As a single person, I would see those family stickers on vehicles and think to myself “ok, I know how many kids you’ve got, so I’m not going to park near you for fear of getting my doors dinged.” I thought this was a universally accepted understanding – kid stickers on rear windows = they need space for parking. I was wrong.
I had a baby while owning a Honda Element, which has suicide doors for the rear seats. If you’re unfamiliar with suicide doors, they open the opposite way, and on the Element they require that the front door is open as well.
What this means is I need three and a half feet to properly open my rear doors. This is not an unreasonable request even in a normal vehicle, but for some reason people seem to think that if they’re parking absurdly close they’ve left me with options.
Twice this past week I’ve had to hoist a 20something pound baby in a Graco Snugride 32 through the wrong side and scootch her over at extreme extension just because the person who parked next to me decided to get cozy. Once last week I was in a situation where I could not open my front doors over about 20 inches wide, which meant that not only was it a pain for me to get in, I could not open either of the back doors to put my baby in.
I’m not sure if most non-parents understand the level of hardware required to travel with an infant. The Graco Snugride 32 which we use is small, and it takes over two feet of width without a baby to slap her into the car.
While the Element is probably the worst vehicle to own if you have an infant, it’s also not unreasonable to expect that older and larger Americans require more room to get in and out. With people as stressed as they are these days, especially considering Chistmas is coming (said as though it were from Game of Thrones,) be nice, park right, don’t add to the world’s problems.
But seriously, park your Jag eleven inches from an SUV with soccer stickers of six kids is inviting an eight-year-old to ding it when opening the door, that doesn’t work for anyone.
Not that that any of this forgives parents that park shitty, this is just some things to think about. Yeah, I’m old.