Celebrating Multiculturalism Preschooler Style

Tomorrow starts multicultural week at my daughter’s preschool, and the children will bring in special snacks that represent their culture or heritage. Quinn’s very excited about it, and I am too, but I initially drew a blank on what we would make to represent our culture or ethnicity. There will be Greek, Polish and Ecuadorian snacks, which is awesome, and while I know my genetic makeup from 23 and me, (There’s some West African, South African, Asian, Irish, English, Scottish, Indian and a few others in there), when it comes to my culture and ethnicity, I simply identify as African American or simply American.

So instead of focusing on a treat that represents us as solely Americans, I thought it would be nice for Quinn and I to bake a treat that represents the importance of family and togetherness. “So your grandmother, my great grandmother, showed you how to make the chocolate chip cookies we’re baking, Mommy?” my daughter asked as we got all of our ingredients together to prepare baking. “Yes, she did, Quinn!” She then followed up, “And the hermit cookies too?” I confirmed, “Yes, the hermit cookies too.”

Even though she’s only four, she was more of the chef, and I was her assistant. She added all of the ingredients, with the exception of me cracking the eggs, and she even sifted the flour. “This is baking soda, not baking powder, right Mommy?” she asked. “Yes, you’re right, honey!” I told her. The experience of baking with her reminded me of the moments I shared with my mom and grandmother learning to cook and bake.

Then, when Quinn said, “I love baking with you, Mommy!” it melted my heart because, a cliche as it is, one of the main ingredients in baking is “love.” While we could have just went to the store and purchased some chocolate chip cookies, part of our culture is togetherness, teaching each other and being supportive of one another as a family. Today, was a wonderful experience, and I hope Quinn’s classmates are able to not just enjoy the cookies but taste the love and energy that was put into baking them.

All the best,

Tanya

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Preschooler Style

“Did you know that Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, Mommy? Not a dream when you go to sleep but a dream where everybody is treated nice and everybody is equal,” my four year old informed me. I shook my head in agreement and asked, “What else do you know about him?” My daughter continued, “He’s not alive anymore, but we’ll be celebrating his birthday on Monday, January 15th!”

All week long, she and her classmates have been learning about Martin Luther King Jr, what he stood for and how they too can have dreams to make this world a better place. Her show and tell project was to draw a picture about how she can make the world a more peaceful place and what her dream for the world is.

Just last week, Quinn and I started sorting through her old toys determining which ones she wanted to keep and which ones she wanted to give away, so her response to making the world a peaceful place was giving away some of her toys to children who don’t have toys so that they can be happy and have fun. She even said that it is a way to show kindness to others. I was so impressed with her willingness to give to others. She also, said holding hands and giving hugs to her family and friends makes her feel good and might make them feel good too.

While we cannot control the views and actions of others, we most certainly can control ours, and if we make a conscious effort to learn from Martin Luther King Jr and other great leaders who were about peace, that’s a great start!

My daughter constantly reminds me that it is easier than we think to be kind to people. I have a dream that I will instill positive values within my daughter so that she will grow up to treat all people with kindness thereby doing our part to make the world a better place.

All the best,

Tanya

I Don’t Want to “Let Go,” But I Must Let My Daughter Build Without Me, Occasionally That Is!

She took a quick look at the next instruction and then surveyed the table in search of the next piece. “Here it is, Mommy!” Quinn said with enthusiasm. She then shared with me, “The pink piece goes right here!” Building with Legos was one of my favorite activities when I was younger. Well, actually, I still enjoy building with Legos, so I enjoy partaking in this activity with my daughter.

Before we got started with her new Lego set, she examined the box and informed me, “It says this is for children who are five years old to twelve, but I can still do it even though I’m four!” I shook my head in agreement and let her know that I can be her helper. “Thanks, Mommy, But I might not need your help. I just have to follow the instructions and pictures.” While I was proud of her wanting to do it by herself, in that moment I was a little disappointed that she didn’t need nor want my help.

She made me think about how there will be times when I need to just be content with observing and letting her take the lead so that she may grow and become her own person. I must be happy that she wants to build on her own and wants to be independent. Now, we can occasionally build using our Legos side by side with her knowing that I am there for her if she needs me to help with instructions or to locate a piece to construct whatever she may be building.

All the best,

Tanya

Never Too Cold for a Little Snow Day Fun with My Little Girl

With about six inches of snow, feeling like 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and 20 plus mile per hour gusts, my four year old started experiencing cabin fever around 3 in the afternoon wanting to go outside. Though my husband and I warned her about how cold and windy it was, she persistently begged insisting that she wouldn’t be cold with her snow suit on and would help to clear some of the snow outside.

