A question of succession
Diary of a Home Bird
WITH the arrival of my new niece or nephew imminent, I’m preparing myself for a further slip down the popularity rankings of the family. After the arrival of my niece last year I’ll be the first to admit that my popularity began to wane and my fans (Mom and Pops) had more interest in little Saoirse’s feeding time than mine.
The return of the pitter patter of little feet means I currently feel like Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki: once seeded at number one but now bumped down to eighth. Unfortunately, I can’t blame my fall from grace on falling in love and jetting around the world with a millionaire professional golf pro.
But it’s something I’d better get used to, as there’s no sign of the baby boom stopping, and a third niece or nephew’s will also be coming into the fold in early 2014. My eldest brother has even taken to calling me Zara Philips. Yes, I am that far down the line of succession.
When it comes to minding my little princes or princesses, which I’ve been told by the expectant parents to be prepared for, I must remember one thing: Do not be ‘under the weather’.
Speaking to a woman last year who was on her first night out since having a baby, I asked where her husband was, and I learned that he had taken over the baby sitting duties for the night. I asked if they had looked into getting a babysitter, and she explained that she and her hubby decided it was better that only one of them be feeling ‘under the weather’ the following morning while looking after their bundle of joy.
Since then I have come to understand the wisdom of that couple’s decision.
During the summer, I babysat for pretty much the first time since I failed abysmally at minding my Godchild many moons ago. This time I told myself ‘You can do this, it’ll be a piece of cake. You’re 12 years older now for God’s sake’. I underestimated the dreaded ‘H’ and ‘T’ words though – hangover and teething – I having the former.
‘Never fear’ I thought, the roomies would help me out. Surely they would be experienced at babysitting at this stage? Alas, Mom and Pops had a prior engagement.
So there I was, at 10pm on a Sunday night, Saoirse hugging me crying, and me hugging her back, feeling like crying. Bottles were heated and halls were walked. She was not going to her cot without a fight. As we both stared at each other bleary-eyed with tiredness, I admitted defeat.
We watched TV ’til we both nodded off in the sitting room, to be later awoken by the camera flash of an iPhone. My brother and sister-in-law couldn’t resist capturing the two of us panned out on the couch. They still joke about not knowing who was minding who that night.
However, one good turn deserves another, and I’ll roll up my sleeves for a few years of babysitting duties to say thanks to my siblings for taking care of me when I was younger.
Also, I do like to think that when I eventually happen to find my Rory McIlroy equivalent (preferably a bit easier on the eye) and the pitter patter of little feet is heard, I will have the help of my grown-up nieces and nephews to lend a helping hand.
Only when I’m feeling a bit ‘under the weather’ of course.
In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.