Here at Little & Mighty, we believe that all kids are mighty. We have had the opportunity to meet so many awesome people via Little & Mighty. It's one of the best perks of the job! We love hearing the stories from these awesome parents. These kids are oh so mighty! It's so inspiring!
We want to take some time each month to shine the spotlight on a Mighty Kid. This month we chose one who is a mighty explorer alongside his Malamute, Baloo!
Let me introduce to you Emily Thompson and her Mighty Kid, Malakai.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY:
My husband and I are five short years into a happy marriage of opposites (he's the tall dark and handsome sporty type. I'm short and bookish and outdoorsy. He's quiet, I'm chatty and intense) Malakai was a much wanted addition just over two (even shorter) years ago and recently we added a malamute puppy to the family. To the delight of Malakai and the horror of Whoopsadaisy the cat. I'm a carer for my parents and full time mummy. Jackson is an ex pro cricketer who currently and loyally slogs the 9-5:30 office routine for us.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT BECOMING A PARENT?
What has surprised me most apart from the sheer ferocity of love you feel has to be the power of that love. To get up seven times in the night when you haven't slept in weeks. To gentle hands and tone when you're at the end of your tether. To put yourself last again and again. Happily. And the attendant fear. Fear of missing something. Fear of getting it wrong. Fear of losing this precious little tornado that ripped your life apart and put it back together wonky and messier. But unimaginably better.
WHAT IS THE BEST AND WORST PARENTING ADVICE YOU'VE EVER GOTTEN?
Worst advice would have to be the "he's playing you. Let him scream" brigade (we found he had colic and a dislocated hip and was screaming for a very good reason). Most helpful would have to be the people who pointed me to baby wraps and cranial osteopathy. Who constantly remind me - everything else can wait. Perfection is unreachable. Slow down. Stand back. Let him try.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR A BRAND NEW PARENT?
I would tell a new parent accept help. Accept your limitations and standards have changed. And I join the mildly irritating chorus of "it goes so so fast. Just enjoy it" because however fast you think it will go it's double that. Or more.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE HOW MIGHTY YOUR KID WAS?
I think I've always known Malakai was mighty. From the time the midwives marvelled at the strength of his brand new heartbeat to his looking around himself when half born. To three months and pushing himself into a plank position and screaming in frustration at the floor because he could not crawl. He's always had a burning curiosity and intense drive.
DESCRIBE YOUR MIGHTY KID'S TYPICAL DAY.
A typical day starts anytime from 5:30 to 7:30 with Malakai exploding through our door "good morning Mummy I hungee lets go down get BREAKFAST see BALOO" Then follows porridge and whatever other food he manages to munch while I get us ready to leave and try not to leave the house looking like it was attacked by 27 toddlers instead of one. Then it's off to get the bounces out of him and the puppy so an hour (ish) of running in fields, scrambling through woods or wading in the river. Back in the car to 'Pompom and Pampy's house' - I look after my parents and Malakai comes with me. So he chats to Pompom (my mum) while I sort the pup and a 'pick-it' plate of grab-able food for Malakai. Then he plays with his toys until Pampy (my dad) takes him out to 'help' walk their ancient collie. Lunch and then play in wet room shower or therapy tub or trains. At 2 (ish) he might get meltdown-ish and popped in his pushchair for milk and a nap. Which may or may not happen. Home at 5:30 to feed (terrorise) his beloved cat (it's not mutual) and play in the garden and sandpit while I cook. Papa time with chats, cuddles and cricket after dinner while I run his bath. Bathtime has boats and large amounts of splashing and giggles until there's an equal amount of water out as in the tub. Out for pjs, story and milk and cuddles to sleep. ( he'll be up again at 11, 2 and 4 approximately but we won't go there)
We always intended to shorten his name to Kai but it's never really happened. More often he gets the full 'Malakai Gabriel'. His then three year old cousin dubbed him Bobo for reasons best known to himself. To me he's my Hurricane. We don't tend to use nicknames at the the moment. Beyond the 'monkey' 'munchkin' 'cheekyface' variety.
He turned two last April.
Malakai likes life. He loves outdoors and digging. Water of any variety be it a running tap, a puddle or the sea. He loves builders and building, tools and 'fixing' things. Dogs and rhinos and trees, space and rockets. He loves books and helicopters, planes and flowers. He loves food and talking. Loves dancing and music. Especially his 'Uncle Sasa's band Sanam which is the only thing to quieten him.(thank goodness for Sanam!)
He loathes bananas and doesn't believe in sleep or sitting still.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR MIGHTY KID'S MOST RECENT ADVENTURE.
Malakai and I try to get out and about for a mini adventure every day with our now 5 month old malamute puppy Baloo. We try to go to as many different local footpaths and woodlands and rivers as we can. Yesterday our woodland ramble plan was foiled by a lack of parking in the tiny lay-by. So we drove on until we spotted an unknown bridlewayand decided to be explorers. Off we set down this narrow path that wound past an unpromising recycling centre (Malakai was thrilled "oh look, Mummy excamators") down past a tumbledown cottage and a heap of earth that occupied dog and human excavator for a good twenty minutes (big big lesson I've had to learn. You don't have to 'get there' or achieve the goal. Sometimesjust letting him do his thing however exciting I think the next bit may be, is the highlight of his day")
Finally we get past the earth down into awooded Valley. It's beautiful with footpaths twisting off and up in every direction and someone's discarded stick shelter. They run about with sticks, slide down the steep muddy banks and chase each other round and up and down as I sit, take photos and enjoy the dappled sunlight. We are the only ones there. Malakai kicks off his wellies and digs. Baloo joins him enthusiastically and nature works her unfailing miracle on our mood.
WHAT IS YOUR KID'S MIGHTIEST QUALITY CURRENTLY (MIGHTY NAPPER, MIGHTY FUNNY, MIGHTY TANTRUMS, ETC.)?
Malakai is a mighty mover - strong and agile, ceaseless and untiring. He can climb and jump, balance and run as well as a much older child. He's mightily independent having insisted on feeding himself from the time he could hold a spoon. He refuses help "No Mummy I try again myself" and marches off confidently to investigate whatever catches his eye. He's a mighty talker with a vocabulary and ability to express himself that amazes me daily. Sadly for me he's also a mighty non sleeper. Yawn.
WHAT DOES LITTLE & MIGHTY MEAN TO YOU?
Little and mighty for me is strength of body yes, but more of character. Stubborn and confident, strong willed and sure. It's grit and gumption. Willing to try, to get up and try again.
All photos courtesy of Emily Thompson.
IS YOUR KID A MIGHTY EXPLORER AS WELL?
P.S. If you enjoyed reading this, you might also enjoy Mighty Kids: Aubrie
If you are interested in contributing to this series or know someone you would like to see featured, contact us and let us know.