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The Kraken Wakes...

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Blimey. Splashed all over today's news is a picture of the missing Madeleine McCann. It's a mock-up of how she would look today at the age of nine, five years after her disappearance from a hotel in Portugal while on holiday with her parents and twin siblings. Fuckadoodledo if this isn't most spine-chilling story for anyone who's experienced an exploded vagina, or at least witnessed one. I have one nagging problem with it though...
You know, even five years after the event and the thousand times I have envisaged how I would react if Kraken Junior disappeared (badly. Terminally badly), I still can't get my sweating brain over how Maddie and her siblings were left alone in the hotel room while their parents went out for dinner. Yes, yes, yes, I know that the restaurant was just across the pool from the room and that the parents checked on the kids every half an hour but, fuck that really a risk worth taking?
Aye, it's easy to become dangerously obsessed with your kids to the point that you could accidentally become conjoined. I never quite rest unless I can see or at least hear Kraken Junior, hollering my location across the house at her if I so much as go for a shit. It's the same wherever we go and whatever bollocks we do. In the summer I love evenings in the garden but my creeping fear that KJ could need me while I'm casually flicking my snot into the grass keeps me in earshot and close to the back door. 
So it's utterly beyond me that I would ever leave her in an unlocked room hotel room while I dined with mates, even if said eaterie was so much as a burger van ten yards away. 
Ok, Ok, so this says way more about my insecurity than it could about the life-changing mess the McCanns have been pitched into, but isn't just the vague perception of danger enough to make a parent careful to the point of insanity? Isn't it the same cold fear that drives us to always put babies to sleep on their backs and makes us rush, screeching, to A&E when our firstborns develop strange rashes?
This is in no way a condemnation of the McCanns. Fuck knows if they haven't already turned themselves inside out and punished themselves daily for what has befallen them. It's an existence that I can't even imagine surviving. Yet I still find myself taken by the urge to shake them and ask, "What? What were you thinking?"
Tragedies can happen to anyone. Shit slops down onto the most virtuous of parents. But sometimes it pays to keep up an umbrella, even if this makes us laughably and embarrassingly cautious. I realise how nuts my motherly radar makes me look and how I could probably do with releasing the reins but, on the offchance - even the vaguest most absurd offchance - that something goes terribly and horrifically wrong, I'll keep clinging on, thanks. 
KJ is the same age that Maddie was when she disappeared. I don't want to have to imagine her from her on in. I'd rather see her in all her snotty glory and for that I'll never, ever understand what the McCanns are thinking now, and most of all, when they were thinking then.

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At 26 April 2012 at 12:54 , Blogger Meg said...

Hi, The McCann's are 'professional people.' so are used to leaving children in nursery, with minders, with nannies, etc. Its different to being a 24hr hands-on Mum. They approach things differently. Whether that's for good or bad, only they can judge.

At 27 April 2012 at 10:47 , Blogger The Kraken said...

Do you mean that perhaps they just weren't used to the vagaries of having to look after kids full time so simply didn't realise the risks of leaving them alone? If so, that's an interesting point Meg.

At 21 June 2012 at 15:24 , Blogger Cutie Candy Pop said...

I'm sorry but there is no excuse, what about the simple risk of them falling on those hard tiled floors that they usually have in apartments? I have an 18 month old and I can't even leave him in a room on his own unless it's his bedroom. He has no sense of danger, toddlers do stupid things. Just the thought of those kids waking up disoriented in a strange place and wondering where mummy and daddy are gives me the shivers.
I'm sorry but I'm going to be very blunt... if this had been a couple from a council estate with a lack of education they would have been completely slaughtered by the press and everyone else. It seems to me they are being defended because of their profession and status. I think that somehow makes it worse, they were educated people. They should have known better.

At 22 June 2012 at 00:56 , Blogger The Kraken said...

I'm the same with Kraken Junior. If I can't actually see her I make sure I can actually hear her. And yup, you are spot on about the class difference. Had this happened to a smoking, boozing, benefit-claiming couple they'd have been dragged from their burning home by a rioting, Daily Mail-reading mob by now.


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