One year of Séimí


BEST FRIENDS Éamon, Séimí and Frankie McGreal.

The Day Diary
Edwin McGreal

And just like that, baby Séimí has turned one.
Born on January 11, 2021, into the midst of a Covid lockdown, it is just typical that his first birthday took place in a similar environment.
Last year many of his family did not lay eyes on him for the first time for months, and this year there was no major birthday party on January 11. Instead, it was a low-key affair with just the five of us and some cake.
We won’t leave it at that though; a bigger bash will take place at some stage in the next couple of months when circumstances allow.
Most mothers and fathers can identify with the reality that parenting can be both extremely rewarding and extremely challenging. And we can certainly say that 2021 was both.
It was so lovely bringing Séimí home to Frankie and Éamon, seeing their eyes light up when they first saw their little brother and watching that affection just grow as the year went on.
It was even better when we started to see that love reciprocated. Séimí absolutely adores his big sister and big brother.
In the morning, if he is up first, he’s a bit cranky – until they enter the room. Then he’s full of the joys. Better than any medicine.
You could be in the middle of giving him a bottle in the sitting room, but if he hears Frankie and Éamon having fun in the playroom, he will push the bottle away, lower himself down to the floor and crawl down to them.
He’s never happier than when he’s in their company.
And Séimí being able to move of his own accord has eased things a lot for us too. They entertain each other far better than they used to, although Frankie and Éamon still need a referee from time to time.
But with all that joy, there were plenty of struggles too.
January 2021 catapulted us into another lockdown, with no naíonra until the middle of March. The cabin fever at home was real – for everyone.
Lockdown also meant a halt to visits, normally a great way to break up days for the kids.
Summer brought more freedom and plenty of fun, but the first few months back to school brought plenty of sicknesses. The local pharmacy was sold out of antibiotics for kids; last year they had to dump them because they had went off through lack of use.
For all the benefits of 2020’s lockdowns in terms of protecting kids from everyday illnesses and ailments, weakened immune systems from less exposure to such maladies meant the winter of 2021 was full on.
It could have been a lot worse, we coped, but easy it wasn’t.
Of course, we’re not out of the woods yet, but the hope is things will soon get better. And positive signs are emerging. The kids are that bit older and stronger now too, especially Séimí, full of devilment as he heads off after his brother and sister to play.
There’s nothing like it.
In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.