Well, there I was, thinking that I had nothing to report for today and that I could just post links to good websites when, all of a sudden, inspiration hit me. Almost literally.
The kiddo and I were heading over to the neighbors' house so that she could run around with her friends. She spotted a little girl who isn't usually over there and excitedly pointed her out to me. The kiddo was so eager to tell me all about this other girl that she didn't look before trying to venture out into the street. There is a slight curve right before our house, so she didn't see the car coming, and even when it was almost right in front of us, she wasn't paying attention.
Fortunately, there were several things in our favor: first, the driver appeared to be a timid teenager, probably just learning how to drive, very nervous, and going fairly slowly; second, the kiddo was so enthusiastic about telling me who the other girl was, she wasn't focused on running across the street.
She actually stepped off the curb, but I grabbed her arm; when she tried to keep going, I jerked her back. When the car passed and she tried to break my death-grip on her arm, I just held on tighter and pointed to the truck that had just turned onto our street. Seeing the truck took all the fight out of her as she realized that I wasn't torturing her, just trying to prevent her from getting run over, and she held my hand as we crossed the street.
This incident reminded me that even though the kiddo knows "the rules" and can even recite them to me, I can't trust her to remember them when she is distracted. So, Mean Mommy will continue to annoy her by repeating the rules, checking on her, and grabbing her as needed.