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Forever young

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Diary of a Home Bird
Ciara Galvin

IF YOU'RE ever feeling a bit down and unloved I have a suggestion to boost your mood. Get yourself a child. I don’t mean run out to the nearest creché or even make your own, I mean if you’ve a niece or nephew, try to spend time with them.
What comes out of a little person’s mind really would make you look at the world with rose-tinted spectacles. Everything is an experience, and everything warrants a story.
These days I have the absolute pleasure of getting to spend time each morning and evening with my three-(and-three-quarters)-year-old niece, Saoirse, while she’s home from Dubai with her parents.
Her presence automatically lifts everyone’s mood, especially when she shares her factoids. Apparently, chickens are born in spring, and girls have ‘baginas’.
She doesn’t pull any punches either. After breaking the news to me in Dubai that I had a ‘sandwich back’ she now tells Pops in no uncertain terms that he has a ‘biiiiiig belly’, while tapping her own.
When it comes to cleaning, I discovered she’s just like her auntie, and pretty useful too. Helping me tidy my room, she picked up a pile of clothes and fired them in the wardrobe out of sight, before beaming up at me for a job well done.
I then told her to go into the kitchen to the female roomie to tell her ‘Ciara’s room is very clean’. Turns out the female roomie just needed to hear from someone else that my room is spotless in order to refrain from commenting about it incessantly. Win.
Even getting ready for work in the mornings is more fun when you have a helper.
“Do you have makeup? I like makeup.” Who could resist? Knowing I didn’t have a lot of time, I basically pulled the pin from the grenade before heading out the door to work. The grenade being an illuminous peach lipstick that I gave her to go crazy with. She seemed delighted. Her parents on the other hand, were not so pleased, and reminded me that one day I would have a child of my own and they would repay the favour.
Oh, and she’s a good yarn teller too. One evening last week Si-Si came home with great tales of adventure from a sunny day trip to Galway. She was delighted to report that when she was singing her favourite song, ‘Óró, sé do bheatha ’bhaile’ (yes, it really is her favourite), while walking along with her parents, a ‘man with a can’ started singing along too.
Of course when Si-Si told the story, it came across as hilarious. However, the disapproving looks of the other adults in the room told me it was just myself and Si Si who share the same humour, and possibly intellect.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old trying to get used to living away from her parents.

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