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Madeleine - The first few years

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Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 15.03.17 7:19

I thought it might be interesting, for people who haven't read Kate Mccann's book, 'madeleine', to know a little more about Madeleine's early life. Here are some of the things Kate McCann tells us about Madeleine's first few years. I've tried not to embellish! 

Madeleine suffered from colic and 'cried for the best part of each day for the first four months.' According to Kate, she also appeared to have an aversion to sleep. Kate tried various remedies, Infracol and gripe water amongst them but nothing seemed to work. The first time Madeleine slept for a full night was in Italy, when the family  attended David and Fiona Payne's wedding.  We are told by Kate that, 'One night, for no obvious reason, we put Madeleine down and she slept for a solid six hours.' 


Madeleine and her family moved four times in her first two years: from Queniborough to Amsterdam, back to Queniborough and then finally to the family home in Rothley. She also started nursery briefly before having to be taken out again when the family moved quite unexpectedly to Amsterdam. 


Kate became pregnant (after IVF) with twins when Madeleine was just eleven months old. The pregnancy was very difficult (I would say traumatic) with Kate spending long periods in hospital in Amsterdam due to serious complications. When Kate was allowed home, she had to be very careful and could only manage limited interaction with Madeleine because she needed a great deal of bed rest. She tells us her interaction was restricted to cuddles on the bed. Family members helped with childcare at this time. 


Three days before the twins were born, a family member had a heart attack at the McCanns' home in Leicestershire and Madeleine witnessed this. In fact little Madeleine tried to attend to her relative's medical emergency with her toy doctor's kit. Kate describes this incident as surreal. 


Six weeks after the twins were born, Gerry's father died of cancer. 


I felt that Madeleine's early life was very unsettled and learning about what she experienced during her first few years helped me to understand her a little more, so for this reason I thought I would share these details for all those who haven't read the book. 


Most of this book reads like a penny dreadful and Kate's narrative voice is very cloying - she sadly doesn't mention Madeleine much at all. The latter sections, with the emphasis on how Madeleine's disappearance became a business venture of global proportions and a means of social advancement, the constant name dropping and the highly inappropriate grand tour are all truly distasteful in my opinion. 


In contrast, I did find the early sections, where we learn about a young family with many challenges and a great deal of heartache, to be the most truthful and revealing sections of the book - I felt Kate was comfortable recounting the early years.  There is however a chilling contrast in my mind, between these two conflicting aspects of the book - who these people were and what they became is perhaps a central theme - albeit not one the writer intended. 
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by leajay11 on 15.03.17 11:35

Thank you for that, a great insight and also affirms my impression of Kate McCann somewhat.  

Can you please clarify (in your opinion) the part where she talks about Madeleine's private parts?  

I haven't read the book and don't intend to, but I've seen so many references to the comment that I would like to know in which way she brings it up and for what purpose?

Many thanks.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 15.03.17 12:45

Leajay I'll have a think and get back to you later.
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Roxyroo on 15.03.17 14:06

I felt exactly the same, like the book was in two parts. I sympathised with K in the first half, about her difficult pregnancy, as i had the same. I found unwritten and in between the lines gist running through the whole book was that Gerry was the financial provider but not much cop at helping out. I think she really did struggle, and as an only child myself i can understand how she felt overwhelmed, the only experience i had with babies was looking after my cousins, maybe K had none of this. But she does seem to have had a lot of help. I can imagine the Glaswegian arm of the family saying she just needs to get on with it, especially as Gerry comes from such a big family.
The second half of the book is where i think the ghostwriter has helped, whoever that may be!

