1/9/95 – Sean’s first day at school. He and I got up at 7.55 – I’d been sleeping in Susanna’s bed. He was to start school at 9.45. Pauline got him organized, and there was no problem – some kids had to be dragged into the class kicking and screaming, but not Sean. He asked to sit beside Billy, it seems … [later] He got on very well, and came home full of glad tidings about his first day at school and refusing to change out his uniform for quite some time. Pauline and I were pleased that he’d taken to it so well.
4/9/95 – Sean was keen as mustard to get to school in the morning, afraid he’d overslept. (He hadn’t.) … [later] Pauline and Sean went to Blackrock and got a DART into town to buy a second pair of trousers and a second jumper for Sean’s school uniform.
7/9/95 – Sean is still loving school … he has a friend called Phillip, and is learning songs, prayers and Irish words.
9/9/95 – Pauline, Sean, Susanna and I went out to Dun Laoghaire later and had a walk on the pier.
13/9/95 – Sean walked to school for the first time, with Susanna and Pauline. It’s a lovely morning.
18/9/95 – Sean had his first ‘long’ day at school, from 8.50 to 1.30. He and Pauline baked biscuits in the afternoon.
19/9/95 – Pauline and the kids were at a puppet-making workshop in Dundrum library.
21/9/95 – Pauline and Susanna were at Wesley coffee morning; Pauline was helping out there. Sean still likes school … [later] We all had pizza for dinner, and all went to the nearest patch of green to play ball and keep Susanna awake.
22/9/95 – Pauline, Sean and Susanna went swimming in the afternoon.
23/9/95 – Pauline, Sean, Susanna and I went to the zoo.
1/10/95 – Sean and Pauline went to the circus in the afternoon; Susanna and I went to Marley Park.
6/10/95 – At lunchtime Susanna, Pauline and I went to a prayer service at Sean’s school, attended by all 900 or so children and a large number of parents. It was mainly singing. One child was chosen from each junior infants class to introduce the junior infants’ song, and Sean represented his class, so of course we were proud of him. We received a large framed photo of Sean and two smaller copies – very nice indeed. It’s nice to have a professionally taken picture of him … later Pauline took Sean swimming.
7/10/95 – In the afternoon we all went to Bushy Park and had a good time.
12/10/95 – Pauline went to a meeting in Sean’s school at lunchtime, to hear what the kids will be doing this year and what’s expected of us. Sean got his first homework – he has a photocopy of Little Bo Peep; he has to learn the rhyme today and then colour in the picture tomorrow.
13/10/85 – Sean had a dream during the night that Pauline got ‘squashed by a car’, which upset him. He came into the office (I was on the airbed by then) to pepper me with questions about death.
17/10/95 – Sean was tired and went to bed early – they had watched the Lion King video, borrowed from next door.
19/10/95 – Sean came in to me a few times after I’d moved to the airbed – he was very restless, and saying the wall was moving and so on. Eventually he ended up in the big bed with Pauline and Susanna. Pauline had a lousy night’s sleep because Susanna was so restless, and was shattered as a result. We woke only at 8.35, so Sean was late for school.
22/10/95 – We all went to a cat show in the Community School, which was good fun. Sean drew two pictures of cats for a competition, one of which was very good.
27/10/95 – Pauline and I correcting Sean on his pronunciation of ‘animals’ as ‘aminals’. Susanna correcting him too: ‘No! An mals!’
5/11/95 – In the afternoon we all went to Ticknock and had a walk in the woods, then we went to Woodie’s and Petstop in Sandyford – saw a lot of animals. Susanna fell asleep on the way home; Sean and Pauline are about to sand her rocking horse.
8/11/95 – Sean had his now usual porridge for breakfast, having had it for supper last night – he’s going through a porridge craze … [later] I took Sean and Susanna for a walk around the block. I may have mentioned that Susanna is obsessed with the moon.
9/11/95 – Sean and Susanna are coming on very well – Sean is getting tall. He generally seems very happy and well-adjusted, as does Susanna. She has a cold – she is coughing in the big bedroom as I write. Pauline is working on Susanna’s rocking horse again, i.e. painting it.
13/11/95 – Pauline spoke to Aileen over the phone, and Sean sang to her.
16/11/95 – Susanna was delighted with her rocking horse. She got other presents too …
17/11/95 – Sean started the day by telling me he didn’t want to go to school today – the first time he has said anything like this. But once he was up he was fine … [later] Sean, Pauline and Susanna went swimming, and got on very well.
19/11/95 – Pauline and I spent the whole night undisturbed in our own bed, for once … In the afternoon we all went to the Phoenix Park and had a pleasant walk – saw some deer, horses and (grey) squirrels.
21/11/95 – Pauline and Sean made a carrot cake, which was very good … [later] Sean is making good progress at school, with writing, ‘sounds’ and other things. He can sing all of ‘Sweet Molly Malone’, and is very interested in the story.
23/11/95 – Billy was here in the afternoon – he and Sean opened a tin of paint in the garage and painted everything in sight.
29/11/95 – Sean joined me on the airbed around 7.20, during a thunderstorm. He was fascinated by the lightning … [later] Pauline took Sean and Susanna to the shops in the afternoon, where Susanna got a cuddly Barney (which she loves) in exchange for the second Fox and Hound video, and Sean got some paints.