I hope you’re all ok.
I’ve not been around for a while, have I? And I’ve REALLY missed not writing.
But if you’ve not already noticed, I’ve set up a facebook page for the blog – yay!
If you’ve not visited yet then feel free to come and join us (just search for My Kid Loves Broccoli).
It’s been ‘all go’ here at Broccoli HQ. We’re currently in the last throes of Hannah’s bathroom extension (it’s looking divine!) and to be perfectly honest, I simply can’t wait. Well actually, I’ll have to wait, but I hope you get my drift. We’ve waited two years for this bathroom to arrive and very soon, my kid will be in her very own bedroom with her very own, brand spanking new, sparkly bathroom that’s been designed entirely to suit her needs…hip hip hoorah!
…and I’m absolutely, 100% sure, that my back will be very pleased about this too.
It’s been a bit of a struggle bathing and changing Hannah over the last 5 years. Erm, actually that’s an understatement! Let’s throw in countless physiotherapy appointments where I’ve been pummelled and thrown about like a hot chip (my yoga has come in VERY handy, as has my hypermobility), an MRI scan and an excessive amount of painkillers. It’s been even more difficult over the last year or so as Hannah has grown and become stronger. But I won’t go on about that as I’ve got something else that I need to get off my chest…
In fact, not JUST parking…
…and I feel the need to have a bit of a rant.
Just a tiny one.
For now, at least.
So, here goes…please fasten your seatbelts…
It was Edward Bulwer-Lytton that first coined the metonymic adage (ooh, hark at me, getting all fancy with my words!) “the pen is mightier than the sword”…and that’s my belief too.
Sometimes, it’s more cathartic and productive and much less antagonistic to write something than have a bit of a rant at someone…or, in this case, several people. Even though I’m SO very tempted – I’m actually teetering on the edge!
And anyway, I don’t look too pretty when I have a rant, so I’ll opt for the following (for now). I hope it all makes sense….
(Preface – Hannah goes to a mainstream after school club. She’s the only child with a disability that attends)
Dear Mrs Parent
I totally get that you’ve probably had a bad day at work. Mine might not have been too great either.
I fully understand that you’re in a rush to pick the kids up, take them home, do all the usual bedtime routine stuff and put them to bed. Then it’ll be time to prepare your evening meal, get your pj’s on, find out what everyone’s saying on facebook or check your emails and then prepare for the day ahead, before it’s time for you to go to bed….I can empathise. I’ll probably be doing something similar.
I totally get that when it’s raining or icy and slippery underfoot that you want to park as close as you possibly can to the after school club door. I don’t particularly relish getting wet or risk slipping and hurting myself either.
I get it.
I get that you can’t be bothered after a hard day at the office to park in one of the parking bays – despite there being plenty available – because that’d take a minute more out of your day. It’s far easier to park right outside the door. Right in the middle of the 2 disabled parking bays. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Well, you’re only leaving your car for a few minutes – that’s if you don’t decide to hang around and have a chat with the staff – so no-one will say anything, you’re not hurting anyone, nor are you breaking the law, right?
And to my dear ‘Mr White Van Man’ parent, I understand that your van is SO big (much like your ego, I presume) that parking in the only 2 designated disabled spots right in front of the after school club building is much easier for you. I appreciate that you too may have also had a busy day, rushing around in your white van and harassing as many other drivers as you can whilst screaming at them until your veins pop out of your temples to “get out of the way” (I’m sure you throw a few expletives in there too!). I understand that probably all you want to do is get your kid home, grunt at your wife, eat your tea and watch some mindless television or go to the pub with your mates. Guess what, me too!…although I don’t have a white van…or a wife…nor do I have any desire (or time!) to go to the pub every night.
I’m ever so sorry that you became irritable and had to instruct me to move my car. After all, you needed to get home. You were in a hurry. All I needed to do was carry my wriggly and heavy child, her bags and equipment out of the after school club building and put her wheelchair in the boot. Yes, my back was hurting more than usual that day, so I opted to park as close to the building as I could…EXACTLY like you do…EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. I wasn’t able to park in either one of the disabled bays…because YOU REPEATEDLY AND SHAMELESSLY PARK IN BOTH OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!! I’m SO very sorry for YOUR inconvenience.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I don’t think I’m any better than you or have more rights than you, and I don’t own the road, nor am I a traffic enforcer, but I’ve always been of the understanding that that MAHOOSIVE sign RIGHT IN FRONT of those 2 disabled parking bays that says “PARKING FOR DISABLED PERMIT HOLDERS ONLY” and those two big yellow boxes with a disabled symbol painted on the road actually meant something.
