You might remember a few months ago when my daughter, 4, kept demanding that I drive “hykerspeed”.

Well, the questions about my driving keep coming, but she has significantly changed her requests.

“Mom, are you driving hykerspeed or regular speed?” my first mate asks from her big booster seat in the middle row of the minivan.

I’m going regular speed, honey.

“Good. Don’t drive hykerspeed or you might get a ticket.”

I know honey.

“And if you get three tickets, you will have to go to jail.”

Yes, sweetheart.

“But you have to get three tickets in the same year. And you got the other two in different years. So you would have to get three more this year.”


It seems that the two times Mommy was pulled over by a police officer in this sweet child’s life have left a permanent scar on her brain. I must defend myself by explaining that 25 mph on a busy street in the Chicago suburbs is not appropriate for the situation and, quite frankly, is a speed trap.

And, by the way, if an ambulance is passing you on a two-lane rural highway late at night and it seems completely unsafe to stop on the side of the road because you are afraid another driver won’t be able to see you and will rear-end you, you are wrong. You also can get a ticket for that!

In these situations, I do what any good mother of three would do as the officer approaches my driver’s side window. I turn to the three children and say, “Please cry as loud as you possibly can.” And, regardless of how much they HAD been crying previously, they now are completely quiet and sit like perfect angels while the officer writes the ticket.

But through it all, they have learned, and told the story, whether accurate or not, that you can go to jail if you get three tickets. But they must all be in the same year.

And with this possibility plaguing her thoughts, my daughter has now decided that she does not what me to drive hykerspeed under any circumstance.

So, you can imagine her shock this week when I did it.

I pushed. the. hykerspeed. button.

I was trying to make a very dramatic point and slammed my hand against the button to turn off the loud, blaring 80s music that I was attempting to sing along with, and as I did so, I hit the red triangle button. Instead of blasting through outer space and soaring through an asteroid field, our hazard lights came on.

Even I was stunned for a minute. Now what do I do?

I regained my senses and pressed the button again. Lights stopped flashing. We were still on earth.

Apparently, the hykerspeed button malfunctioned. But nonetheless, my co-pilot is adamant about warning me against its use.

“Mom, don’t press the hykerspeed button. Remember when you slammed the radio and you pressed it? I don’t want you to go to jail.”

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