Click it or your mama gets a ticket

2 Jun

A meeting with a cop

Rockford makes a promise

cop car

El Cajon Police

 As a mom I hear myself ranting everyday things like, “Don’t do that!” “You have to!” “I said so!”  Well on a day when my son was whining in the backseat that he didn’t feel he should have to put on his car seat seatbelt, instead of just ranting off, I decided to get creative…so I borrowed the help of a cop.

The Dilemma

My three-year old complained about being buckled up, “I don’t like this! Take it off!” I looked at him through the rearview mirror and said, “Well, how about if we ask a policeman if you can unbuckle your seatbelt and not have to wear one anymore. If he says yes then mommy will be ok with it too. Ok?” All of a sudden, his frown turned into glee as he saw a chance to win this disagreement with me…and he would be meeting his American Idol, a policeman.

The meeting

Yesterday, while a the park we had the opportunity to settle this when we saw a local cop. I kindly asked him if he had a minute to answer a question for my son. The cop, Officer Pittsley, amicably agreed. “My son wanted to know if it would be ok for him not to wear his seatbelt in the car?” I asked, amusing myself. The officer turned to Rockford who was so star struck he could barely hold on to his bag of crackers. “Absolutely NOT! You must wear your seatbelt at all times. If you don’t wear your seatbelt your mom will get a ticket and that means she will have to pay a fine and that means less toys for you.” I interjected to point out the “safety” reasons for the seatbelt, but I might as well have been talking to the wind as Rockford’s gaze stayed on the cop. The policeman continued his talk with Rockford, “Promise me you will always wear your seatbelt.” Rockford nodded and cheerfully agreed. 

I wanted to get a picture to capture this moment for my son so I asked Rockford if he would stand next to the policeman for a picture. At first he was a little shy, but when the policeman said, “come on buddy,” Rockford quickly pushed his cracker baggy to me and said, “here hold these!” After a couple of shots we thanked the cop and we headed to our car.

policeman and toddler

"He's a good guy." ~Rockford

When we got home we shared this story with Daddy and Daddy began asking Rockford questions about this encounter. “What did the policeman tell you about wearing your seatbelt?” Daddy asked. To this Rockford answered, “He said I have to wear it all the time, and he’s gonna buy me a toy if I do so I have to wear it.” This is what he heard out of the conversation he had with the cop (yes, selective memory for sure).

Lesson learned

I remember posting this idea of waving down a cop to talk to Rockford about buckling up on Facebook.  I had a friend ask why I didn’t simply demand he buckle his seatbelt since I am the mom and the authority figure.  Yes, that is true, I am the mom and the one in authority, but to be honest, where’s the fun in just saying, “do it because I said so and I am your mom and you are to obey me.”? As a mom I am learning a lot everyday too. I can get creative, not give out lectures and still get the end result I want.  I could have just demanded Rockford buckle up and give him a safety lecture, but now every time he needs to buckle up, he’ll remember the day he met a cop and the promise he made to that cop and that will remind him that cops have authority, buckling up is mandatory, and hopefully that Mama was right. If my son has admiration and respect for the policemen then maybe, just maybe, that came about from first instilling in him the value of respecting his authority figures…all of them.

Thank a Policeman today!!!

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One Response to “Click it or your mama gets a ticket”

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  1. Four Tickets to a Rockford Foresters Baseball Game. Three Options Available. » Get your daily Groupon deals - June 6, 2011

    […] Click it or your mama gets a ticket […]

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