My Little Girl’s Baby: Bring on the Dolls & Their Accessories!

My daughter excitedly put on her nightclothes and quickly rushed to the mirror. Hugging her little baby doll, she smiled at me, “Look, Mommy! We’re dressed exactly alike!” Up until a few weeks ago Quinn occasionally played with her dolls, but for the most part she and Grover have been inseparable. But ever since that moment of Quinn and her baby wearing the same nightclothes (a gift courtesy of her Nana), she’s become immersed in the idea of being a little mommy to her little baby.

She’s requested a little toothbrush so they can brush their teeth together, wants to know if we can find more outfits so that they can dress alike again and wants to bring her along in addition to Grover on car rides. With this in mind, she most recently asked, “Mommy, can we get my baby a car seat so that she’s safe just like me?” She also asked for a baby carrier too so they can walk around together. I guess I knew this day would come eventually. It’s cute watching her tend to her baby doll, but I have a feeling that once she finds out about the American Girl Dolls that this is going to be one costly next few years, but it’ll be fun and worth seeing that big smile on her face.

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

 

Throwback Thursday: Swinging Right Along with My Little Girl

 

Even before my daughter was a year old, she loved to get in the swing, and she was so excited when my husband installed one for her on our tree in the front yard, but as the weather started getting warmer a few months ago, my little girl, who is now four years old, struggled to get in and out of the swing. She informed her father and me, “I need a big girl swing! This one is too small for me now!”

Wow, it seems like yesterday when Quinn would giggle as I pushed her in the swing and was still learning to talk. Now, she does well with articulating herself and even remembers what I taught her about swinging by herself. “You can push me for a little bit, and then I can use my legs to keep going higher and higher,” she told her dad after getting on her newly installed swing a few days ago.

Quinn and I both enjoy looking at pictures, and she especially loves looking at pictures from when she was much younger. When she came across some of her in the swing, she commented, “That’s when I was a baby in the baby swing. Wasn’t I cute? Now, I’m a big girl in a big girl swing!” I just thought to myself, “Where did the time go? I guess we’re swinging right along.”

All the best,
Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesday: Thankful My Little Girl is Grateful

With a smile on her face, climbing up her “new” jungle gym, my daughter said, “Wasn’t it nice of the neighbors to give this to me!” “It sure was,” I told her. She then proceeded to ask, “Why did they give it to me?” To which I responded, their children outgrew it, so they thought you would like it. “Wow, that was very thoughtful!” Quinn informed me. “Yes, it sure was.” I said.

More and more frequently, I hear people talk about how it’s a cruel world and that everyone is out for themselves or how so many people, especially the younger generations, have an attitude of entitlement. While it may be somewhat true, I sincerely do not believe all people are this way. I have been trying my best to instill positive values such as gratitude and hopefulness rather than entitlement and hopelessness in my four year old daughter, so it warms my heart each time she not only utters the phrase thank you but expresses her gratitude by acknowledging how thoughtful the other person is. I always tell her that when people do something nice or out of the kindness of their hearts, it must be acknowledged because they did not have to do anything.

Just yesterday, my uncle asked her is she wanted to help frost a pink lemonade cake for the July 4th cookout, and she was so excited and said, “Uncle David picked me to help with the cake! That was very nice of him.” After helping, she told him, without me coaching her, “Thank you for allowing me to help decorate the cake, Uncle David.”

I truly believe gratitude goes further than we think and that one is never too young or too old to display it. The world is not so cruel as long as we contribute some positivity towards it. I hope I am modeling a behavior where my daughter will continue to feel the same way I do well into adulthood.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Who Said Washing the Car Wasn’t Fun? Not My Little Girl!

With a soapy sponge about three times the size of her little hand she sung, “This is the was we scrub-a-dub-dub…scrub-a-dub-dub…scrub-a-dub-dub. This is the way we wash the car all day long!” It was a hot day, and when I was younger I loved when my mom would wet me with the hose, so I figured my four year old would like it too and that she could have a little water play as I washed my car. As I prepared the suds water and got my sponge ready, Quinn asked with a sad look on her face and disappointment in her voice , “Where’s my sponge, Mommy? I thought I was was helping to wash your car.”

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised that she wanted to take on this chore with me.  So I got a second sponge for her that she was able to out on her hand to make it easier that holding it, and she went to work. I was impressed with how she paid close attention to detail making sure that she scrubbed every part of the car that she could reach even commenting on how dirty my tires were and how she had to scrub those a lot to get them clean.

Sometimes we, as adults, may underestimate the abilities of our children or may even assume that they do not want to do chores, thereby leaving us in awe when our children rise to the challenge and surpass it.  While Quinn just turned four last month, she constantly amazes me with her eagerness to help me do chores around the house from sweeping, vacuuming, doing dishes or simply clearing the table after a meal.

I love how she can make a chore fun and bring out the kid in me. After the car was all suds up, then came the extra fun part. She giggled and asked for more as I sprayed in her direction with the hose cooling her off after all of her hard work. Once the car was all clean, she helped dry it off and then turned to her dad who joined us outside asking, “Daddy, can we clean your car next?”

All the best,

Tanya