I currently loathe going to Waitrose - usually I love it - but for the past nine months, not so much. Today I heaved myself and my trolley round the shop, weaving in an out of the millions (quite literally) of pensioners who seem to think that they own the place and have no regard for your knuckles or the fact that you are quite clearly heavily pregnant as they barge past you to get to the yogurts.
I waddled back to the car and loaded the boot. Then I stood back and surveyed the silver peugeot that was parked about 30 centimetres away from my drivers side door. I sucked in the bump and squeezed myself down the gap sideways to open the door. But no matter which way I tried to position my bulk it just wasn't going to fit.
I scrabbled in my handbag for a pen and couldn't find one. So I stood for several minutes coaxing my hormone addled brain to memorise the number plate before waddling back into the store. Two tannoy announcements later and an elderly couple appear at the desk:
"I can't believe this," says the old man to his wife. "I bet some idiot has run into the car, we'll have to claim on the insurance, it'll cost a fortune, I can't think what else it could be, I haven't had the lights on, you come out shopping and some cretin crashes into your car in the carpark...."
Wife makes soothing noises. Old man keeps tapping his chest over his heart as if he's about to suffer cardiac arrest at the stress of it all.
The woman at the desk points at me. "You've parked too close to her car - and as you can see she's pregnant and can't get into it."
"Oh I thought someone had crashed into it, thank God," he says, giving his heart another reassuring pat. He turns to me, "I'm ever so sorry, I didn't think - my wife had to climb over to my seat to get out of the car." I wonder how she did this - being about 75 and not looking all that flexible.
I smile calmly. "It's not a problem - I'm sure if I was my normal size I'd have been able to squeeze in, but unfortunately this doesn't squidge," I say, pointing at the bump.
Next comes a long discussion about just how we're going to move his car and get mine out (apparently it was more complicated than him just reversing out of the way so I could get in my car and drive off). I am posted to watch his front end and there is much discussion about full locks and whether his wife was watching the trolley.
Finally I am free and the old man parks back up and heads back into the store where his wife awaits him to say something along the lines of "I told you you'd parked to close didn't I...." in a nagging voice.
This all leads me to question whether or not I could get away with parking in the parent and child spaces? I clearly have a child - it's just not out yet - would that stand up in court I wonder?