I wrote this 3 years ago.
Unfortunately, it seems to be an issue that is never going to go away.
“Symbols are simple. The reason we use symbols is to avoid misunderstanding. They transcend languages and general capabilities, allowing for easy communication.
Universally, red means stop and green means go. We know which toilet to use because of the shape of the symbol on the door. We can understand symbols on road signs, on advertisements, on everything. But there is a verrrrrry special breed of person who has great difficulty in understanding a certain symbol…the parent and baby parking symbol.
This one seems to cause great confusion.
MORE than once upon a time (unfortunately), I have witnessed a seemingly fit and healthy 20-something male, bounce from his car and pop into a local supermarket. There were plenty parking spaces in the massive car park. The weather was perfect for a little amble from car to shop door.
He had absolutely no sign of child in his well kept Golf and he wasn’t pregnant, as far as I could tell anyway. And yet, he felt the need to park in the space.
Now, maybe he wasn’t taught symbolism very well in school. Or, maybe he was taught it too well by one of those wonderfully talented teachers who taught him how to see hidden meaning and to think outside the box. In this case, the box is the very clearly lined parking space, and his metaphorical musings probably allowed him to interpret the blatant symbol as “a space for people who hope to one day have sex and make a baby in the future, so save your energy for the action and don’t walk unless you have to.”
Or maybe, he’s just an entitled plank.
Either way, I followed him, tutting disapproval and shaking my head. He saw me. He carried on, probably wondering why the crazy lady was glowering at him. I was angry. I was furious and I was quite happy to let him know it.
But, I didn’t.
When someone doesn’t see that this is wrong all by themselves, it seems that explaining it to them would probably a waste of breath.
He upped his speed and moved away from my disapproving glares as fast as his non swollen ankles could carry him. And I carried on into the shop, getting over the episode by the time I reached the meat section.
Then, I returned to my car. Non-pregnant man’s car was still in the parking space. Another car had just parked in the one beside it and out popped a middle aged lady and her daughter. Now, granted these spaces are reserved for Parent and Child, but when your child is in her late teens, you’re taking it a bit too far!”
It’s as relevant today as it was three years ago. And it’s something that is getting worse. It seems that some people have simply been brought up to disregard the needs of others. I recently posted about a similar experience on my blog. It seems that most of my followers have witnessed similar events. And it’s NOT simply young men who abuse these spaces. It’s men and women of all ages. Discrimination is indiscriminate it seems…
What really surprised me was the fact that some people will defend themselves passionately.
There is a section of society who truly believe that they are every bit as entitled to park in these spaces as the lady who is 8 months pregnant and whose pelvis is threatening to fall around her ankles with every painful step. Some fully believe that if they are “only scooting in” quickly, then it is perfectly acceptable to make the Dad with the buggy and the toddler park at the other end of the carpark. And there seems to be some misconception that just because you drive a fancy newish car or jeep, then you are more entitled to the wider spaces. Saves your doors being bumped you know? Never mind the woman with the actual bump who can’t park there now because of you.
This is an issue that is ongoing. It happens EVERYWHERE, every day. It happens in Wheelchair spaces too. Despicable…
How can we stop it? Well, short of waiting for our legal system to step in, the only hope we have of removing the dismissal of the importance of these spaces is if the supermarkets become proactive and begin clamping or fining (or whatever is in their power on their property) to deter people from parking their lazy arses in these spots.
If it isn’t something that bothers you, chances are you’re the twat who’s parked in that space.
It’s simple. Do you have a Baby in your car or in your Belly? No? Well park somewhere else. Simple as a symbol really.
I watched The Apprentice this week and was reminded of this piece from last year. 👇👇
Turns out that one year on, not only is Mini-Me still the same, but Princess is equally as strong a candidate.
Lord Alan-of-the-Sugar wouldn’t last 5 minutes in MY boardroom!
And I’ll bet you Mammies can see your own Minis in this Letter of Application?
Dear Sir Alan-of-the-Sugar,
I attach the CV of my Daughter, Miss Mini-Me of the S-Mum, who I feel must be brought to your attention.
