Eoghan Kennedy Mulvenna

Eoghan, on his 2nd birthday
Last updated: 23 September 2009

Who am I?

I arrived in this world on 22 March 1996 in my mum and dad's house in Edinburgh. I think they were both there, but they haven't told me where exactly I came from yet.

My latest news

Thursday 6 September 2001
My first day at the new Kindergarten - there were so many children that I didn't remember any of their names, but I had a good time and I like my teacher Marguerite.
Friday 31 August 2001
We left the house where I was born in Edinburgh for the last time to travel all the way to Co. Clare in Ireland to start a new life. I will miss all my good friends here in Edinburgh, especially Max and my cousin Becky, but at least I'll go to another Kindergarten similar to the Edinburgh kindy.
Graney Cottage, near Scariff, Co. Clare
Thursday-Monday 7-11 June 2001
The whole family made a special trip to Ireland to check out Scariff in Co. Clare, to where we will be moving in the Autumn. There is a Steiner/Waldorf school and kindergarten there and we met one of the Kindy teachers and had a great time exploring the Kindy garden. We stayed at Graney Cottage, which was perfect for us. Aidan and I had a room in the attic and out in the back garden a thrush had made a nest very low down. While we were there we watched the 2 baby birds get stronger until on the last day they left the nest. Aidan and I pretended to be baby birds ourselves and there was a great tree in the front garden for our nest!.
Saturday 5 May 2001
Dad took me, Aidan and Maria on the annual Mayday parade through the centre of Edinburgh. I held a placard which said KEEP OUR CRECHES OPEN and at the end there was a free bouncy castle, fruit and juice. It was very colourful and noisy with lots of people shouting things over and over again. I listened carefully and was able to repeat these interesting chants without any prompting! My favourite is THE WORKERS UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED

Hardknott Pass, Cumbria
Friday-Saturday 23-24 February 2001
As we were so close to Over Kellet, we went to visit the Hobbs family there. My dad used to live with Issy and George when he was a student. Their children, Jack and Madeleine, have great toys - I especially loved playing with loads of guns and swords, which we don't have at our house for some reason.

Tuesday-Friday 20-23 February 2001
It was time for another Natural Nurturing Network spring break in a Youth Hostel. This year we stayed at the Eskdale Hostel. Our holiday started with the very very scary journey there. Unfortunately it was getting dark by the time we arrived and the approach from the East to the hostel was a very dangerous road called Hardknott Pass. During our stay we were able to go back up to these mountain roads and see just how high and windy they were. The best bit was exploring the ruins of Hardknott Roman Fort. When we were at the hostel, Aidan made friends with a little girl called Eva and I liked swinging on the bars in the drying room with Rudi.

Thursday-Sunday 9-10 November 2000
The whole family went to London for a long weekend. We stayed in a self-catering house in Wanstead and went on the underground loads of times. One of the best bits was when Aidan, Dad and I went to Legoland in Windsor on the Friday. We spent the whole day there and had a fantastic time - I even got my driving license! This is where we stayed in Wanstead, London
Photo © UKcottage.com

Early July 2000
Dad was off work for 3 weeks so we spent lots of time out and about. One of the places we visited was the Scottish Mining Museum at Newtongrange. Although alot of the things were better suited to older children, Aidan and I really enjoyed it because we got to wear miners helmets and I pulled a big lever which started a massive wheel turning which pulls up the miners and the coal. Ever since we often play miners games by pretending to go underground and turning off all the lights and mucking about with torches. Eoghan and Aidan share a cuddle, January 2001
Friday 30 June 2000
We have a baby sister! Like Aidan she didn't have a confirmed name for a day or two, but eventually we decided to call her Maria Alice Mulvenna.
Maria, aged 2 weeks

