Sunday 26 February 2012

How Bad?

10 o’clock on a Sunday morning I’m fed, Freddie’s fed and Ruby is still in bed. Lisa is looking beautiful under her blanket watching some sex comedy with Ashton Kutcher in it. Or should that be watching Ashton Kutcher having sex as it seems that’s all he’s doing. Reminds me of my youth before I’d wake up in my lonely bed… The reality for most of us guys in our youth is fumbling shyness, probably falling for the impossible wrong girl and never telling her, before maturity brings us to our senses. No doubt it’s the same for the opposite sex but I’m not about to wander into that minefield blindfolded…..

This has been an ordinary weekend after an ordinary week. How bad? Lunch yesterday with Aiden in McCarthy’s bar while watching the Ireland Italy match was a perfectly simple treat. Time was that watching a rugby match, or any sports event in a pub for that matter, was accompanied by pints and a pack of Tayto. Yesterday it was a toasted sandwich and a cup of coffee. Tom was telling us what was on the menu and I asked him for cheese salad sandwich…

 “We do a big sandwich John which you’d need a knife and fork to eat” he said before adding dryly….”but we do supply knives and forks.”

Had to have that one. Moments like that are pretty special to me right now, a change from rushing back to the hospital or telling Aiden our latest dramas involving the Fredster. In fact it’s a while since we were able to have lunch together as I just couldn’t relax 35kms away from my boy. So a toasted sandwich, rugby and idle chat was most welcome. My mind was still preoccupied with Freddie so much so that Ireland’s poor first half display didn’t bother me too much but preoccupied is better than nail biting worry. At half-time I left to head home. Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday is the only time I have with my family these days so I had to leave Aiden with Tom and head for the hills. Listening to the second half in the car took me all the ways back to Tralee. Michael Corcoran is such a superior commentator than anyone on any channel and he’s a pleasure to listen to. Every move was clear to me and I knew exactly what was happening without being in front of the TV, such are the skills that man has. No pints and Taytos? “Who gives a bloody damn” as he once so famously said at the time of Ireland’s Grand Slam victory.

On the way back texts started coming through from Ruby. The peaceful idyllic Friday night the previous evening was shattered whilst I was out in the kitchen getting the wine and nibbles. I left the room in harmony only to come back to literally the mother and daughter of rows. What exactly they were rowing about wasn’t clear but it seemed Ruby had spoken disrespectfully to her mother. Nothing too new there but Lisa had had enough the Friday night and bit back. As a result Ruby was grounded for the weekend and the planned sleep over at Tara’s for Saturday night was verboten, as was all activity between now and her 21st. Like Red Adair I tried saving the night but with only limited success. The cold war continued into Saturday and thence the texts from Ruby begging me to talk to her mother. She knows that she can get around me easily and also knows that putting pressure on me usually works. One after another they came through….

“Please daddy can you talk to mummy?”
“Please daddy can I go to Tara’s?”
“Please daddy”

For once I didn’t respond; I knew that as soon as one was answered I’d be dragged in, doing my Kofi Annan bit this time, trying to negotiate Ruby’s release. So I drove back along the road, apparently being widened to let the oil companies in and home to the DMZ in Ballyseede, ignoring all my poor daughter’s pleas along the way. By the time I got there détente had broken out and Ruby had accepted her fate. We settled in to a night of food, TV, wine and snacks. All were safely in bed by 11.30. Who knew normal would be so welcome?

To lighten the morning I just did my Ashton Kutcher impression for Lisa to which she laughed her head off and said “maybe if you were 4 inches taller.” At least she didn’t add “and if you had any upper body muscle” which she usually does through the tears of laughter…….

Like my father before me I like these weekends when we’re all at home, they haven’t happened too much lately but we’ve got to Sunday morning with only minor skirmishes and I’m much relieved.

Again. How bad?

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