We’re having a family break down in Dublin for a couple of days.
I decided to be bold and undertake the journey in my car.
So we headed off down the A1, across the border, a quick pit stop at the Applegreen and then onwards to one of my favourite cities.
My son doesn’t like long journeys so we decided to play a harmless game of I Spy.
As a method of making the time pass faster it proved to be spectacularly ineffective.
‘OK son, it’s your go.’
‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with R.’
‘R good. Let’s see, is it road?’
‘Um….I don’t know….radio?’
‘I give up, what is it?’
The time seemed to pass slowly.
Eventually we reached the city. Here my plans started to unravel when the amount of money I had budgeted for the trip was soon spent negotiating the various toll booths.
With a little help from Google Maps we found our guest house which is right beside the Aviva Stadium.
The stadium itself is quite impressive in an upside-down ashtray sort of a way.
A combination of trains and trams brought us into the throbbing cosmopolitan heart of the city.
It was at this point my son decided he’d lost the use of his legs and mummy and I spent most of the rest of the day carrying him around.
We decided a trip to the National Wax Museum might give him a separate focus.
It’s pretty underwhelming as an attraction but my son enjoyed burrowing through the tunnels in the children’s section.
I was just glad to have a few minutes with him off my back (take that literally or metaphorically, whatever works for you), so I sat at the side of a display featuring Superman, Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Just resting.
I’m often accused of being lethargic and I suppose I had found a position which was comfortable.
All I know is that when I turned around there was a mother and her two sons watching me.
When I stirred the poor woman jumped in the air proclaiming ‘Jaysus, Mary and Joseph, it moves!’
My boy is a sensitive soul so we decided to avoid the horror section.
Unfortunately the display devoted to the politics of Northern Ireland had much the same effect and sent him running and screaming from the building.
Dutifully we trudged around a few more attractions, mummy and I taking turns with the weight until we wearily gave up and headed to a Greek restaurant for dinner.
One helping of ice-cream reinvigorated our little man and as we arrived back at the guest house exhausted, he found his eighth wind of the day and started to run around excitedly.
As I write this I’m sprawled on the bed, mummy’s on the sofa and our son is doing laps of the room, singing the theme song from Horrid Henry and trying to wrestle me onto the floor.
I like to know that he’s aware that these are special family days; times to be remembered when things are a little bit rougher.
I ask him if he’s had a good time. He shrugs. I ask him what the best part of the day was.
Immediately his face brightens.
‘When we stopped at the service station.’
Tomorrow we’ll do the bus tour.
But for now, it’s bedtime. Mine, not his.