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The Dad Diary
Edwin McGreal

We all know the feeling of dread when you think you’ve left home without something.
The sense of panic grows exponentially when you throw kids into the mix. Let’s face it, once you have your phone and money, you will manage without most other things.
But the list of essentials for kids is much, much longer.
You will need nappies; bottles; food and snacks; toys for pacifying; nappy bags - don’t go without these unless you want to be embarrassed by the stench of your child’s dirty nappy.
You’ll need changes of clothes in case the above is so bad the nappy was overworked.
And when you’ve two kids under two, double all of the above.
So imagine the organising that went into bringing the kids to Aisling’s parents’ golden wedding anniversary party last week. It might have only been twenty minutes away in Mulranny but it may as well have been in the South Pole for all we packed for the day.
And so off we went, late - with young children it is nigh on impossible to ever leave on time, never mind leaving early. We thought we had everything until we were a few miles out the road and I remembered I had left Frankie’s bottle in the fridge to keep it cool but never took it out again. Back we went, stress levels growing at the realisation we were running far too late for it to be funny. Bottle commandeered from the fridge, off we went.
My sister came along to help - a vital extra pair of hands with Aisling playing music during the Mass. Frankie had to bring up one of the gifts and with a little gentle persuasion from her cousin Áine, she managed to bring up one of the two runners she was due to carry.
Éamon was happy out, not one bit bothered by all the new faces catching a look at him and all the din that goes with such a do. And Frankie was in her element too, loads of little cousins to play with and her favourite part was definitely the speeches. Hearing applause was music to her ears so she joined in every time with a big ‘yeay’ thrown in.
It was all very cute until her grandfather reflected on members of both families no longer with us. Not exactly the time to shout ‘yeay’ but there was no stopping Frankie. I made a hasty retreat out of the room with her. Most people thought it was funny but I was mortified. Funnily enough it didn’t knock a stir out of Frankie.
It was the only blip in the day though, both of the kids played a blinder. And, after all our panicking, Frankie did not need that bottle until she got home that night.
In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.

ILH 40084-21-02 Hastings Benefit MPU v4