Losing Teeth Bites! More Milestones of My Little Girl

It all started last year in December 2017. One was a little wiggly and came out. Within a few weeks on Christmas day, the other one followed. Now, nine months later, four came out within five days: two on the same day last week! In my photo memory feed, a picture came up from 2013. My four month old daughter was smiling happily and toothless. I chuckled to myself because now in 2018, my five year old is basically toothless with no front teeth again.

I remember being so excited when her first two baby teeth started showing through her little gums. Why am I not as excited about her losing those same baby teeth for the adult ones to come in?  She’s excited and loves looking at her “new” gummy smile. She couldn’t wait to “show and tell” her teacher and classmates all about her missing teeth.

Me, on the other hand, I couldn’t help but think about my little girl growing up so fast and wishing she’d slow down just a little bit. While time and milestones coming so quickly bites at times, I am definitely grateful for my daughter and being able to witness her many milestones and to see her grow into a healthy, smart little girl.

All the best,

Tanya

Teaching My Daughter the Ropes to Jumping

“I did it! I did it,” my five year old screamed out with a big smile on her face.  Last week, we started working on her learning to jump rope. The first few times she pouted as her legs got caught up in the rope or the rope caught on to her ponytails as she whipped it around her head, but with a little encouragement, she kept on trying.

As I watched her continue to try, I was taken back to years ago when I first learned how to jump rope and remembered that a big part of it was developing a rhythm and being prepared to jump a second or two right before the rope got to my feet. I showed Quinn the technique I used; she watched intently and got it! While she’s not quite jumping rope like a pro, she’s so excited to jump over the rope two or three times in a row.

With her rope in her hand, she smiled and said, “Mommy, if I keep practicing, I’ll get better and better. I’ll be jumping rope like you before I know it!” Showing my little girl how to jump rope makes me think about teaching her the “ropes of life.” Sometimes it’s difficult, and the sting of the rope might hurt her legs, or her legs might get caught up in the rope causing her to trip and fall. Other times, she might have a good rhythm going, and be able to jump or skip rope like a master. Either way, I’ll be right there with my rope in hand ready to model how to jump and will show her that sometimes the rope gets tangled up on my legs too, but I can always start over again and keep jumping.

All the best,

Tanya

How Do I Raise a Black and Proud Little Girl Who’s a Human First?

 

A few weeks ago, my five year old daughter and I traveled to Washington, DC to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture among other historical landmarks. While we both enjoyed ourselves, I had a bit of an epiphany as we walked through some of the exhibits. Even though we identify as African Americans, we’ve never really discussed race within our household. We live in a multicultural neighborhood, and Quinn attended a multicultural preschool and now a multicultural elementary school. I truly do love that we come in contact and embrace many different races, nationalities, cultures and even religions, but am I negligent in not focusing as much on our African American heritage?

We do talk about relatives who are no longer alive, and when it is African American History month or Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday may talk about the accomplishments of African Americans, but we’ve never really talked about the “struggle” of our ancestors and sadly the “struggle” some African Americans still face today with racism and unfair treatment.

I actually made the decision to stay clear of the slavery exhibits because I just didn’t feel ready for the questions Quinn would have and did not want to expose her to those types of evils. As we walked through the segregation exhibit and witnessed the disparities between blacks and whites, she asked, “How come people had to be separate, Mommy?” As my mind raced for an age appropriate response, I just told her that is used to be that way long ago. Some people are mean and may not like you for different reasons, but everyone is not that way. I told her how many people fought for us so that we could all be together, go to school together and even eat together today.

Everyone’s experience is different, and it saddens me in 2018 that some people are still treated like they are less than human because of the color of their skin. Yes, I want my little girl to be proud of her heritage, but more importantly, I want her to be a proud human being who cares for others regardless of their skin color and just so happens to be African American. I hope that I am a good role model for her to emulate and that she will not allow any future racism or poor treatment because of the color of her skin to deter her from being a good person. As she gets older and more questions or even instances of racism surface, I hope and pray that I am raising a brave and proud daughter who can handle it.

All the best,

Tanya

Hoping a Great First Day of Kindergarten Equals a Wonderful First School Year

This morning was a big milestone day for us. My husband and I took our daughter to her new school for her first day of kindergarten and anxiously waited for a detailed report on how everything went once school was over. With butterflies in my stomach, I still had to go in for my first day of teaching, so when my class concluded, I raced from the classroom, got in my car and drove directly home hoping to arrive just in time for my little girl to be walking up the street with her dad so that I could immediately hear about her first day, and I made it!

