2/6/93 – Pauline and Sean were in the Nutgrove – Sean got new shoes … In the evening we all went for a walk to the green near the roundabout, and Sean threw stones in the water.
3/6/93 – Pauline and Sean were at the playgroup, and Eleanor and Alan came back here with them … Pauline, Sean and I went for a walk. Sean again watched his favourite programme, The Crystal Maze.
6/6/93 – Pauline, Sean and I spent a good while in Marley Park – it was a lovely day.
7/6/93 – Sean and Andrew are playing out the back with water, supervised by Pauline. It’s another nice day.
9/6/93 – Went out and bought the Guardian … all the Irish Times had been stolen from in front of the petrol station shop this morning, and from Spar … the third time in two weeks, I was told.
11/6/93 – In the past couple of days Sean has been in the Warrenpoint fire engine, with a fireman’s helmet on.
12/6/93 – I went out for a paper – the shop was in more than its usual state of early-morning chaos, because a (hedge?) sparrow was on the loose in its interior.
14/6/93 – Got a bus into town; duly met Pauline and Sean at 1.15. Sean had had a great time with his granny and granddad.
15/6/93 – Pauline went into town for her first appointment in Holles Street. Big news: they will be scanning her for twins … We seemed to get used to the idea pretty quickly after talking about it for a while. It’s not certain yet, but Pauline has a feeling that it’s true.
17/6/93 – Got a bus home in the rain … I held Sean, standing, most of the way home … no-one was polite enough to offer me a seat. Later … we all watched The Crystal Maze.
19/6/93 – Looked in toy shops for Sean’s birthday present – we haven’t decided what to get him yet. Bought him a book on his new obsession, diggers.
20/6/93 – Pauline, Sean and I went to St Enda’s Park. They were having an ‘open day’ with lots of different types of live music. Sean ran around a lot and we all had good fun.
22/6/93 – Pauline booked Sean into a playschool for September. She and he went swimming in the afternoon in the Family Recreation Centre: he didn’t like it as much as before. Pauline didn’t like the pool.
23/6/93 – I walked to Dundrum (or Bum Bum, as Sean calls it), where I found my two nearest and dearest. We walked home – Sean was asleep briefly.
24/6/93 – Pauline and Sean were at the playgroup, and Sean had a good time. He was playing with Andrew in the afternoon – they were painting and modelling.
27/6/93 – Sean played in his paddling pool out the back for a while.
29/6/93 – Pauline and Sean went to the park expecting a bubble party, but she had got the date wrong.
1/7/93 – We watched some TV. A Crystal Maze repeat, but no worse for that as far as Sean was concerned. He eventually fell asleep with Pauline on the beanbag.
2/7/93 – Played with Sean out the back, and took him to the shop for a paper. We were building moss peat castles.
3/7/93 – My dad arrived around 7.20 … he was delighted with Sean, who was at his charming best.
4/7/93 – Nuala and Peter duly arrived, and Sean basked in the attention of three grandparents.
6/7/93 – Pauline and Sean were at an ICT bubbles party in Marley Park.
7/7/93 – Pauline and Sean were in the Nutgrove – Sean is now the proud owner of a lawnmower that blows bubbles. He loves it, and played with it for ages, some of the time with Paul from across the road.
10/7/93 – Sean had his first ‘proper’ haircut, sitting up on a plank on the arms of the chair, like I remember doing. He was very good.
13/7/93 – Went to Holles Street, and had to wait quite a while for Pauline to be seen. She duly had her scan – it’s not twins after all.
15/7/93 – I got up with Sean, and after breakfast took him down to Dundrum so that Pauline could have a lie-in. I went to Bewley’s and the credit union, leaving him in the crèche. On the way home I forgot to strap him in to his buggy, and he went flying out when I stopped suddenly, grazing his knee. This upset him.
17/7/93 – I mowed our lawns and next door’s with their mower. Sean got a fright when I started the motor, and started to cry, so he then watched with Pauline from a distance. He helped me rake up, and pushed his own mower around.
18/7/93 – Sean is very good at blowing bubbles.
19/7/93 – Sean and Pauline were having a yes!/no! disagreement. Sean said ‘cot!’ – threatening to put Pauline in the cot for being bold.
20/7/93 – Pauline and Sean were in the park on a ‘ball theme’ outing with the ICT, but the day was cold and they didn’t have much fun … [later] When I went to lift Sean down the stairs this morning, he said ‘mind’ and pointed to his knee, still scabby from when I accidentally propelled him out of his buggy last week.
21/7/93 – I went out and met Pauline and Sean on their way back from the supermarket, and we all went to the park.
23/7/93 – Had an uneventful journey to Nenagh, changing at Ballybrophy. My dad met us off the train and drove us home. He and Sean were glad to see each other again.
