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

 

Mommy’s Little Scientist: Never Too Young for STEM

She put on her white lab coat and selected the experiment she wanted to conduct. I assisted her with arranging the items needed, and she then smiled and said, “I have to out on my science glasses for safety before we get started!” We first saw the “Learning Resources Primary Science Lab Activity Set (12 pieces)” in the Franklin Institute Gift Shop, and my four year old just had to have it. The price was $30, but upon checking through Amazon.com, I saw that I could get it for just $18.11. Though there were some tears shed and a fit or two had, I eventually convinced my daughter that it was better for us to order through Amazon so that we could save some money and have a little left over to get the lab coat too. 

Quinn loves doing projects, activities and games, especially STEM related ones. Though I have a Liberal Arts background, I too enjoy these projects and was just as eager for the package to arrive. The kit is for children as young as three, but I must say that some adults could benefit and have fun from these science experiments that are not all that time consuming and require items that most people already have in their household.

Though my little girl is not writing as yet, we were able to discuss what she thought would happen before starting a project. I even taught her the word: hypothesis. We enjoyed doing the primary color experiment together, and days later she still talks about the primary and secondary colors and how red and blue make purple. Quinn’s Nana thoroughly enjoyed doing the volcano experiment with her so much that they did it two times.

Some of the other experiments involve learning about how plants sprout from seeds, examining different insects and determining what sinks and floats, and we’re both looking forward to doing them too. I was so impressed by the twelve piece kit that I ordered the Learning Resources Primary Science Deluxe Lab Set, 45 Piece set so that we can do more experiments in the weeks to come.

These experiments remind me of how much I enjoyed going to science class in grade school and how I wish these at home kits existed when I was younger. Of course, there’s no absolute science to raising children and making sure they have a perfect childhood and have a solid foundation for learning, but I’m so grateful to be creating these memories with my daughter and hope they stay with her for years to come.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Little Creative Story Teller or Pinocchio?

Pinocchio-wallpapers

“Are you sure Daddy said you can have another treat” I asked my daughter, and she responded, “Yes!” I then raised my eyebrow looking at her intently. She nervously asked, “Why are you looking at me like that, Mommy?” With a frantic voice, I said, “Oh my goodness! Your nose! It’s growing!” I chuckled to myself as she recanted her statement claiming, “No, Daddy didn’t say I could have another treat. Then, she quickly touched her nose, her eyes welled up wth tears and her voice began to waver as she inquired, “Mommy, is my nose still growing? I don’t want to be like Pinocchio!”

My four year old looked so concerned and weary, and I actually felt bad when I saw her ready to cry because I was just playing around and did not anticipate that response from her. Also, I try my best to use positive reinforcement rather than focus on the negative. We actually did have a conversation about the importance of telling the truth, and she usually does. But on an occasion or two when I know she may be “fudging” the truth a little, I just scratch the tip of my nose as I ask her again, and she’ll tell the truth without me uttering a word. I definitely don’t want to stifle her creativity and do encourage her to share stories, but I’m hoping we can use those “tall tales” to promote her cognitive development and  imaginative play.

Does your child like to tell “stories?” What techniques do you use to keep them from being little Pinocchios?

All the best,

Tanya

 

Put on a Happy Face: My Little Girl Makes Me Smile

With concentration, she held the chalk between her fingers first making a large circle, rubbing away part of it to start over again for precision then continuing by making smaller circles inside of the larger one. I then asked, “What are you drawing sweetheart?” “A happy face!” my daughter responded as she finished up her drawing with a smile and even eyebrows, “And it has to be perfect,” she continued. When I asked why she chose to draw a happy face, she told me, “Because I’m happy, and I love making happy faces.”

To hear my daughter say she’s happy and to see the smile on her face or the happy faces she draws fills me with so much happiness. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t put a smile on my face. Even when she may sulk for a bit, have to receive a warning if she’s misbehaving, or be upset because she believes it’s unfair that she can’t get a toy from the store or have a piece of candy, before long, she’s back to her jovial self bringing light into my life and all those with whom she comes in contact.

She always manages to bring a smile to my face, and I look forward to many more happy, smiling faces in the future courtesy of my little girl.

All the best,

Tanya