Having twins is challenging and amazingly great fun. I love both of my babies and I honestly cannot believe how lucky and blessed I am to have them in my life. Among the bliss and bonding and cuddles their are those real necessities that a parent, naturally wants to get right. feeding, changing, sleep schedules…all things to consider and they require a fair amount of work and patience. But what about those times when we as parents have to ask other people to be patient? I have my moments of being totally oblivious, but It is also something that has always been very important to me to be considerate of others. I can be even a bit neurotic at times when it comes to this, either aligning myself to, or straying from social conventions in order to satisfy my personal sense of what is the considerate thing to do, which frequently puts me at odds with the status quo.
For example: Don’t brake your car dead in your tracks to turn left across oncoming traffic when there are only two lanes at the busy time of day. I know this is crazy, if you are heading into one of these spots it’s not your fault that the roadway does not support the amount of traffic. However, I personally have completely changed my lunch destination to avoid doing it because it causes so many issues for other drivers. I would rather go out of my way than be in other people’s way. It just would make me to self conscious and I’d want to duck down below the window to avoid being seen. Yet it is almost inevitable that if I’m driving in that left lane I will wind up stuck behind somebody who wants to make that turn and has to wait for the oncoming traffic to subside. I take the right lane sometimes to avoid it, but then if it doesn’t happen, I can find myself locked out of the lane I need to be in when I get to the light. It’s a gamble every time.
I am plagued by my sense of what the appropriate thing to do is in any situation, especially when it does not resemble the behavior that is actually taking place. Therefore, due to my weird little brand of social justice I have become very concerned with how taking Gwendolyn and Lawson out of the house is going to impact others in public situations. We recently had a trip to Walmart where Gwendolyn would not stop crying. I could soothe her and calm her down, but moments later she was wailing again. That was our first time as parents, being “those people.” It was also the first time nobody stopped us to tell us how cute the babies are. That probably made her cry more. Another instance is unloading the car in a busy parking lot. Sara and I started taking the babies out pretty early and I think we have gotten quite good at taking them out of their car seats and loading them in the stroller in a timely, efficient and unobtrusive manner. That is why I was absolutely shocked when we were met with passive aggressive behavior in a parking lot as we attempted to meet with family for breakfast.
I found a good spot within the parking structure without having to go too far. In fact, just around the corner was practically empty and highly visible. The garage had not had time to fill up as it was still early in the day. I got out and pulled the stroller out from the back then proceeded to set it up for the babies. It’s a great double stroller called Joovy Ultralight Twin Groove, super compact and easy to unfold and lock in place. We love it and we take it everywhere. Well, some woman must have become immediately annoyed by the mere fact that we had children. I don’t know how else to explain it, because she came from the empty side of the garage and stopped her car to wait to park next to us. Now, ordinarily we would load the stroller behind the car so that we are not blocking an available space, but as I mentioned there were several available spots close by and loading the stroller on the side of the car became necessary because of the woman who stopped to wait for us, because she had impacted the inbound traffic of other cars and they were having to drive around her and closer to us. So I moved my stroller to the side where Sara was taking Gwendolyn out of her car seat.
Well, the woman could not wait a moment longer and pulled into two spaces at once. One of them being for disabled parking. We were so confused. Why did she have to park right next to us, and why could we not be afforded a reasonable amount of time to take our children out of the car in relative safety? She waited in her car for us to leave and then evidently re-parked her car to fit in the space. We never saw her again. We relived the experience trying to see if there was something we had missed. It was truly weird.