Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Mallen Child

Mallen Streak: A decrease or absence of melanin in hair (poliosis), particularly in one area, giving rise to a "Mallen Streak".
Child: A person between birth and full growth; a boy or girl.
Mallen Child: A person between birth and full growth who, through their shenanigans, cause their caregiver to go prematurely grey.
I have this child. She's amazing. When people ask me what she's like, I say she's full on but a lot fun. A handful, but good value. Because she is.

She is feisty. Smart. Strong willed. Adventurous. A leader, and completely and utterly fearless.

Which translates to her being a skilled talker, which I can handle and find advantageous (except when she is arguing with me), and a climber with skills waaaaay above her years... which I cannot.

She is my Mallen Child. She is sending me grey with worry and stress. No seriously. I have a streak of grey hair - a Mallen Streak, on the left side of my head.

I *thought* I had a climber when Tricks was little. Ha. HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! How wrong I was. Because Bobbin has taught me what a true climber is.

She flies to the top of play equipment in seconds, and has done since she was about 18 months old. She sees a play house and within the blink of an eye, she's somehow on the roof of it. That window ledge? No problem, up she gets without anything to help her reach. She'll be sitting on a bookshelf if you stop paying attention. The middle trapeze on the swing set? Climbs up the edge and shimmies across. Then half the time she jumps down - from things two and three times her height. My heart is in my mouth the entire time, but if you try to help you're met with screams of "I do it myself!". So she does. And I get greyer and greyer.

Then the other day, when I thought I'd seen it all, I was schooled in what a Mallen Child really is.

I was on the toilet, no doubt luxuriating in the fact that neither child had followed me in, when Tricky called out to me.

"Mum, Bobbin did a wee on the car"

What? On the car? He must be mistaken. Not that she'd done a wee, because my previously 95% toilet trained toddler has decided that she no longer wants to be toilet trained and is back to weeing everywhere (but that's another story, and another Mallen Streak). Maybe he meant a toy car? A dinky car? A remote control car that would now be sodden and not working? My brain rattled off the scenarios as I made my way outside to where they'd been playing before I'd answered nature's call.

And there she was...


She'd stripped off, climbed on to the bonnet, done a wee, then climbed up the windscreen on to the roof of the car. Where she was pretending to be a puppy dog, wagging her knicker-less bottom around and woofing.

Kill me.

As I moved toward her, she'd move closer the edge. She was out of reach despite standing on tip toes with my hand outstretched to her the whole time. If I backed away, she'd settle in the middle of the roof, somewhat safer. The only thing to do was to talk her down. We were like a police negotiator and a tiny terrorist.

Not thinking anyone would believe me, I turned my phone on to record and shoved it in my top. It recorded me talking her down for two minutes. Not a long time... unless your butt naked child is on the roof of a car, in which case it might has well have been five fucking hours.

Send help.

Now a Mallen Child is not a bad thing. If I was trying to make this a bad thing I wouldn't have given it such a cool name. Mallen Streaks are kinda cool... think Rogue from X Men, Anna from Frozen, Lily from The Munsters, and Sweeney Todd from the Demon Barber of Fleet Street... OK maybe not the last one.

But on the whole, the Mallen Child is like the Mallen Streak: funky and a little badass in the best way possible. People dye chunks of their hair different colours to replicate the look, so it must be cool (says the woman who does this). My own real Mallen Streak wasn't discovered initially because I cover my false Mallen Streaks with whichever colour happens to float my boat that month. I was unknowingly covering the grey with pinks, purples and blues. It wasn't until the blonde started to grow out that this streak of silver was visible.

So I'm embracing my Mallen Streak, and I'm embracing my Mallen Child... because if I hold her tight enough, maybe she won't climb anything else and move on to being the Heart Attack Child.

Do you have a Mallen Child?

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