A Beautiful “Hairy” Situation: The Bond Between Mother & Daughter

My daughter smiled and said, “That’s the one I want, Mommy!” as we scrolled through my hairstyles for little girls board through Pinterest. It was an intricate one, somewhat new for me, but I was up for the challenge. What a difference a few years makes! I recall when Quinn would squirm and fuss about getting her hair done. There were times when we had to complete it in two, sometimes three separate segments so that we both could have a break. I even wrote a blog post when she was a little over one year’s old about our hair battles. I even did one when she was three on little girl hairstyles. Now, my four year old is far more patient, even when we may be going into the second or third hour of completing her hairstyle because she knows she’ll have a carefree hairstyle requiring little maintenance.

While it can be time-consuming at times, especially when Quinn squirms a little as I detangle or part her hair, I enjoy bonding with her. It warms my heart to see that big smile on her face as she looks in the mirror and says, “I love my new hairstyle, Mommy!” She’s then ask, “Can you take a picture so I can see how the back looks?” This most recent time she insisted, “Mommy, may I please wear a beautiful dress to match my beautiful hairstyle!” “Sure,” I told her as I smiled to myself knowing that my four year old approved of her new hairstyle courtesy of her mommy, and Pinterest too.

All the best,

Tanya

The Hair Woes of a Four Year Old: It’s Natural Right?

“Mommy, I want long, straight hair like Sophia*!” my four year requested. “Why do you want hair like Sophia’s?” I asked. “So I can shake my head and my hair can go side to side just like hers,” she responded. Trying to reassure her that her hair is just fine, I told her, “Honey, everyone has different types of hair you know. Some people have straight hair, some people have curly hair, some people have long hair and some people have short hair.” She quickly retorted, “Yes, but Emma* has long, straight hair too, and so does Rylie*. Why can’t I have long, straight hair too like them? Can you make my hair just like theirs when you wash it tomorrow?” I thought to myself, “Wow, what a request!” Then I told her, I’ll tell you what, we’re going to find a really cool hairstyle just for you, and you’ll have some of your hair down so you can fling it side to side too.

I recall when I was younger wishing for long, straight hair and being so excited when Easter or Christmas came along because it meant I would get my hair pressed and straightened. I also recall my hair breaking off quite badly as a result of straightening it too much either by relaxer or by flat iron as a teenager and young adult. But now that I’m older I’ve come to embrace the versatility of my hair. I can wear it in its natural state: curly, braided, twisted or just in a ponytail, which is great since I exercise a lot. If I desire, I can flat iron it straight and still have it be healthy. One way is not necessarily better than the other, but the choice should lie with the individual and what she is most comfortable with. I never want Quinn to feel like her natural hair is not good enough and that she must conform by wearing her hair straight.

Has your young daughter or even son had some hair woes? Wanted it long, short, straight, curly, maybe a different color? How do you address it?

Please share.

All the best,

Tanya

*Names changed to protect children

You’ve Been Slimed! Stem Fun Preschooler Style!

“I don’t know what the fascination is with slime!” I overheard a lady saying to her kids as she shook her head unwilling to budge on purchasing the kit. My four year old had been asking to make slime for the past few months, and I was avoiding it because well it’s gooey, sticky, messy and gets all over, which is the very reason she wanted to make it.

Upon arranging a play date with our cousins, I figured why not when the suggestion was offered. I was able to get a kit at AC Moore for just under $5, actually half price because I had a 50 percent off  one item coupon. There were so many from which to choose: ones with glitter, ones that glow in the dark, ones that have a scent, etc. I decided to go with the kit that had scents, pink strawberry and blue raspberry.

It actually was a fun project and a great way to teach children how to follow directions, take measurements, hypothesize what will happen and even utilize a few of the five senses by explaining how it feels, smells and looks.

I’m a big kid at heart and did enjoy helping Quinn and her cousin make slime, but I would certainly suggest keeping the slime making contained to an area where there is no carpet, just a plain table or island with no table cloth. Definitely wear old clothes, a smock or apron when making or playing with the slime because it doesn’t seem to come out of fabric as easily as it rolls off of one’s hands.

I’m not too sure of the next time we’ll make gooey, sticky messy slime that gets all over, but I loved seeing the smile of Quinn and her cousin’s face and look forward to the next STEM project.

All the best,

Tanya

Scream of Amusement: Enjoy the Ride, Little Girl

Both full of emotion, they screamed out displaying all of their teeth. While my two year old niece’s screeches suggested her displeasure and possible fear, my four year old’s screams were not from fear at all but screams of amusement as the airplane ride swung like a pendulum taking them high from side to side. Throughout the duration of the ride, the smile never left Quinn’s face, and she even held on to her cousin offering her comfort as Skye continued to scream out in displeasure, which I thought was so sweet. “That ride was so much fun, Mommy!” she told me.

My daughter just loves getting on amusement park rides and will eagerly run over to each ride measurement to see if she’s tall enough to ride. She would want to get on the tallest, biggest and fastest roller coaster if the ride measurement indicated she was tall enough. I was just like Quinn when I was younger and loved getting on all of the rides too. Sadly, after giving birth to her, I just can’t stomach some of the rides like I once could. Even the teacups makes me a little woozy.

The first time she was tall enough for the roller coaster ride at Sesame Place, she wanted to get on it multiple times because the line was not long. Since it was just us two and she still needed an adult to get on with her, I got on twice. Big mistake: I knew that I’d have an upset stomach the rest of our time there if I got on one more time. She pouted and said,  “Why can’t we get on the roller coaster again?” I felt so bad, but after explaining to her that getting on some rides too many times gives me a tummy ache, she was more understanding, and we still had a great time doing other activities.