Quinn said that she had a great day and got to go the music room and played outside. The teacher read fun stories, and she at all of her lunch in the lunchroom. My heart finally stopped palpitating as Quinn told me about her day. I now feel a bit more comfortable in her ability to transition to a new school environment and that it involves. I’m so grateful and glad that my little girl had a great first day. Here’s to her having a wonderful first year!

All the best,

Tanya

Kindergarten Here “We” Come! Well, Here “She” Comes!

For the past week, I’ve been a combination of nervous and excited. I’ve had sleepless nights, reoccurring dreams and a bit of anxiety. Tomorrow is the big day: the first day of school, kindergarten that is! On Friday, my daughter’s preschool teachers thoughtfully gave her a sweet letter with several treats. She was concerned about when she can eat the candy, and I was concerned about how I’m going to hold it together on Monday. On Saturday, Quinn received a lovely kindergarten card in the mail from my sister, nephew and niece wishing her a terrific first day. Then later on, my husband came home and surprised Quinn with a cake wishing her “Good Luck” in kindergarten.

How can I not get emotional? My blog is called Mommy’s Baby Steps, and this truly is one of the steps I am struggling to take. It’s a new school, all new children, all new teachers, a major milestone in her life. I’m so anxious and have to remind myself that it’s really “we” but a “she” is going to kindergarten. Thank goodness her school allows parents to come into the classroom for the first hour tomorrow and even has a kiss and cry for parents who need a little support in parting ways with their children.

While I am confident she’ll be just fine, knowing that I’ll have to dash off to the college for my first day of teaching (a day on which I still get butterflies) immediately after the “kiss and cry” has my stomach in knots. Wish me luck, and send “strong mommy vibes” my way please. I want to be brave for my little girl and focus on how great this milestone is and how wonderful of a year it’ll be!

All the best,

Tanya

Motherhood & Childhood: Hoping The Mirror Reflects True Happiness, Not Just an Illusion

A mirror: known as a reflecting surface. Something that gives a true representation, but does it really? Or is it our interpretation or impression of what is being reflected?

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I were in a fun house with mirrors that give the illusion of one being taller, shorter and even wider, and she was fascinated by how her reflection changed from mirror to mirror very well knowing that she still physically looked the same but the mirrors gave the impression that she was something different.

This made me think about how she may mirror me and reflect back the energy I put out. For some reason it left me pensively wondering about the illusions many mothers perform, trying to be perfect, trying to do it all, wanting the best for our children and just hoping we’re doing it right yet giving the illusion that we do it effortlessly. As Quinn stood in front of the mirror making her taller, I reflected on how she will be when she is older. How much will my actions of today reflect her tomorrow?

The memories of my childhood definitely reflects who I am today, and I just hope one day my daughter will be able to look into her mirror as an adult and feel that her childhood and life reflects happiness and wonderful memories that she holds near and dear to her heart and are not mere illusions.

All the best,

Tanya

The Amusement of Life: My Little Girl Knows How to Enjoy the Ride!

 

With her arms swaying in the air and a smile on her face, my little girl squealed and cheered for more as the ride took her around once again. One of my five year old daughter’s favorite outings this summer has been amusement parks; she lives for the rides. Now, at about 47 inches, which is tall for her age, she’s able to get on the some of the rides she longed for last year but just didn’t measure up.

This summer, she was ready to prove that she’s absolutely fearless while I held on for dear life on roller coasters and other rides whipping us around so quickly that I could barely contain my lunch. Thank goodness for her father because I’m just not able to handle most amusement park rides like used to.

But seeing how happy and excited she is to get on some rides over and over again makes me think about life and how amusing it can be. There was one roller coaster ride that I got on with her just once, but she got on with my husband seven times and was still ready for more. Each time Quinn whizzed by on the roller coaster, I could see that beautiful smile and hear that infectious squeal-like laughter. She’d raise her arms in preparation for the drop and feel so exhilarated upon departing the ride ready to run back in line to board it again.

It is my hope that Quinn treats life this way, ready to enjoy the ride, eager to take on adventure and willing to hop off one ride and get on the next as life dictates.

All the best,

Tanya