Having watched the opening episode of your FABLIS show “Dapprentice”, I feel that IF you were to fly Mini-Me (and her Mum obviously) to London to meet you, you would hire her IMMEDIATELY and put an end to the tedious, although highly entertaining, process of ” Dapprentice”.
For her 5 (and a half and 3/4) years, she is VERY accomplished. I will outline just a few of the qualities she possesses which make her an obvious addition to your team.
She would certainly impress you, Her-of-the-fablis-straight-face-and-shiny-hair and Him-of-the-bald-head-and-eloquent-speaking.
In fact, I do believe that she could be your Mentor if I’m honest:
■ She is highly intelligent. Beyond her years really.
■ She is ruthless and assertive.
■ Her communication skills are superb. She speaks English, Irish and French (Buideal means “Hi” no?). She also speaks Mini-Me which even YOU can’t speak.)
■ She is loud and can be obnoxious if the situation requires her to be so.
■ She will manipulate the knickers off an elephant.
■ If she doesn’t get her way, she will revert to tears if necessary.
■ She is loud. She WILL be heard. There will be NO ONE in the boardroom who will be louder than her.
■ She is hugely adept at the talking AT the handset as opposed to INTO the phone like a normal, non-dapprentice person does.
■ She can change Best Friends at the drop of a hat, so really, you could fire ANYONE and she wouldn’t care.
■ She will blame EVERYBODY else in the room, even if the project has failed SOLELY because of her.
■ She believes in herself and her abilities 100%. (And so she should. She’s awesome.)
■ She can stare wistfully out a car window, seemingly ignoring everyone, but listening to EVERY SINGLE WORD and storing it as evidence for the boardroom.
■ The doll who thinks she has the “energy of an atomic bomb” would look like a fart in the wind beside Mini-Me.
■ Her negotiation skills are world class.
■ She is SUPERB at listening to instruction from her Team leader, before COMPLETELY IGNORING said instruction and doing her own thing. I call this INITIATIVE. Others would call it insolence…
■She is not beyond Blackmail or Bribery.
Mini-Me is determined and diligent. In fact, she can be like a dog with a fricken bone if she decides she wants something.
Feel free to contact her references:
Granny of the Hill, Granny of the Liffer, Santa Claus.
(No point in asking me or her Daddy. Even SHE doesn’t listen to us.)
Good luck in your search, but honestly you won’t find a more suitable candidate than the aforementioned.
Secretary and PA to Mini-of-the-Me and Princess-of-the-world 😗
Well, she’s arrived.
We were blessed with another beautiful little princess just over 2 weeks ago, and she’s just perfect.
Mini-mini-me was born by elective C-section and we’re happily enjoying getting into some sort of routine at home. It’s been a crazy few weeks and it really is true what they say…slowly does it.
The suggestion of another section by my consultant had caused me great disappointment. At 32 weeks, I was told that Baby was very big, already weighing almost 5lbs, and considering my previous section, it would be safer to have an elective section. After a few days, I conceded that if the consultant said I needed one, then I would listen.
I had honestly wanted to try a natural delivery this time around. On my way to the hospital the day before, I was nervous. I was terrified that I would have the section and the baby would weigh only 6 or 7lb, and that I would have put myself through surgery unnecessarily. And despite my very strong feelings about all things Sectioned (see I am Section Mum!), I was worried that I would look silly; that I’d be seen as Too Posh to Push.
Why I was in any way concerned about what people would think of me, I don’t know. But I was.
The experience was just as calm and controlled as I remembered the first one to have been. Hubby and I were much more nervous this time; probably as we knew exactly what was ahead of me. A huge difference was that Hubby and Baby were allowed to stay with me in recovery this time. Last time, I was lying on my own for over an hour, looking manically at a photograph of the baby. This time, Baby was snuggled on my chest until it was time to return to the ward, with himself right by my side.
As it happens, my consultant made the right call and I’m so glad that I listened to her.