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 15.03.17 14:25

@Roxyroo wrote:I felt exactly the same, like the book was in two parts. I sympathised with K in the first half, about her difficult pregnancy, as i had the same. I found unwritten and in between the lines gist running through the whole book was that Gerry was the financial provider but not much cop at helping out. I think she really did struggle, and as an only child myself i can understand how she felt overwhelmed, the only experience i had with babies was looking after my cousins, maybe K had none of this. But she does seem to have had a lot of help. I can imagine the Glaswegian arm of the family saying she just needs to get on with it, especially as Gerry comes from such a big family.
The second half of the book is where i think the ghostwriter has helped, whoever that may be!
Phew Roxyroo I'm glad you felt the same - I thought I might get some stick for being too sympathetic! I also had a difficult second pregnancy and a beautiful daughter who cried a lot, so I did find this part of the book the most sincere and heartfelt and like you I identified with Kate's situation - I also felt quite isolated and I agree with you about Gerry - I get the impression Gerry's career came first - hence all the moving about. Agree about the ghost writer too - I think he or she might have had a penchant for Gothic fiction!
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 15.03.17 22:30

@leajay11 wrote:Thank you for that, a great insight and also affirms my impression of Kate McCann somewhat.  

Can you please clarify (in your opinion) the part where she talks about Madeleine's private parts?  

I haven't read the book and don't intend to, but I've seen so many references to the comment that I would like to know in which way she brings it up and for what purpose?

Many thanks.
I've had a think Leajay and the most interest thing about this now infamous passage for me is where it occurs in the book. It is in the chapter titled 'The Aftermath' which is the chapter about the time period immediately after the disappearance and before the McCanns embark on their grand tour. Shortly before Kate shares this horrific image with the reader, she is talking about being 'cooped up with lawyers and the police' and I found the ease with which she switches from this to the most harrowing and brutal imagery within the book deeply disturbing. The context is also bizarre - having been 'tailed by journalists' on their way to the beach, in an attempt to get away from it all, Kate chooses this moment to share her most harrowing thoughts with her husband. He just nods in agreement at hearing it by the way! 

What comes next in this chapter is even more revealing - Kate chooses this moment, having planted a deeply disturbing image in the readers' minds -  to reveal her theory as to how the abduction occurred, complete with a discussion of possible places of entry and exit to the apartment, an assertion that the abductor used tranquilizers to sedate all three children and even a suggestion that the abductor was possibly in the apartment hiding when Gerry made his final check. 

Cynically, I think this graphic imagery is positioned strategically in this chapter, almost grooming the reader before the abduction theory is expounded. I really cannot see any other plausible reason for exposing the reader to such imagery and I cannot imagine any couple would casually discuss such horrors after being tailed by the paparazzi in a public place. It doesn't ring true in my opinion.
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Basil with a brush on 16.03.17 4:50

It just kind of confirms what I already thought. That she had a very weak bond to this particular child.


My mother was an only child, and due to her mother having died when she was only six months old and her father having a liking for the booze, she had an awful childhood where she was fostered out more often than not until the age of fifteen. She was treated very inappropriately indeed by some of these so-called foster parents. Some went as far as locking her in the basement with no food, simply for no other reason than by 'Not being' one of the family. She had some truly horrible experiences and this is just one she talks about. I dread to think what she may keep to herself. Experiences that made her long to be with her own drunk father. A father who, one day burnt all of her toys in front of her, because she was late home from playing. How sad to still worship him until his death when I was only six. I feel no affection for this man who she still talks about with love to this day. She is now the sufferer of a very rapid state of dementia, and so I listen and let her talk of the love she has for him. Because I understand.

What I'm leading to is, my mother had five children (one died at three months) It was her biggest wish to have a big family. She and my father divorced and so she brought up four children alone and now has many Grandchildren and great Grandchildren. She has been a truly wonderful example of motherhood. Putting hers and others children before herself always. She did all this in spite of having had reasons for probably not being voted 'Mother of the year'

So using my mother's example of tough times and really wanting a family, I lack any real sympathy for the mother here in the early years and the 'Always wanted to be a mother' term, I've heard in some interviews. Sounds like, and I'm sure, she had plenty of help during her toughs times as a mother, but you cannot help with a bond, and the bond here just feels really weak.  The lack of mentioning the 'Real child' during the book just adds to this. A book that really is just about her/their odeal after losing a child. Too much about their struggle. It should have just been called 'Kate'



As for the mentioning of her child's private parts and what might be happening to them, well...that really beggars belief. As I see it, under no circumstances does any book warrant such a graphic disclosure of privacy. It wouldn't be acceptable if it was an adult's. Let alone a child's. And your own child at that.


