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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Early days 6

I beetle about late at night and then check the computer for some 'down' time. I come across a "posting"
that transports me back in time, back to the good old days when I had them all securely strapped into the double push chair. [translation = buggy]

Yes, the day that I could no long pry their huge bodies into that contraption was the last day that I ever visited the post office with them. The whole exercise was just much to dangerous. [translation = to my own sanity]

There's something about queuing [translation = lining?] that drives them all too distraction. I would go armed with no end of entertainments, snacks and other bribes to attempt 'containment' during the oh so long minutes within the confines of that den of torture.

Why bother? I hear you cry. Well we foreigners are discriminated against. We are not permitted to merely hurl a parcel into the bin. Oh no, perish the thought! Instead we are forced to complete pointless paperwork, declaring on pain of death [translation = deportation] that we're not sending anything nasty through the mail.

It was while pondering those heady days of confinement, that I find there is a big ruckus back home about "disabled parking permits." A couple of years ago I would have sold my soul for a such a permit. I went as far as printing off an application even though I could hear the expert advise me 'if we give one to you, then we'll have to give one to everyone who is autistic.' I completed the first box, name and address and then abandoned the project.

How I longed for one of those tickets! To extract both my boys from the car into the 'space' of the parking lot, [translation = car park,] trying to get both of them, and my other daughter, safely onto the side walk, [translation = path] was a Herculean task that I dreaded. One would run off if I failed to have him physically within my grasp, the other would collapse in a heap around my ankles, hobbled. It is a miracle we are still alive to tell the tale.

How much difference would a permit make? Now, or back then? Lets go to 'back then.' On a good day, there are only a few car trips. Bear in mind that in America, nowhere is 'walking distance,' assuming that anyone around here 'walked' in the tradition meaning of that verb. Alternatively, take a bad day. A bad day, by definition, has many transitions, car transitions, which are the worst kind; to and from school, to first, out of the car, back in again and then second therapy, and then home. If I could have parked the car in the disabled spot, which is usually the closest to the entrance of where you want to go, this would have minimized the physical distance that I would have had to carry them, say 10 to 25 feet. Anywhere else, where often you have to cross a traffic steam as well, increases the distance and the time. It's a mathematical question, so I'll skip it. Instead I'll count the grey hairs, worry lines and shoe leather.

I should take this opportunity to apologise to all the casual passer-byers, who over the years, have had to witness the sight of a crazed mother octopus careening around a public place with weak sheep dog skills.

As a matter of public safety policy, I should have to wear a bag around my neck, with a little neon sign saying 'please help yourself to a pair of complimentary ear plugs.' I doubt if anyone is brave enough to get that close!

Please give us the parking permits!

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