Thursday, January 15, 2009

Triplets = Handicapped Parking Spot??????

So I'm about to write about an issue that really ticks me off. It also has been discussed and is currently being discussed, ad nauseum, on a triplet bulletin board that I sometimes read.

The issue is parents of triplets wanting handicapped parking placards.

Now most people who don't have multiples are probably like, "What on earth? Why in the world would having triplets qualify you for a handicapped parking placard?"

And you are right. But there are some mothers in the HOM (higher order multiples) world who believe that since you have three babies, and an enormous stroller to unload, that it would be "unsafe" to unload the children into a stroller in a regular parking spot. Therefore, they should qualify for a handicapped parking placard.

That logic so soooooo flawed, on so many levels:
  • Handicapped parking placards are for handicapped people. And their caregivers who are transporting them, of course.
  • Why is it "unsafe" to unload the children into a stroller in a regular parking spot? Because it will be a tight fit? So what? Tight does not = unsafe.
  • Triplets are not a disability. Yes, I fully agree, that toting around infant triplets is a royal PITB. The stroller is enormous. There is tons upon tons of crap to tote. But why does that make you any more disabled than a mother with a 3 year old, 2 year old, and baby? A PITB is not a disability. It's a PITB.
When you go out with your infant triplets, is it not possible to park farther back in the lot, where there are fewer vehicles, and thus have more room to "safely unload"? Why must it be the handicapped space? Why not park right next to the cart corral, which takes up part of a parking space in the lot, but has some room on the sides?

To me, this screams of:
  • laziness
  • the whole "I have HOM so I deserve special treatment" attitude
  • a sense of entitlement

Because something is a PITB does not mean that you can therefore use something that you are not entitled to to alleviate your PITB situation. Handicapped placards are not a "convenience". They are a program for people who medically qualify for them. Not to simply make it easier.

I have a handicapped placard in my car. For Dovi. Not for Elisha, Shana, and Jacob. I have never used it for them. It's fraud, plain and simple. One time, when the triplets were in the NICU and I was going to see them after dark, there were no spaces close to the entrance in the parking garage. But there were, on the fourth floor of the parking deck, no less than 15 empty handicapped spots. It was like 8 pm. I was alone. So I used my placard to park immediately adjacent to the door and went in. But let me tell you, I was so guilt ridden. Yes, I could have used the argument that I had recently given birth. But the bottom line was that I used Dovi's placard fraudulently.

There are some women, who while pregnant with their triplets, get a temporary disability placard. That makes a lot of sense to me. When you are pregnant with HOM, you simply cannot walk far. It's that whole 80 extra pounds of baby/placenta/fluid thing kicking in. It's hard to walk. Some women aren't actually allowed to. They use wheelchairs to get around.

If your triplets have medical issues, that's a whole other story. They have a bunch of monitors, oxygen etc? Bring on the placard. You need it. You need the ease of getting your medically fragile child in and out in a safe and dignified manner, and the ability to park close to keep the baby out of the elements, especially in the winter. And you qualify.

But if your children are, Thank G-d HEALTHY, why in heaven's name would you want something that SICK PEOPLE get?

And people who use their family member's placard regularly to park in handicapped spots, even when the handicapped person is not with them? Bad.

And don't even get me going on people who park in handicapped spots without a placard. I leave them evil notes. And call the police.

Don't mess with me.


Domestically Disabled Girl said...

Super true. It is really hard to see people who are not handicap who are sitting in the handicap spots. My brother was in a wheelchair. If you wanted too, you could watch him struggle to get all his stuff out of his truck and transfer into his wheelchair. That is someone who needs a handicap spot.

Orah said...

Well obviously, there is only one way to solve this problem. Instead of ppl with healthy multiples using handicapped spots - we should just create more "specialized" spots like...
"Triplet parking"
"Quadruplet parking"
Sextuplet parking"
"My cat just died and I am too sad to walk far parking"
"I stubbed my toe this morning - parking"

I can go on - but it will become it's own post.
I hear ya, and I have never (thank G-d) needed a placard, but I take it personally when I see able bodied ppl using the handicapped spots. I want to slash their tires. My brother - in -law NEEDS his closer exit. And my aging parents have set up one handicapped spot in front of their house, but I am sure all the ppl who park in their clearly marked spot also had hip replacement surgery and suffer from deteriorating knees etc... I find it difficult to unload my three kids while containing extra weight in utero, but I would never consider myself handicapped - only blessed.

Stephanie said...

Great Post.....And so true! I would NEVER consider my healthy triplets to be a disability! CRAZY! Some people just have that sense of entitlement, HOM or not. My question is what are they then teaching their children???

Shosh said...

it is just SO wrong to park in a handicapped spot if you are not actually handicapped. and dont get me started on the MEN who are ALONE in the car and park in the expectant mothers parking.

WriterGrrl said...

When D. was in his "I weigh 70 pounds so just TRY to make me hold your hand and walk with you through the parking lot" phase I remember desperately wanting a placard so that I would not have to haul the 70 pounds of shrieking mass quite so far. I wanted it, in my head, but I would never have actually expressed the want or done anything about it. I think, though, that what I really want more than anything is a check-out line for moms of kids with disabilties at all stores. I CANNOT WAIT BEHIND PEOPLE WHO HAVE 700 ITEMS IN THEIR CARTS AND WHO INSIST ON PAYING BY CHECK! And who WAIT to WRITE the ENTIRE CHECK until the WHOLE CART has been totaled. And who are taken by surprise when they are asked to produce ID. Get out much, WG? Why, no, why do you ask?

Kelly said...

I thought your posts here and on tc were excellent. I agree with you 100% and would have been embarassed to use a handicapped spot to drag my healthy triplets into the mall or grocery store.