Sunday, April 24, 2011

Secrets, lies, the law and the internets.

Way back in the dark ages, while I was at Uni, I did a year-long course about the law and media.

One of the hot topics for discussion was how the law continually fails to keep up with technology - and this was WAY before the internets.

It seems the law is still struggling, as envisaged by events in State politics this week.

A State parliamentarian was arrested and charged with possessing kiddie porn. He can't be named here due to a 1976 amendment to the the Evidence Act (1929).

Basically, the media may not publish any evidence tendered, or submission made, in the Magistrates Court relating to an alleged sex offence. This includes naming any person charged with an offence until they have entered a plea.

The crazy thing is that this law only applies in this state, so media elsewhere has taken a risk and named the MP in editions not sold here, and anyone with access to a computer can read all about it on various blogs (not to mention that Derryn Hinch himself has outed the alleged culprit.)

Now, as  an former journo - and one that has spent more than a few hours reporting from criminal courts - I have a big problem with blanket suppression orders, but I do understand the notion of innocent until proven guilty and realise that being accused of kiddy porn can destroy a person's life- even if they are later found not guilty.

But the point of this blog is not to argue the rights and wrongs of suppression orders, but to point out that the internet makes this particular law a farce.

The man's identity is the worst kept secret of the State, and it's time that the law recognised that in the age of Web 2.0 and the rise of social media that suppresion orders are not worth the paper they are written on. And if any over-eager sub-judice lawyers are reading this, please note I did not break any ridiculous law.

(Now we will return you to your regular programming of mummy-juggle whinging!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where did my baby boy go?

My little boy is growing up.

Yes, yes, I know, this shouldn't come as a surprise. But it kind of has.

Sure we recognise all the regular milestones - first word, first step, first tooth, yada yada. But then they get a bit older and these reminders don't come along quite so frequently. And then, suddenly, they do.

In the past couple of weeks, Gromit has matured in front of my eyes. First, it was his rejection of Big Dog, the soft toy that has been his constant companion since the winemaker bought it at the hospital gift shop the day Gromit was born. Sure, Big Dog still sits on his bed during the day, but the poor thing is tossed unceremoniously on the floor at bedtime, when he used to be cuddled all night.

Then, he decided he wanted to read to himself before bed. The night-time ritual of me snuggling up to my boy and reading to him - one of the more peaceful moments of my day - was over. Kaput.

Until last week, Gromit needed the light on to go to sleep. Now he turns it off himself - after he's read a couple of chapters of his latest Boys Rule or Aussie Bites adventure.

Finally, yesterday we cleaned out his bedroom and he happily threw away broken, rubbishy toys and other things he no longer had a use for (3 1/2 garbage bags full! Plus a box of toys and books to be put aside for his sister).

He turns seven next month. My baby is no more.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

To sleep, perchance to dream

There's this new Oil of Olay ad where they use the same model they had 10 years ago to illustrate how the skin cream has kept her young.

The ad goes along the lines of "Ten years, two children, 348 pre-dawn starts", first showing the model as she originally appeared in press ads, then revealing her "now" look. Voila. No new wrinkles!

I am insanely jealous of this woman. Not because she hasn't aged in 10 years, but because, with two children she's managed only 348 pre-dawn starts.

Gromit is seven in 40 days. So that's 365x7-40= 2515 (give or take for leap years). I probably average one sleep-in a month in that time. So 12x7= 84. That gives me 2431 pre-dawn starts in seven years. And, honestly, most of the sleep-ins are because I've been up half the night with a child. They don't really count.

So you see my point.

I know not everyone is "blessed" with early-rising children. I've heard tell that some kids sleep in on weekends. I've also been told that some kids wake early, but then snuggle in the parents' bed and they all fall back asleep. Ha...when my kids are up, they are UP.

On the plus side, they do go to bed reasonably early, which is a good thing, since the winemaker and I hit a wall by about 8pm. (And, no, putting them to bed later does not make them get up later. Exactly the opposite in fact).

When you are pregnant, you expect a few sleepless nights and early mornings while the child is an infant. But no one warns you that the early starts may last a lot longer than that.

Of course, I wouldn't trade it for the world, yada yada yada. But I would pay good money for just one decent night's sleep with the opportunity to wake up when I was fully rested.

Or at least with no child screaming in my ear.