Monday, November 07, 2005

Brand New Friend

I spent this weekend in the company of my 3-year old neice, Catherine. And it has to be said that with the exception of one scary moment on the M50, it was a real joy. I'm ashamed to say that I haven't really spent much time with her during her first three formative years. I've tended to see her as something of a burden and definitely as a cause of much trouble despite her tender years.

As any dutiful aunt would do, I showed up at the Rotunda with obligatory flowers for my sis and teddy bear for the new "sprog". She lay there all wrinkled and yellow, roaring at the top of her lungs for an hour. My sis and I have always been close but I didn't think it polite to tell her that I didn't think she was the "cutest thing in the whole world". Or indeed that the public ward down the corridor was full of similar sounding creatures. That my car was clamped on Parnell Square, is clearly not Catherine's fault. I can hardly expect a 2 day old child to know that there is a poorly advertised clearway for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon on the east side of side square. But if she had not squawked her way through my visit, I'd have had my aunt duties dispatched in half the time.

I suppose on some level I probably resent the fact that she seems to have taken over Aoife + Tom's life completely. They both turned into parent bores and seemed to have checked their intellect in at the door of the maternity ward. Every burb, gurl and fart was highlighted as being a highly individualistic and artistic statement. I object to the fact that two funloving and gregarious people could be so devastatingly drained of life. I certainly blame her for the disaster that my sophisticated dinner party of two years ago became. Trying, perhaps too hard, to demonstrate my domestic goddess credentials to a young Italian accountant, I’d the soft lighting, exquisite menu, atmospheric music, excellent guests et al only to be thwarted by roars of my beloved neice. Believe me it is hard enough to seduce an accountant – Italian or otherwise – whilst being serenaded by Norah Jones and a 14 month colic-ridden Northsider. I am probably being unreasonable blaming Catherine for the fact that Alessandro hooked up with my best friend from Primary school. Rachel had the advantage of being single, a smoker, knowledgeable about the FRS’s of relevance to corporate governance and not having a possessed infant staying the night in her gaff.

So imagine my surprise to find this chaos machine has turned into a young lady. (Now I don’t know about you, but I think I was 17 before I turned into being a young lady. ) And not just a young lady, but a kind, sensitive and hug-giving one at that. Catherine brought me a gift – a beautiful drawing of me in my new apartment – complete with the perspective that only a 3-year old understands. (I’ll never get drapes to fit those windows). We explored Sandycove beach, collected shells and wrapped them as individual gifts for Tom + Aoife. We shared popcorn, nail varnish and movies “that make me sad”. I thought that the English Patient was a credible choice of tearjerker until Catherine told me about Sponge Bob and his unfortunately shaped pants. Over the space of 2 years, this infuriating infant has developed into a mature, mischievous madam. She can do Irish dancing, ballet and waltzing thanks to Riverdance and Walt Disney DVD’s.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve not turned all broody. It will take more than one fun-filled weekend to make me want to have a baby. (Actually it takes 4 smirnoff ice’s on an empty stomach to do that!) I was happy to had her back to Aoife who seems to have been refreshed by a 4 hour indulgence in the Dundrum basilica. But I’ve made a wonderful new friend – one who sees things with such refreshing optimism. I’ve set a date for her next visit – a sleepover. I am even thinking of inviting her to my next dinner party.


Blogger dunner said...

hi paige
I am really sorry, I only noticed your comment on my blog today!!

Tell Tony not to lose faith as in "Rafa We Trust" &
Viva La Rafaloution !!!

Thanks for the kind words about the blog, I found it hard at first to post on, but have made an agreement with myself that I am going to post at least once every 2 days from now on!!

Oh and I can see that there must be something about 3 yr olds as my great niece is 3 yrs old aswell and is quite the handful according to reports we receive on this side of the pond.


3:12 a.m., November 10, 2005  

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