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24th Jul 2012

Winds of Change: Evanne Ni Chuilinn on Google, Gripe Water and how the Internet helps Mums

RTÉ Sports presenter Evanne Ni Chuilinn wonders how mums did it before the Internet, and thanks her lucky stars for Twitter.


I never thought I’d celebrate the passing of wind. 

The sound of a long loud belch or a set of spurts from down below is never something I imagined would make me giddy with pride. But I’ll take wind any way it’ll come these days – from my little man that is…

When I was 3 months old, the Internet too, was in its’ infancy. The word ‘spam’, made up of the words ‘Spiced’ and ‘Ham’, was a canned meat product, and ‘Google it’ probably sounded like an insult. My Mam didn’t even have the luxury of reaching her friends on a mobile phone at a seconds’ notice, let alone researching everything from kankles to colic, online. I’m not sure I’d have coped. Twitter for iPhone saved my sanity not so long ago, all because my little man couldn’t get his wind up.

I didn’t know what colic was this time last year. It was a simpler time. I was still blissfully unaware 4 weeks into my little man’s life, and naturally enough, I thought I had escaped. And then one evening the poor mite screamed the house down, and almost drove Mammy and Daddy to a trial separation!  

I took to Twitter, and was inundated with kind hearted folk, who not only provided the solution – Gripe Water – but sourced bottles of the elusive potion for me in any number of local shops and pharmacies around the country. I rang my sister who drove to Boherlahan in Tipperary and landed in Dublin the following day with 4 shiny bottles!

I used a syringe, a dropper, and a spoon, and eventually, the tiny mite swallowed a few drops. I should have recorded audio of what followed, because I can’t describe it, except to say that my son sounded more like a farm animal than a human baby boy.  

Of course I clapped myself on the back when the Gripe Water worked its magic. My big man gave me great credit for restoring peace, quiet and contentment to our front room, and boy did I take it – pure smug! In reality I’d have been lost without all the lovely people out there who told me where to go, what to do, how to do it. What did our Mum’s do in a situation like that? How did they figure out what to do whenever anything went wrong, particularly if they lived, like I do, hours away from their own mothers?

I hate to take away from the very real challenge of being a Mum in 2012, but I feel I have a duty to salute our pre-Internet Mums. How they fared so well without a virtual coffee table of women in the same situation is a mystery to me. Kudos to you ladies, but I will thank any number of higher powers everyday from now on, that I live at a time when every nosey parker on the planet can help me figure out this motherhood lark, at the tap of a tiny glass screen!