Eoghan and Aidan share another cuddle, July 2000

Friday-Sunday 28-30 April 2000
The whole family travelled to Ireland this time. It was quite a rush to get to the boat on time in Cairnryan and we thought we were going to miss it altogther. When we got there, they told us the new boat had broken down and was cancelled, which was a relief to us, but a hassle to everyone else because the old boat they put us on took about 3 hours to get to Larne. When we got there we went straight to Ballygally and played on the beach and then spent some time in the Ballygally Castle Hotel gardens which are really lovely with a bridge and a river and an island. James, Doug and Sarah came with us and they took Mum to a conference in Co. Tyrone (which Dad tells me means "Land of Eoghan"), while Dad, me and Aidan went to Belfast to stay with Granny and Grandad again. We spent the whole of Saturday with Granny and Grandad, while dad went to Tyrone to be at the conference with Mum, James, Doug and Sarah. Granny took us to Tyrone for teatime and we spend the rest of Saturday at the conference. It was a great place called An Creagán and we were staying in a lovely cottage nearby in what I called the village. Dad told us that this was quite clever because the cottages' name is An Clachan, which means the village! Sunday was spent seeing some sites including Navan Fort, where we had been before with Mia and Rosa, before getting to Larne to travel back to Scotland on the proper fast boat - and it was really fast.

Friday-Sunday 7-9 April 2000
Aidan, Dad and I flew in a plane from Glasgow Airport to Belfast City Airport for a secret birthday party for Granny in Ireland. On the Friday night we stayed in Greenisland with Mandy, Dave, Niamh and Euan. They have a pond in their garden with lots of tadpoles in it, which will turn into frogs. Saturday was lots of fun as we met up with Mia, Rosa, Paula, Nicola, Joan, Barry, Conor, Debra and John before going to the Bellevue Arms to wait for Granny in Ireland to arrive with Grandad and looked surprised. We had a big meal with melon, chips, vegetarian sausage rolls and beans and sorbet with an umbrella! On the Sunday we had all day to spend with everyone and we went for a walk to a super playground. Going home on the plane was very exciting and Aidan wasn't frightened at all even though it was his first time flying like that. By the time we got home, we were already in our jammies and fast asleep and went straight to our beds.

Can you spot me in my Kindergarten class of 2000 photo?

Saturday 25 March 2000
Me, Aidan and Dad went along to a street party for families organised by the East of Scotland Repeal Section 28 Group. It was in Parliament Square in Edinburgh and there were lots of balloons and people taking photographs. There were lots of women playing drums all together which was much too loud for me - I think drums should be played one at at time.

Wednesday 22 March 2000
MY FOURTH BIRTHDAY! What a lovely day I had - all day long. It started with opening a few presents (a shopping trolley, a Jungle Book video, some clothes, some paints, some fuzzy felt) and then it was off to Kindy with a lovely vegan carrot cake made by our friend Shiela. All the children made pictures which were bound together into a lovely birthday book and I got a special hat and lovely brush cotton dolly made by the teacher Anne. When we got home there was another little party with a few friends and relations (Mum, Granny Walsh, Aunt Pamela and Becky, Aidan, Yvonne and Dylan, Petra and Mairi, Angela and Charlotte). There was lots of yummy food, more cake this time with candles and more presents. Ohh I was exhausted by the end of it all and now I'm FOUR.

High Force, Teesdale (© Lancaster University)

Friday-Monday 17-20 March 2000
I'm just back from yet another great family holiday organised by the Natural Nurturing Network (NNN). We spent Friday to Monday in the wilds of the North Pennines in Co. Durham. We stayed at Baldersdale Youth Hostel with five other families from the NNN. Me and Aidan had a great time from start to finish:

Tuesday 31 August 1999
This was my first day at the Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten. I go twice a week (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and I love it!

Thursday 12 August 1999-Wednesday 18 August 1999
Another holiday of sorts. We all returned to Ireland for the first time in two years and saw lots of the Mulvenna and Kennedy relatives. We stayed mostly in Belfast, but one day we did a quick trip to Emain Macha near the city of Armagh. It was a bit scary, wet and a big moundy hill to roll down. We travelled to and from Ireland by boat and car. The boat trips were quite exciting - it was called a Seacat and it had lots of cars in its tummy.

