I’m going to start this post by issuing out a disclaimer: It’s a rant.
And since I’m writing this a week after the event, I’m somewhat calmer. But at the time, I was livid. If I took to my keyboard on said morning, I would have been evil.
So last week Vida, my littlest, had croup. It’s a respiratory infection that is most common in babies but kids up to five years old can contract it. Its recognised by a trademark cough and difficulty breathing as the illness causes little peoples’ airways to swell.
It all started off very innocently. Vida had a high temp for a few days prior showing symptoms of what I thought was a head cold – but was otherwise in good spirits so I didn’t immediately think there was anything to worry about. Then one early morning she woke up with really loud and laboured breathing and I knew something was wrong. I went to the hospital and the doctor diagnosed her with croup, gave her some steroids and sent us on our way. Aside from the barking cough and her breathing difficulties, she was mostly herself. But my littlest is a toughie – so, so different to my biggest darling, who doesn’t do sick very well.
Anyway, so night-time came again and another croup attack occurred at 12am. As its one of those conditions that can worsen really quickly (and become life threatening) I rushed Vida to the hospital where they monitored her for 3 hours. When they were satisfied her breathing was stable enough, the Doc sent us on our way with a prescription for the steroids which I was to get first thing in the morning. I asked the Doctor to give me a single dose to get me by (to avoid having to take 2 sick kids to the chemist as by this time my biggest girl had contracted the flu) but he said no. Not sure why. Perhaps there are justified reasons, but at the time I was tired and unreasonable and so I mentally called him a tightarse.
I had gotten home at 3am, so aside from assuring hubby Vida was okay, conversation was minimal as I wanted to put her (and myself!) back to bed as we were both shattered. We all woke up around 8 and bleary eyed, I packed the girls in the car and head straight to the chemist. Hubby had left for training before we woke otherwise I would have sent him to get the meds.
Parking at my local chemist can be an absolute shitfight. Its on the outside of a small shopping mall so I had two choices – park in the No Standing Zone directly in front of the chemist (because there were no legal spaces available) or drive in the shopping mall parking lot, which would mean I would have to take my kids through the shopping centre and out to the chemist. A long way away for 2 sick kids.
I found a cheeky little illegal spot in front of a car that gave it enough room to exit and was conspicuous enough to not look out of place. I parked, grabbed my kids out of the car and went in to the chemist to order my prescription. I was busting to administer those steroids so it was easier for my littlest to breathe.
I must have been, at the very maximum, ten minutes.
Once I got back to the car, I put in the kids one by one and just when I was getting into my seat, a woman who was walking by with her small boy – a child perhaps no older than 4 – yelled out to me, “Ooooh, you’re really lucky, you are!”
“Excuse me?” I asked, clearly confused.
“I just had you paged!”. She retorted, aggressively.
Realising she must have taken issue with my car park, I asked her why it concerns her.
“I can’t get out!” She exclaimed.
I got out of my car and guesstimated there was at least 1.5m separating our cars. She had to be smoking crack to not be able to get out of there.
“You can’t get out of there?” I asked, sarcastically.
Clearly stumped, knowing she very well could have gotten out of there, she continued, “Well it doesn’t matter. You have parked illegally.”
Knowing I didn’t have time to have this ridiculous discussion with one of those picky dobber people that has nothing better to do, I said, “Look I have to go. My child is very sick, she has Croup. I only parked illegally because I needed to get her medicine urgently and there were no close spots when I came.”
And her response, my friends, is the reason for my rant.
Most people would back off when you say you have an ill child in the car, right? Especially one that HAS a child. Right? Right?
“Well I have a Hairdressing appointment!” She screeched. “I’m going to be late now!”
I was speechless.
She continued. “Be respectful of others!”
I swear it took every rational bone in my body to control the urge to slap her. How dare she compare being late for a hairdressing appointment to the urgency of medicine for a sick child?
Instead, I slammed my door shut and drove off pondering humanity all the way home. Her lack of empathy made me feel so angry.
I just know, in any situation, in any situation, if someone told me they had a sick child I would shut the hell up. Especially if I was this lady – who wasn’t even parked in to begin with and clearly just wanted to pick a fight. Who has the time for this nonsense?
And what kind of world are we living in where we can’t empathise with the plights of strangers?
So tell me, am I wrong to have parked illegally to get Meds for my child? What would you have done in my situation?
*I want to re-iterate that I did not park her in. I would never park anyone in – they too could have an emergency where they would need their car. Even though I parked in a No Standing Zone – it was safe for all cars around involved*
Side note: Vida is doing fantastic now, she still has a raspy voice but she is back to her feisty and bossy little self.