Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Is it just me or is the following child rearing observation accurate? Whenever I meet people who have only two children, both of the same gender, the younger of the two is ALWAYS the chattier one, more of a rascal and not a little mischievous. True?

Kyle Campbell is 9 years old and I predict that one day he could be a major league baseball pitcher. This kid has a fast ball that could take your head off so I’ve resorted to wearing two gloves when we undertake our regular bout of that all-American pastime, “Catch” – one on my left hand and the other down the front of my shorts!

Every Saturday, he undergoes his weekly ritual of climbing into a caged arena armed with a big stick and padded clothing and careering round the place smashing into other nine year olds… or hockey, as they call it here.

Kyle is a social bee, always on the search for company or a sleepover and always ready with a quick witted reply to any query. “I make people laugh like, 20 or 30 times a day,” he told me with pride recently.

One of his favourite ploys seems to be giving an erroneous and totally opposite response to any question or situation. For example, a cup in his vicinity will spill its contents to which he’ll exclaim, “I DIDN’T do anything!” Whereas when asked if he’s cleaned his teeth/washed his hands (when it’s doubtful that he has) he’ll declare, “Sure, I DID it already!”

But just when you think he’s locked and loaded with another sassy comment, he’ll slay you with something unexpected. Sitting contemplatively as I helped him on with his skates at the hockey game the other week he said, casually, “Hey, Neil. Thanks for taking care of us after school every day.” Gulp!

For Kyle, school homework is an ordeal to be completed in as short a time as possible so as not to encroach on his social life or his drumming practice. But that’s not to imply that he lacks the know-how because he’s very smart and switched on and rarely needs assistance.

So here’s a brief insight into the man, the mystery, the legend.

Favourite Colour: Black (Oh oh, worrying start)
Favourite TV Programme: Anything on Nickelodeon but especially “Square Bob’s Spongy Pants”… or some such thing.
Favourite Movie: Austin Powers in Goldmember
Favourite Music: Rap (Don’t be hatin’, be appreciatin’”, is his maxim of the moment)
Favourite School Subject: Math (don’t get me started on whether this should be singular or plural)
Favourite Book: The Mrs Piggle-Wiggle books by Betty MacDonald (yet more reading for me)
Favourite Harry Potter Book: The 3rd movie
Favourite Place Visited: Chinatown, San Francisco
Favourite Sport: Rollerball… sorry, hockey
Favourite Animal: Snake
Favourite Restaurant: Benihana (the local Japanese steakhouse)
Favourite Food: Chicken Feet (see earlier answer on favourite place visited)
Favourite Au Pair: “The hot Cuban chick we had before you... nah, I’m only playin’ witcha.”
Favourite Girlfriend: “No-one serious right now but a couple of girls have been flirtin’ with me.”
Best Friend: Brett or Aiden
What do you want to be when you grow up: A zookeeper
What’s the one thing you’d change about the world: Bush (Kyle was very annoyed that George got re-elected on his 9th birthday)


At 2/2/05 3:49 pm, Blogger Green Glass Beads said...

I am delighted, frightened and amazed at this account. I know your knack for bending details to suit yourself, but this kid sounds kinda cool. Frightening.
Burreh...I am thinking of taking up nannying for the craic - tis over 500 quid a week...only thing is i think a lot of irish kids are from snot-nosed families, and tis the parents that worry me.Last night there was a girl in the restaurant where me and the sis ate and she was bored out of her tree and hanging out with us which was irratating, but not half as annoyed as the parents thinking it was the girl we were irratated with. Weekend parents. And she was a lovely little girl. The parents let the baby get sick on the floor and dint even clean it up?! Feckin' eejits. But anyway...

At 17/2/05 9:58 am, Blogger DC said...

Dear Dr Einstein,

Whilst I would be reluctant to question the scientific methods employed in your , ahem, "research" , I wonder if you have fallen into the " induction V deduction" trap. I you had paid any attention during my lectures , you would remember the following : If on a stroll through a park you espy a pair of black swans on a pond,( having never seen a swan before ),do you -
a - look for your air rifle / nearest empty bottle of buckfast ,to use as weapons to take them out( this only applies in Central Scotland locations ),or,

b- presume that all swans must be black.

You continue to stroll, and before too long happen across a large group of white swans - do you then presume that most swans must be white ,with some being black, or most are black, but that you have seen, on this occasion ,more white. OR, does your brain now hurt, and this being Key West,try & find the nearest Starbucks/ bar serving Exxtra Lite Low Carb Rolling Rock to discuss this theory with all your boho chums ?

Notwithstanding the above I do tend towards agreeing with you in this instance , and, I must say ,in general terms.However, there may be holes in your theory, eg, if the younger sibling became an older one with the birh of another, say 10 years later , how would this impact on their already formed character, and what would the character of the youngest be ? Finally, I would like to see your theory on " Oldest Child Syndrome " where the oldest ,of say , 4 siblings,would normally be the most responsible, mature & career minded , but there may be exceptions .Please discuss ( no more than 25,000 words)

Kyle's a proper cool dude, with interests in sports, chicks, eatin' & drinkin' - under your good & clear instruction the boy should develop just fine. You must however try & steer him away from Rap & try & engender Kieran's love of FMR .Good to see you're doing sports with one hand down your shorts - that's progess !

Warmest regards,

Professor DC


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