Saturday 24 July 1999-Saturday 31 July 1999
This was our first proper family holiday. We drove all the way down to Derbyshire to a Natural Nurturing Network camp. When we got there it was very late and we had to get the tent set up in the dark and have something to eat and get our jammies on by torchlight. It was very different to being at home. There were loads of friends to play with and campfires and dock leaves and an amazing bridge over a river. There was a big bit of blue plastic set up on a steep slope and it was called the Water Slide. The first time I slid down it I was very frighted and hurt myself at the end when I slid backwards on my front through the thistles - ouch. I didn't think I would want another go after that but I did.

The sun blazed all week long and I had to wear my sun hat all the time. At the end I helped to write a big long song about the camp. I really enjoyed my holiday and I miss all the children and the big field now that I'm home.

Friday 2 July 1999
This was my last day at the Colinton Mains Playgroup. There was an end of term party and a brilliant big playbus to play on. At the end one of the playleaders gave my mum a bit of paper that said some nice things about me.

Eoghan and Danny having a picnic in a tree

Sat-Mon 1-3 May 1999
The whole family went to Crail in Fife for what I call the Maypole party - a big gathering of big people and small people to celebrate the arrival of Summer. We go there every year and I particularly enjoyed it this time because I had a great friend called Danny and we played together all the time. He has a wee brother called Luke who is just a little older than Aidan, so we spent a lot of time running away from the two "cheeky little monkeys" as we called them.

Sunday 18 April 1999
I helped my mum and dad and other friends celebrate Earth Day at the beautiful Hermitage of Braid Nature Reserve, where we cleared lots of rubbish from the Braid Burn. While I was walking among the trees near the river I heard a fairy giggling!

Sunday 4 April 1999 (Easter)
My second Sunday demonstration in a row! This time it was a protest about the so-called "re-alignment" of the A701 road near Bilston, Midlothian, which will destroy lots of lovely green spaces. The existing A701 is a straight road whereas the planned "re-alignment" is all bendy. The demonstration took the form of a walk through the threatened green space, which was a bit tricky because silly mum and dad brought the heavy double buggy which wasn't very amenable to going over fences and through ploughed fields! However I was able to roll my easter egg down a wee hill.

Sunday 28 March 1999
For a pleasant Sunday day out for the family, we went to a protest against the plans to start Genetically Modified crop trials for Monsanto at Scottish Agricultural College fields quite near to where we live. It involved quite a long walk through nice country lanes to the proposed crop trial site with me in the buggy and Aidan in the sling. There were some police there and some horses, who all got very excited when demonstrators started climbing into the field to rip up the "bad plants". I can't really get my head round this whole Genetically Modified plant concept - I refer to this demonstration rather misleadingly as my visit to the plant shop!

Saturday 20 March 1999
My third birthday party took place at the Soft Play Centre in Meadowbank Sports Centre (same venue as last year). I had lots of my friends there and it was great fun. After the soft play, we all went upstairs to the canteen to get our party bags and blow out the candles on the birthday cake.

Thursday-Monday 7-11 January 1999
I was delighted to be back in Manchester for Joan and Barry's joint 40th birthday party and to be staying so long. I even slept in the same room as Mia and Rosa, who were very busy most of the time playing with their gameboys. This gave me plenty of opportunity to play with all their other toys, particulary the Polly Pocket and Pound Puppy stuff. One of the highlights of the Manchester trip was getting a present from Uncle Conor - he gave me a doctor's kit which was something I really wanted. It proved very useful when Rosa fell out of bed and Mia fell down the steps outside! We travelled to and from Manchester on a big train, which was a first for me. It was very exciting and I even had my own wee backpack to carry my things.

Friday-Sunday 4-6 December 1998
We all went to Newcastle to spend the weekend with Paula and Nicola (my Aunties, but shhhh they don't like to be called that). They have a lovely big house and lots of toys to play with. One afternoon mum and dad went away without me and Aidan. I suspect they were looking for presents in the big shops in Newcastle.

