I have the flu. I think I might have had the start of it at the Taupo Half Marathon, which might explain my extreme weariness before, during and after the race. I'm headachy, tired, grumpy, snotty and nauseous. And work is really busy, so time off is not really an option.
Auckland has another child - four months old this time - in hospital with non accidental head injuries. Apparently the teenage parents (18 and 19) if I remember correctly, also have older child. And their house is known as a party house, with people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. I'm not going to pre judge them, because frankly I don't know who hurt this baby. But the fact is that our society allows children to be hurt in this way. And at the same time, we support folks who have children who possibly shouldn't be having children. State housing, benefits, unemployment. This country spends a hell of a lot of money on those things.
I'm not advocating that we cut off support for families who need it. What I do think though, is instead of our Child Protection Service being an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, that EVERY family with young children receiving a benefit must be visited at least monthly. It may not help - it's a worry with the number of children injured or killed where it comes out later that CYFS was already involved. But we have to do something.
And in a personal note - how can our Government then decide that women (like me) who cannot conceive without help do not get that help unless they meet incredibly strict criteria? I sound like a droning old woman, but I've worked since I was 16 years old. Apart from a 2 month stint on ACC after a car accident, I've never received a benefit. Yet, when I did need help to try IVF to possibly have a child - a child we wanted desperately, a child we had planned for and were ready for, that help was not there. All because I had conceived (and lost) a pregnancy (in Nov 04) and under the Government rules I would have to wait three years before qualifying for IVF. But by the time the three years were past, I would be over 40 so excluded on that basis.
Even if I had qualified, I would only be allowed two IVF attempts. And should the first be successful, there is no second attempt. Apparently infertile women in New Zealand are only allowed one child - at least with Government assistance anyway. And with the infertility market in New Zealand being so small - it's a damn expensive process to do privately.
I know I am being grouchy. But I have the flu and I am allowed to be an old bitter grump today. I promise to be back to Miss Perky (or at least Miss Marginally Happier) very shortly. Promise.