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Framing adulthood


Diary of a home bird
Ciara Galvin

THE redecorating of the homestead hasn’t finished. Final touches are being made to the sitting room. It’s unrecognisable: New fire place, new colour scheme and curtains to match. It’s a house that even Dermot Bannon would be proud of, and one that the roomies are beaming about.
Any time one of the bridies call they’re given the grand tour, not forgetting Pop’s ‘control centre’ in the man cave, which, between being used as an office is moonlighting as my home exercise space (that one time). It looks span new.
As mentioned, it’s now just about the finishing touches, and handyman Cristoph is, well, on hand. Last week the task was to adorn the walls with Madre’s artwork and photographs of the family. I was asked for my creative opinion, and poor Cristoph was instructed ‘To the left a bit … a little to the right’, etc.
As you can imagine, with a core clan of the roomies and five ‘kids’, and a large extended family, we have a lot of snaps of the good times. Weddings? Lots of them. It was up to myself and the handyman to talk about the placement of the pictures of each, while leaving space for other happy occasions.
He was doing his best to fit everything into one corner uniformly, and the pressure was on as myself and the roomies watched.
I tried to put him at ease by letting him know that he wouldn’t have to leave space for a fifth wedding picture, much to the concern of the roomies.
Not much has changed since this time last year, when my brother kindly informed me that I was not only jobless, but also single. Who needs enemies when you’ve family, eh? Just the other day he suggested I move to some small corner of Asia to find myself a man. I don’t think I’m at that stage just yet, but thanks Lorcán.
The pressure has certainly ramped up though, and even the kids are starting to get on my case, asking the hard questions. Last week, while trying on an outfit in my sister in-law’s house, I heard my four-year-old niece Aoibh enquire, ‘Is auntie Ciara getting married?’. I shouted back out that I was not, but asked if she would be my flower girl, before quickly replacing that with ‘bridesmaid’, because, let’s face it, she’ll be a grown up by the time that ever happens!
As a big-ish birthday looms, I find myself increasingly worried as to the level of ‘adulting’ I’m at. I mean, I still quite enjoy making blanket forts with my nieces on a Tuesday afternoon. And right now, a blanket fort is the only attempt I’ve made to get on the property ladder.
My adulting level these days stretches to babysitting, and my record of tiny humans surviving (100 percent). Granted that on some occasions said little humans are still awake when their parents get home, but sure we’ll just call that a ‘welcoming party’.
Last week I had a standoff with a non-sleepy 16 month old at midnight. After giving him my best rendition of ‘How much is that doggy in the window?’, I think he just admitted defeat in the hope I’d stop singing.
My master plan? Hoping these kids grow up soon and take the heat off this big kid for a while.

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.