So picture the scene. You’ve finally got out of the house after hours of feeding and changing the baby and coaxing the three year old to put on their shoes.
It’s cold and rainy and you’d rather be at home – even if it means watching another episode of Mr Bloom – but you need to do the shopping.
Pulling into the supermarket you see the car park is busy, but by a miracle there’s a parent and toddler space available. You whizz around to the space as quickly as possible only to be beaten by a two-seater sports car with not a baby seat in sight.
And just at that minute the heavens open and the baby begins to scream…
Ok, I’m obviously giving you the worst possible scenario but as a mum I know you’ll share my frustration when you see the parent and child parking spaces taken up by people who clearly don’t have tots in tow.
Yes there are warnings about fines for those who abuse the parking situation but really? How much of this is enforced like it would be if we parked in a disabled spot?
And would said offenders really bat an eyelid?
After-all the fact that they are parked there in the first place shows they already feel they are a cut above the rest.
They are probably the ones who shop in the ‘Finest’ range aisle tutting at the likes of us with our screaming tots who prefer the more economical range.
The ones who turn up at the checkout on the phone and take ages to pack their bags because they are too busy discussing what they are doing that evening to even pay attention to the huge queue behind them.
It’s selfish in all the definition of the word.
We hear so many stories of when these offenders are confronted.
A friend recently told me she confronted a parking perpetrator.
‘Why should you be treated differently because you have children? Just because you’ve reproduced you’re not owed anything more than me, so I’ll park here.’
Yes we were gobsmacked too.
Of course people like this don’t understand that it’s not because we want to be closer to the store that we kick off – in fact a little walk has never bothered us.
It’s the fact that trying to squeeze open a door to get a baby or toddler in or out, in a teeny tiny space just doesn’t work!
The last thing we want to do is be bumping our doors on other peoples’ cars!
But it’s selfish people like this that means it could happen.
And the same applies to people who indeed have a car seat in the back but no child with them.
In fact the latter was something I complained about to a car parking assistant in my local Sainsbury’s the other day.
‘People say they are meeting up with someone and bringing the child back’.
Really? Would that wash with you?
So now I’ve had my little rant I feel as though I should make a confession… But before you judge you need to hear my reasons.
I have been one of those childless people who have parked in one of these before.
My defence? I was heavily pregnant and struggling to get out of the car in a normal space that would only let me half open my door.
Acceptable? I’d like to think so.