When the world’s your friend


The Dad Diary

Edwin McGreal

Watching your kids grow and develop through the different stages is lovely. It’s great too that they can make themselves understood much easier – except when it comes to fighting the inevitable at nighttime!
Frankie may well just turn out to be a world-class debater; she can argue with the best of them. She’s become very adept at stalling tactics at night too.
After reading her bedtime stories and turning off the light, Frankie will often hit me with ‘read a story with your mouth’, it’s too dark to read but she knows I can summon something from my imagination. It might not be perfect English, but one of the most important parts of communication is making yourself understood, and she has no trouble with that.
Frankie can be a right little mischief maker too. Aisling had cause to need a crutch for a few days recently after hurting her knee, and Frankie saw the opportunity for devilment.
If the crutch was left to one side while Aisling was sitting down, Frankie would swoop like an eagle, grab it and run away with it, roaring laughing. In fairness, she wasn’t the only one laughing!
If you arrive on the scene just in time when she is eying up perhaps a packet of sweets that may have been left, accidentally, within her reach, she will insist ‘I just only looking’ as if your arrival made no difference at all.
She tends to be very outgoing too, and if she goes to a playground will run up to other kids she has never met before and say ‘Hi friends’, while Éamon will stand back with his parents for a few minutes, sussing out the lie of the land first.
Frankie’s outgoing nature can bring its own difficulties at times too. Two examples. We were walking on the road and she said a big ‘Hi’ to a man who was talking on the phone. Naturally enough she did not get a response and turned around to us loudly and complained ‘He not say hi to me’.
A trip to the hospital last week saw us pull up outside A&E and there was a large family group gathered. The tears were flowing and obviously they had been hit with bad news.
Frankie was oblivious to all of this though. Her window was open to make sure she did not get sick (a whole other story) and once she saw them, she shouted with a big happy head on her ‘hello everybody’. I didn’t hang around long enough to see the reactions.

In his fortnightly column, Edwin McGreal charts the ups and downs of the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.