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Big-bird

A child at heart

Diary of a Home Bird
Ciara Galvin

THERE’S nothing like the laughter of children around a house. It immediately perks you up makes you forget the bad mood you’re in. For instance, that time I had the ‘tip’ in my car, rather than dwell on my own stupidity, I got on with it and spent the day watching Peppa Pig jump into muddy puddles.
The old homestead is no longer a quiet abode with everything in its designated area (in my case, clothes on the floor and makeup on the windowsill), but that’s for another day. Now, the house is home to all manner of baby paraphernalia: travel cots, play mats and bouncers.
As the youngest of five I never had to get to grips with dirty nappies, missing dodies (soothers) or late-night feeds, like my siblings did.
But it’s just a good thing I was so adorable that my siblings used to steal me from the roomies’ care at any chance they could, sometimes in the middle of the night, to attend the infamous ‘midnight feast’.
The ‘midnight feast’ was basically an excuse for my brothers and sister to sneak into the kitchen and gorge on sweets and chocolate, while I’m assuming, I dozed through proceedings in my Moses basket. And the next morning, if I wasn’t returned, madre would find me tucked up beside my sister with a ‘bottle a tae in the gob’.
Twenty-something years later and the roomies are getting into the swing of things again. The female roomie is having her hair pulled out (by the nieces, and not due to stress) and the male roomie is relearning the lyrics to cult classic ‘Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street’.
The three nieces are quickly forming their own personalities with the eldest, Saoirse providing the roomies with great entertainment while she was home for the summer as she pretended to get a ‘spee wobba’ (speed wobble) and repeatedly summoned ‘Nana’ to the garden for ‘chats’.
Last week she even had the entire family put on lipstick, the male roomie included. Poor Pops was having Sunday breakfast and having a read of the papers when Saoirse rushed over to him, brandishing Mac lipstick (mine, let me add). And yes, he buckled to her adorable charm as she thrust it in front of his face shouting ‘lips’. The lipstick survived the whole ordeal and the male roomie had a nice tint going out to the golf course!
Babysitting is now another new activity that we are all dipping our toes into. Although I like to think of myself as The Baby Whisperer, some research ahead of last weekend’s stint as Nanny McPhee to my godchild Saran proved I might have a way to go.
On a day trip to visit the little munchkin, my sister said to have a look at the fridge door for Saran’s daily routine. While holding Saran, I walked over to the fridge and saw a timetable. ‘10am - intensive swim lesson’. I thought ‘Wow, they are really trying to make Saran a child prodigy’. Turns out I was looking at the local leisure centre’s timetable, much to my sister’s amusement when she saw me studying the wrong sheet of paper.
I’m pretty much a child at heart, and when it comes to, oh, logic, humour, etc, minding my nieces is a chance to revert to my former self, the one who loved Big Bird and Elmo. And hey, who doesn’t like to watch Saturday morning cartoons in their mid to late 20s, right?


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.

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