Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parking Police

Oh, my, I think having all these children has turned me a bit righteous. I am, for obvious reasons, a bit of a fan of the 'Parents with Prams' parking spaces at most shopping centres these days. They're usually much wider than the regular spaces, which makes baby retrieval easier, and they're close to the entrance, handy when you're wrangling a daydreaming preschooler with one hand while pushing the super-duper-mega-double-pram with the other. And I had thought most people left them for us bedraggled kid-bearers the way they leave the disabled spots for disabled people. But apparently not. A few weeks ago I was pulling out of my lovely wide berth, groceries tucked away on top of the pram in the boot, when a couple of teenage boys in their P-plated car zoomed into the spot after me. Behind them were a line of cars with little people in the back seats, so I got cranky and honked my horn. The driver looked at me as if to say, "What?" and then said, "What?" I stated the obvious - "That's a pram spot." "Who gives a sh*t?" he replied, smirking. I flushed with rage and found myself muttering about youth these days like a right little 35-year-old granny.

Then today I was lucky to score a 'Parents with Prams' spot as soon as I entered the car park. It was being vacated as I approached by a little old lady with a blue rinse trying to manoeuvre her very small car out of the spot. It was obvious there were no grandkids in the back seat. I let that one go. After all, it was my parking space now.

Then, returning to my car, twins and shopping in tow, what should I see but a middle-aged man, clearly alone, packing his groceries into the back of a very shiny four-wheel drive in the space next to mine. I started to extricate my girls from the pram for the long process of loading up us and our stuff and couldn't help but peer into the back seat of my neighbour's car. Pristinely clean, none of the telltale signs of kids - squished up rice cakes on the upholstery or Fisher-Price-phernalia on the floor or - and this was the giveaway - child seats. And before I knew it, I'd opened my mouth.

"That's a 'Parents with Prams' space."
"It's for people with kids."
"My wife is still inside," he said, indicating the entrance to the shops.
"But where's the baby seat?" said I, looking into his car.
"The baby is with my wife," he said, obviously flustered. "It's with my wife."

He finished packing his car, got in and started the engine. And as he drove away, I called out, " What about your wife? You forgot your wife!"

DISCLAIMER: I admit I regularly use the disabled toilet facilities when I'm out. They're one of the few places I can go to the loo without leaving the super-duper-mega-double-pram and its passengers unattended in a corridor somewhere. Just so you know. Rant over.

By the way, I got my new keyboard. Is it weird that I've been sniffing it since it arrived? Smells are so evocative. The scent of jasmine in springtime takes me straight back to my childhood home. Every time I pour hot water on my Weet-Bix (I like them soft, not crunchy), it reminds me of my time in Edinburgh where the smell from the brewery filled the air on those chilly mornings. And the aroma of this swishy new keyboard transports me back to my single, inner-city-studio-apartment-dwelling days and the thrill of my first Mac - a laptop. They keep getting bigger (or smaller) and faster and fancier and iPad-ier, but they still smell the same.


  1. Is that a mini hand I see on the mouse? Hope the cup of coffee is far away. xxB P.S. We're going to miss Miss Lola at MM xx

  2. I have had the same car park rage more than...10 times too Greer! Why they only usually have 2 of them I'll never know. xx


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