I don’t usually buy into any political bullshit, but there is something going on here in Victoria that I am deeply unhappy about.
A new children’s hospital is being built here in Melbourne at Monash, and the do-gooders are up in arms about plans to include a McDonalds in it. Our Premier, Daniel Andrews, basically told them to piss off. Have I mentioned I am starting to really like this man?
I agree with him 100%. McDonalds in a children’s hospital isn’t about childhood obesity, or bad food choices, or lazy meals. It is about giving sick children and their siblings a much needed treat.
I was a sickly child, not major hospital admission type sickly, but weak in the lungs, meaning every bloody winter was an endless round of colds and flu ending in lung infections, and on several occasions, pneumonia. I also had allergies like no bugger’s business.
My parents knew how damn miserable I was most of the winter. The rounds of doctor’s visits (even though my doctor was a sweetheart I adored) and pathology visits took their toll. So my parents gave me little treats from time to time, when they could see I was getting badly down.
I remember having to sit for over an hour with my arms sticking straight out whilst a woman scratched various allergens into my skin to find out what I was allergic too. To a little fidget like myself, this was almost intolerable. Worse, with my arms straight out I couldn’t hold a book to read! But I sat tight, because my mother promised me a special treat. My very own tennis racket so I could hit balls against the side of the house. I had wanted one for oh so long. It was like being offered the Holy Grail.
My dad would buy me my favourite chocolate as a treat. The long gone Cadbury’s Aztec. A rich creamy chocolate centre surrounded by even richer chocolate. I didn’t get chocolate often, so this was a treat to be savoured. One occasion when I had pneumonia dad bought me the biggest block he could find! It lasted about a month as I slowly ate it one delicious square at a time.
The usual treat from mum after a grueling doctor’s or path appointment was a trip to the local toy store near the doctor’s surgery. They had a huge selection of books. My treat was a new book. The Hardy Boys books and the Trixie Belden books got me through many a miserable winter.
If McDonalds had been around when I was a child (we didn’t get a KFC until I was about 10 and I was in my early 20s before McDonalds shifted in), and I had liked it, it would probably have been my treat.
The point I am making is that sick and stressed children need treats. To view McDonalds as nasty and horrible, and to ban them from hospitals takes away quite possibly the only thing making that hospital stay bearable for an ill child and their stressed, frightened sibling.
There is a special place in the Christian Hell for people who want to inflict that misery on children.