Our second little Princess arrived in the world, ten days early, and weighed in at a tiny 9lb 6oz! My uterus had been stretched to dangerous extent and had I gone to due date and tried a “proper” birth, things could have been very different.
I got out of hospital on Day 4 which in hindsight, was way too early. What people don’t consider is that when someone has their appendix out, they are sent home to rest and recuperate. Post section, you instantly have a little person to care for, and regardless of the supports you have in place, going home is terrifying. And when you have other kids at home, sitting with your feet up is impossible.
Throw into the mix a mammy and big sister with chest infections, a Daddy who is trying so hard to be everything to everyone that he pretty much keels over with exhaustion, the post-natal hormones and tears, and the post-surgery pains and restrictions, and you have… the most fun EVER!
Thankfully, the little Princess is an angel. She’s a very chilled out baby and loves to sleep (so far!) and so the new baby was actually the least stressful thing in the house for the first week. And now, thanks to lots of antibiotics, multivitamins and a freezer pre-stocked with dinners, our little family is bouncing back and able to finally enjoy the build up to Christmas with our little Christmas pudding and her beautiful Big sis.
Every shower brings a little bit of this S-Mum back to herself.
Every day brings its new experiences and joys.
Every snuffly grumble from Baby and every kiss from Mini-Me brings a joy that can’t be measured.
It’s been slow, but it surely is worth every single second.
I am Slowly, but Surely Mum.
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To be someone’s Mum is a gift. From early childhood, little girls happily play at being mum to younger siblings, or indeed to dolls, or pets.
Me, I’m the proud and doting mum of a 3 year old Drama Queen, and I am happy to admit, that I am STILL playing! No handbook arrived with the little sweetheart. I don’t have a degree in parenting. I don’t have a bloody clue really!
I make it up every day. I make decisions that I know make my own Mum cringe. I’m sure that at times, my dear Granny shakes her perfectly blow-dried head in horror at my parenting techniques.
In fact, sometimes, I swear that I’m having an outer body experience when I deal with the child.
The Boss, as she has taken to calling her pretty self, stands in front of me; arms crossed, pout perfected, audience’s attention caught and voice ready and poised to hit those terrifying high notes…while I chuckle like a crazy lady as I watch myself try to remain in control; Deep breaths, calm expression, remind myself that I am the adult here.
“Listen Darling. We need to leave the toy back on the shelf for another wee child. “
“Good girl. Now, come on and we’ll go get a Babychino and then we’ll go home and watch Minions…” (Yes, blackmail. Get over it. It works…sometimes.)
I have her… I just need to get her to take my hand and then we’ll skip happily out of the shop, leaving behind the assembled audience in a cloud of applause, appreciation and awe at how well that mammy handled that…
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! I NEEEEEEEEEEEED TEDDY!!!!” Cue autotap tears and stratospheric screaming… Oh! and don’t forget the kicks and snake-like movements as I try to lift her gracefully into my arms.
I manage to wrench her under one arm, pick up the bags and move out of the shop. The audience shake heads and probably judge. At this moment in time, I want my Mammy!
We reach the bench outside. I put screaming child down and hunker down to have a positive parenting style talk with her. Her beautiful blue eyes are glistening with tears and her cheeks give the word “Rosy” a new level of meaning.
“Now Madam, listen to me. Don’t EVER…”
Her attention has been distracted by the huge cluster of helium balloons behind me.
“PEPPAAAAAAA PIG!!! Mammy wuk! It’s Peppa Pig bawoooooon! I NEEEEEEEEED IT”
Tears gone. Smile on. Adorable wee face up close into mine. “Pweeeeease Mammy. I wub it!”
“Next day we’re out, I’ll buy you a balloon okay?”
And as we skip off towards the car, I look at the messy little head on her, and I know that for all my “playing”, I’m not doing a bad job really.
I am blessed. I am exhausted. I am happy. I would kill for a glass of Merlot. I am 100% in love with Mini-me. I’m trying my best.
I am Super Mum. 🙂
Three years later and I’m still thinking about Merlot, but I have 2 little ladies and a whole lot less shits to give!