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Under estimating what a child knows

Ya, Aunt Nikki and I’m the package! ~ Kyle Piper

Kyle Piper starting to drive Aunt Heather Piper
Kyle would get his Kung Fu grip on the steering wheel and not let go. Ryan and my dad built this truck from a frame - '78 GMC.

You know, throughout Kyle’s life, my family, including myself, was pretty clever with using code names when having adult conversations around Kyle.  You know, sometimes you just don’t want a child asking questions about a conversation that doesn’t pertain to them or you don’t want them worrying about something they don’t need to.

The Greensburg police pulled me over this past week for not having my car registered.  Now please note, I really was not aware that the car didn’t have registration, that is until the nice officer brought it to my attention.  I’m not being sarcastic; he was a very understanding and nice guy who was just doing his job.   So yes, I sat in my car along the side of the road in town with the police car all lit up behind me, while the officer proceeded to run my license and plates through his system.  “Unfortunately, this was not my first rodeo”, at least that’s what I said to the cop when he asked me if I’ve ever gotten a ticket.  This kind of took me off guard because we all know that once he ran my license in his system, it showed at least three or four pages of traffic violations on me.  Now I’m no hardened criminal, but I’ve gone through phases where I’ve been ticketed for speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding, driving without my headlights on, speeding, not using turn signals, and did I mention speeding?  Yep, I’ve paid more in tickets than what my car was probably worth.  Now, believe it or not, most of those tickets were pre-Kyle.  Once that little man was born, I tend to be more attentive and cautious.  Now I can’t say that when he’s not with me, but I must say maturity has started to take over and I’ve cut my violations down considerably.

Ryan Piper and his 67 Chevelle Aunt Heather Piper
Ryan Piper and his '67 Chevelle. Speed is in the family...

Well back to me sitting in my car along the side of the road with the Fourth of July lights behind me.  Now don’t get me wrong, things like this don’t really bother me and I’m certainly not losing sleep over it.  But out of all the times I was pulled over and sat in that very position the one incidence that came to my mind was the only time I got a ticket with Kyle in the car.

Kyle Piper with his cousin Jeremy
Kyle with his cousin Jeremy Piper and his Mustang

I was actually with my mom, who normally calls out if I’m approaching an illegal speed limit.  We were just coming into Latrobe at dusk and Kyle was probably around five or so, still in a car seat, then the lights and the siren were in full swing as we entered the city.  As it turns out, that stretch of road went from 55 to 45 and all the way down to 35 miles per hour.  I can honestly can say I was not paying attention.  Mom and I were just gabbing on our way home.  Well, the last thing I wanted was Kyle telling everyone that I was pulled over, especially with him in the car.  The incident was pretty seamless and we never mentioned it in front of him, hoping he’d forget about it.  You have to understand that that was about the same time Kyle told my mom that I drive like a racecar driver, which I don’t, at least not with him in the car! But in Kyle’s mind, it must have appeared as so.

I wanted to break the news to my sister before she overheard it from my mom, I didn’t feel like having her lecture me about our precious cargo, like I’m not aware, and at the very least I wanted to diffuse an argument before beginning one.

Kyle Piper at Idlewild Park- the cars
The next generation of Piper drivers. Idlewild Park Gutchess Picnic 2004

Completely forgetting about the ticket until one night when Nicole came home, I remembered I wanted to tell her before I forgot again.  We, and I mean Nicole, myself, and Kyle were all piled in Kyle’s queen size bed in his room ready for some ZZZs.  I started to tell her that the “fuzz” pulled me over and I had the package in the car.  Just then, Kyle, who was wedged between us, turned to my sister and said, “Ya, Aunt Nikki, and I’m the package.”  I was in a mix of total shock that he was so much smarter than us, and pure gut stretching laughter from the sheer honesty of the comment.  Nicole and I both laughed so hard.  From that moment, we would sometimes refer to Kyle as “The Package”.  It was at that moment I realized he was onto us and the code words had been uncovered!

I guess that was a turning point when I realized Kyle was growing up.  Ahh another mildstone… isn’t it funny what comes to mind in certain situations?

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningFamilyMilestoneObservation & ImaginationPatienceReminiscing


  1. joyce semnisky joyce semnisky

    Heather, you just confirmed you are the greatest!!!I love your whole family.

    • O Thanks Joyce! I think it’s from being friends with a family like yours… the greatness automatically is shared between families. 🙂

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