WAITT (#5): Don’t make us run over your kids.
Welcome back to the series that reminds you that there are other people in the world, and they’re just as important as you.
We return to the parking lot to discuss the value of holding on to your valuables. The living kind.
Hold onto your children.
Wait, I need to say that again more emphatically: HOLD ONTO YOUR CHILDREN.
Unless you subscribe so vehemently to the theory of survival of the fittest that you are ready to sacrifice your own kids, you must maintain physical control of them until they have proven themselves to be savvy navigators of crowded parking lots. Failure to do this risks their lives and gives other people heart attacks. The drivers with whom you share the parking lot should not be paying closer attention to your progeny than you are. Unless you don’t give a crap, though I’m betting that’s not the case.
Oh, and walking two steps behind them is not the same thing. Especially if you’re busy looking at your phone or the receipt from the store you just visited.
More than once I’ve fought the urge to roll down my window or get out of my car and call, “Hey, you are the adult here. Teach those rugrats how to behave in the parking lot so they don’t get run down.” I don’t do that because I can’t see any good coming from it, and I don’t think I get to be rude just because you’re being a bone head.
Know, however, that your lack of control of or attention to your kids in a busy parking lot does make me look to see if you’re going to buckle those kids into car seats or if it’s a free-for-all straight down the line.
Your kids need you to hold onto them and teach them basic parking lot survival skills, and those of us driving in parking lots don’t need all the negative karma that does along with mowing down children.
For instance, you know how we know that those white lights on the backs of cars indicate backing up? They don’t. Plus, they are small. People can’t see them in their rearview mirrors, particularly if there is no (taller) adult with them.
And you know, little kids are also unpredictable and impulsive. If a child lets go of a balloon, he’s going after it without hesitation, car or no car. So, don’t forget that drivers can suffer from hedupyerasis, too. Why are you counting on everyone else in the world being on the ball when you can’t be bothered to guide your little darlings back to the car?
Listen, I don’t want to run down your kid. I don’t want to run down anyone. I’m going to need some help from you on that one, though. I realize it’s a pain in the rear to hold onto squirmy, impatient kids, particularly if you’re carrying whatever you just bought. I have two kids who are less than 2 years apart in age. It’s not always fun. When little ones do that “I don’t want to go where you’re leading me so I’m just going to go limp” thing, it’s terrible, but that doesn’t excuse you from protecting them. The first step is realizing, “Hey, we are not alone in this parking lot.”
Help us not run down your kids. I’m begging you.
That’s all for now, folks. Next time I think we’ll move on to other settings. There’s just so much you can read about parking lots before you realize that you’re, well, reading about parking lots.
Until next time, remember:
We’re all in this together. Act that way.