Christmas veterans and newbies

Nurturing

MAGICAL MOMENTS Éamon, Frankie and Séimí with Santa and one of his elves in Santa’s grotto.

The Dad Diary

Edwin McGreal

Every morning this month, before he has even left his bedroom, Éamon tells me what date it is in December and how many days there are until Christmas.
To say he is excited about the incoming arrival of Santa Claus would be putting it mildly. He turned four in September, and so this is probably the first year he is fully grasping the magnificence of it all.
Frankie is a veteran at this stage, with six Christmasses already under her belt. She turned six a couple of weeks ago but the magic of Christmas has not even begun to wear off.
Séimí, who turns two in January, is looking around agog at the magic of it all and definitely surfing the wave of good vibes in the house.
About ten times a day Frankie or Éamon will ask Alexa to play ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’, by Alvin and the Chipmunks – give it a listen, it’s good fun, even after all those plays.
Every evening after their dinner they get to open their Advent calendars with a chocolate behind each door. Séimí can’t believe his luck!
The great thing too is they are at an age where they don’t get their hearts absolutely set on a couple of things that everyone wants. They are still capable of being persuaded by their parents about what might be a better idea instead of whatever fanciful notion they might have.
Éamon has told us on a few occasions that he wants ‘a real motorbike’, informing us he wants to to ‘drive to Naíonra by myself’. Wouldn’t he look well?
Sometimes it is good to get back-up to dismiss such notions. A visit to the man himself down in the Achill Aquarium in Keel saw Éamon volunteer his wish, only for Santa to say he would not be able to fit it on his sleigh, as it was too big. A real pity, that.
So Éamon has reassessed. He’s now looking at trains. We will have to get something that his little brother won’t come along at every opportunity and break up.
Frankie is looking for make-up – Heaven help us! Séimí can only point and say a few words, so I think Santa will sort him out with a surprise.
The visit to see Santa was a lovely experience. Frankie and Éamon were in awe and Séimí was fascinated. They all left with very generous presents too – selection boxes, colouring books and a chocolate Santa each. We got enough pictures to fill an album too.
There’s plenty more planned in the days ahead. School and Naíonra concerts will be a blast. We might fit in another trip to Santa combined with a couple of trips to the shops in Castlebar to soak up the atmosphere.
With a bit of luck too nobody will get sick and Santa might be nice to all of us.
Happy Christmas!

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