A day in the life with Kelly Malveaux

JULIE HORBAL -- For Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Since getting traded to the Blue and Gold in April, life has literally become child's play for Bombers defensive back Kelly Malveaux.

And that is not for one second suggesting things are easy for the 30-year-old California gentleman.

In fact, the last half a year has been quite the change of pace for Malveaux, whose world has been uprooted and schedule turned upside down -- but in a good way -- by the integration of now-seven-month-old baby boy Seneca Thomas into the proud papa's mix.

What used to be a routine "all about Kelly" lifestyle now revolves completely around the sleeping and eating schedules of baby and mom, though Malveaux admits the sometimes-painful adjustments have made his days better days and him a better man.

"I cater to a schedule not my own now," says the first-time father, whose family made the move to Winnipeg from Montreal just weeks after Seneca's birth. "I can't say I'm as structured, I kind of go with the flow."

FLOWING

Flowing is one way to describe Malveaux's life now, although the stipulations placed by the baby's inner clock took some getting used to -- despite taking effect instantly. Things are ironed out now, though, and on every game day Malveaux and the crew kick things off with a family breakfast at either Chez Cora or Stella's, the time of which depends on "whenever" Seneca's clock says they wakes up. At breakfast, Malveaux dines on two pancakes, two eggs, a mix of half cranberry and half orange juice and a decaf cup of coffee, then returns home, where -- if he can get enough peace and quiet -- the former Alouette takes a mid-morning nap.

"The wife and kid try to leave the house for a couple hours to give me some alone time," Malveaux says, noting he would spend every hour of the day with his two favourite people was there not work to be done. "Usually by the time they're back, it's time for me to get in the shower, get dressed and get to the stadium."

Once he is at work and dressed for warm-ups, Malveaux partakes in his only staunch pre-game ritual -- one that he claims is the cornerstone of his day -- and attends chapel with many of his teammates to "get in the presence of the Lord."

Malveaux has been counting on Christ since he started his professional career in 1998 and the spiritual aspect of his daily ritual is one, which may not have been at all affected by Seneca's arrival.

"You know I can't do anything without Christ," he says, noting he counts on spirituality for help with everything from football to fathering. "On the football field, in the locker -room, I try to do everything for him. I try to make sure my conduct is pleasing to him .... I try to keep an even temper without any of the profanity and try to play a good, clean game without all the hoopla or the chit-chatter."

After chapel, Malveaux warms up for as long as he can, in a practice he attributes to a boxer's mentality.

"A good boxer always says he's not ready for a fight if he's not sweating going into it," he says. "I try to make sure I have a good lather going and try myself out real hard on the field."

Once he hits the field, Malveaux admits his connection to Christ keeps his head in the game and helps him stay focused and therefore out of situations which may cause him injury. He also claims it helps him connect with his so-called audience as well.

"I try to get the fans in the stands watching us closer to Him. That's the platform I use," he says.

Following the game, the entire Malveaux family heads to Tim Hortons, where Mom always has a turkey sandwich on an onion bagel, Dad always has a turkey sandwich on a cinnamon-raisin bagel and a large iced cappuccino -- and Seneca sometimes has a nap.

On a practice day, Malveaux is up and out of the house by 7:15 a.m. and at the field as soon as he's grabbed a bagel and decaf from Tim Hortons.

The fuel food helps him through a workout and a brief showing of game tape, and then carries him into the pre-practice mode.

"I go into the locker-room and try not to think about football before the practice starts," Malveaux says. "I hear some of the jokes being told, get a few laughs in, then it's time for business by 9 a.m."

Following practice, Malveaux is all about relaxation, whether it be at home or on the links. He admits to cramming in nine holes whenever his wife "lets" him on a nice day and satisfying his taste for grilled cheese and tomato soup on a cold day.

After either golf or grilling, Malveaux takes a nap or "relaxes with the little man" for as long as he can -- a luxury which he enjoys all the more on days when there is no football in sight.

The trio has a ritual of going to Starbucks in Osborne Square on off-days, where they sip java and watch the passing people -- who are most often watching Seneca.

"We like people watching just to get him out and about so he can interact with other people," says Malveaux, who shares the only-child blessing and curse with his son. "He likes looking at other people and he is an eye-catcher. He gets a lot of looks while we're out."

Seneca certainly commands his fair share of attention at home, as well, where Malveaux spends as much time as possible playing with the baby in his jumper, while "scooting" and playing with as many toys a pro athlete's paycheque allows for.

"My favorite activity is chasing him around the house," says Malveaux, who will not rule out the possibility of a potential of his boy being a pro football player. "He's pretty rough. I baby-wrestle with him a bit and he loves being tossed around. I guess he just feels confident with mommy and daddy and knows already we're never going to hurt him."

The fatherly confidence Seneca senses and Malveaux exudes is one which the elder credits to the "goodness of God," as making the adjustment to caring so deeply for someone was a tough one for the formerly self-focused man to make.

"It's been a different experience with a kid, but I can definitely say it's made me a lot softer in a way," Malveaux says. "More compassionate to my wife. Having put other people's lives before mine. Making sure he's well taken care of and my wife is well taken care of. I definitely come second or third."


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