Wednesday, August 19, 2009


One of my absolute least favorite things about the beginning of the school year is the parking lot. Whoever designed the parking lot at the kid's school didn't take into consideration the fact that it would often need to be utilized by twice the number of cars that fit into the allotted spaces. The morning and afternoon are just insane, too many people in too small of a space.

I've been around long enough to know that it won't last, though. The crowds thin and the cars are fewer in number after the first week or so. Carpools start, people use the drop off lanes more and kids start getting sick. Eventually, it's not as crazy. That is until the first day it rains or snows, of course. Then all the parents who were normally content to let their kids walk or ride their bikes, and happy to avoid the parking lot, are forced back into the madness.

The normal aggravation with the parking lot is one thing. But I have noticed every year that the drivers get worse. The inattention increases. The obliviousness multiplies. The danger worsens. I was rear-ended last spring in the parking lot by another parent. She was too busy lighting a cigarette, dialing her cell phone and manually rolling down her window to actually pay attention to the fact that she was headed right towards my back bumper. There is such a thing as ineffective multitasking. Fortunately, she did this after drop off, when the parking lot was for the most part emptied of children. She would have just plowed one over if there had been anyone behind her.

Then today, the first day of school, I got to school early. Like the prepared, veteran parent I am, I knew that if I waited until too close to the end of the day, there was no way I'd get a space. So I got there early, and even backed into a spot so it would be easier to get out. I was parked next to the handicapped space, knowing full well that I'd most likely have an open spot next to me when it came time to leave - there aren't many with placards at school.

Like normal, I left a little later than planned. The parking lot was about halfway cleared out by the time we headed over there. Rounding up four kids just takes a while. I opened the doors so the big kids could climb in, then took the stroller over to the driver's side to put AJ in. Parked next to me was another van, in the handicapped space. The space dedicated to those who need to be closer, filled by someone perfectly capable of going elsewhere - she didn't have a placard. Unless being stupid and inconsiderate is a new handicap that I am unaware of.

I was backed in, she wasn't. Our driver's doors were right next to one another. Her window was down, and I could not possibly have been closer to her if I tried. I went to unbuckle AJ to put him in the car and she threw her van into reverse. And started backing up. Even though I was standing right next to her, in clear view, with a baby. She was pinning my stroller to me since her wheel was cranked so hard to the side. Only after I yelled at her did she notice.

Gee, think you should actually look before you drive? It's not like you are in a parking lot full of kids or anything. Maybe stupidity should be a handicap.

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