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What does this sign mean to you?

The mall during the holiday season – it’s exactly where I don’t want to be, and yet I find myself there a lot lately.  A few months ago they put “family parking” signs in at select spaces close to the mall entrance.  I was thrilled, but apparently some people don’t exactly understand what they mean.

Here’s what they mean to me:

  • I have kids, and therefore, a ton of crap with me.  It’s going to take me a long time to get the aforementioned “ton of crap” in the car.  I’ll try to hurry, but I have to get all the crap in the car, my kids in their car seats, and then get the car started and backed out of the parking spot.  I see you with your blinker flashing and that annoyed look on your face, and I will hurry, but please be patient.  As patient as you can be during the holiday season, that is.
  • My child might need a last-minute diaper change.  Of course, I would have done the diaper change in the mall if I had noticed, but I didn’t notice until I lifted my baby out of the stroller.  No, I don’t want her driving the 20 minutes home in a dirty diaper (which we all know can lead to dirty clothes, hair, carseat…you see where I’m going with this, right?).  And no, I’m not going to pack all of the aforementioned crap back in my car, god forbid I leave valuables in my car and go in without them, so the trunk is going to have to do.  I don’t need your side-eye while I do the diaper change.
  • Neither of my kids are particularly fond of their carseats, so I may need to physically restrain them to get them buckled in.  No need to call child protective services.  Not putting them in their carseats is not an option and illegal, though I realize it would make it much easier for you to get my highly coveted parking space.
  • It may take me a time or two to get the stroller properly collapsed and into the trunk.  While we have a smaller, light-weight stroller, like I said, I have a ton of crap with me.  It may take a second to get all of the crap in the car in such a way that my stroller still fits.  I can do it, but you staring holes into my head isn’t helping.  And in the off-chance that I need to actually take the stroller out of the trunk to re-situate, throwing your hands in the air is not doing anyone any good.
  • If I don’t back out of the space immediately, it’s because I’m looking for my daughter’s snack.  Relax, it might take me a minute.  Needless to say, her snack is under all the other crap in my purse.  I’ll find it, but your honking isn’t helping.
  • Finally, as I do actually exit my parking space, there is no need to almost hit my vehicle as you accelerate forward while I’m still in reverse.  I get it, you want the space.  I get it, I took too long.  Have I mentioned that I have a ton of crap with me?

Perhaps I should stick to online shopping.