Que Sera Sera by Ian Waite

On my recent holiday I was accused of being a ‘know it all’ by a doctor. She was, of course, quite correct as doctors do know everything and have a piece of paper to prove it. Unlike lawyers and doctors I haven’t had to learn ‘my know it all’ arrogance from books at the tax payers expense. No! I am the worst kind of ‘know it all’.

Not a production of elitist competition, instead I have a natural tendency to think I know best when it comes to pretty much anything. Perhaps I should have become a barrister or a doctor but apparently turning a hobby into a profession can really take the fun away.

The point I am making is that I have always been like this. Looking at my two young sons, my family (especially the Grannies) like to speculate as to what they are going to become when they grow up. This is mostly the usual drivel like “ooh look, he is pointing at your teeth, perhaps he is going to be a dentist’ Or ‘he really likes playing with his food perhaps he is going to be a chef’ or ‘he seems to be really interested in your tools perhaps he is going to be a psychotic drill wielding lunatic’. OK I made the last one up, but obviously it is impossible to predict who or what your child will become. However, now that I have two specimens to compare (I should have been a mad scientist) I can see how much of children’s personality (and therefore likely career path) seems to be pre- determined before we start to influence them. My two boys have had virtually the same start but already it is very clear my younger is nothing like my elder.

I think all men dream of their sons becoming great sporting idols. I, like many other parents, did all I could to encourage my first born (Sam) to become the next Stephen Gerrard or Freddie Flintoff. After 4 ½ years of trying it is becoming clear that if Sam is to be world champion at a sport, it isn’t going to be any of the ones we have tried so far. However he does seem to have a natural interest in science and engineering that I have also encouraged. He is definitely a “know it all”, but unlike his Dad it is without any arrogance or smugness. I have secretly started joining in with the grannies in hoping he will become a great engineer or archaeologist (or something else that gives you a piece of paper to prove you are a proper ‘know it all’).

Confirmation of his true nature occurred the other day. Whilst explaining to his Auntie the theory of plate tectonics and their ability to form mountains when two plates collide, he got over-excited, stepped backwards onto a discarded football and subsequently fell over. Definitely science geek behaviour if you ask me. What a dweeb!

I didn’t exactly change tactics with my second (Rocco) but he doesn’t need any encouraging when it comes to sport or physical activity. He has just turned one, but he is completely different to his sweet, mild-mannered older brother. Somewhere between an escaped maniac and Tasmanian devil, Rocco has decided it is his place in life to push, throw, kick and eat anything that comes in his way. His vocabulary consists of four words (Muma, Dada, Yum and Ball), eight animal impressions and the cackling laugh of a crazed pirate. I know it is early days but I have a sneaking suspicion he may not progress much beyond this, (not a problem if he becomes a forward for the England rugby team). He is definitely not a ‘know it all’ but more of a ‘do it all’. The contrast with Sam is quite remarkable and it proves (to me at least) that the biggest influence on our children’s character is themselves, rather than what we do.

If Rocco had come first, I probably would have wondered what I had done to turn my child into such a handful, but I realise this is not of my doing and will endeavour to tame his personality from reckless to tenacious and help him assimilate into the world of us mortals. In terms of what he is going to be when he grows up all I can say is ‘what will be, will be’. Which is a bit of a cop out, but you can’t expect me to know everything!

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