That title is SUPER product-placement-y.
My new roommates are 3-year-olds, twins and go by the names of Nathan ("Nate-dog") and Dylan; they enjoy Rugby Tots, tricycle-riding, sword-fighting in something called "Power Ranger mode," wrestling each other and lollipops; also, they would like everyone to know they do not eat vegetables, thankyouverymuch. Their mom Niamh, (pronounced "Neeve") is a wonderful woman who loves her boys but is definitely long over due for an extended spa weekend; their dad, Conor, works for the provincial rugby team and travels more often than not. The family's home just outside of Galway is roomy and welcoming; my bedroom is big and comfortable, and the kitchen is stocked with things like doughnut-shaped biscuits (cookies) and breaded fish fingers. Traces of 2.5-ft. tall humans exist throughout the suburban home; handprints of varying colors, dribbles, artwork, and two of every toy.
My first two days were a crash course in Toddler 101. Screaming, Crying, Laughter, Fighting, Whining at any given moment of the day, if not all in the same three-minute period. Also, the twin element adds a heightened level of excitement. Niamh is so kind, and constantly wanting to make sure I'm comfortable and have time to myself. I think she's worried I will change my mind. The boys are challenging, but it only makes me want to help her more. We laugh about how it's "practice" for me; we laugh harder about it being "birth control" for me.
Surely, it will take some adjustment. But I watch them only during the day, and I have relief in the evenings and the weekends; which I feel kind of guilty about; which makes no sense. Anyway, it's not a bad job at all, and I have a comfortable, rent-free place to stay, so I really can't complain. Admittedly, you can now find "how to deal with 3-year-olds" in my Google search history.
To unwind after my first 48 hours of proper Nannyhood, I took myself to town, bought myself a glass of cool white wine from a waitress with a French accent and read an overpriced copy of the New Yorker. (EIGHT EUROS. Geeezus.) Happy Friday to me. Afterward I met some friends and we checked out a few bands playing blues rock as part of a music festival sponsored by...? Guinness. (I believe the Republic of Ireland is sponsored by Guinness.) Had to take a cab home because of the bus service's unfortunately early ending time. (FOURTEEN EUROS for the cab. Extra Geeezus.) I guess I'll be coming home before midnight ALL THE TIME now.
I've been sending postcards out in waves; every few days I look for a new coffee or tea shop to try-out and do my postcard-ing. The other day I had my first Full Irish Breakfast, which has all the standard meat-egg-hash fare, but with the truly Irish addition of "pudding," which seem to be fried pork sausage patties. The "black pudding" has a bonus of blood included. Fried blood sausage. Delicious when you don't know what it is.
I'm in the process of recruiting friends (and friends of friends) with a car to do some roadtrips around the area in the coming weekends. I've yet to make it to the importantly landmark-y Cliffs of Moher and the nearby national park Connemara (which has a castle, so...) After I've sufficiently hit these hot-spots, I can feel ready to plan my adventures on "the Continent." And also England! I've been conceptualizing a birthday weekend trip someplace, but it's getting a little too close to book the really dirt-cheap airfare; also, since I only just began the job, I'd hate to ask for a day off just yet, but I'd really need a three-day weekend to make a trip to another country feel worthwhile.
Before my intra-continental explorations can begin, however, I feel I'll be spending a little more time reading iVillage articles about disciplining late-stage toddlers.