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Full house // lots of fun but little privacy

This is the last in a three-part series on family relationships

Who: Edward McCollum, 13, St. Petersburg.

Family: Mother (Cherry Campbell), stepdad (Willie Pennywell), three brothers (Tony, 6; Cory, 8; Curtis, 14) and one sister (Iesha, 5).

Hobbies: Plays football for Child's Park Junior Rattlers, plays football for R' Club, plays basketball.

On chores: Tony and Cory have to clean up the living room. I have to clean up the kitchen, and sometimes my cousin Tommy helps. I have to wash the pots, sweep the floor, mop the floor and take out the garbage. I also babysit for the kids when my mother isn't home.

My brothers and sister have fun with me. We play football and basketball and Monopoly. We watch TV together. I play music for them on the stereo, and they like to dance and play around. I babysit for them. I spend more time with them than my other friends.

I talk to them like I'm their big brother. I will tell them to come inside and wait 'til Momma gets home and to quit playing in the house before they break something.

My family is pretty much the same as the others that live in my neighborhood. My mom cleans rooms at the Best Western Motel. My stepdad paints boats at Harbor High-and-Dry. My dad lives in Brooksville.

We all watch TV together. We used to go to church together, but we haven't been there in a long time.

For fun, I like to go shopping with my mom. We go to Winn-Dixie, and I help her. I also like going to my grandma's house to stay the night. She has a Nintendo that I play with. She has a son named Joseph who is 11, and we will play together.

There's never any privacy in my house. My brothers and sisters all sleep in the same room as me, but sometimes when it gets too hot, I go sleep in my cousin's room. I would rather have my own room to sleep in, because when they (brothers and sister) mess up the room, I've got to clean up.

The only time I get to myself is when I'm in the bathroom.

Sometimes my family gets on my nerves. When Curtis is home, we sometimes fight over nothing special. When the others don't do what they're supposed to, I tell them to do it, and if they don't, I just get mad. I yell at them. I say, "You all are going to get in trouble."

What really makes me angry is when I'm watching TV, my brothers and sister will change the stations. And when I'm cleaning up, they come into the kitchen and mess up when they don't really want anything. Then I've got more dishes to do.

The best way to solve problems is to get Momma.

The best time of the year in my family is always Christmas, because everyone doesn't feel like fighting, and everybody is playing. We all go to Grandma's to eat. My mother and grandma do all the cooking. We eat ham, collard greens, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, and pies.

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