10-11 September 1998
My dad and I had a great adventure going to Manchester in a plane. I wasn't frightened even though it was quite bumpy. I had a great time with my Uncle John and Aunt Joan while dad went to a meeting. Best of all was playing with my Manchester cousins (Mia and Rosa) and all their toys.

Eve, Hugh and Eoghan by Loch Ness

July 1998
I can't remember the exact date, but we had a weekend away in the Highlands of Scotland and I stayed very near Loch Ness and was very interested in the monster, Nessie. I really enjoyed staying with Eve and Hugh and all their cats.

Sunday 22 March 1998
This was my second birthday and we went to the Soft Play Centre at Meadowbank in Edinburgh. There were lots of other toddlers and a big cake with candles. Everyone sang "Happy Birthday to Eoghan" - what a thrill!

February-March 1998
Probably around the time of Aidan's naming party I contracted my second major childhood illness. At first I was really grumpy and didn't want to do anything and had lots of tantrums. Then I started coming out in a rash on my face and arms. My mum and dad didn't know what it could be until they mentioned it to a neighbour who told them about a new childhood illness called Slap Cheek that is all the rage these days. I must admit I'm very pleased with myself because it normally affects bigger boys and girls. Anyway that's another one of these nasty things out of the way.

Saturday 14 February 1998
We had a big party for Aidan's official naming. It took place in the West End Hotel in Edinburgh and there were almost 20 children there with lots of friends and family. There was plenty of food and a huge cake with Aidan's name on it.

Eoghan and Aidan, when Aidan was but a little cherub

Wednesday 19 November 1997
I have a brother! The baby that had been living in mummy's tummy for months decided to come out. It took us a while to think of a name, but eventually we came up with Aidan and I think he's great.

Saturday 6 September 1997 - Saturday 20 September 1997
I went to Ireland for a holiday with my mum and dad. Most of the time we stayed with my grandparents in Belfast, but we also visited Ballymena, Dublin, Keshcarrigan (Co. Leitrim) and Drumsurn (Co. Derry), where my great-grandmother lives. I got really good at walking and took advantage of the opportunity to hone my technique on stairs. I use the traditional Scots method of dreeping, whereby I go down feet first on my tummy. I can go quite fast, but I'm always in control.

Friday 1 August 1997
I can walk - independence here I come. There are so many places to explore...

Friday 20 June 1997 - Sunday 22 June 1997
I went camping for the first time on a lovely farm in Dumfries and Galloway with lots of other families celebrating Midsummer. It was my first time to sleep in a tent and fortunately we were able to borrow quite a big tent, so that I could sleep in my travel cot. I slept so well that I didn't waken up when the big fireworks went off on the Saturday night! Mum and Dad were very pleased that I was so good at going to sleep outdoors, but didn't seem too impressed when I got up at 6am as usual raring to go. They also seemed to get very annoyed at some sort of little flying creatures called midges, who didn't really bother me but made little red spots on my parents.

Monday 12 May 1997
I'm well over my chickenpox now and I was glad to get back to the Monday morning creche. This morning was very exciting as I produced my very first work of art. It was an abstract watercolour on black paper.

Sunday 20 April 1997
Spots called chickenpox started appearing all over my head, chest and back today. They're very itchy at night and I can't sleep very well because of them. My parents are using all sorts of lotions and potions to make me more comfortable. This is my first childhood illness and I'll be grounded for the next couple of weeks.

Eoghan, aged exactly one year

Sunday 30 March 1997
I managed to crawl forward properly for the first time. It's easy when you know how.

Saturday 22 March 1997
I celebrated my first birthday with a small party in our house. A few neighbours, friends and family came round and there was plenty of presents, food and drink. Despite the red eyes and empty whisky bottle in the photo on the right, I was totally sober - honest.

Listen to me talking

Just to enrich the multimedia experience and so that you can hear how my voice sounds, here are some of my recordings. (You'll need a RealAudio player.)
  1. The things I get from Stockbridge...
  2. Aidan do it...
  3. Aidan's grabbing me...
  4. A popular Yuletide ditty I like to sing the whole year round...

