Tag Archives: Car Seat

Scrap Parent and Child Parking

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Before Dexter came into our lives, we were pretty ambivalent about parent and child parking. It seemed like a ploy by supermarkets to engender loyalty from high-spending parents. Parents with small people could park closer to the door, and get an extra wide spot – it was almost like getting a flight upgrade to Business Class. Even the disabled spots weren’t as glamorous!

They seemed unnecessary but a little bit cool – like the Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s of this world were so desperate to win the family vote, they were prepared to blatantly prioritise the needs of family shoppers. I remember thinking, If parents are getting such star treatment in the car park, maybe they would be other perks inside! Maybe parents got extra Clubcard points, more money off vouchers, or maybe special ‘check-out’ passes to avoid the queues. It was a nice thought when I was hauling my pregnant belly around Tesco earlier this year.

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When we got pregnant, Craig and I used to joke that this Holy Grail of supermarket parking was imminent – we’d soon be able to park up, spend ‘far too long’ getting our baby out of the car (just to gloat in front of the non-parents), and then casually stroll the 10m to the front door. It would finally be our turn to join the ‘club’ and enjoy these new privileges.

The problem is, we’ve only managed to park in these exclusive spaces a handful of times. Dexter is now 28 weeks, we shop every week at Tesco, and I’d estimate we’ve only managed to snag one of these spots 10 times. The problem isn’t that there are too few spaces, the problem is that these spaces are so often occupied by those who don’t fit the brief. Some of this is pure ignorance, some of it is nothing short of good old Machiavellianism, either way – all culprits will fit into one of these 4 categories

  1. The Pretender’s – these are parents who may well have a child that qualifies for the spot. They have all the paraphernalia (car seat, window blinds, baby-on-board stickers) yet the child hasn’t made the trip. The child is safely at home watching CBeebies, at the swimming pool or doing arts and crafts with parent 1 whilst parent 2 gets the weekly shop done.
  2. The Hanger On’s – this strange breed of parent still see their aged 13+ children as their babies. These are the parents who refuse to remove the Winnie the Pooh stickers from their teenagers room. They’ll still use the phrase ‘she’s gone to play at a friend’s house’ – in complete denial of the fact their little princess is escaping mum and dad to try on make-up and post provocative pictures of herself to Facebook. Their flat-out refusal to do away with the booster seat from their car, means that they operate under the misguided assumption they ‘need’ a parent and child parking space. They’re easy to spot as they have people carriers despite only having  2 or fewer children.
  3. The Activists – They are the Equality Champions. They will donate to the RSPCA and have those awful little signs in their toilets saying “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; If it’s brown flush it down”. I still have a teeny bit of respect for these fellow ranter’s as at least they aren’t duplicitous – they’ll have an indignant air about them and are utterly shameless about their actions. They’ll have a pre-prepared script if they’re challenged and will surprise you with some fairly valid points – they’re best avoided at all costs as arguing with them will be noisy and time-consuming.
  4. The Chancer’s – these idiots need no introduction. They are the prats that we all love to hate. They’re only ever ‘popping in’ to get some cigarettes or a sandwich deal, and avoid eye contact with everyone as they know they’re in the wrong. Annoyingly it’s a type of ignorance that can pervade any age, class or sex so it’s a widespread problem that supermarkets and parents are powerless to contest. They’re the type of people who shuffle and bolster their newspaper on the tube in an attempt to fend off pregnant or disabled people who may (or may not be) petitioning for their seat. They are wholly incapable of empathy for others.

All of the above get on my wick. They’re all equally to blame for denying me my space. It makes me mad to see fellow parents resort to acrobatics in a bid to extract their child from their cars without scratching the door of the neighbouring car. The truth is that getting your child ‘out’ of the car is only half the story. When you’ve finished your shopping you can guarantee that the car next to you has been replaced with a bigger, even more intimately parked motor.

The supermarkets refuse to challenge their customers so are equally to blame in my opinion. They’re so concerned about profits they’d be delighted to see people stampede over one another to do their weekly shop in their store. It’s left to parents themselves to try to defend these parking spaces from illegitimate advances. Yes, with our young impressionable children in the backseat we’re supposed to have a swear-free and polite exchange with these contemptible idiots. For those of us brave enough to have a go, we try to frame our arguments as follows even though we are seething with rage:

“Hi there. Sorry, I couldn’t help but notice you don’t have a little one with you. These spaces are wider you see. They’re meant for getting car seats / lifting kiddies out of the car. Would you mind if we parked there instead as we have our son with us”

In reality – we turn into childish morons shouting out the car window – “WHERE’S YOUR KID THEN?” – then duck down and quickly park our shit-heap a mile from the door to avoid any repercussions.

