Park In A Disabled Spot At Your Peril

The disabled parking permit - blue badge

‘D’ drove around the car park. It was full. The rain walloped the windscreen.

“Oh look, that lady is coming out,” I said, pointing to his left. Finally we had a spot. ‘D’ ran into the shop while I sat in the car.

I was reading about a mother who put her child’s dirty nappy across the windscreen of another car because he took the last parent and child space. She was the mother of twins. She had asked him very politely to take another space. He declined and it snowballed from there. I laughed. She confessed she had been spotted by another mother who raised her cup to her in acknowledgment. I thought well done lady. Her post is doing the rounds on social media with lots of support for her and rightly so.

Something in the rear-view mirror caught my eye. It was a silver saloon. That’s about as far as my knowledge goes when it comes to cars. I watched as this car parked up. It didn’t drive around like other cars, searching for a space. Nope! The lady driving just pulled right into the disabled spot.

I sat forward, squinting to see that all-important blue badge. She didn’t appear to have any sort of disability but that part doesn’t concern me. The blue badge however, did concern me. I couldn’t see it. She ran by me and into the shop. I thought for a moment about the woman and the ‘poopy’ nappy I’d just been reading about. I didn’t have Ethan in the car, so the nappy wasn’t an option.

We don’t use the disabled space unless we have Ethan. That’s the rule. I am not much for rules but there are so few disabled spots that I would never take one when we don’t have Ethan. It’s not so much the rules as common decency though. I unlocked the car. Would I be bold enough to walk over to her car, look for the badge and then get back into mine? I could see there were people in her car. I didn’t want confrontation. But you know, if people can get upset about a parent and child space, why don’t they get just as pissed off about the misuse of disabled spaces?

A bolt of temper ran through me as I opened the car door. ‘D’ came out of the shop at the same time. “Where are you going?” he asked.

I rolled my eyes. “I want to see if that car has a badge or not.

“Stay dry,” he said. “I’ll go see.”

‘D’ is much better at this than me. ‘D’ is that vocal man in the car park who will say ‘Excuse me, but where’s your badge?’

I watched in the rear-view mirror as he walked over, stopped, stared, walked around to the back of the car and then back to the front. He took out his phone and snapped a picture as the passenger window was rolled down. He had no intention of using the picture. It was just a prop. I could hear his voice. I had no idea what he was saying but looking at his body language he was not impressed with what the man in the passenger seat was saying. He came back to our car.

“I wish I’d a poopy nappy for them,” I sighed.

“No feckin’ badge and the cheek of him to tell me it’s raining and the car park is full. What the feck!” He hit the steering wheel. “I’m waiting for her to come out past us,” he said, rolling down the window.

I hate confrontation. I knew that this would only go one of two ways. She would apologise and swear never to do it again or she’d be aggressive. She walked passed the car. ‘D’ jumped out with Ethan’s blue badge in his hand. “Excuse me miss,” he said to her. “You don’t have this, which means you can’t park there.”
She stopped just long enough to say ‘fuck off’, then jumped into her car and turned the engine on.

‘D’ came back to our car. “Ignorant bitch,” he said.

“Well done honey for trying,” I sighed.

As we drove home, I couldn’t help but wonder if this post would get the same attention as the one about the misuse of mother and child spaces? If I did put a dirty nappy on her windscreen or if I blocked her in with Ethan’s wheelchair, would we have the support of the wider population?

Sadly, the answer is no, which confuses me. Everyone can agree how important mother and child spaces are to those with young families but yet they can’t use that same logic for those who have disabilities? We would have placed Ethan’s chair to block her in – if we had it with us. It is something we have decided we will do the next time this happens, when we are looking for a disabled spot.

Until then, we will just walk over and show you what it is you need to have in order to use that space. A blue badge. It’s a badge I’d happily pass on to anyone who wants it but, there is a catch. They have to take my sons disability too.

The ‘poopy’ nappy story – https://www.herfamily.ie/parenthood/mum-best-reaction-man-taking-last-mother-baby-parking-space-281955

About the Author

Geraldine Renton
Geraldine Renton lives in Galway city with her husband and three young sons. Life changed dramatically for Geraldine and her family back in 2008 when her eldest son, Ethan, was diagnosed with a life limiting condition known as Hunter Syndrome. Looking for an outlet for herself mainly, Geraldine began taking regular creative writing classes. In 2015, she wrote her first article which MummyPages published. Since then, she has continued to have her articles published all over the world. Geraldine writes openly and honestly about life with Ethan, often finding humour where others would neglect to look. You can also find plenty of Geraldine’s childhood stories throughout her website (http://geraldinerenton.com). In 2016 her blog “It’s Me & Ethan” won Best New Blog (2016), awarded by the Irish Bloggers Association. Geraldine continues to write regularly, not only on her own website but also for others. She is also writing a book! She has a non-fiction short story with ‘The One Million Project’, a global network of writers and illustrators coming together to publish a book in aid of different charities in the UK. The book is due for publication at the end of this year. When she’s not writing, Geraldine is a keen photographer and enjoys life with all her boys. She tells The Galway Eye she knows far too much about LEGO NINJAGO, Minecraft and how to burp on demand [*raises eyebrows* – Ed.] She possibly [no doubt about it – Ed.] has a Netflix addiction and recently became part of the Stream Team UK and Ireland for Netflix, running a Facebook page all about Netflix. Her motto in life is a lot like Ferris Bueller’s – enjoy the littlest of moments for they are the moments that make up a lifetime of memories.