Well, it’s official.
As of last week, and thanks to $9 million spent by the New Zealand taxpayer on a referendum that nobody has to do anything about, nearly 90% of us voted in favour of being able to assault children legally.
The point must be made that when I say ‘assault’ I mean smack. I use the word assault because if I ‘smacked’ any adult in the street the charge I would face is ‘assault’. Do we live in such a backward world where people get so worked up after a law is passed to protect children?
When the law was originally passed all it did was remove Section 59 of The Crimes Amendment Bill which allowed parents to use the defence of ‘reasonable force’ when disciplining their children. For example, 28 strokes of the birch would not have counted as punishment under the revised law. I’m just thinking as well… what normal parent would want to use ‘reasonable force’ against a child. More to the point what adult would believe that using force against any innocent is the right thing to do. Also why would you want to protect your rights to hit the most innocent members of society – those who need the most protection – and campaign publicly to do so? I just don’t understand why or how people see smacking, hitting, or caning of children as OK.
Previously you may have read about my current experiences with IVF and the commencement of our journey through this process (IVF and IVF2). By implication this tells you that I am yet to be a parent. It is very easy for me to say these things when I have never had the fright of my life as my three year old runs out onto a busy intersection without looking. I cannot say what my reaction would be because it hasn’t happened yet and it would be a reaction. But things should never happen when you’re reacting.
Spare the rod and spoil the child? I’m sure we’ve all come a long, long way from this biblical nonsense – or maybe we haven’t. People in NZ obviously want the right to hit their children. They have shown it with their voting pens. Good work there, he says sarcastically. I would now like to hold a referendum and vote in favour of hitting people who don’t indicate when they are cutting across in front of me on the motorway. Just a gentle smack would do. A light smack on the bottom would be all it would take to stop these people from not using their indicators, despite the fact that the indicator switch is one of the closest at hand when you are seated in a driving position. Maybe not just a gentle smack… I would actually like to use reasonable force against these people. Yes… reasonable force. I would like to retrain them by using reasonable force.You can’t do that Boon – it’s assault.
The unfortunate side of this defence of ‘reasonable force’ is the fact that my ‘reasonable force’ might involve a trousers down smack with some kind of reinforced wooden cutlery. However, someone else’s ‘reasonable force’ might include putting their child into a clothes drier and hanging them out onto a clothesline. If you’re overseas reading this think I’m enhancing my point by going to an untrue and exaggerated extreme, cut and paste Nia Glassie Case into Google and see what you find out.
In this referendum month of August two New Zealand children have died because parents and caregivers used what they believed to be ‘reasonable force’ when disciplining – or just had no idea at all about parenting or humanity.
Being part of a couple who can’t get up the duff without a bit of science helping along the way it breaks my heart to hear these horror stories of severe abuse. It starts you thinking… why can these dickheads have children at the drop of a hat and I’m forced to make love to a jar in a room at a hospital and put my sperm in the freezer to bring my child into existence. If these so-called ‘parents’ don’t want their children let me and Mrs. Boon have a go.
It’s something that we’ve thought about. The only problem with the adoption/fostering of children these days is how open it is. Biological parents still have access – to an extent I suppose, dependent on their fitness – but it’s all monitored by the government through their wonderfully resourced and thoroughly agile Department of Children, Young Persons and their Families (CYFS). I don’t think I’d like to be a parent under those circumstances… the thought of giving all of your love to a child and then having that child head off and find biological parents at some later date, or have a relationship all the way through their childhood, would make me feel like half a parent. The carpet of love could be pulled out from under you at any moment.
New Zealand has voted in favour of hitting children. 87% in favour. It’s still astounds that nearly 90% of New Zealanders have voted that smacking/hitting/assaulting children should NOT be a criminal offence. I don’t believe it. I just don’t believe it. What is wrong with you people… (thanks to the nearly 12% that voted with me. You are the right kind of people).
I promise to blog on a slightly more upbeat note next time.
By way of an update…
The process has begun. Yes, this is true. We are officially part of the Fertility Plus baby making machine. Small portions of me now lie frozen somewhere in the vacinity of -200°c. How my swimmers might be able to survive a slow freezing to that temperature and then get re-thawed back to +37°c both amazes and astounds me.
