Taking Stock - July 1, 2013

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My daughter has a veruca.

Not important in the grand scheme of things but it did mean, last Saturday, I was dispatched on an early morning mission to find a rubber sock to allow her to go swimming.

Naturally, at such an ungodly hour all the pharmacies of the Costa Del South Shore were still closed.

Thank goodness for our generic, soul-less hypermarkets who are quite happy to sell you an aubergine, a jar of pickles, some kitchen cleaner or a veruca sock no matter what the time.

And so I swung into the almost empty car park and headed, on auto-pilot, to one of the parent and child parking spaces.

You know the ones – close to the door, extra room to get the kids out. The only problem – well, I didn’t have any children with me. Not the crime of the century, I know, but in parking where I did I instantly made a hypocrite of myself.

I’m afraid one of the things which annoys me the most is the abuse of the parent and child parking spaces.

So much so that I’m always on the lookout – eagle eyes peeled – as I was from car to the store, for anyone who might be breaking the rules.

Normally the prime candidate is parked in the spot right next to the shop – an absence of car seats, booster seats or any kind of child related clutter in their (normally executive) motor a good clue that they’re not playing fair.

Why should somebody get a parking spot closer to the shop just because they’ve shown enough of a lack of common sense to make parents out of themselves?

And, until you’ve tried to unload two year old twins, a five-year-old and all of your shopping on a wet Tuesday afternoon, I’m sure it’s hard to appreciate just how useful to us parents those special spaces are.

I feel ashamed that I took one, without the need to – even if I wouldn’t have been rumbled by any fellow parent playing spot the cheat.

As penance, next time I shop I’m going to park (as my parents did before the advent of child friendly spaces) so far from the shop I might as well have walked from home.

And for the rest of you, well, please, leave those spaces for mums and dads who need them.

You might have to walk a little further, but, as they say, every little helps!