Dear owners of vehicles who park in parent and child spaces when they do not have children: please reconsider.
It takes you a matter of moments to put on shoes and coat, pick up your keys, and leave home. On a good day, it takes me twenty.
You can visit the supermarket relatively flexibly. I must plan my visit with the cunning of a military strike, poised precariously between meals, nappies, naps, and general willingness to cooperate.
You can slide out of the gap between your vehicle and that parked next to you like a ninja. Even when I have a wide berth, getting myself and my offspring in and out of the car is like maneuvering a severely pregnant heifer – even when I’m not pregnant.
You lock the car behind you with the slickness of John Travolta’s sexiest dance move. I am lucky if my Michelin-man hands – which clutch between their fingers the contents of Mary Poppins’ entire bag – can find the car keys before my toddler bolts.
You can stroll across the car park at your leisure, come rain or shine, and have a hand free for an umbrella. I cannot haul my toddler, infant, changing bag and shopping bags from one end of a busy car park to the other, dodging traffic.
You can choose a trolley from any trolley station. You can even choose the skinny-latte of carts, the slim one that has a turning radius. My choice is limited to the bloated metal beasts that you can’t see around, let alone steer – especially when there are two screaming children inside. These exquisite models are only available at the parent and child bays – where you have parked.
It might seem like a decision of no importance when you pull into those bays, knowing you have no children and seeing that there is a frazzled mother behind you in need of parking. But when you take those spaces – especially at this time of year – know that a mother like me then has no choice but to go home without shopping. When you take those spaces when you do not need them you epitomise a conceitedness and individualism that is damaging to society.
When you take a parent and child bay, the person who then spends the journey home enraged beyond reason, and quite possibly in hormone-induced tears, is not my tiny passengers – it is me.
Like my writing? Check out my sister site www.annathayer.wordpress.com to learn about my award-winning fantasy trilogy, ‘The Knight of Eldaran‘, and my work on Tolkien and Lewis. Yes, you got me: I’m a geek.