Let me put in the beep beep beep of a reversing truckular unit here and background a wee bit further the events of last Wednesday…
You may have read in my first IVF blog about my feelings of guilt towards our IVF experience as a whole. Due to my wife’s endometriosis a vast majority of the medical events will be happening to her. The guilt I feel relates to the fact that she is going through all the pain, prodding and procedures while I isn’t. To prevent these guilty feelings taking over I’ve been focusing on giving her my complete and total support when called upon.
Another thing I’ve been doing to allay the guilty feelings is to talk to people about our procedure. This has been quite cathartic also – mainly because everyone seems to be excited about the whole process starting and this excitement is rubbing off on me. I too am now excited about beginning IVF. At some point over the next couple of years (maybe sooner) we might have a little Boon running, crawling, dribbling and/or pooing around the house. That, my friends, is awesome.
The people I’ve been talking to are the ones who have to know – boss and team leader – but there have been others. Fertility Plus gave us a book with a time-line showing what happens and when during IVF. Day 1, as it’s called, will be happening sometime near the start of September. This is the first day of Zoe’s period when she rings up and books in an appointment to learn how to give the injections that will turn her body into an egg producing machine. This time-line is great because it’s all on one page and you show it to people and say ‘this happens there’ and ‘about this time we’ll be doing that’ and so on. The penultimate entry on the time-line is eggs fertilised with the final one being, obviously, embryos implanted.
At the very moment I point to that section of the time-line, or I tell someone about that part of the process, I wait. I wait to see which euphemism the person uses to describe my delivery of sperm to Fertility Plus. I’ve had “your contribution” and “doing your bit”. There’s no getting around it though and when you’re talking with someone about it you can see it in their eyes. You know. They know. You know that they know. They know that you know that they know. Everyone knows. My part involves going into a little room with a plastic jar with a pink lid and getting somewhat jiggy with myself. It’s just me, the room and my imagination. On Wednesday it was my turn to produce a back-up sample so that if I couldn’t on the day there would be one there we could use.
While I was walking down the corridor to the lab I noticed four large picture boards on the walls. Every single one was filled, packed, with pictures of babies and children. All of the children Fertility Plus had helped parents to create. It was a totally awe inspiring sight. Hundreds of pictures, from family pics of the kids lined up on the couch, down to a couple of babies being held up by the doctor/midwife moments after being born. I thought as I wandered down to the lab to pick up my pink-lidded jar that one day our baby could be on the corridor wall. A most heart warming and positive moment. It was the first time in a long, long time that I felt we would have children after IVF, or at all.
After ‘contributing’ to the pink-lidded jar I had to fill in a consent form, which Zoe had to sign. I almost ran down the corridor to the waiting room where she was and told her she had forms to sign. While we walked I showed her the photos. On one of the photo boards there was a small gap between pictures. I saw this and pointed and said, “Look. There’s the gap for our baby.”
What I thought was going to be a daunting and highly clinical procedure has now turned into one of the most exciting experiences I’ve ever had. That’s in stark contrast to how I was feeling even three weeks ago. It’s amazing what a couple of hundred incredibly cute baby photos does to the IVF psyche!
Until next time, happy contributing.
PS: Here’s the link to IVF 3
Hello and salutatious welcomings to you all…
Life is all a little bit too serious these days. It’s like someone has removed the funny bone from our society and replaced it with a jelly-like substance that smells of fear and stress. The fearstress jelly seems to run western life with the ruthless efficiency made famous by many a leiderhosen wearing Bavarian factory owner.
Starting off with a slight tickle of racism certainly wasn’t my intention. In fact, and I’m not sure if the boonparents still possess photos of me dressed as such, but there was a point in my life when I did own a pair of leather trousers that were handed down to me by a neighbour’s mother. I am uncertain if they were the fabled breeches of our Germanic cousins, but I can tell you this: they contained two adjacent zipper flies, when both were in the ‘descended’ position, opened a large flap in the front of the shorts. I can only assume this was to allow the wearer free range over any toilet encountered. Being only seven at the time of the trouser inheritance had me thinking that the previous owner might indeed be endowed with adjacent bi-genitalia – although age and common sense has since dented this belief slightly.
Back to my original point – life is too serious. Our culture (and by our I mean NZ, Australia, UK, USA and other such countries) is obsessed with ownership. It seems the model of our life is such: we go to school, we get a job, we go to work, we earn money to pay for things, and then we retire with little to show for it except some grey hairs, a kid or two, a late model car and maybe a house.