I think she is very strange. I also think weak bonds can be exploited.


Finally, I don't think I will be reading the book any time soon.


Thank you for posting though 'Doc'. Appreciate it

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 16.03.17 7:36

Thanks for sharing your mother's story Basil - I think you raise an important issue which is child cruelty and  serious child neglect, which has been a social taboo for too long and affects far more people than is acknowledged.  

Where we differ I think is over the bonding issue - I think many women experience mental health problems during and after pregnancy and it isn't that they are unwilling to bond, it's more a case that they simply can't or don't know how. I think there are many reasons why this could be the case. With regards to support, remember KM moved around a lot and I do believe she felt isolated a lot of the time. This is someone who as a doctor in a hospital was used to being part of a team. She even says that when she became a GP she found this aspect difficult, because she had to rely on her own judgment more.
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by leajay11 on 16.03.17 8:22

Thanks for that 'Doc'.  It honestly beggars belief that she could write such tripe about her own child.  I think that even if a parent had that 'thought', they wouldn't share it with even their closest persons.  

I agree, she was probably planting seeds and trying to ensure the readers were led and hoping that her story would be believed.  

Thanks again for your insight.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by aquila on 16.03.17 8:32

What's_up_doc? wrote:Thanks for sharing your mother's story Basil - I think you raise an important issue which is child cruelty and  serious child neglect, which has been a social taboo for too long and affects far more people than is acknowledged.  

Where we differ I think is over the bonding issue - I think many women experience mental health problems during and after pregnancy and it isn't that they are unwilling to bond, it's more a case that they simply can't or don't know how. I think there are many reasons why this could be the case. With regards to support, remember KM moved around a lot and I do believe she felt isolated a lot of the time. This is someone who as a doctor in a hospital was used to being part of a team. She even says that when she became a GP she found this aspect difficult, because she had to rely on her own judgment more.
Whoa there WUP, you are delving into the psyche of the author of a bewk that was written and promoted by outside sources and meandering with your thoughts on what might have been Kate's relationship with Madeleine.

Just remember that that not a single credible, professionally qualified psychologist/psychiatrist was presented to the Lisbon Court.
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Basil with a brush on 16.03.17 8:44

I don't think we differ on the bonding issue 'Doc'. 

I too understand the difficulty experienced by many women when becoming mothers. I've witnessed it. I'm more than understanding with regards to that. I kind of took on the role of my wife's mother (who was pretty rubbish as a hands on Grandparent) while also had my own new role as a father at the same time when our daughter was born. I did it all, nappies, baths, cooking, bedtime reading, entertaining,  all while working nights too. I knew she needed the extra help acclimatising and the physical aspects were somewhere I knew could really help, as her own mother just wasn't very good at any of it. Come to think of it, she didn't really know what she had. I'm a bit of a catch I know....he he. Just kidding.

Whatever the reasons for it not being there, and there may be lots. It's still not there. 

P.S. I doubt she got any, let alone much, help from him if she was struggling. How he manages to get his head out of his arse in time for a tv appearance, Houdini would applaud.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Cmaryholmes on 16.03.17 9:07

@leajay11 wrote:Thanks for that 'Doc'.  It honestly beggars belief that she could write such tripe about her own child.  I think that even if a parent had that 'thought', they wouldn't share it with even their closest persons.  

I agree, she was probably planting seeds and trying to ensure the readers were led and hoping that her story would be believed.  

Thanks again for your insight.
Kate claimed to be writing the book for her children to read, which is extraordinary in view of the graphic nature of those comments.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 16.03.17 10:28

@aquila wrote:
What's_up_doc? wrote:Thanks for sharing your mother's story Basil - I think you raise an important issue which is child cruelty and  serious child neglect, which has been a social taboo for too long and affects far more people than is acknowledged.  

