THE A-Z OF PARENTHOOD - P is for PARENT & CHILD SPACES
ENGAGE THE BRAIN BEFORE YOU PICK YOUR PARKING SPOT...
I can’t even. Just don’t get me started.
It’s a huge bugbear of mine when I see somebody pull into a parent and child space that doesn’t have a child. The guile, the audacity and the total disregard for the entire point of what the spaces are for. The arrogance, I mean, what are you actually thinking?!
I shouldn’t get so pissed off but come on- you’ve got HOW many other spaces to choose from in the car park, so WHY go for one that a parent genuinely benefits from? The purpose is that the space is bigger because we generally need that bit more of a gap to get our kids out of the car. It’s not an unnecessary luxury; it’s something we’re just grateful of when we come across one.
I know that most places don’t have parent and child spaces and those places that don’t are a struggle believe me. My car door always gets rested on the car next to me if the driver isn’t sat in their car; just because I need as much room as possible to get the baby seat/toddler/kitchen sink out of the car. Getting in and out with two kids kicking and shouting is a trauma in itself.
Parent and child spaces can invite paranoia though. I once drove into a Tesco car park with Vincent, parked up in a parent and child space, had one foot out of the car only to be greeted by a woman who wound her window down and shouted ‘errrr, so where are your kids then love?’
Errrrrr, well if you give me a chance to actually get out of my car LOVE I would be able to walk round to the other side of the car and lift my child out of his car seat and wave him in the air to you as proof that I do in fact warrant being parked in such a bay. That was pretty much my reply word for word. I was livid. On one hand I understand the reason for her paranoia (do I!), but give me a chance to get out of the car before shouting your mouth off making wrong assumptions! Mum wars!
I’ve seen and heard all kinds of excuses for parking in a parent and child space:
- ‘I just don’t give a shit’ – well aren’t you lovely!
- ‘I am a parent but my child is now a teenager and he’s at home. Doesn’t mean I can’t still use this, does it?’ – errrrr, think you’re slightly missing the point there!
- ‘Why should parents benefit more than non-parents by getting a bigger space?’ – why should you even question it when you have hundreds of other perfectly adequately-sized parking spaces on offer for you
- ‘My baby is just with his Nanna and I’ve nipped here to get extra nappies for him’ – your child isn’t with you. Use a normal space
- ‘I don’t want my brand new Range Rover/Audi/BMW getting its shiny, pretty, pretentious doors scratched’ – actually, that’s not a real one. But it should totally be.
I’m not sure why it offends me so much, maybe I should get over it and enjoy everything that life has to offer (I do, I’m joking), but really. I actually saw two girls park in a parent and child space the other day because it was chucking it down. I watched them park up, wait until nobody was watching and leg it across the car park. If you’re really that embarrassed about it, why do it?! It’s only a bit of rain, you won’t melt.
It sounds daft getting annoyed over such a tiny thing in the grand scheme of life, but I have plenty of friends whose piss it boils a lot more than mine. One even witnessed a Grandma STOOD in a parent and child space, saying she was SAVING it for her daughter who DEFINITELY DID have a child with her. Is that even a thing now?! Talk about taking it back to high school! (Have you calmed down about that yet, Nat?).
They’ll be plenty more ‘P’s’, but for now, this one is dedicated to the drama that happens in the car park once you have children.