Writer’s Workshop: Channelling the Energy

When the ‘boss’ and I our conceived our daughter, Sophie, I reckon a strong dose of my sister’s genes were thrown into the mix. And, unbeknown to Dan and I, there was going to be a strong contender in the house as to who was really ‘the boss’! Of course my husband and I harp on about respect, being fair and equal, but in reality there are plenty of moments when we stop and think, ‘Who is really in control here?!’.

Sophie has an amazing volume of energy and reminds me so much of my sister. They share a lot in common – both have extremely high energy levels, are strongly determined (some may say stubborn), hate being confined or held back in anyway, have a great sense of humour, are both very cheeky and will argue a point till it becomes pointless!

They both love animals and loved horses from toddlerhood. They are both very bright, have incredible natural flair with mathematics and science, but can also be a little ‘scatter brained’ at times (oops, I’m going to be in trouble now… but it’s true! Tee hee!). They also both have natural ball skills (of which I lack to an embarrassing degree…), great stamina and love to climb (check out this photo of her hanging off a wall in Majorca!).

Here’s my sister after a climb in the Peak District, in the UK:

My sister, Claire, after a climb

I love this photograph. It was taken by her wonderful partner, Michael (of Mike Hutton Photography).

I wish she could visit New Zealand more often, as Sophie would absolutely adore her Auntie. The last time she saw her was four years ago, when Sophie was only eighteen months old. They would definitely have a lot of fun together!

Sophie is one of those high-energy children that take a lot from a parent. I’ve learned so much from Sophie about patience and tolerance. My ears are attuned to her constant chatter. My senses are wired to react to frequent sudden movements, noises and leaps from one side of the room to the other in a nano-second. My wits are tested continually as to how to best channel all the amazing energy Sophie exudes from dawn to dusk (and beyond).

She is at her calmest when piecing together a new lego toy, following the steps with little assistance required, till the project is completed. She will sit to do a puzzle – but legs and arms are constantly moving. She’ll watch TV, but mostly upside down, on her head, or hanging off the sofa (I am forever rearranging the cushions and throws to hide the worn leather from all her bouncing!).

She is like a puppy that needs frequent runs and doses of fresh air.

Perhaps she’ll take up fell racing like her Auntie in years to come! Here’s my sister charging across the Peak District in a fell race (captured brilliantly by her partner, Mike Hutton):

Fell race in the Peak District

Claire really is an inspiration and just the sort of person Sophie needs, to help her channel the bucket loads of exuberant energy she was born with!! Last year my sister walked/ran the Pennine Way (completing some sections in incredible time – she ran 24 miles, from Malham to Hawes, in 5 and a half hours!).

And she drove down to the south of England one weekend, just to take part in a half-marathon in her home town, before hitting the road back up to the Peak District!

Fleet half marathon

Incredible and amazing, but as a parent to a mini-version of my sister… it can be exhausting!

The same child that rides her bike 3.5 km to Kindergarten, at the age of 4 (without stabilisers), is also the same child that says, ‘But I’m too tired…’ when asked to run upstairs and get dressed, grab a jumper, put on a pair of socks. She has tons of energy to expel, but on her own terms.

Occasionally, she does put her energy to pleasing good use – washing down the car, running the bags of recycling waste down our drive-way, putting a duster round or washing the windows (all met with exceeding praise of course). But when we’re trying to get out the door in a hurry we can sometimes tire of having to ask, for the tenth time, ‘PLEASE put your shoes on!’.

And when Sophie wants to do something – like the 3.5 km bike ride to Kindi – she is brilliant at convincing, pleading, cajoling us into making it happen! With her determined, spirited, energetic personality she has a humour, wit and captivating smile that make her hard to resist.

She’ll probably follow in her Auntie’s footsteps and lead the way in traditionally male-dominated subjects (her Auntie came out of University with a 2.1 in Geophysics and went on to work on research ships in the North Sea and manage land operations in the Egyptian desert!), or captain a team (my sister was the Captain of the leading hockey team at Liverpool Uni in her time). She will be forever seeking new challenges and striving for excellence (my sister has just added a diploma of teaching to her belt and is about to embark on a new career as a teacher of physics).

Whatever path Sophie takes, there is no doubt, she will stride out in her own time and she would probably love to be the top dog and boss of operations (cooking with Sophie is like doing a round with Gordon Ramsey… ‘Yes Chef!’).


This post was inspired by ‘Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop‘.

Prompt number 5.) Write a post where the first and last sentence contain any form of the word “boss.”


All photographs in this post are credited to Mike Hutton Photography.