For those of you who are used to me waxing lyrical about my life and being all fluffy and positive, please feel free to look away now - major rant coming up....................
OK, there have been a couple of recent news items that have upset me, shocked me and made me question where our society is heading. The first was the case of the 2 year old boy who died from a methadone overdose, his 3 year old brother and 3 MONTH old brother were both found to have methadone in their system. The second was one I read about yesterday where a man had been to court after putting his 2 month old baby daughter in the microwave for 20 seconds. Fortunately she did survive.
Now, with my tribe I have come across most of the stresses and strains that parents encounter and have found myself pushed to the brink of complete meltdown - tiredness and total frustration usually being the culprits there. My solutions have been rather less extreme. I can vividly remember putting number one son in his buggy and pushing him to my mum's house and declaring that I needed an uninterupted cup of tea before I blew. His crime was to "decorate" my bathroom with my most expensive make up for the third time. I was a single parent at the time and money was more than tight so they were precious luxuries that I had no chance of replacing......... Of course, looking back the situation was all my fault as after it had happened for the first time I should have moved the bloody stuff but that is the marvellous advantage of hindsight.
Another situation was a crying baby, who seemed to have been crying forever. This time I put offending baby in his cot, shut the bedroom door, came downstairs, closed the door to the hall, went in the kitchen and closed the door - are you picking up the common theme here!!?? So with three doors between us I made myself a cup of tea, enjoyed it, then returned to find the source of my distress fast asleep. Little bugger!
The point I am trying to make is I know looking after babies and children can be a draining, onerous experience but how the hell can peope inflict such horrific cruelty on their own flesh and blood? It is totally beyond me and whenever i hear about such cases they haunt me. Where are the parents and neighbours in these situations??? My mum smacked me very occasionally (probably can count on one hand) and I know I wasn't a particularly easy child - bet that surprises you! Now I am a parent, she indulges my children at any given opportunity and would give me hell if I didn't look after her grandchildren properly.
As for neighbours, be NOSY!! There are so many ways of reporting concerns anonymously - wouldn't you rather get it wrong than be right and have done nothing. Having been in an abusive relationship before, I am so grateful to the neighbours who called the police on hearing me cries. One even marched over to my house and gave the source of my distress such a dressing down he stood there in total shock and she didn't even reach his shoulder!
OK, think I'm done........... Normal service will be resumed forthwith!