Sunday, June 10, 2007
On the advice of our doc, we got a disabled parking placard. This is a little peice of plastic that looks like a do-not-disturb doorknob sign, and it allows us to park in disability parking spots when we have Joey with us. I've been putting off getting it. Joey doesn't have trouble with actual mechanics of walking- at least, not enough to prevent him from crossing a parking lot. With the increase in bolting, the doctor thought we should go ahead and get one, though, because some places around here only have off-street parking for disabled persons. Getting Joey in and out of a car in a lot, instead of on the street, is far, far safer, especially if the place is unknown or not well-known.
We used it for the first time yesterday. We took the bairns to the mountains. It's a nice ride, and Skyline Drive is so pretty. Joey was a little overwhelmed by the views, but Andy liked it, especially if a bird flew out over the valley. We stopped for lunch, and the lot was full- except the disabled spots. We added up our situation: strange place with busy parking lot, lots of people, no other spots available anyway, spot available almost at door. We whipped out our new placard and parked.
It was amazing.
Normally in such a situation, getting out of the car would have been a carefully orchestrated set of events intended to keep Joey tethered to one of us while the other wrestled Andy out of his harness. We then do a careful hand-in-hand dance across the tarmac hoping that wriggling fingers don't break free and suddenly have a boy in front of a moving vehicle, or worse, have a child melt down.
Not this time. We pulled into the spot, and herded the boys almost directly onto the sidewalk, away from cars. Then we went smoothly into the building. Coming out was even better. Out the door and into the car. No tarmac-crossing necessary. No danger of stepping in front of cars. No worries about getting halfway to the car and losing a child to wriggling or melting. No problemo.
Today I took them to Maymont. I used the magic of disabled parking again. The disabled spots are right in front of a little path enclosed by shrubbery right down to the door. No steps to trip on. No crossing in front of traffic. I can't BELIEVE how much safer this is. I'm just flabbergasted.
I won't need it in common places like the grocery store, because I park next to the carts, since Joey prefers to ride safely enclosed in a cart. But in unfamiliar lots... what a lifesaver!