As APRIL DREW enters the homestretch of her second pregnancy, she’s finding herself in embarrassing situations, but still watching with joy as her baby son Colum continues to grow.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t laugh at my 13-month-old son Colum. He is very cute at this age. He soaks up everything.
He can now say many words (although not always formed correctly) and can sign (using Irish sign language) over 12. It’s extremely useful when he is hungry or tired. But the most rewarding part is when he signs he loves us.
It’s 7 p.m. on Monday evening and we’ve just finished dinner in my house. While cleaning up I dropped a fork on the floor in the kitchen and mumbled “Jesus” under my breath. Across the room I hear Colum clear as day repeat what I had just said. Can you believe it?
He says dad and daddy super clear, even utters my husband’s name, John, when he is around, but rarely says mom. John calls me Nancy (after Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys). Colum does look at me every now and then and shouts “Na,” so I’m wondering if he is making an effort to say Nancy but I can never be sure.
IT’S been a hectic few weeks. Colum has been sick (ear infections, flu and pink eye) and we’ve been super busy getting organized for our big move back to Ireland in May.
Oh, and not forgetting the hours we spend every evening trying to prepare for our newest arrival on February 20. We spent the weekend dusting off sterilizing equipment, washing baby clothes, assembling cribs and bassinets and looking at more strollers online.
God willing this night four weeks we will have our second baby in our hands, and the excitement level keeps rising as the date approaches.
Now that I have one child I keep wondering what will our second look like. If it’s a boy will he mirror his older brother? If it’s a girl will she have any resemblance to Colum? The unknown is exciting.
At this stage in the pregnancy I have a lot of doctor’s appointments to attend.
One morning last week I had an early visit with my ObGyn.
Preceding the appointment I took my phone into a store to fix an issue I had with the speaker. The gentleman in the shop told me it would take about half an hour to rectify and I could come back if I wanted. I glanced around the very small store and was content to stay put when I saw a chair in the corner.
I sat myself down, placed my handbag by my side on the floor, took out a paper and relaxed into some me time. (Colum was in day care).
The store was small, the heat was high and very few customers came through the doors while I began reading my paper. The phone fixer guy was in the back working his magic. It was a few moments of quiet time that I wasn’t used to.
The last thing I remember was seeing 10:15 a.m. on the clock above the counter. I nodded off, and 35 minutes later I was awoken abruptly by a man’s laugh.
I quickly took stock of myself. The ladylike sitting position I was in had become one that resembled a drunk passed out in a bar at 4 a.m.
I was nearly off the chair, my legs were sprawled out in front of me, my head was resting on my left shoulder (having knocked about a dozen phone covers from a shelf) and I had drool coming out the left side of my mouth. The paper I had been reading was on the ground, my bag, thank God, was still by my side, and I was mortified.
There were two rather large gentlemen in the store browsing for phones. There was a pretty red head behind the counter teaching the store assistant how to upgrade something in their system, and then there was sleeping beauty herself, except I was far from a beauty.
I was so embarrassed at falling asleep, and I mean asleep, for over half an hour (the clock read 10:50 a.m. when I woke) that I couldn’t bring myself to even explain my lack of respect.
I just got up, asked the sales assistant was my phone ready. He said yes. I paid the money owed and waddled out of there as quick as I could, still wiping the drool from my face. Could it get any more embarrassing?
And the week pretty much continued in that fashion. Colum was messing with my phone and dialed an ex-boyfriend of mine one morning. All I could hear was “Hello, Hello” on the other end.
Instantly recognizing the voice, I immediately grabbed the phone from him and hung up.
I wore a tight-fighting shirt to the supermarket only to have the two buttons on the top pop open in public, reveling a not-so-sexy bra. Shall I go on? My husband cringes at these stories.
Anyway during all these mini-breakdowns, I learned that our second baby is weighing in normal and shouldn’t be too big. His/her heart rate is good and all looks well.
As long as things are healthy with our children all will be well with the world. The odd embarrassing moment is okay.
ON the home front I’ve given my mother a list of things to do for us, one being a shopping list of items I want her to price check.
My mother runs two grocery stores and tells me the price of items has come down somewhat in Ireland. She will now spend the next week comparing prices for Pampers, tin foil and washing powder between Ireland and the U.S.
We are trying to figure out if it’s worthwhile to purchase a load of these items here before we leave. The euro is coming down slightly making the dollar a little stronger so if that trend continues we’ll be happy.
John is busy organizing his cousin’s bachelor party in Ireland. He is best man for Colum’s godfather’s wedding in Co. Galway in July.
I’m already in touch with my girlfriends back home to organize a “reunion” night with everyone. No doubt there will be a lot of visiting the first few weeks upon our arrival in May.
Time is truly going so fast. Now that it’s coming down to the crunch it has us sad and excited all in the same breath.
When we get on Skype to the cousins at home we get giddy at the idea of seeing them in person and watching Colum playing with their children.
Then we speak to our good friends here in an effort to arrange a dinner or meet up, and we get lonely thinking there won’t be many more of these between now and May.
Bittersweet for sure this move home will be. I’m excited at the prospect of writing for the Irish Voice from Ireland and sharing our experiences (good or bad) with our readers.
And speaking of readers, I would love to run an article on how our children have a tendency to embarrass us. I would love to hear from Irish moms and dads out there who have laughed hard when their child has unexpectedly caught them off guard with an action, a question or simply a sentence.
We all have the stories so let’s share. Here is one for example.
Ben is three years old. After giving his mom Michelle a lengthy goodnight kiss he asks, “Are we married now Mom?”
After saying, “No love we're not married. I'm your mommy. We can't get married,” she was asked “But Mommy, if we get married couldn't we live together forever?”
My friend Michelle described the moment as one she will cherish forever.
Another story I fondly remember is that of a six-year-old little girl. I won’t mention her name.
Her mother walked her into her classroom in Ireland one winter’s morning. While the child was taking off her own coat, she asked her mom to remove hers too.
Not wanting to be late for work and encourage her little girl, Mom said, “No love I must go to work.”
After a lot of tears my friend finally agreed to remove her coat for only a moment and stay for the beginning of class.
When the teacher asked the kids had they any stories to share my friend’s daughter put up her hand and said, “My mommy and daddy make loads of noise at night in their bedroom and I need to go to sleep.”
Beyond mortified my friend just laughed it off, formed a questions like pose with her shoulders and eyebrows, grabbed her coat, mouthing to the teacher she had to go to work and ran out the door without even kissing her daughter goodbye.
For about six weeks after that she got her mother-in-law up out of bed every morning, five mornings a week to drop her daughter off to school.
Send your funny/embarrassing stories to April@irishvoice.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Please include parent’s names, where you are from and live now, kids names and ages and if you wish to include a picture of your loved one please do so.