Category Archives: AwkWORD (Humor)

A Little Tangle with the Law

I got a speeding ticket a few weeks ago.

I was driving near our home on a Wednesday morning, heading to the grocery store with the babies.  We never, ever run errands in the morning because it messes with their first nap, but I had plans later in the day so I decided to be ultra-efficient.  I was also doing something we never do: I was headed to the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market.  I thought: I’m a stay-at-home-mom on a single income.  This is a smart-savvy-savings ninja move that moms everywhere have discovered before me.  Look at me go!

And then a cop stepped into the road and waved me over.

I was completely bewildered.  I was not speeding.  What the?

“Ma’am, do you know why I pulled you over?”

“No, officer, I genuinely don’t.”

He showed me the read on his radar gun: 35 miles per hour.

“Yes, but…this is a 35 zone,” I replied, still baffled.

“Yes it is,” he answered.  “But it’s 9:15 on a school day.”

A tiny brain bomb exploded.

“I…I had no idea.  I’m so sorry.  I didn’t know…” I stammered pathetically.  I glanced in my rearview mirror looking for the twins to back me up, or cry at least.  Isn’t this what babies are for in a pinch?

He walked away and promptly wrote me a ticket.  My giant Precious Moments eyes did nothing to garner a sympathetic let-off.  I should’ve worn more makeup.  Well, I should’ve worn makeup.

He handed me the ticket, I rolled up my window and promptly burst into tears.  I felt royally ripped off, also like a fool, and worse, I glanced down at the ticket to see a colossal $271 staring back at me and cried even harder.  The brutal irony was not lost on me of getting hit with a nearly $300 fine on my way to save nickels and dimes.

Naturally, I decided to check the little box for “mitigation hearing” so I could hopefully lower the fine.

Three weeks later I packed the kids in the car and drove across town for my hearing.  More than a few people said I was insane to bring them; I said I’d be insane not to.  They failed me in front of the cop but I was confident they’d do much better in front of a judge.  This was nothing if not parenting at its finest.

We rolled through the door in our locomotive of a stroller, causing the security guards to react with such glee I knew their jobs involved slower policing than Mayberry.  We made it through the metal detector and I got a full body wanding, just for good measure.  The security guards made all kinds of exclamations about how I got around with that thing, and how full my hands must be, and how it’s a wonder I’m out of the house at all.  I smiled and faked laughed as they tried to escort me down the hall to my courtroom.  I told them I was fine, and they just shook their heads and chided each other about this wild twin mom in their midst.

I sat in the back row of the courtroom and quietly talked to the babies and gave them the toys I had packed.  There were only five or six other people (defendants?) in the room, and it was so, so quiet.  Every squeak the twins made sounded like a holler through a bullhorn.

Suddenly the security guard walked in the door at the back of the room and started talking to the judicial assistant.  I paid no attention until I realized they were talking about me.

“Can you imagine?  Two at once?  Boy oh boy you’d never sleep!”

“I have two five years apart and it was so exhausting.”

“She said it’s a boy and a girl!”

“Well I’d be done. I wish that had been me I would’ve only had to be pregnant one time.”

They were speaking so loudly it became awkward for me not to respond.  Again I fake-laughed good-naturedly, and they started to openly include me in the conversation.  In front of the defendants.

“How old are they?  Is it hard?  Oh my gosh!”

I answered and then occupied myself with Henry who was starting to fuss.  Too soon, Hank!  I need you to cry when Her Honor is here!

Finally, ten minutes late (which is about thirty in twin time), the judge entered the room.  She made a quick announcement about our options for dealing with our tickets, stating that we could get them reduced if there were appropriate circumstances.  I felt so hopeful and then she added, “unless it’s a ticket that cannot be reduced by law, like speeding in a school zone, for instance.”

Womp womp.

My crime would be too obvious if I left immediately.  I was crossing my fingers that she’d call me last and I could plead in the privacy of my own patheticness.

