"Mummy, why is the police officer giving you a consequence?"
The story: our inspection sticker was, apparently, from August 2005, and I was pulled over on January 2006 by a sharp-eyed young policeman. He asked me about the sticker, and I admitted that yes, we'd let things slide a bit since the baby was born. The cop gave me a quick, sympathetic glance, and then I saw my opportunity: I could play the gimp card. After all, in August my older son had been hospitalized unexpectedly and then had had his sixth surgery to boot. Complications followed, with a certain merry infant hard on their heels. It was a sob story that surely would get me out of a ticket...
Glancing in the rearview mirror, I saw my older son, fascinated, watching his mama getting her 'consequence' for not doing what she was told. And I realized the lesson I'd be teaching him if I begged my way out of the ticket - and especially if I begged my way out with a tale of woe, based on his medical needs. So I accepted the $50 fine, and thanked the officer. The officer in turn apologized for the ticket, and we parted on good terms.
As I drove away, I found myself peeking at my older child and wondering. Who learned what lesson today?