Baby 2.0 arrived on Sunday. Normal service will resume soon. In the meantime…
…Thanks to several of my clients who told me to be sure to make sure the new baby gave our first son a present when he arrived in the world. I was doubtful this would be very meaningful since our oldest is only 22 months. But I took their advice to see what happened: hidden in baby’s blanket when he first met his big brother was a new choo choo (thank you ebay). I didn’t really think he’d be old enough to register, but what d’you know? The next day he was trying to unfold the new baby’s hands and saying ‘oh no – choo’ which we couldn’t really translate, but it was only later on when he tried to peek inside the baby gro and said ‘oh no, choo choo all gone’ that we twigged just how much had registered with him. They really do miss nothing. Except the big stuff obviously – while I laboured and delivered at home (puffing like the little engine that could), the 22 month old snored through the whole thing, just in the next room!!
I’m saddened by the number of comments on posts relating to Baby P I have moderated which advocate doing serious physical violence or killing the perpetrators of abuse. Some are quite graphic. I’m not going to publish them because I don’t think it helps anybody, it disrespects the victims of violent crime and it makes me think that society is degenerating in a hideous cycle of violence. Call me what you will, but I think you just have to try and respond to stories of violence and broken families with compassion and with the determination to make less violence in the world. You have to try and break the cycle, not perpetuate it…
So many words bandied about by so many people. Big, descriptive, superlative words. Unimaginable. Horrific. And so it is. But ‘unspeakable’ (Times Leader earlier this week)? Plainly it isn’t, as everyone is doing just that.
A lot of talk about ‘risk’. What is sometimes forgotten is that there are two sorts of risk. The risk of leaving a child where it is. And the risk of removing a child from its parents when it wasn’t justified. It’s a tough call in many cases. Even if something has gone very wrong in the operation of the child protection system in Haringey (and we await the verdict of the various enquiries and investigations that have been peremptorily embarked upon to shed light on that) these are difficult decisions to make. Sometimes social workers get it wrong, thankfully most of the time errors of judgment do not result in such horrific consequences.
Of course this must be investigated, but it does make you think – how many more social workers, how much more training and support for them could be provided with the money spent on attempting to find an answer to the question of how on earth this could have happened?
The Family Law Week post on this case links to a number of the main sources of commentary and information in respect of Baby P. Family Lore also posts on the topic here.