Before she began the proceedings, she asked if anyone wanted to defer — to pay $150 to keep the ticket off record, and if you’re ticket-free for a year it never shows up on your record at all.  I got my hopes up again, but then started mentally calculating when my last ticket was…since you can only have a deferral every seven years, it would be close.

Henry was fussing, louder and louder.  I picked him up knowing that he would never go back in without crying.  Of course that’s when it was also time to decide to defer.

After several others took her up on her offer, I raised my hand.  She looked up my name to see if I qualified — bingo.

“Please step forward,” she told me.

I balanced Henry on my hip and pushed the stroller forward with one hand, careening around slightly and smiling sheepishly, because, remember, that’s why I brought them: sympathy points.

“Do you understand the terms of the deferral?” she asked me.

“Yes, your honor,” I replied, bouncing Henry.

“Alright, as long as you don’t get a ticket for the next year, this will be wiped from your record.  So don’t speed in any more school zones,” she added.

I was offended by this, mostly because she said it like I did it as a hobby.  Here I was toting two babies and she thought I was a reckless driver out to mow down the schoolchildren of America.

That comment aside, I considered this a victory.  A one hundred and twenty-one dollar victory, to be exact.  Provided I don’t break the law for the next twelve months.  In which case, it would be not a victory at all, but rather a $321 defeat, plus the cost of the new ticket.

Ergo, the next time you see a sloth-like vehicle with two carseats in the right lane of the freeway, just give me a wave and try not to judge.  At least I’m not snowplowing elementary school children.

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To Have and To Hold



This is just exactly Henry and Arden.

I was sitting in a nearby chair, pumping, as one does, when I noticed she had stockpiled all of the toys, leaving him with just two.  She also noticed she was missing one, and is crawling to secure it.  Henry is just at the brink of crying because everything he has picked up, she has taken.

This happens all the time and it is so funny.  They love to sit and play together, but Arden has started swiping whatever she can get her hands on and it makes us laugh out loud.  Henry usually doesn’t mind; he lets her have it, almost with a roll of the eyes, like whatever, sis, I’ll just find another one.  But this day she took it too far — and when Henry looks to me with that face (that face!) it crushes me.  He is as easy-going as babies come, so any degree of sadness or anger prompts me to rescue my little man (and I love it).

Arden never betrays a feeling of guilt.  She just looks up like, what?  Aren’t all the toys mine?

What’s sweetest about this right now is there’s no attitude yet.  They’re only seven months old, so it’s not like they’re taking toys from each other and throwing tantrums because of it.  They just kind of look at each other like, “I had it, now you have it.  Oooo something shiny…” and they’ve forgotten it already.  Henry also swipes her toys, and she thinks it’s a game and they go back and forth.

Their history actually makes this much funnier than at first glance, dating back to their days in utero.  Throughout most of my pregnancy, Arden measured bigger than Henry (never to an alarming degree, never approaching the twenty percent difference “concern” zone).  This prompted family and friends to call her the “snack hog” because she must have been stealing all the food I’d eaten to get so much bigger than him.  Of course this was impossible, as they each had their own placenta and amniotic sac, but it helped us give them little personalities early on, so the joke continued.


By the end of the my pregnancy the doctor estimated they were about equal in size, though she couldn’t have been more wrong — Arden came out a full two pounds one ounce heavier.

She’s been the queen of snack stealing ever since, and now, as any good queen would, she has expanded her empire to toyland.


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As If I Needed Another Excuse to Play Dress Up

Fact: I don’t really like Halloween.

Fact:  I really like dressing up babies.

Result:  Babies dressed up not once, not twice, but thrice.

Costume #1:  The Great PumpkinsDSC_0010 (2)

Costume #2:  80’s Prom

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Costume #3:  Mickey and Minnie Mouse

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Now comes the gut-wrenching part — pick your favorite.


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