Oi! Where’s your baby?!

so today is another fabulous #effitfriday for the parent bloggers where we may opt to rant like toddlers.

Now I am a creature of habit. Even without work, Twiglet and I have our set days, and Monday is food shop day. I love food shop day. I know, that’s a bit sad, but I really do. The joy of looking at the baby clothes. The homeware section. The DVDs! Then of course, meals and treats for the week. 

Now one big upside of the food shop is the parking. Parent child bays are the parking spaces for the Sheldon Coopers in the world. They are close to the entrance so you won’t get wet in the rain, but not so close that you are right in the main door at risk of trolley bashes. Because of their location, you are often sheltered from the wind and direct sun, but not to the point of being chilly. They have a generous amount of space either side of your car, enough so you are safe trying to get baby in the car with your door wide open and yet not obstruct other shoppers paths. They are also directly opposite all the amazing baby-friendly trolleys. Twiglet and I always favour the car seat friendly ones for easy transfer from car to shop and back, plus no cold plastic seats. Bliss.

Now, there is one day in our recent past that sticks in my head. I had parked up, and was double checking I hadnt forgotten to pack my purse (a continued fear). I half noticed a woman had pulled up in the space next to me, a slightly rusted red car, the back seat piled high with a random assortment of objects. 

Now it suddenly dawned on me that with all the junk in the back, there was no room for a baby seat, let alone a baby. No child in the front either. 

Was she…? Did she dare to…? Surely not!

But yes. This woman, without a child to be seen, intended to park in that specifically assigned space. And I was furious! On the rare occasions I hadn’t been fortunate enough to get a Parent Child space, I had often wondered if the soft top convertible on the end actually transported a child about the place, or if the people carrier parked across two spaces actually had young children or a bunch of teens who could cope in a normal space. But this was different somehow. Perhaps because it was so empty in the car park generally, or the simple fact I was witnessing the ‘crime’ unfold. 

Now in the 30 seconds for all of this to skip through my brain, Twiglet got impatient so I went about sorting us out, grabbing the trolley and so on. The woman remained in her car, and it became obvious she was waiting for me to leave before leaving her car.

I gave her a pointed look at I passed but she avoided my gaze.

Going around the shop, I wondered if I should tell someone. But who? The car park police? Is it as bad as someone using a disabled spot without being disabled? Probably not. But as a new mum, I can tell you something as simple as a Parent Child bay can sometimes be the difference between a good day and a bad day.

My confusion continued when I spotted the woman pushing a trolley intended for a young child to sit in. She had no child. She clearly wasn’t waiting for one to join her. Then I felt bad. I didn’t know this woman. Maybe she had lost a child and parking there gave her comfort. Maybe she just wasn’t all there. The bigger likelihood to me was that she was just a bit odd. Still, she continued to ignore me as we often crossed paths, which gave me satisfaction she knew she’d done wrong. 

When I left, her car remained and my disbelief surged up again. There were very few spaces left now, and some poor parent may end up Parent Child bay-less.

Essentially, my point is, if you are out and think ‘oh no harm parking there’, somewhere in the shop there is likely a righteous mum like myself quietly judging you. So just don’t risk it ok?

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