24/7/93 – Went to Dromineer in the morning for a drive. My dad swam; Pauline, Sean and I looked at the big boats in the rain.
25/7/93 – Sean had two ice cream cones – his first fell on the ground … [later] My dad drove us to the station, and came as far as Cloughjordan with us by mistake – he stepped onto the train with our bags and got stuck.
27/7/93 – Bought a digger for Sean’s birthday, like the one in the Quinnsworth crèche.
28/7/93 – Sean’s second birthday … He opened his presents, with some assistance, and was well pleased … Pauline and Sean went to the Nutgrove, and met Alan and Eleanor there. They all returned in Eleanor’s van with a bouncy castle, which I helped to set up. A day of fun and games ensued. I have fairly bad twinges in my back since Sean helped me to carry the large fan used for blowing up the castle to the van.
30/7/93 – Took part in a market research survey in Ballinteer House, which involved eating three kinds of yogurt and making innumerable trivial judgements … [later] Peter and Nuala arrived unexpectedly on their way home from Rosslare … Sean got a fire engine for his birthday.
1/8/93 – We went out for a paper, to the van near the church as usual. Sean insisted on bringing his fire engine: I carried it when he didn’t want to ride it … [later] Caught a 44 to Enniskerry – Sean was asleep by now. Pauline and I had coffee and carrot cake, and walked up to Powerscourt – Sean woke up … Had a really good time and walked miles. The gardens are magnificent, and Sean enjoyed himself running, rolling and so on. He also made friends with a beautiful horse. At one point his legs ran away with him down a gravelled path, and I just managed to catch him before he fell.
3/8/93 – Pauline and Sean went to the park to meet the playgroup and fly kites.
5/8/93 – Went to the supermarket and borrowed a video, which I couldn’t watch because Sean had broken the machine.
7/8/93 – [In Warrenpoint] Sean had been very happy to see me, and had given me lots of cuddles. We went with Peter and Nuala to Greenore in Peter’s car. Sean fell asleep. Peter said a few well-chosen words into the video camera, and all of us except Jim threw a handful of ashes into the water on the beach. We then threw flowers in the water … [later] Peter and I amused Sean and ourselves by throwing a football up on the roof and trying to head it back up repeatedly.
10/8/93 – Pauline and Sean had been to see Bosco in a house in Terenure, and had had a good time.
13/8/93 – I mowed the lawns and Pauline weeded. Sean pottered around and tried to help.
21/8/93 – Sean was at the Safari Park [near Portstewart] today, looking at lions and so on. He’s having a great time.
22/8/93 – Sean has been having a great time, playing on the beach in Portstewart and so on. He got on very well with Sian.
23/8/93 – Walked from Stephen’s Green to Connolly. The train was late. Duly met them, and we got a bus home. Sean had had a wonderful holiday, and was in great form. His speech had improved. He seemed glad to be home, and played with a lot of his toys.
24/8/93 – Pauline and Sean went to Malahide Castle with Eleanor and Alan. Yet again, Sean had a great time (I’m getting sick of writing that). The ICT crowd were there … [later] I kicked a ball and dug with Sean in the back.
25/8/93 – Sean and I had a fairly long walk around the estate before dinner – he was on his fire engine.
26/8/93 – Sean, Pauline and I went to the shop in the dark, him on his fire engine.
27/8/93 – After playing with ‘play-do’ for a while, Sean and I went to the Nutgrove, taking the big buggy and the fire engine. He propelled himself on the fire engine nearly the whole way there … [later] I played in the back garden with Sean, kicking the football while he pushed his lawnmower. Then we went out the front and three other kids got involved with the lawnmower.
30/8/93 – Pauline and Sean went to Superquinn, and rang and asked me to come and help them with the groceries, which I did. It was a beautiful hot day, and Pauline was squirting us with the water pistol on the way home. We stopped off at the play school and arranged with Pat, the woman in charge, that Sean should go there on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, starting tomorrow … [later] We all went down to Dundrum. Bought Sean a tricycle in Joe Daly’s. We got a bus home because he was taking so long on his trike … [later] Sean and I went out to leave the video back – he brought his bike. We were gone over an hour, and Pauline eventually came out to look for us. At first Sean was pushing himself along with his feet, but towards the end he was getting the hang of pedalling.
31/8/93 – Pauline and Sean went to Marley Park in the afternoon; Sean was on his bike … [later] Sean and I played out the back for a while – the usual thing, him digging or pushing his lawnmower and me kicking the ball against the wall and trying to kick it as many times as possible without letting it hit the ground … Pauline brought out tea, and Sean and I had a hilarious game, with him trying to stop me drinking mine … I finished Lila – the first published book I’ve read in its entirety since Sean was born. It’s a wonderful book.