Where we differ I think is over the bonding issue - I think many women experience mental health problems during and after pregnancy and it isn't that they are unwilling to bond, it's more a case that they simply can't or don't know how. I think there are many reasons why this could be the case. With regards to support, remember KM moved around a lot and I do believe she felt isolated a lot of the time. This is someone who as a doctor in a hospital was used to being part of a team. She even says that when she became a GP she found this aspect difficult, because she had to rely on her own judgment more.
Whoa there WUP, you are delving into the psyche of the author of a bewk that was written and promoted by outside sources and meandering with your thoughts on what might have been Kate's relationship with Madeleine.

Just remember that that not a single credible, professionally qualified psychologist/psychiatrist was presented to the Lisbon Court.
Hey all - I didn't want to wander into the territory of KM's relationship with Madeleine at all and I thought I'd made general points but if I didn't make that clear I'm sorry because I don't want to go there, honest! Any references to bonding issues were intended to be general - not about any one person. The issue of isolation is raised by KM herself so I think I'm on safe ground there.  I agree about the psychologist issue - Alan Pike is a counselor and his testimony was not accepted by the Portuguese Supreme Court- and rightly so IMO too. I thought this was gonna be  quiet thread tucked away in the nerdie book corner!
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Basil with a brush on 16.03.17 10:33

@Cmaryholmes wrote:
@leajay11 wrote:Thanks for that 'Doc'.  It honestly beggars belief that she could write such tripe about her own child.  I think that even if a parent had that 'thought', they wouldn't share it with even their closest persons.  

I agree, she was probably planting seeds and trying to ensure the readers were led and hoping that her story would be believed.  

Thanks again for your insight.
Kate claimed to be writing the book for her children to read, which is extraordinary in view of the graphic nature of those comments.
Very extraordinary I'd say. Also very alarming.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 16.03.17 10:44

@Basil with a brush wrote:I don't think we differ on the bonding issue 'Doc'. 

I too understand the difficulty experienced by many women when becoming mothers. I've witnessed it. I'm more than understanding with regards to that. I kind of took on the role of my wife's mother (who was pretty rubbish as a hands on Grandparent) while also had my own new role as a father at the same time when our daughter was born. I did it all, nappies, baths, cooking, bedtime reading, entertaining,  all while working nights too. I knew she needed the extra help acclimatising and the physical aspects were somewhere I knew could really help, as her own mother just wasn't very good at any of it. Come to think of it, she didn't really know what she had. I'm a bit of a catch I know....he he. Just kidding.

Whatever the reasons for it not being there, and there may be lots. It's still not there. 

P.S. I doubt she got any, let alone much, help from him if she was struggling. How he manages to get his head out of his arse in time for a tv appearance, Houdini would applaud.
Thanks Basil - I was maybe being a bit sexist there - assuming we women understand these matters a bit more! I agree about the support issue and I think you are still probably more the exception than the rule when it comes to childcare... Oops I'm lapsing into that pesky stereotyping again - best quit whilst I'm still ahead!
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 16.03.17 10:58

@Basil with a brush wrote:
@Cmaryholmes wrote:
@leajay11 wrote:Thanks for that 'Doc'.  It honestly beggars belief that she could write such tripe about her own child.  I think that even if a parent had that 'thought', they wouldn't share it with even their closest persons.  

I agree, she was probably planting seeds and trying to ensure the readers were led and hoping that her story would be believed.  