Our total focus on home ownership seems to have set us up incredibly well to deal with this current recession, hasn’t it?? What I’m trying to say, in a slightly sarcastic tone it must be admitted, is what I have said many times in this blog: you should never pay for something if you don’t have the money for it. People are going to say, “but I would never have the money for a home if the banks didn’t provide a mortgage facility.” Yeah, but that’s what the banks WANT you to think. You know you can save up for a house and buy it with cash – it will take years and years and years but it can be done. You can save up for a car and buy it for cash. And a stereo. An I-pod. A new pair of leiderhosen. You don’t have to get into huge amounts of debt because your parents did, or because society says it’s important to own a home. Sure you need somewhere to live, but I’ve seen people in housing provided by the taxpayer far happier than anyone else I know. Technically, I suppose Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth fall into this category, but I now find myself ridiculously off point yet again and we must be brought back to my original point.
Life is all too serious.
Who says you have to buy stuff, own stuff, be something? Was it your mum? The government? If we weren’t so focused on this life model of capital purchasing or borrowing to fund our wants, then I doubt very much that the current recession would be happening. Banks would not have lent to people because there would have been no demand. Housing prices would be affordable – if people even wanted to own in the first place.
What would it be like if you didn’t want all the things you wanted? Admittedly some of those things, like quilted toilet tissue, make life a lot easier than in the days when we used bark and stones for the job, but really are you any happier?
How many people reading this have had to change jobs in the last year? How many have had to change down? That is, are you now a worker when you used to be a manager? You’ve had to take a pay cut because that was the only option. Has this affected your ability to service your liabilities? And has this, in turn, affected your brevity levels?
Of course, all this is immensely easy for me to say because I don’t have kids or a mortgage. If you have kids you do need that stability of home ownership a little more I suppose because if you were renting there’d always be the chance the landlord would ask you to move on.
The chances of my wife and I having this dream (home, kids, car etc.) are greatly reduced at the present moment and we are about to head into the world of IVF in order to attain at least part of it. This should have me tearing my hair out. Sometimes it does, but mostly it doesn’t. I am a happy and incredibly lucky person. I have a wonderful wife who I love and who loves me back. I have great friends and family who make me laugh. My wife and I get around in a 1991 Toyota Corolla with a bit of rust in the door and 200,000kms on the clock. I don’t feel the ‘need’ to own a house – I would quite like one sure – but I don’t need one. Even if we do get the chance to be parents I’m not sure if I want the stress of home ownership adding to the rest of it…
So, to conclude… go and buy yourself a pair of leiderhosen. Wear them proudly to work. Wear them to the bank when you’re breaking your fixed mortgage contract and being charged $16,000 for the privilege. I guarantee you the rub of leather against your moist skin will make that charge ever so slightly more bearable.
Until next time, auf wiedersehen.
You may or may not have read over the last couple of days that I’m planning to blog every day for the month of August as part of National Blog Posting Month. Alas… due to the fact the NaBloPoMo website is incredibly user unfriendly I have given up. To get my blog on their site I can’t just do it easily, there’s all sorts of cutting and pasting required. Basically I have to do two blogs – I barely have time for one!
So NaBloPoMo, you have failed to ignite my juices. In fact, you have slightly annoyed my juices. You are a nice idea but the Internet today is full of lazy bloggers like me. I need to be able to click just one button and have my blog automatically appear on your page. I don’t have a spare five minutes to cut, paste, insert, save, edit and resave. In fact, it’s taken me over 12 minutes to type this – you’re actually wasting more of my time.
Well no more!
Tomorrow I won’t be blogging.
So there you have it.
All race issues are no longer thanks to a couple of handfuls of peanuts and 4 pints of watery American beer on the White House lawn.
What did Obama think it would achieve – apart from the obvious photo op after saying the police were stupid. As soon as he said that you could hear all law enforcement characters across the US throw down their donuts in disgust and say, ‘no – you’re stupid’.
Fox News, whose reality sits somewhere between Hitler and Ghengis Khan, say Obama is a racist. He’s not. He’s just a brother with a big mouth who always goes for the gag. Sometimes they don’t pay off.
Och well… now the USA is a rainbow nation where everyone lives in harmony. We are already at tomorrow.