We all bundled up and braved the elements without the luxury of the sun beaming down to give us a little warmth and spent about a little over an hour outside. After taking care of the pathway, I knew building a full-size snowman would be a bit much with how cold it was, so Quinn and I tried out the SNO-Buddy sculptures I purchased from AC Moore. Regular price just $7 a piece, but I got them buy one get one half off. Though it’s for ages five and up, once I showed my little girl what to do, she made quite a few within minutes. I had fun making some too.

Then, after making about ten Sno-Buddies, the frigid air got the best of me, and I could feel the coldness traveling through my fingertips and needed to go inside for warmth. Quinn and her daddy stayed out a bit longer as she made snow angels and threw a few snowballs. By the time I took off my boots, gloves, coat and snow pants, my little snow bunny was on her way in the house. “I’m cold, but I had a fund time outside,” she said, with her rosy cheeks that lasted well a few hours.

Yes, it was cold, blustery and snowy, but it was worth it to share a memorable moment with my little girl.

All the best,

Tanya

 

Happy Starting Off the New Year with Goals and Guidance from My Little Girl (2018)

“Happy New Year,” my daughter said in a low voice as we all finished the countdown and watching the ball drop. With her party horn by her side and her eyes noticeably heavy, my husband hugged her and gave her a kiss on her forehead saying, “You made it, Quinnie! You made it to midnight! It’s now a new year: 2018! Do you want to blow your party horn?” She silently shook her head no as she gazed at the people celebrating on TV. Her listless response was a sharp contrast to the excitement she had earlier during the countdown2noon at the Please Touch Museum blowing her horn, cheering and dancing around. My poor four year old was determined to stay up to bring in the new year, but she was completely exhausted.

This morning, after getting some much needed sleep, my daughter excitedly informed me, “Today is a new year, Mommy! It’s January 1st, 2018! What would you like to do in the new year?” My response was, “I want to reach the different goals I have for myself.” She then said, as a matter of fact, “You know, you can do whatever you want in the new year. We can even work together to be happy and reach our goals…just like my goal was to stay up for the new year!” I was impressed with her logic.

How sweet, I thought to myself. My daughter has the right idea and is on to something many of us, including me, fail to realize at times. Often, when we establish goals in the new year and focus in how we can accomplish them all on our own when in actuality there are people in our lives who love us, care about us and are more than willing to lend a hand or just a listening ear to help us reach our goals.

Yes, my daughter may only be four years old, but knowing that she loves and supports me and believes in me and my goals makes them that much more attainable. Here’s to a happy new year filled with many goals accomplished (one including more family togetherness) in 2018.

All the best to you and your family in the new year!

Tanya

On the Actual Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…So Much Happiness

On the actual day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…so much happiness. She woke up anxious, ready and excited to head downstairs to see what Santa and mommy and daddy got her for Christmas, and it wasn’t simply the smile on her face or joy in her eyes that made me happy, but it was the gratitude in her voice as she asked if her daddy and I could help her write a letter to Santa to thank him for the gifts he gave her. It was her eagerness to leave our home earlier to spend time with her Nana and see her Aunt, Uncle and cousins.

The importance of displaying gratitude and appreciating and spending time with family are so important to me, and it pleases me that they are important to my four year old as well. Here’s to a merry Christmas with my daughter and family!

All the best,

Tanya

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My Daughter Gave to Me…Christmas Eve Excitement

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my daughter gave to me…Christmas Eve excitement. “You know what today is, Mommy…Christmas Eve!” my four year old smiled with joy in her voice. Today, we baked cookies for Santa, our Elf on the Shelf, Olivia, went to her last hiding place to report back to Santa, we watched a Trolls holiday special through Netflix and made sure her little snowflake in her window is working and lights up to alert Santa to stop by our house.

She went out to lunch with her daddy while I took care of some Christmas tasks, and upon arriving home she said, “Mommy, can I go to bed now so that when I wake up it’ll be Christmas?” It reminded me of when I was younger and would go to sleep in the afternoon just so that Christmas would come sooner. I then located this great website so that Quinn could see where Santa is on his route, and she was amazed with how many presents he already delivered: nearly three million.

As she goes to bed in her special Christmas night clothes, I’m sure she’ll wake up extra early as I did when I was her age filled with excitement knowing that Christmas is finally here!

All the best,

Tanya