Irish Tears

In County Clare, Ireland, ReasonMyKidsWereCrying by Stacy

I had been so preoccupied preparing for our upcoming USA vacation that I almost forgot to post about our meltdowns in Ireland. And really, there’s not much to tell. But if you were paying attention in my last post (36 Hours in Ireland) you might have caught that I mentioned we went 30 hours tear-free on our 36 hour adventure. That’s actually pretty good for us whether traveling or not. With three young kids, daily crying and temper tantrums are just the way of life for now. But something magical happened in Ireland: they were all happy.

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The view from the top of Bunratty Castle

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In fact, we made it that first crazy day with no tears despite an international flight, driving multiple hours in a car, and exploring two different locations. But alas, the luck of the Irish was beginning to wear off as we arrived at Bunratty Castle that final afternoon. Potty training has been complete with our 3 year old since last August, yet in Edinburgh and at Stonehenge (read about it at There are No Bathrooms at Stonehenge) we had accidents or near misses. Bunratty Castle was another potty trained fail. I guess when we travel he just gets too distracted and holds it. Out of nowhere panic struck while he was happily climbing cannons outside the castle. This time we instantly knew what the problem was. But we got to him too late.

The hasty run when he realized he needed to pee...

The hasty run when he realized he needed to pee…

Look closely and you'll see he did NOT make it in time.

Look closely and you’ll see he did NOT make it in time.

But we’re seasoned parents. Pee-stained clothes don’t slow us down. He was already on his second (and only extra) pair of pants since he’d sat in mud earlier in the day at Blarney Castle (see The Hypocrite who Kissed the Blarney Stone). So we just let him play, soaked pants and shoe and all.

And then the sun began to set and the castle closed. We had a plane to catch in a few hours, so it was time to leave. Shockingly, the oldest did not agree with this logic. She was not ready to leave the castle grounds. The screaming fit that followed looked something like this:

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The Temper didn’t earn his nickname by just shedding a few tears. We should have known his “accident” was only the beginning. A few hours later he unleashed round two. We made the mistake of letting them each choose a cheap souvenir from the duty free shop. He selected a very Irish plain wood train. We obliged his nondescript selection and proceeded to take it from him to pay. But apparently he was counting on a five finger discount and lost his cool when we paid for it.

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Even when we gave it back there was no undoing the damage. With a still fuming toddler we walked to our gate and waited to board our plane before the third child could add to the tears.