man in blue (technically, light brown), so I took it out on the tiny person in the car who would not shut up.
"STOP TALKING!!! JUST...STOP....TALKING!" And I banged my hands on the steering wheel for good measure.
It was like Demon Mother erupted out of me. Even I was taken aback at the tone of my voice and the crazy flailing motion of my hands. Motorcycle cop paused for a second and looked up at me as he wrote the ticket, probably thinking this is part where I flee from the car and start ripping out my hair.
Scotty paused for a long second. His bottom lip quivering. His eyes welled up, and then he, too, erupted into all-out wails. Oh, my sensitive little Bear. I had pushed him too far.
And that, folks, is how we returned home - Kim a crying, angry mess, and Scotty, howling like a bee had stung him. Brian arrived home just a few minutes before us and wasn't sure who to look at - or tend to - first. I just shoved the paper ticket in his hands, sniffed, and walked upstairs silently.
Stupid cop. Stupid ticket. Stupid kale.