Yesterday was International Day of the Child, so today I am going to introduce you to my baby. My youngest child Erin.
In June 2013 my life was complete. I had two beautiful children already and after two miscarriages my third child arrived, very quickly at Mullingar General Hospital.
I had kept Mick, and a bus full of school children entertained by doing my ‘Lions Breath’ yoga breathing in the car on the trip to the hospital. I didn’t care what I looked like, hilarious apparently! It kept me going for the hour-long journey.
Being the wuss that I am, I cried for an epidural even though the midwife told me the baby might arrive before the drugs arrived. Erin did hang on and Mick and the Anaesthetist, stood around joking about me being unlikely to get the full benefit of it.
Erin arrived very quickly after six minutes of pushing and gave us all a fright when she came out looking a bit like Violet Beauregard – deep purple. She was grand though, the midwife handed her to me and it was love at first sight. With the other two the overwhelming love came after a few weeks but with Erin it was instantaneous.
Maybe because I knew that love already with Saoirse and Patrick or maybe because she was so hard got, but I was immediately hooked. With now three, healthy children I felt a nice sense of smug contentment.
Erin was what you would call a ‘flyer’ she was always ahead of the game and we joked she has been here before. She walked at eleven months, said her first word “Saoirse” or “Sisa” a week later. Erin is still now at the stage where she gets her words mixed up, like amnimals and hopsitals and she is always putting things in her “re-memory” box. I desperately don’t want that stage to end.
Erin is the hungriest child I have ever met, she literally never stops eating and her main source of distress is if she ever feels that is going to miss out on food someone else might be getting.
It has certainly stood to her, she was the tallest junior infant I have ever seen and is head and shoulders above anyone her age in group photos. Despite being five, she wears age 10-11 clothes and has size 2 feet. A big body needs a big personality to fill it and that is our Erin, or Erie Berry as we like to call her.
She is wild and free and does her own thing. If you tell her what to do then she always has a perfectly logical and plausible reason about why she shouldn’t do it. It’s very difficult to argue with her as she really is always right and the funny little faces she pulls when explaining herself always make it difficult to keep a straight face myself.
I once took Erin to Now-doc, the doctor was enamoured with her feisty, independent 4 year-old banter. I told her that we thought she would be running a small country by the time she was 25 – the doctor told me, No, she reckoned it would be a big country.
Patrick wants to be a firefighter when he grows up, which is good job as he can practice at our house after Erin’s antics. I walked into the house a few years ago to a horrendous smell and Mick running around in a flap, which is very unusual, for my typically ‘cool as ice’ husband. Whilst he was in the toilet, Erin had taken a coffee table from the sitting room and climbed up to the microwave. She had then decided to put his new phone on to cook! Both the phone and the microwave and were destroyed. Personally, I was delighted, a new microwave meant I didn’t have to clean the old one.
I have always thought we mis-named Erin and should have called her Joy. She is the happiest child, I’ve ever met. She has struggled a lot this year, dealing with the very big emotions, the challenges her brother’s difficult behaviour create. Being assessed for Autism herself this summer, when her meltdowns and anxiety became severs and overwhelming for us all. This brought a lot of big emotions for Mick and particularly me, too.
We are told, that it is unlikely she is Autistic, but the Psychologists do see a lot of challenges for her and will be monitoring how she copes. Through intensive play therapy to help her along and a very special new class teacher, she has thankfully regained her magic and sparkle and my Joy is very welcome back.
Erin is loud, and giddy and always a whirlwind, spinning and dancing into every room, singing at the top her voice to her karaoke machine – Santa, what were you thinking?! ,
She just loves make believe and after watching Re-runs of The Great British Bake Off, with her big sister, they pretend to be Mary and Paul dishing out a critique of every dinner I make, checking to make sure there is “no soggy bottom!”
I’m enjoying her whilst I can because I have no doubt this little wonder woman will be off to live somewhere exciting like New York or Paris the first chance she gets or maybe it’ll be Jupiter, because she is out of this world!