Sunday, March 11, 2007

Took One for the Team?

In order to tell this story, you must know that 1. I really am a caring and compassionate person. 2. My children arrived in our family through international adoption, the youngest being 10 months old when she arrived home. 3. Generally, I am a rule follower.

stork parking n. vehicle parking spaces reserved for pregnant women or new mothers.

Well, after church today, I had the 3 cherubs by myself and we were driving home, discussing what we would have for lunch. Doodle begged for spaghetti - a food that I believe she could live on - wheat variety, no sauce, with parmesan cheese and garlic bread. The girl knows what she likes and HOW she likes to eat it... Anyway, I digress, so knowing that we were sans garlic bread, we decided to stop by our local Kroger store to pick up a few essentials.

Upon wheeling into the parking lot, I see a prime spot up near one of the cart racks near the front and I make my bee line, glaring daggers at nearby cars that they had better not approach that spot, I had called it with my attitude (very Sunday-after-church Christian-like of me, no?). As I turn into the spot, I see it - THE SIGN. The "stork parking" sign that indicates that is is reserved especially for them, those "expectant mothers or new mothers" that our society gives some leeway to (rightfully so....I truly don't blame pregnant mothers!).

The portion of my brain that plays by the rules said, oh crap, I need to find another place. BUT, the infertile, never pregnant, never "newborn" side of my brain took offense (yes, I realize there must deep down be some issue in my brain there) and said that this was indeed our spot. My children and I have trudged from the crevices of the parking lot more times than I could count and by gosh we deserved to be up close. In. That. Spot. In my head, I was doing this for every woman who has experienced infertility, this became a huge righteous effort in my head (all taking about 2 seconds).

Now, all of this drama would make you think that I was somehow challenged, or glared it, or mocked by 9-month pregnant women who were waddling up to the front from the back 40 because of my illegality, or some newborn had to be trudged through the wind and cold because of me....but no. Alternatively, there were no infertile women chanting my name as their hero. This drama was all in my head.

So tell me, have I completely lost my mind at this point. Do others have these crazy internal battles in their heads over random things? Does this obviously indicate that I have unresolved issues over the way people are treated when pregnant versus when adopting? I know that I have irritation on the difference in treatment for adoptive mothers versus pregnant mothers - BIG difference in time off (fathers either way get 1 week of parenting leave).

Just ranting and obviously a bit unstable :)



Christina said...

First - yes, I do have weird internal struggles in my head all. the. time.
Speaking as one who has been on both sides - preggers and adopting - I really wish they'd had spaces like that when I was expecting. I remember feeling (and actually being) so much huger than my normal self and then Hubby parks next to a truck and I literally could not.get.out of the car because there wasn't enough space and I just sat there and cried. (hormoes, y'know) So if those spaces have extra width like the handicapped ones then I say they are awesome. However, if we're talking a stroller issue then I say you have as much right to that space as any new mom because running into a store with 3 little kids is really hard and stressful and the less parking lot to cross, the better!!

Giddy said...

Yeah, I think they should make the whole "near half" of the parking lot reserved for people with small children--ESP babies with car seats. It's way harder to lug the car seat to the store than it is to walk one's pregnant self to the store.....I always thought it was weird too--people hold doors for pregnant women, a time when a woman can still open a door for herself, but as soon as the baby is born and she is pushing a stroller? That is when the woman must figure out how to get the door open herself. AT least, that's how it seemed to me.

And yes, I obsess majorly over issues that never actually come up. In your situation, I would have written an elaborate script in my head to respond to anyone who did say anything to me.....and would have revisted the script several times over the following days, to make sure it had the appropriate proportions of contriteness, passive aggression, and humor. (Or to practice each style by itself!)

D said...

CC, I think you were right to park there. For me, I wanted to hike to the door when I was the size of a Buick. Hoping that I could stimulate a birth. I don't think I cared about parking close until I had 3 kids, and stupid me only 2 hands. I was terrified, each and every trip through the parking lot.

How do you hold them all???

I think the spots should be saved for mothers with children. PERIOD! It is just safer.

Oh yeah, and if your unstable - what's that mean for me???

CC said...

thanks for backing me up ladies! I was expecting at least one call that I was an insensitive pig...or crazy at least...but not from you guys, you rock!