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When it comes to babies, the Lakers' is no charmer

October 17, 2007|T.J. SIMERS

You know how it is, a woman in the office thinks she's got a really cute 2-year-old, and here I've got this job where I'm supposed to set folks straight, so I have to tell her she's wrong, and everyone knows the 7-Eleven Kid is the cutest 2-year-old in the whole world.

"The other day, mine says, 'Monologue,' " the woman brags.

"Mine drives a car," I say, "a Volkswagen -- as long as she keeps moving her feet."

Now between you and me, mine didn't talk much until recently, and knowing what it's like when a baby starts talking -- spending as much time as I did this summer with the Kobester -- I wasn't complaining.

I am now. There's no shutting up the cutest 2-year-old in the whole world. She's very annoying, so you just know she's going to grow up to be a USC fan.

"I go potty," she says.

"Good for you, honey," I say.

"I go potty," she says.

"Congratulations, way to go."

"I go potty," she says.

"Stick a sock in it," I say, and she looks at me all crazy and her mother starts yapping, and then I get it from "Geeky," and bad enough to be married to a grandma -- let alone a granny known as Geeky.

"Sock?" she says, while pulling hers off.

"Just kidding."

"Sock?" she says while holding it up.

"Here, let me show you what to do with that," and I'd like to say I wasn't thinking of the Kobester at the time, but as Big Bird will tell you, it's very important to tell the truth.

We're all learning again what it's like to deal with a big baby, not much difference really between a 2-year-old and our best basketball player, who likes to say, "I go bye-bye," or "I no practice."

The other day the 7-Eleven Kid is in her crib and she tells me it's been a rough night. "Elmo, Gooch fight with Baby," she says. Gooch, of course, is Goofy or Mitch Kupchak.

Now I presume Elmo is her Jerry Buss, because anyone who has a 2-year-old pretty well knows Elmo rules the crib and Elmo's not opposed to hanging out with the baby's collection of babes, such as Cinderella or Snow White. Jerry Buss hanging out with Snow White; I'll just bet he'd like that.

Anyway, Buss has a baby on his hands right now, and at this point in his life it's got to be a shock.

A few days ago Buss talked about the "30, 45 minutes" he spent with the Kobester in Barcelona, and speaking as G.P. with some experience in these things, "30, 45 minutes" is about all you can take with a baby -- love them dearly, of course, but "30, 45 minutes" and it's time for them to go home.

Buss couldn't do much to pacify the baby, and we've all been there. But now we're being told the baby is upset because Buss let the media in on what they talked about in Spain.

"No share," I can imagine the Kobester saying. "No share."

You know what a struggle that is for some youngsters, some even growing up and never learning to share the basketball.

But this is more than that. This is all personal stuff. The Kobester calling Buss an idiot after saying Buss lied to him about putting together a championship team, and now Buss firing back like maybe "time out" in Chicago or Dallas might be the best thing for the Kobester, even if it hurts Buss more than the kid.

I don't know. I've seen the 7-Eleven Kid at her worst, dropping her head to the floor, sticking her butt in the air and crying like someone just cooked Dorothy for dinner.

I've listened to her say, "two minutes, two minutes," when told it's time to go to bed, and "I go nigh-nigh, I go nigh-nigh," when told it's time to pick up her toys.

I've watched Miss Radio Personality's dog run up the stairs with his tail between his legs, which really has nothing to do with the granddaughter, but the fact he's embarrassed because he's named Irish after a gawd-awful football team, and I just thought that should be noted somewhere.

The 7-Eleven Kid loves the dog, too, and I guess we can only hope the Kobester one day grows to love Andrew Bynum, but I know how annoying it can be when the baby asks over and over again, "Irish play? Irish play?" when all the pup wants to do is lay on the floor.

The baby can be a load, all right, taking you by the hand to the bathtub and away from the TV because that's where she makes believe Shamu is swimming -- like I really want to see her father taking a bath. But just try and tell her, "no."

No different, though, than the Kobester leading on fans and promising to "strap it up," and play -- strapping up what, I don't know, but then what happens when he gets tired of playing and playing and it doesn't go his way?

Let's face it, he's still going to get on everyone's nerves, one night a scorer, the next a facilitator, never really knowing what we're going to get. Happens all the time with the 7-Eleven Kid from one moment to the next, but always running the whole house, everyone in it and sometimes just driving you nuts.

But never once have I thought about giving her away, or missing the chance to watch her play. Are you kidding me?

That's even when she gets really upset, starts kicking her feet and crying, "I done, I done, I done."

No way. Too many great days ahead to even consider it.

DR. KATHLEEN SAKAMOTO, boss woman on the pediatric cancer ward at Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, e-mailed to say she received a $2,000 check from Angels' Manager Mike Scioscia and the following message: "Please accept this donation in recognition of the athletic efforts of Mr. T.J. Simers. It's hard to put those words in a sentence! Thank you for your great work at the hospital."

Scioscia said he would donate to the kids if I struck out "Desperate Housewives" plumber James Denton, never dreaming it possible. I just hope Bill Stoneman stepping aside doesn't mean Scioscia is now going to evaluate who is an athlete and who isn't.

--

T.J. Simers can be reached at t.j.simers@latimes.com. To read previous columns by Simers, go to latimes.com/simers.

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