Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Parking rage

This post is dedicated to the thoughtful souls who filled every single 'Parent Park' at Rangiora New World this morning with their child-less vehicles. That long walk across the carpark in the sleet was just what my 2 preschoolers and I felt like, and we all particularly enjoyed Caleb's half-way face-plant into the gutter, while about 100m from the front doors. Cheers for that. Hope you got a flat tyre on the way home ;-)

After 4 days cooped up in the snow, the driveway was finally clear enough to drive our car through, so I thought I'd pop into Rangiora to get some milk and fruit. Didn't really **need** to, but we were all getting just a little bit over these 4 walls and our white landscape (though now it's kinda brown and grey) so an outing seemed like a welcome distraction. And actually **popping** anywhere in Rangiora is a bit of a joke in these post-quake days anyway, now that a good percentage of ChCh has joined us in our conclusion that it's a pretty decent spot to live. Basically, I should have stayed at home, which is the moral of this post.

There are certain signs that give away a vehicle's child-status, and any half-witted parent can spot them a mile away. Obviously car seats and those tacky yellow 'Baby on Board' signs are a dead giveaway, but there are other, more subtle ways that a small person marks their territory. Things like food wrappers. Manky apple cores. Seventeen sweatshirts and odd socks, flung about the back and trampled upon until they might as well be a part of the upholstery. Books. Drink bottles. Basically if a vehicle contains none of these things, it is fair to assume that the owners do not have small children. Or that the vehicle belongs to my husband.

So it was with a sneer and a narrow-eyed glare that my children and I entered the supermarket this morning, after our harrowing journey across sodden asphalt and sudden splashing from vehicles unseen behind our chilly, hooded selves. Now if any of the assorted cars parked in the parent parks contained evidence of small children, or a disabled sticker (though they have parks of their own, I'm happy to share ;-)) I wouldn't have minded. In fact, with a nearly 3 year old and a 4 year old, I usually don't bother with Parent Parks. And even in my more stressed days as a new mother, I really only used them if I had both children with me. Today, I would have been happy to walk if I knew that those cars contained frazzled mothers and children who were spared the inconvenience of the ghastly weather. But they didn't.

One contained a tartan rug. Children? I think not!

One contained a washing basket with a spray bottle of some kind of chemical cleaner in it. Children? I think not!

One had a dog in it. A dog. One of those small, yappy, fluffy white things, wearing a tartan coat. A dog is not a child. Go to the back of the line, Lady. And what is it about tartan?

I spent the supermarket visit alternately snapping at my children and mentally penning my e-mail rant to the local newspaper. Was actually looking forward to seeing my venom in print, like A. Clarkson from Woodend, who has a very regular whinge. They should actually give him a column, he has so much to say. Possibly a retired school teacher who misses the union meetings...

Anyway, I was almost eager to bump into one of the park bandits as we left, but to no avail. So we jittered our way across the carpark in our wobble-wheeled trolley instead, saving our glares for the trolley boy. Poor soul.

Next time I suggest going out, just shoot me. Or at least give me a 'get-the-heck-over-it' pill.


  1. Hey, how come no-one comments on my blog these days? Am I boring y'all?

    Is anyone out theeeeere??

  2. I love reading your blogs Miriam. You have an amazing way of expressing your feelings into words. Don't stop - it is the highlight of my Facebook experience. :) Nyrene

  3. I've only just read it which is why no comment up till now. I no longer need to use the kiddy parks, so don't; but I still get annoyed by the childfree plonkers who nab them. I know my car still looks like it's allowed (2 booster seats, food wrappers, spare clothes etc), but my 2 are old enough that I don't do it.
    It's like the people that park in disabled car parks with no disabled tag and who are most obviously not disabled when they hop out of the car and walk easily to the shops.

  4. Haha! I knew I could drive up the comments quota by shamelessly asking! Disabled parking scabbers brass me off too. Possibly even more than Parent park scabbers, actually.