November pain


The Dad Diary
Edwin McGreal

I could easily copy and paste a column from this time last year and place it here. Because the horrors of November have struck again.
Whatever it is about the month, it has been a cursed one in this house in recent years, and from talking to other parents, we’re not on our own.
I’m not sure if it is as bad as this time last year, but it certainly feels like it is.
It is basically bouncing from one sickness to the next, and when you’ve three small kids (Frankie will baulk at that, as she just turned six, but she still gets sick, so she can live with the label), the curse is it inevitably spreads through the house.
Thankfully there has been nothing serious and only one solitary episode of vomiting. But when the kids are sick, they can be cranky and guess what? That’s also contagious!
So each day is as much about surviving and trying to keep everyone, kids and adults, happy and on the road to recovery.
You’ve to remind yourself, quite often, that it could always be a lot worse!
Last year certainly was when I read back on my Dad Diary. It is useful having such a log to reference because, believe me, the mind plays tricks on you and you forget so much.
Last November, the kids had been sick for a couple of weeks with various coughs and colds while Séimí got tonsillitis. That was relatively manageable until the dreaded RV virus struck just as we thought we had got the three of them fit and well.
Frankie had it for five days, vomiting at very irregular intervals, when you’d least expect it.
We tried to keep her away from her brothers but just when she was coming out of the woods, Éamon started getting sick, taking on the baton almost seamlessly for the next five days.
Somehoww, and we’re not sure how, Séimí managed to dodge it.
But they were among the hardest couple of weeks we ever had. Because you’re up during the night, getting no rest and you get run down yourself. Then there’s the sense of dread about the others getting it. Perhaps you are better off not worrying and just bowing to the inevitable, but we managed to keep it from Séimí, so maybe the stress was worth it. Maybe.
We had a wedding on Saturday last.
At the time of writing (Friday morning), we are hopeful we’ll be able to go because all three kids appear to be well on the mend – but you can never look beyond 24 hours with confidence. Especially in this cursed month.

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