No pleasing us with the weather

Nurturing

The Day Diary
Edwin McGreal

Regular readers of this column (hi Mam) will recall me lamenting in January and February how we felt trapped between the inability to visit people and the crap weather, both keeping us housebound.
Séimí was born on January 11 and Frankie and Éamon needed as much outlets as possible but few were available. The wilds of an Achill winter aren’t ideal for getting fresh air into young children and visits to family and friends were off the table too.
So there is an undoubted irony in me now giving out in July about the weather being too far to the other extreme.
Am I ever happy?
I’d like to think so but the past week has been an experience.
With the weather touching close to 30 degrees in Achill, it was all about survival from day to day.
Frankie (4) loved it, outside as often as she could be and we think she will be a sun worshipper like my mother.
Éamon (2) was less taken by it and would get cranky when the heat was getting too much. But you had to judge that for yourself as he hadn’t quite worked out that if he was too hot outside, he should come inside.
The beach is only down the road but it’s actually too warm for the kids to go down. So it is a paddling pool and various water toys in the back garden with the quick access to the house if things go wrong or the heat overwhelms.
Poor Séimí must be wondering has he emigrated to sub-Saharan Africa. It’s only a few weeks that you’d be confident taking him out without the wind and/or the rain forcing him back inside.
Now you can only bring him outside for a few minutes in the shade before he needs the refuge of the house again.
And even that’s only a slight refuge. All he’s wearing all week when he’s awake is a nappy and he’s still boiling too often. Feeding him means ye will be stuck to each other in ways you wouldn’t expect.
And getting him to nap is not simple. It’s oppressive heat for the little man.
Frankie and Éamon are surviving by running around in their birthday suits, loving the liberation. The sight of them doing nude trampolining is quite amusing!
Overall it feels like one of those sun holidays where you would go into the air-conditioned bedroom for respite from the midday sun except we don’t have air-con here.
It’s the first time since I moved to Achill that I’ve yearned for air-con so that would show you how bad an investment it would be to have it installed but I think we’d be smug this week if we had it.
Instead, we’re trying to deal with the ever present threat of midges (they’ve left enough bites on me to make Hannibal Lecter proud), making sure the kids are creamed up, keeping on top of toilet training Éamon, keep all three well hydrated and then manage the other usual jobs that having three kids entails.
I never thought I’d complain about Irish weather being too hot but kids change your perspective rapidly.
Low 20s next week will do just fine, thank you very much.

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