Where does my name come from?

Irish and Scottish Gaelic name of great antiquity and disputed derivation. It has been suggested that it may be composed of old celtic elements meaning "yew" and "born", i.e. born of the yew. It is anglicised in Ireland as Owen and Eugene and in Scotland as Ewan, Ewen, Euan, and sometimes Hugh. The Scots Gaelic variant is Eòghann. I got this name because my parents liked it, oh and by the way, it's pronounced like Owen.

Anglicised form of Irish Gaelic Cinnéidigh, a traditional name composed of ceann (head) and éidigh (ugly). In the Scottish highlands this form has also been used as an anglicised equivalent of Uarraig. Apparently because that given name was common in kindreds surnamed Kennedy (Ó Cinnéidigh). I've been given this name to carry on a tradition in my mother's family of using Kennedy as a given name. This tradition went wrong when my great-grandfather registered my great-uncle as Kenneth, possibly under the influence of paternal celebrations. My mum's brother, who sadly died when he was still a teenager, was then also called Kenneth. Calling me Kennedy will hopefully reinstate the family tradition.

From the Irish Ó Maoil Mheana meaning "descended from a devotee of the (River) Main". Before the destruction of the Gaelic order in the 17th Century, the sept of O'Mulvenna was located in O'Cahan's County (Co. Derry). They were hereditary ollavs to O'Cahan (O'Kane). The first historical appearance of the Ó Maoil Mheana name was a mention in the Annals of Ulster 1164 of someone who was fourteenth in descent from Eoghan, son of Niall of the nine hostages. By 1659, when Pender's "census" showed O'Mulvena as the spelling, they were no longer to be found to any extent in their traditional homeland, but were numerous in the adjacent county of Antrim, in the barony of Glenarm. This was a part of the county least affected by the upheavals of the 17th century. The river Main (probably named after a Goddess called Meana) flows into Lough Neagh at Randalstown.

My hectic social life

Ever since I started to toddle, my social diary has kept my mum on her toes. When I was 2 years old, a particularly busy but not too untypical week might have looked like this:
Monday, 9.00-11.15am
Colinton Mains Playgroup

Tuesday, 10.15am-12.30pm
The Next Step Toddler Group, Edinburgh Rudolf Steiner School. This is one of my favourite activities. It is run by a lovely woman called Helen, who helps us make biscuits, bread and crafts.

Wednesday, 10.45am-12.00pm
Creche at the Craiglockhart Sports Centre. These days, I'm one of the "big" children at the creche, where me and Aidan have a great time while Mum does her exercises.

Wednesday, 1pm-4pm
A monthly afternoon gathering in Edinburgh organised by the Natural Nurturing Network. There's usually children of all ages. Sometimes it's in a hall and sometimes we meet for a picnic somewhere nice outside.

Thursday, 9.00am-11.15pm
Colinton Mains Playgroup

The words I used when I first starting talking

I mostly speak an unknown foreign language at the moment, but my closest words to English include:
My first word, the meaning of which is a mystery to everyone but me.

My most useful word meaning food or drink - I need to shout this alot. Recently I've been shortening this to mah

Eoghan, at around 9 months

This seems to make people go all gooey, so I hardly ever use it at all now.

This is my word for cats. I live with two cats Calum and Stella. I've known Calum all my life so far, but Stella has only been with us a few months. There was another cat called Susie, but sadly she died with cancer in December 1996. I was able to say goodbye to her at the vets.

Subtly different from the cat-word, this usually means duck.

Clothing for heads...and feet - I usually accompany this exclamation with a sharp blow to my head.

noh or na
This is a great accompaniment to shaking my head when I don't want something.

I really love my dad, so I call him by his proper word now. I don't really have a word for my mum yet, so I call her dad too the odd time.

Give me liquid. When I say this word, I get offered juice. Lovely apple juice, apple and mango, plain water, soya milk and orange juice. I like saying the word even when I'm not thirsty.

