1/9/91 – I got up at 7 and brought Sean downstairs so that Pauline could get some decent rest. Fortunately, the last day’s athletics from Japan was being shown – I also went out for the paper. Pauline was up around 10.30 – after breakfast the three of us got a bus to Westland Row and a DART to Blackrock. Went to the market, had something to eat, chatted to Yvonne, Nick, and Yvonne’s brother Ronan. Good crack. Bought a beanbag. Pauline fed Sean in the café – her first time in ‘public’. Again it was a beautiful day … Nick said there was loads of signwriting to do if we wanted to … we said no. All our signs in Blackrock have lasted very well. We got a 17 home, and arrived in time for the All-Ireland Hurling Final – Tipperary 1–16, Kilkenny 0–15. Not a great game, but I was glad that Tipp won. I made a fry for dinner and we stayed in for the evening.
2/9/91 – I was extremely tired, Sean having made a lot of noise again during the night. And tired all day at work … When I got home in the evening there was a paper and a letter from Joyce. I should be getting a book manuscript soon … I was too tired to start the freelance work. Very glad to be getting it though …
4/9/91 – We’d had our best sleep in ages. Sean woke up a couple of times for feeds as usual, but fell back to sleep promptly. Pauline attributed this to his being tucked in fairly tightly in his cot. She was highly relieved and greatly rested; a new woman indeed.
8/9/91 – Peter and I transformed the back garden – I did the remainder of the strimming; he did a great deal of raking and tidying … Got the two-way radio system (present from Dave and Dervla) yesterday, and the christening robe, a stupendous effort from Aunt Molly.
10/9/91 – Mary Chim rang me in the afternoon at work. We had a chat, and she asked if I was interested in some freelance editorial work, so I of course said that I was … And when I got home the Construction Marketing – A Professional Approach manuscript awaited me. So it looks as if I’ll be busy. Pauline and I were very pleased.
15/9/91 – We took photos of Sean out the back with Down flag and wearing Down t-shirt. Dave and Dervla went off to the match – he was taking photos for the paper. Christine and Pauline took Sean out for a walk, Liam and I caught up on them and we all went to the Dropping Well. I felt better after two pints. We watched the match, which Down won by 2 points having been 11 ahead at one stage.
19/9/91 – Pauline was pretty down due to the relentless nature of the demands of Sean, and for want of adult company.
21/9/91 – I got up at 7.30 to give Pauline a break, because Sean was making a fuss. Sat downstairs with him, a bit bored … [later] I cooked a big fry for everybody. After a while we got a bus into town – it had started to rain heavily as soon as we got out of the house. All seven of us [Steve, Jacque, Bill, Angela, Pauline, Sean and I] walked around town, and the four visitors were introduced to various Dublin sights, notably Bewley’s, which impressed them. Spent five minutes watching a cormorant trying to catch, swallow and then keep swallowed an eel beside the Ha’penny Bridge … [later] Pauline had enjoyed the day greatly, and now felt back in touch with reality.
22/9/91 – Bill’s birthday (we’d sung to him in Merrion Square last night). Pauline’s turn to get up with Sean. Eventually we all got up and had some breakfast, then Steve and I picked the apples off the tree (any excuse to climb it). While flinging windfalls at the boley I hit Steve on the arm with a rotten one – this seemed very funny, to me at least. Then home, and a couple of photos of Sean, and it was soon time to leave. They produced presents for Sean …
29/9/91 – Pauline was up early with Sean; I slept on. The three grandparents went to 11 mass; Pauline and I made sandwiches and got everything organized. Christine, Liam, Dervla and Dave arrived at 12. Pauline and I got Sean kitted out in his christening robe and accessories – he looked great, and kept everyone enthralled for the rest of the day. The ceremony went well, then lots of photos were taken at the church and back here. We toasted Sean with champagne, and had bits and pieces to eat, and I put on some music, and Sean was the star of the show, doing all his cutest things.
4/10/91 – Speeding round the corner [on my bike] at Taney Road after work when who should call me but Pauline (with Sean). Walked home with them.
7/10/91 – Pauline brought Sean downstairs before I left, and he suddenly started to cry bitterly – his eye looked swollen and sore … [later] Pauline had taken Sean to the doctor to be on the safe side, although he had seemed fine by then. So, £15 to hear the doctor say ‘no problem’ or words to that effect.
17/10/91 – Sean had his first ever ‘solid’ food – a teaspoon of baby rice. The nurse was around today to see him, and left us lots of samples of baby food. Sean is kicking happily on the floor.
20/10/91 – Pauline and I took Sean in the pram for a good long walk; to and around Bushy Park and back. Carried him, in the pram, over the stepping stones twice.
26/10/91 – I spent a couple of hours with Dave helping Peter to load up the trailer for the trip to Portstewart. Today was Christine’s 30th birthday, and she and Liam were moving into a place of their own for the first time.
10/11/91 – Although the day was wet and windy, we decided that all three of us needed some fresh air, so we wheeled Sean to Dodder Park in his pram. Saw a couple of herons at close quarters … [later] Sean had a good bit of savoury stuff – his first savoury intake was yesterday.
16/11/91 – Took Sean for a good long walk, through Belfield and home via Foster’s Avenue.
20/11/91 – Pauline bought a ‘play gym’ for Sean in Nutgrove, which he took to immediately. The idea is to have him amuse himself some of the time – he’s got very demanding.
22/11/91 – Pauline walked to the ICT meeting pushing Sean – Anna didn’t go today. She (they) got on fine.
23/11/91 – We went for a long walk in the afternoon, to and around Palmerston Park, then to Rathmines and the Swan Centre. We had drinks and desserts in Chimes, then walked home. Sean was well-behaved. We also traversed Palmerston Road, Lr Beechwood Avenue, Ranelagh – old memories flooding back of course.
25/11/91 – Pauline cooked a big wholesome stew (she’d been to Quinnsworth with Sean) and Sean had some too, blended and mashed through the sieve.
27/11/91 – Sean has come on greatly in the past week or so.