Catch Up

Ready to dive in at Strandhill beach, Sligo. You wouldn’t think this guy hardly sleeps.

I am in serious catch up mode right now. In the month since coming here I haven’t written a word until two days ago. Part of the reason was catching up with my parents, family and friends. Part of the reason was Little T. He was so wakeful. I was too exhausted by 8pm to do anything but try to sleep before the nightly onslaught. He was never a good sleeper but his wakings had been mostly managable. Until a few weeks ago, when he took about 5 steps backward. He got worse, waking every hour, exhausting himself and the rest of us who could hear him, until I cracked and made some changes. After a few rough nights of sleep training he has woken only once in 3 nights. Granted, he wakes for the day at 5am, but I’ll take this over an Olympics medal or Oscar any day.

CC communing with the goats at Truroe Farm Park. Aren’t they so little and cute though!

Suddenly I have energy again. I want to play with the children, I bake with them, run around outside with them. I don’t turn on cartoons in the morning so I can kip on the sofa any more. And I’m writing. In those precious few hours between my children falling asleep and me falling asleep I am writing. And it feels good.

Here, I should point out, is Galway, Ireland. I have come with the kids for two months to stay at my parents house. My brother got married on 2nd November and I decided to come and stay until Christmas. K is home alone but he is keeping busy. For one, with settling into his new job, and also taking the opportunity to meet friends and getting jobs done on the bus.

Checking to see if any fairies are home

We have experienced a lot here in the past month. We did Halloween, my brother’s wedding, where CC was a flower girl, Little T’s christening, and trips to Dublin Zoo, Galway Aquarium, a farm park, a fairy hill, the lake, the beach, the Christmas market, and various pools, playgrounds and cafes. My lovely parents and my lovely auntie have been our kind chauffeurs. We have met up with loved ones, gone exploring and taken pictures galore. And with Christmas just around the corner there is even more to come. But inbetween there have been a lot of long days at home, where I have struggled to fill the hours between my parents leaving for work and coming home again at night.

two kids and tiger play area
3 hours in the car, zoo entrance fee, exotic and endangered animals all around them, and all they want is to stay in the play area. Naturally.

Unfortunately I can’t rent a car, and there is no spare car to borrow. There is no bus either. My parent’s home is in a rural area with the nearest village too far for me to walk, never mind little legs. The road itself is dangerous anyway – winding, no path and full of heavy trucks. So we stay at home. As soon as the rain stops we bundle up and play outside for a while. Indoors we do puzzles, read books, use play-do and play made-up games. When Little T naps CC and I do a special “big girls’ activity, like a board game or bake or make slime. Over a few days we made salt dough ornaments, decorated them and strung them up. That managed to fill four nap times. Only 56 to go!

Foamy slime was more of a success for us than the regular kind

I’m not used to such long days alone with the children. At home someone or other is bound to pop in during the day. Otherwise we are out and about at Playcentre, kindy, shopping, the pool or library. I am trying to be patient and take it day by day.

The kids’ age gap is partularly striking now that Little T is older and wants to be involved in what we are doing. He can’t help with things like CC’s workbook, or making Play-do, or doing a puzzle. So it’s a balancing act to either take turns with the children or find an activity that can both do. At least until one or other of them gets bored and wanders off.

The appeal of a ball pit is global, thankfully

In a few days we are flying to London for a long weekend. I am so excited. Partly because London is my favourite place in the world, partly¬†because I will get to see friends and family I haven’t seen in a long time, and partly because I will be able to hop on and off the bus and train to my heart’s content!


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