This is an attempt at my first Scots word stoat, which I say when I bang my head. I'm just copying what my mum and dad say, but it makes them laugh and stops me from being too sore.

This is my favourite word at the moment. I love to wave and try to shout BYE, but it comes out different.

What noises can I make?

Apart from language, I can also make some entertaining imitative noises:
woof woof
This is what I say, when see or hear a real or imaginary dog.

Though difficult to spell, this is a great noise and is my rendering of what cats say.

I can make the sound that bees and flies make.

Car, trucks, buses. I usually suffix a dad on the end of this as he is the person I see driving most.

Though quite rare these days I sometimes do this noise for cows. More often I'll go woof woof because I'm confused.

tck tck
The spelling doesn't do this justice - it's the sound a horse makes.

What are my hobbies?

Eoghan in bath, aged about 9 months

Currently my hobbies include:

  1. Pretending to be animals, e.g. hamsters, dogs, rabbits
  2. Playing at being a miner
  3. Building imaginary worlds with covers and pillows
  4. Painting
  5. Making a mess with sand
  6. Pretending to be a ghost
  7. Running about with no clothes on
  8. Going to playgrounds
  9. Brushing and combing my hair
  10. Breaking clothes pegs
  11. Playing with Polly Pocket
  12. Playing the guitar (as a percussion instrument mostly, though plucking the strings is starting to give me a thrill)
  13. Playing the mouth organ (and any other wind instrument I can get my hands on).
  14. Talking alot (see above)
  15. Climbing on things, especially sofas
  16. Lots of books!
  17. Talking on toy phones to my granny. I don't like to say too much on a real phone - you never know who might be listening.
  18. Watching TV. At the moment I like watching:

What hobbies have I relegated to history?

Eoghan, aged about 5 months

My old hobbies include:

  1. Not having naps during the day
  2. Not sleeping very much during the night
  3. Anything to do with eating
  4. Seeing how long it takes for hobbies 1 and 2 to have my parents committed to an institution
  5. Wanting everything I can see
  6. Grooving my body to all sorts of music, especially that three note jingle on Radio Scotland
  7. Spotting cats and shouting DAT!
  8. Spotting dogs and shouting WOOF WOOF!
  9. Spotting hats and shouting HAT! I insist that my mum puts on a hat, when we are leaving the house. Dad should always wear his hat inside the house and I like to wear one of my hats around the house. If I see a total stranger wearing a hat, I'll make a spectacle of them by pointing and chanting HAT HAT HAT.
  10. Shaking my head - this past-time has immense communication power, especially now that I can say NO!
  11. Standing up
  12. Banging my head on furniture
  13. Kissing people - this is really great fun
  14. Being carried about
  15. Teletubbies - it took me a while to get interested in television programmes, but now I'm addicted to this cult BBC programme for toddlers and particularly love saying die-eeee and waving at the end.
  16. Dramatic pointing
  17. Identifying duck images, in both two and three dimensions
  18. Making contorted faces each time I get fed a new type of food
  19. Resisting the urge to crawl - if there's something out of reach, it's not my job to get it, that's what parents are for
  20. Worrying my parents by practising the F sound
  21. Sliding down the sofa so that I land on my bum with a giggle
  22. Throwing myself backwards so that I bang my head, when my parents least expect it
  23. Improving my cuteness factor by tilting my head to the left and smiling every so often
  24. Refusing to clap, though I've been known to wave when noboby's looking
  25. Clapping in the conventional manner
  26. Clapping with my special unique "palm-to-wrist" technique
  27. Blowing raspberries and making a sniffing sound through my nose
  28. Throwing away my food regardless of whether I like it or not - my parents seem to be clamping down on this now, so I mightn't be able to keep it up.
  29. In fact throwing anything with a flourish is a good laugh
  30. Posing for photographs
  31. Pursuing my obsession with lids and pots
  32. Opening and closing flaps, doors and hinged structures of all shapes and sizes

My cyberbuddies

I've not actually met any of these bairns, but they were all born around March 1996 and their parents were subscribers to the "March Moms" mailing list just like mine. Very sad...