To my mind it would be better all round if these spaces had never come into being! The struggle of parents to free their child from his / her car seat would just be another weekly challenge. It’s almost as though the supermarkets have done a ‘half job’; given parents a solution then failed to ensure its availability. I’d rather see them gone altogether than watch another Chancer nick my spot and send me into a murderous rage right before the chaos that is Christmas shopping.Yes, parent and child parking has turned us parents into feuding, angry and stressed shoppers. Get rid of them and restore a bit of harmony to our car parks please.

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WIN a Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 Group 1, 2, 3 Car Seat with Mellow Mummy

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Wading my way through the zillions of emails in my inbox, I stumbled on a great little post by fellow mummy blogger Mellow Mummy.

She is offering her readers a chance to win a snazzy Kiddy Guardian  Group 1, 2, 3 Pro 2 Car Seat.  Now I’ve read many a review of this all-singing car seat and I’ve decided I can’t possibly live without one. Its won an overwhelming number of awards and is packed with safety features to protect Dexter on his way to Tescos, Nanny and Grandad’s, and beyond! Okay, poor Dexie isn’t the world’s most far-travelled child, but with a trip to London planned, and Christmas shopping trips needed, we’re aware our faithful and battered Maxi-Cosi which has provided years of service to our wider family, and might be considered by some to be an heirloom of sorts, has probably reached the end of its life.

So what is so good about this Kiddy Seat? Well… let me tell you!

For one, it really looks the part for a kid-about-town. It’s available in a choice of colours and looks ridiculously comfy for baby with its snooze position, a 3-stage leg extension and breathable fabric. Dexter has a habit of changing his mind on a daily occurrence – we’re beginning to feel like the downstairs of Downton Abbey and I’ve nicknamed him Lord Grantham – yet we’re satisfied that this bad-boy would provide him with the luxury standard to which he believes he should be accustomed to.

From a safety perspective, the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 reads like a car itself! With a number of recent improvements and patented features such as the Kiddy Shock Absorbers (KSA), the seat has been tested by industry experts to within an inch of its life. Given Craig (the only driver in our house) drives for a living, he’s already the safest driver I know (sorry Dad!) I can relax knowing that if we were to ever find ourselves in an accident, our Lord and Master would be in the perfect cocoon to prevent serious injury.

It certainly seems to be the car seat of choice for my peers in the mummy blogging community and I’ve read posts full of praise for this product. It’s very unusual for mummy bloggers to reach a consensus on anything, but I’m yet to read any negatives about the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2. Check out these glowing reviews from some of my buddies:

The Mummy Life

Mum on the Brink

Mummy Matters

Conclusion: we simply have to have it! Problem: we can’t afford it 😦

We’re not poor but we’ve got a real fondness for pre-loved things and all Dexter’s BIG purchases (cotbed, pushchairs x 3, development toys) have come from eBay or our very generous friends and family. I’m quite proud of how frugal we’ve been with baby no 1. When the time is right to extend our little family, we can sleep at night without having panic attacks about the cost. We simply believe there are more important things in life than having the latest travel system or nursery range. We’d rather spend on lavish holidays, weekends away and “experiences” for Dexter. But should we really apply this logic to a car seat when it could safe his life??? Definitely not.

So I’m keeping fingers, toes and legs (???) crossed that my little limerick will result in our biggest win yet; the peace of mind of owning a Kiddy Guardian Pro 2!

Here is Dexter’s entry!

If I won a Guardian Pro

“Sir” Lord Grantham would be safe on-the-go

I could go a little further afield

(Looking every bit well-heeled)

With my downtrodden parents in tow

 

If you’d like to enter, here is Mellow Mummy’s original post. You’ll have to be quick as the competiton closes on October the 31st!

In the meantime – why not follow Kiddy UK on Facebook , Twitter , and Youtube to stay informed about the latest product news and competitions!

Good luck everyone!