(on another note, who in the Hell needs pushchairs that big?)
People suck – you’ve probably noticed, being one and having to interact with them on a daily basis. An example of suckitude I found today was on the bus, where there is a clear space on the lower deck for wheelchairs and pushchairs to be placed in, considering they don’t fit onto the seats that populate the rest of the bus. And today’s gripe was not with the relatively small space given to such things, or even angry parents demanding that wheelchair users move so their pushchairs can be placed there instead, with all the rage of Naruto during a fight in which the plot will advance upon its completion, and so he can win be going berserk alone.
Nope, today’s annoyance was the fact that not one, but two(!), pushchairs were left unattended in this space underneath a sign warning parents of the fact that 251 injuries occurred last year due to unattended pushchairs. I’d probably laugh more at the irony, if the health of small children and bystanders wasn’t at risk.
For me, this creates an interesting paradox: that parents care enough about their child’s safety to purchase, and drag onto a bus the way a fisherman lugs home a particularly cumbersome catch, a pushchair large enough to be used as a battering ram, siege tower, and arsenal all in one, but they are not attentive enough to stand near said pushchair/instrument of warfare – is getting a seat really that important to you?
I don’t think this makes people ‘bad parents’ if they leave a pushchair alone, but it may say something about their style of parenting, that showing ‘love’ towards a child is easy in terms of buying stuff for them, but is more practically awkward, and so more readily avoided, than actually being close to them.
Of course, this must be seen in context; I was a baby once, and my angsty photos alone tell me that, at least sometimes, I resembled demon-spawn as opposed to parent-spawn, and so I don’t imagine that parents can stand over their children 24/7, bubble-wrapping all the sharp corners within a fifty-metre radius, because that must be insanity-inducing.
I’d just argue that, if anything, the time for over-parenting comes in public places, which are relatively unstable environments compared to the confined and controllable space of home; there’s even a sign, encouraging you not to hold your child as if it’s going to be snatched away from you like a royal bastard in season one of Game of Thrones, but simply reminding you that attentive parenting is perhaps more important on a moving vehicle with no seatbelts, than other areas.
But these are hardly commands, or even valid bits of advice – I’ve got the parenting knowhow of a panda who’s particularly uninterested in sex, even by panda standards (pandards?). I just don’t want people’s only contribution to society to be another case study used to evidence a TfL warning board, because if your pushchair rolls a few feet as a bus moves, that’s the worst that can possible happen.
Your kid’s okay, and now you’re number 252.