Thanks again for your insight.
Kate claimed to be writing the book for her children to read, which is extraordinary in view of the graphic nature of those comments.
Very extraordinary I'd say. Also very alarming.
We're back to the issue of her moral compass again which never does seem to get it right...
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Basil with a brush on 16.03.17 11:11

Best to forge ahead and remember, while you are forging, if you see a sign saying 'MEANDERING - This way'......give it a wide berth....he he.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Verdi on 16.03.17 11:52

What's_up_doc? wrote: I thought this was gonna be  quiet thread tucked away in the nerdie book corner!
There is no exclusivity on CMoMM - all members can contribute to whatever thread they wish.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 16.03.17 12:10

@Verdi wrote:
What's_up_doc? wrote: I thought this was gonna be  quiet thread tucked away in the nerdie book corner!
There is no exclusivity on CMoMM - all members can contribute to whatever thread they wish.
I was trying to be droll Verdi, hence the exclamation mark - just lightening the tone as it is a serious subject...
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Verdi on 16.03.17 12:29

What's_up_doc? wrote:
@Verdi wrote:
What's_up_doc? wrote: I thought this was gonna be  quiet thread tucked away in the nerdie book corner!
There is no exclusivity on CMoMM - all members can contribute to whatever thread they wish.
I was trying to be droll Verdi, hence the exclamation mark - just lightening the tone as it is a serious subject...
I see.  I often use exclamation marks but to emphasize a point, never thought of it being an indication of humour.  Still we are as we are I guess.

As you appear to be interested in interpreting Kate McCann's book, there is an extensive book review and discussion forum on Amazon you might find to your liking.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 16.03.17 12:52

@Verdi wrote:
What's_up_doc? wrote:
@Verdi wrote:
What's_up_doc? wrote: I thought this was gonna be  quiet thread tucked away in the nerdie book corner!
There is no exclusivity on CMoMM - all members can contribute to whatever thread they wish.
I was trying to be droll Verdi, hence the exclamation mark - just lightening the tone as it is a serious subject...
I see.  I often use exclamation marks but to emphasize a point, never thought of it being an indication of humour.  Still we are as we are I guess.

As you appear to be interested in interpreting Kate McCann's book, there is an extensive book review and discussion forum on Amazon you might find to your liking.
Exclamation marks are used to denote exclamations including humour - there's nothing unique in my usage other than I'm a bit liberal with them but that's because I'm an upbeat kinda gal! Regards the Amazon forum - thanks for the hint but do you really need to keep up these barbed comments?  I'll be staying put thanks!
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Verdi on 16.03.17 15:13

I thought you might be interested in Amazon, that's all.  You are not required by CMoMM, nor Amazon as far as I'm aware, to sign a declaration of allegiance - you are liberty to post wherever you please whenever you please but then I'm guessing you already know that.  Your readiness to get stuck in without finding your feet and getting a feel of the forum only a month ago, already racking-up over 170 posts, tells me you're no stranger to forum land.

You are welcome on CMoMM,  as long as you adhere to forum rules of course.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Guest on 16.03.17 16:31

@Verdi wrote:I thought you might be interested in Amazon, that's all.  You are not required by CMoMM, nor Amazon as far as I'm aware, to sign a declaration of allegiance - you are liberty to post wherever you please whenever you please but then I'm guessing you already know that.  Your readiness to get stuck in without finding your feet and getting a feel of the forum only a month ago, already racking-up over 170 posts, tells me you're no stranger to forum land.

You are welcome on CMoMM,  as long as you adhere to forum rules of course.
That's not the case Verdi, I have never posted on a forum before and again you make a barbed comment: 'your readiness to get stuck in without finding your feet'. Who are you to decide whether I've found my feet or not? Is there a probation period? I'm finding this constant carping at me incredibly rude. Once again you have derailed discussion of the topic by getting personal.  I would appreciate a bit of back up from a moderator at this point. Please don't say it's you!
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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Roxyroo on 16.03.17 17:04

I don't understand what you're getting at Verdi? Can you explain to me also please? If she's free to post whatever she wants why can't WUP post her thoughts on the book, using her personal experiences to highlight the strangeness of it, just like i did.

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Re: Madeleine - The first few years

Post by Roxyroo on 16.03.17 17:05

Am i also going to be mistrusted now too? I use exclamation marks sometimes for humorous reasons also. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?
On the one hand you say she's welcome to post whatever she likes, but then, according to yourself she has posted a fair few times within the last month. Anyone new to the forum is naturally going to have more thoughts and questions than the ppl who have been here longer

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