The Dad Diary
A trip on your birthday normally means something fun. Depending on your age it could be a trip to a kids’ play centre, a bowling alley, the cinema, a night on the tiles in Galway or a gentle walk on the beach. I hope I’m not at the fifth stage just yet.
The only trip poor Frankie made on her second birthday recently was to the doctor. She was blocked, coughing, not eating much and her nose was running like the Nile. With her birthday party doubling up with Éamon’s Christening four days later, we wanted to get on top of it.
Thankfully the doctor found the cold had not gone into her chest, and after a few days of TLC and Calpol Frankie was on the mend.
But with two kids in the house, efforts to stop Éamon picking the bug up took all of our energy. Frankie loves kissing and hugging her baby brother. Try telling a two-year-old she cannot do this and you’ll find it’s nigh on impossible.
She was getting frustrated with being isolated from ‘Bay-bee Eamie’ and, despite our best efforts, Éamon got sick next anyway … followed by myself. Luckily Aisling has so far been immune to the sickness that has enveloped the three of us. Apparently teaching infants for years builds up your resistance.
We had to face the question: Should we go ahead with the Christening?
Were Éamon to get very sick – a live possibility with his underdeveloped immune system – it could make for a long day for everyone.
We decided to plough on, hopeful his illness would be mild.
The day could not have gone any better. Éamon was super chilled out all day. He let a little cry out when baptised with water, but within seconds he nodded off to sleep.
We went for a meal with all the family afterwards, and Éamon slept through every minute of the four hours or so that we were there, until we woke him for pictures at the end. The fact he had picked up his sister’s cold probably meant he needed more rest… Every cloud has a silver lining!
As for Frankie, she still had the sniffles but she was in her element, playing with all her cousins. Every kid there was in great form. There were no meltdowns, and the adults could relax and enjoy the day. It was wonderful. These are the simple pleasures you look for as a parent.
The next day was another matter, however. Éamon struggled to sleep Saturday night with his cough and being blocked, so he had to go to the doctor on call on Sunday. Frankie, still giddy from Saturday’s partying, refused to nap during the day for the first time ever, and duly got cranky without sleep as the day went on. I myself was choked with the cold. What goes up must come down.
In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.