Thursday, 25 February 2016

"You cant just know these things"

If you're here for hard hitting, journalism or a happy ending... I'd stop reading now. This post is just one mum's honest views on a terrible story.

I was 14 when Madeline McCann went missing.

My school would post print outs of the days news, I think it was to make us more aware of current events. And it was all we could talk about in our afternoon English class. I can remember so clearly all of us collectively, agreeing that the parents did it and our English teacher losing her fucking shit.

She kept saying "You can't just know these things." She kept harping on about how a parent couldn't do such a thing.

Whether or not she wanted to believe her Year 11, set 2 students or not - we were right. A class of 14-15 year-olds, knew something was very wrong with the situation and as time went on, more and more information made our original statement seem increasingly true.

I recall all of us on MSN discussing clips from the press conferences, police appeal and news reports that we had been watching and following between conversations of trivial teenage gossip, other peoples boyfriends and homework.

"Something  about the mum just doesn't seem right"
"How is that body fluid get in their car?"
"Why sedate a child?"
"How could he say he didn't feel guilty for leaving the kids alone?"
"Why didn't Kate make an appeal?"

We all had so many questions? As did everyone else, including the police.

Days went by, they turned to weeks and months. Little Maddie was still missing, that was 2007.

Its 2015 now I'm 22, Madeline would be 10 or 11, I guess. She's still missing, her parents are still 'looking' for her and the police are no closer to finding. Hundreds of reported sightings, dozens of girls mistaken for her...

I'm much older, I have access to better media and I am a parent myself- I have my very own child and the actions of the parents fuck me up even more than before. Katie Hopkins wrote a piece on it a few days ago and I cannot get it out of my head.

I have to agree... their actions are not that of a normal parent... they just aren't.

You know what two noises I fear the most on a day-to-day basis? That thud and the little cry after, any parent reading this knows what I'm talking about; the moment I hear those sounds I can locate my child within seconds. I could be covered in soap or body scrub while my son naps, or just resting my eyes while he plays a few feet away from me, these two (and many more) situations have happened and will continue to and every time it will I'll feel the same way "I'm sorry I wasn't there to stop it"... But Gerry McCann wasn't sorry that he left Maddie to be found as Hopkins so perfectly put it. When I go to the bathroom I put him in his bouncer and keep the to doors that would be between us open so I can at least hear him, but sometimes I let him patter about, I know he's safe but still my heart pounds until I see two or three tiny chubby fingers try to pull themselves under the door. I know where he is and I know he's okay. How could you not be sorry for the actions that led to the disappearance of your child? How can you not think "if only I could go back!"? What kind of fucked up individual do you have to be to not want to go back and not leave your children vulnerable and alone.

Madeleine's mother washed her daughter comfort toy not long after Madeleine disappeared. Now I made my sons comfort toy, it's made from clothes that he grew out of, a sponge from the bath set we bought him when he was first born, a button from one of my husbands old suits and two buttons from a shirt I love, I was so scared to give it to him... in case he didn't like it. In case all my hard work and love was just not good enough but my beautiful boy loves Edd (the rabbit). My son goes to bed every night with Edd, in the morning when he wakes up he looks for Edd and when I come in to get my little boy, he always grabs his friend before allowing me to take him out of his cot. My boy won't nap without Edd either and when he is teething he chews on Edds button eye... The one from daddy's suit. I get to hold my son everyday, feed him, see him, play with him, bar providing for him financially I do pretty much everything for my son. Yet... I only wash Edd when he needs a wash (usually once a week), I hate my boy being without his best friend. Most patent cherish that one special toy that their child has, that toy can change your babies whole mood, soothe teething, stop tears and give enough comfort to send them off to sleep when you, your husband and hours of songs, snuggles and love couldn't. She washed away the special smell of her child. I just don't get how that could have felt like a decision she could make.

Madeline is gone. She's probably not coming back.

And as awful as it sounds I hope it was due to her parents, because if she was taken by someone then the chances she was abducted to be loved and cared for are very slim. If my child was taken by someone, if I knew I would never get him back and that he was taken abuse and harm intended- I would rather he was saved from all of that. However, I would never give up looking for him or hoping he was okay. I would never give up on him.

Even with my son sleeping in his space themed room, in his cot (that his auntie and uncle slept in), surrounded by toys that my husband bought even though I told him to wait, snuggling his Edd, under many blankets- one of which is my very own baby blanket I still worry and miss him. I'll watch videos of him from when he was first born and flick through the pictures I took that day. My husband and I, check on him before we go to bed; we know he is okay but we both still sit bolt upright during the night if we hear a bump.

When you have kids you acquire a sense of hearing that you know is probably similar to cats, you see dangers way before they even pose a risk, your reflexes appear to be quicker even though you are sleep deprived, you learn to function on little to no sleep, in my case no caffeine as I was nursing and you know why all these things happen? So you are equipped to care for this little helpless person. This tiny, defenceless, confused small human being. Fear of SIDS will keep you up and make you stare at your child, fear of Shaken Baby Syndrome will terrify you every time you burp them, everything becomes a worry or a risk.

I have only ever left my son with three people, my own mother, my sister and his daddy, even then I was panicking for the first half hour. I won't leave my son with anyone other that them until he can talk and we have had certain safety discussions and I know I'm over-protective and that OCD plays a massive part in the constant fear of my son being in danger but I know wanting your child safe is a universal thing for normal loving parents.

Any one saying I'm victim-blaming can leave now, anyone saying that I'm trying to pretend I'm a better parent can also leave, the truth of the matter is whether or not Gerry and Kate McCann were directly involved with the disappearance or death of their daughter Madeline, it was their fault she is missing.

The world is filled with awful, disgusting and sick people and its is your duty as a parent to make sure your child is safe. If the world wasn't so messed up then you could let your kids play out late, leave your door unlocked, you wouldn't need theft insurance  but guess what? It is and that means you have to protect your life and the life of those you are responsible.

Katie Hopkins is right, Madeline 'was left to be found'.

How could you leave three little children, your children alone in an unlocked, ground floor property, near busy roads? What if they decided to wander out to look for you after a nightmare?  What if they were struck by a car? Or what if they were abducted by a person with ill-intentions?

Most people put baby gates on the stairs so they won't fall down and break their tiny fragile skull, or safety guards for drawers so they can't get to tools, they put corner guards on all pointed edges so they won't impale themselves whilst toddling around, they make sure they always switch the spray nozzle to the off position after use but you guys left your three young kids alone in a place where you don't even know the person next door.

How? How could you?

I felt awful and couldn't sleep when my husband decided our boy needed to sleep in his own room. Even moving him from bassinet to cot was traumatic for me. My heart hurt when I stopped nursing. I cried so hard when we first started using the 'cry it out' method, I started whole arguments with my husband because I couldn't stand not going to him when he cried. Just recently I had to start using the front facing part of the pushchair as oppose to the parent facing option and I cried for an hour before we even left the house and during that little outing I had to keep stopping and checking he was okay even though knew he was.

How could you leave them and stand by that decision? What are you? How can you 'switch off' the pain? I still feel guilt for the week when were moving and I barely ate or slept and I was a few weeks pregnant but I had no idea. What are you made of? What kind of human being are you?

I'm sorry... I just get so emotional.

I just don't understand it... If you have kids, do me a favour, go to them now or when you next get a chance and hold them close. Hug them tight and tell them how much you love them. Smell them and kiss their little face and just be with them for a second.

I'm going to put my little one to bed for his nap now but today when in close the door and let him settle, I think I'll sit by the door until he falls asleep.

I'll finish with this question : Would you leave your child?

I know I couldn't.

With all my love,


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