Clearly, this means nothing. To several of you, at least.
All I’m asking for is a little consideration that maybe, just maybe, ONE of those spaces might come in handy for me when I collect Hannah.
When I was pregnant, I never dreamed in a million years that it would be necessary to hold one of those parking permits. I never imagined how hard it could be (both physically and logistically) to lump extremely heavy equipment in and out of your car and safely carry a child who possesses the strength of an adult and who spontaneously throws herself backwards until you and she are at risk of being injured. It wasn’t something I opted for…and it isn’t something I can opt out of. It is what it is. But if I can make our life a little easier and safer, JUST like you, then I’ll do so. And that means that sometimes I TOO would like to park in one (only one) of those parking bays. Sorry about that. That must be difficult for you to comprehend.
I’d love to study the psychology of driving. I think you can get a reasonably good indication as to what kind of a person someone generally is by the way they drive. Some are kind and considerate, some are completely away with the fairies and haven’t a clue what’s going on, some are just plain idiotic without a thought or care for anyone or anything…except themselves. I would put you in the latter category Mr White Van Man.
I bet you’re the same type of people that drive round and round (and around) the car park which accommodates hundreds of cars in order to find the closest parking space possible to the shopping centre, but then you’ll opt to walk around the shopping centre all day.
Doesn’t really make sense that, does it?
I bet you’ve even nipped to the supermarket and justified parking in a parent and child space or a disabled space because you’ll only be in there 5 minutes…and there’s lots of other spaces available anyway…and yes, you CAN justify your actions completely, because you DO have a child, even though they’re not in the car/van, they’re at school! Or, you have a baby seat in the back of the car because you look after your grandchildren every other weekend…they’re not in the car either, but you’ve got the seat, so that’s ok then.
Oh, and whilst we’re at it, let’s talk about driving on the road. I bet learner drivers feel your wrath when they’re tentatively taking their first few lessons. I bet, ESPECIALLY Mr White Van Man, that you drive as close as you possibly can to their bumpers because they’re doing 28 in a 30mph zone. SHAME. ON. THEM!! They should get off the road or get out of your way, shouldn’t they? You’ve forgotten that YOU were a learner driver once. But I bet you didn’t need driving lessons because you were SO smart you passed your test on the first go without ever even sitting in a car.
Well, bloody good for you!
You want to know something Mr and Mrs Parent? I would give anything…and I MEAN ANYTHING…to be able to do what you do.
I would LOVE to trot into the after school club, instruct my child to collect her things and then let her get in the car herself, put her seatbelt on herself and drive home whilst sharing things about our day. It just seems so simple and so nice.
In fact, let’s forget the car. What I’d really LOVE to do is ditch the car at home (yes, even if it was raining!) and WALK to collect my child. I’d love to walk home hand in hand with her chatting about our day and splashing in puddles. But I can’t even do that.
All that said, you know what I don’t get in all of this? What I don’t get is when you’ve collected your child and you both walk out of the after school club door and spot me, that you can’t even take it upon yourself to give me eye contact. You just hurry your kids into the car whilst mumbling.
You know why you can’t look at me, don’t you?
But you know what? If you were brave enough to look at me, all I’d do is smile. No words are necessary here. I get it…and so do you.
Oh, and just for the record Mr White Van Man, you even think about speaking to me in that tone again and you’ll rue the day…I went easy on you last time…but think on! What I lack in stature, I make up for beautifully in tenacity and I possess a very, VERY sharp tongue.
Call me self-righteous, call me la-di-dah, call me whatever you want. To be honest, I REALLY don’t care.
But I’ll leave you with this…take heed on the road and be aware at all times. You never know what’s around the corner and as a result of your actions, maybe one day (but God forbid I would SINCERELY never wish this upon anyone, ever!) that you or your loved ones may actually need one of those disabled parking bays one day. No-one is exempt.
A slightly disgruntled special needs mama.
Right, you lovely people you, that’s me done for this post.
Sorry about the mini rant, but I feel much better now.
Thanks ever so much for stopping by.
Until next time
This post is dedicated to all the traffic wardens, road traffic Police Officers and enforcers of the world…it can’t be easy for you!
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