Friday 3 June 2016

who hasn't lost a kid?!

You get bonus cousin Jamie in this photo. No need to thank me.

So bear with me, it's another short "parenting is frigging tough" opinion piece from me today. For those of you who wish I'd just get back to painting stuff already I promise it's coming, but there's just something I need to mention first.

I once lost Em in her own bed. 

The bed had bars.

An achievement, I know. let me explain.

I went in to check on her after a particularly "vigorous" bedtime wind-down (once they're old enough we operate a "go the hell to sleep,I'm not coming back in here unless you're actually dying" policy) and she wasn't there! The place looked like it had been ransacked! I freaked out, obviously, checking the windows and all the other rooms, thinking someone had somehow gotten into our seventh floor apartment and snatched her. It was terrifying, and all the while I was thinking "this is all my fault, maybe she was shouting because she was scared and I ignored her, I'm a terrible mother"!!!!!!!!

And then I went back into her room and recognised the pattern of her pyjamas peeking out from amongst the destruction that was her cot.
There she was, panned out, snoring gently, covered by her blankets and all the toys and cushions she could reach to pull into the cot (another bad-mammy move!) completely oblivious to the fact that she had just scared at least ten years off of my life.

I've lost Max too of course, more frequently and dangerously. He's a sneaky, fast little guy and now I have another kid I need to watch too, so either he's wilier or I'm paying less attention. Honestly it's probably a little bit of both.

Twice I have been in play centers, turned my head to check Em and looked back to find him gone. Both times strangers found him outside on the footpath. And I felt like crap, of course I did. But you know what, I was doing my best, and accidents happen. I was just lucky that he was found safe and well, with nothing more than a taste for freedom and an industrial strength leash to show for it.

The lady who's son crawled into that gorilla enclosure wasn't so lucky. He ended up in a terribly dangerous situation, and I can't even begin to imagine what she felt as she watched what was happening. 

And for that, good people, she should be pitied, not vilified. 

His dad was there too, the kid shouldn't have been able to get into the enclosure at all, the zoo didn't have any choice, of course they didn't, and yet SHE is blamed. 

There is no-one to blame. This was a terrible accident, that is all. And anyone talking about how the gorilla was "protecting" him or that they should have risked tranquilizing him instead?! Let's just stick your kid in there to take the kind of abuse I saw on the (uncut!) video and see how you feel about it, shall we? 

It's very easy to be an expert when you're sitting safely at home. You know, without a giant, agitated gorilla dragging your small child around? 


And what's been enraging me even more about this is that a couple in Japan left their child in the woods on purpose, causing him to be missing for SIX DAYS and all I hear in the media is "oh they must feel terrible", and "sure who hasn't tried to scare their kids by pretending to leave them?"

Eh?!! ME!! I haven't!! 

I don't get it, why the complete opposite reactions? I mean, at one point I was listening to a talk show on the radio where they literally went from one topic to the other, and the reactions were a total attack on the mom from the zoo, and then concerned pity for the parents of the child in the woods, and at that point he hadn't even been found yet for crying out loud! They thought he was dead!!

So why the difference? Why the complete hypocrisy?

Well, I don't want to seem cynical folks, but I find it very interesting that the mother was the focus in the zoo case, while the father took responsibility and gave the interviews in Japan. It would seem that a father's outrageously crappy parenting is a mistake, but a mothers mistake is unforgivable. 

I'm so tired of this crap. Really.

So that's it, mini rant over. I'm not foolish enough to think my opinion means much either, but I just felt like I had to send some positivity that poor woman's way, 'cos she for sure is getting more than her share of the opposite.