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Our walking, talking little man

Living

The Dad Diary
Edwin McGreal

Éamon turned 18 months last Tuesday and celebrated it by climbing up on the couch again and again, all day long, and jumping on it with gleeful excitement.
As much as your heart would be in your mouth, parents of older children will remind you it is much easier to keep them safe when they are beside you. That all changes when they start going out to discos and facing all the perils that teenagers face in modern society.
But, when you’ve two young kids in the house, you’ve enough to deal with in the here and now without looking too far forward.
As mentioned in my last column, Éamon has mastered climbing onto window sills and the furniture and, while he’s at it, ageing myself and Aisling considerably.
It’s the boy in him – Frankie was much more cautious when she was at his stage – but hopefully the novelty will wear off or he will just get more secure and be less of a risk of falling every single minute of the day!
But he’s making progress in other ways that are altogether less stressful. His ability to understand what we are saying is very evident. Mention of a walk, a spin in the car or going to the playroom will lead to him stopping whatever he’s at and heading in the direction of said pursuit at speed and with excitement written all over his face.
He loves books too, so if I say ‘Get me a book and we’ll read’, he will run to the books, pick up a couple of his favourites and come running over to me as fast as his little legs will carry him. I’ll lift him and he will sit in my oxter as I read to him. It’s lovely.
Speech is coming along at its own pace too. He loves making animal noises on request, doing a very good sheep and and an impressive fish. He has a bit of work to do on his cats and dogs.
Not unlike his sister, Éamon’s first word will probably have to be recorded as ‘No’. Or, as he says himself, ‘Nnnnooh!’. He purses his lips and exclaims it with great excitement.
He says it in response to questions, any questions at all.
“Are you Daddy’s boy?”
“Nnnnooh!”
Same with Mammy’s boy, Frankie’s boy or anyone else you can name. Maybe he’s trying to tell us he’s his own little man.
Frankie has picked up the game and run with it, often asking Éamon a series of questions, all answered with a firm ‘Nnnnooh’ and then a laugh. Their first chat.
They’ll be as thick as thieves before we know it.

In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.