Though I do love accompanying her on some rides, I’m so glad she’s now tall enough to get on many of the rides by herself. I’m also amused when I p see her smile and hear her squeal of happiness as she enjoys the ride.

All the best,

Tanya

Unconditional Love for My Little Girl: “I’ll Be There!” (Jackson 5)

I asked, “What music would you like to listen to for breakfast, Quinn?” Without hesitation, my four year old responded, “Jackson 5, please!” Last year, during the Christmas season, my daughter became a huge fan of the Jackson 5. She loves dancing and singing along to their songs, many that were out before I was even born. She enjoys their music so much so that she was still requesting that I play the Christmas album well into the summer. So I decided to purchase a compilation of their best songs about a month ago so that I could stop randomly humming their Christmas tunes.

While she loves all of the songs, she’ll often request that I replay “ABC” or “I’ll Be There.” “Just call my name, and I’ll be there!” Quinn sings out with her arms outstretched. Though I’ve always loved this song too and heard it several times, I most recently had a different interpretation of it. Perhaps it was the innocence of Michael’s voice or the spirit of the song, but I envisioned singing this song to my daughter to display the unconditional love I have for her and continued support I will offer.

“I’ll Be There” lyrics

…I’ll reach out my hand to you

I’ll have faith in all you do

Just call my name and I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

I’ll be there to comfort you

Build my world of dreams around you

I’m so glad that I found you

I’ll be there with a love that’s strong

I’ll be your strength

I’ll keep holdin’ on (holdin’ on)

Yes I will, yes I will

Let me fill your heart with joy and laughter

Togetherness, girl, is all I’m after

Whenever you need me, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

I’ll be there to protect you (yeah baby)

With unselfish love that respects you

Just call my name, I’ll be there (I’ll be there)

I’ll be there to comfort you

Build my world of dreams around you

I’m so glad that I found you…

I’ve been blessed to experience love through my family, friends and husband, but the love I have for my little girl is stronger than I ever imagined it could be. As she gets older and becomes more independent, she may not need me as much, but I’ll be there. Even when she may not make the best decisions or upsets me, I’ll be there.

One of my dreams is to give my daughter a life filled with joy and laughter, to be there to protect her, and to be there to comfort her. My dream is that she knows I’ll be there whenever she needs me.

Thank you, Jackson 5 for this classic, heartfelt song that now leaves a bit emotional as I think about the bond and love I have for my daughter.

All the best,

Tanya

Let’s Start Reading: Loving the Library with My Preschooler

Last week, my four year old said, “You know where we haven’t been in a while, Mommy?” “Where?” I inquired. With a big smile, she responded, “The library!”It actually had been a couple of months since we’ve visited the library as a result of taking many summer day trips outside of her pre-school’s camp. Then with her hands clasped she pleaded, “Can we go there today? Please? Pretty please?” How on earth could I possibly deny that request? Of course, I said yes.

“I need to get books so that I can learn to read,” she informed me.” Wow, I thought to myself. I remember when Quinn was just learning to talk. She’s always loved books, and my husband and I have read to her since she was born. So it pleases me that she considered going to the library as a fun and special outing.

While all libraries are different, many offer so many wonderful resources to engage children of all ages in reading and learning in general. Our local library has many books from which to choose, Hoopla, the online resource for digital media, ABC Mouse (An online learning resource) for free and many free activities related to STEM and literacy.

I look forward to visiting the library with my daughter more and more frequently to take advantage of the resources while supporting her desire to learn to read. Though she definitely has some time to go before mastering reading and how to spell, it is my hope that she’ll enjoy reading to me just as much as I like reading to her and that her enthusiasm for learning will continue to increase.

All the best,

Tanya

A Swimmingly Fun Summer with My Little Girl

With a big smile on her face, my four year old said, “Look at me, Mommy! I’m swimming!” Actually, she was doing something I recall doing as a child: wading in the water and moving my arms back and forth to give the illusion that I was swimming. When Quinn was not quite a year and half, my husband and I signed her up for swim lessons and figured she’d do fine since she loved playing in her bath tub water. However, once in a much larger body of water, an olympic sized swimming pool at a nearby college, my poor baby would cling onto me for dear life. We thought that perhaps she could sense my nervousness, so my husband decided to go in with her. While she did much better and even seemed to be having fun on an occasion or two, one of the instructor’s methods was immersing the child fully in the water, just for a second or two in a playful way, but my little girl was having none of that. She looked absolutely terrified. After that, it was extremely difficult to get her in the water without clinging on to my next or my husband’s neck.

We figured that it was normal and that she’d eventually become relaxed and more comfortable in the water, as some of the other children, ranging from under a year up to age three, but after a couple of months she still seemed anxious yet was not able to verbalize how she was feeling. At that point, we thought it was best to not continue lessons and to revisit them once Quinn showed an interest and could tell us what she wanted.

In the months and few years that followed that experience, she does enjoy water play and being in the ocean holding my hand, and being in a large swimming pool is a totally different experience for her: certainly more fun! Based on how she’s been enjoying the water in an actually swimming pool this summer, I think she just might be ready for swim lessons again.

We even talked about it on a few occasions, and unlike when she was a year and a half and unable to tell me what frightened her or made her uneasy about swimming, at four years old, she had no problem telling me, “Mommy, I just doesn’t like it when water gets in her eyes.”  This is understandable because I don’t like that either, so we went shopping to pick out some Paw Patrol goggles. Not too far from “The Little Gym,” where Quinn takes classes, a new swim school geared towards children opened up, so I plan on looking into it to see if it’s a good fit for her. I’m hoping that my little girl will “really” be able to swim or at least feel more comfortable in a large swimming pool in the years and summers to come.

All the best,

Tanya