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

Always Happy to Celebrate Father’s Day!

“Today is a special day. It’s Father’s Day, Mommy!” my daughter told me this morning. “I can’t wait to give Daddy his special gift. You see, it says, ‘Fishing you a Happy Father’s Day instead of wishing you a happy father’s day.’ Isn’t that clever?” She added, “They’re Swedish fish: Daddy’s favorite! Isn’t that great!” It melts my heart to see Quinn so excited to celebrate her dad. I’m extremely grateful for the close bond they have. She really is his little twin in so many ways, and I look forward to seeing them both grow together as father and daughter bringing out the best in each other.

All the best,

Tanya

What Would We Do Without It Wednesday: Meet and Greets with Daddy

“How much longer do we have to wait until Daddy’s train comes, Mommy?” my daughter inquired. “Just about three minutes,” I respond. Then about a minute later she asked, “How many minutes now?” No matter how many times we walk, drive, use her scooter  or ride bikes to the train station to meet my husband as he gets home from work, the excitement and anticipation never dissipates for Quinn (Well, I’m excited to see him too). One time, she asked to wear her Paw Patrol watch so that she did not have to ask me how many more minutes it would take for his train to arrive, and of course this was the time that his train was running a few minutes behind schedule. “My watch says, 5:16, but Daddy’s train still is not here!” she informed me. “It must be running late, but he’ll be here soon,” I reassured her. Around 5:21, his train finally arrived, and a joyous smile came over Quinn’s face as she shouted, “There he is!”  My husband’s serious demeanor shifts to a playful one as he gives her a big hug and ask how her day was. Then I am relegated to push the scooter or bike all the way back home as she holds her dad’s hand or “helps” him roll his work bag up the street.

Even though I think about how wonderful of a bond Quinn and her dad have and how one of the ways it is displayed is through their train station meet and greet, with Father’s Day approaching, I decided to post an entry about how grateful I am to have a terrific husband who is loving and supportive of his daughter. I’m sure I speak for Quinn when I say, “I don’t know what we’d do without our meet and greets with her daddy at the train station.”

All the best,

Tanya

Terrific Toy Tuesday: Alphabet Marks the Spot

“What did you roll, Quinnie?” I asked my daughter. “An igloo! Igloo starts with the letter I!” she responded and sought out the letter “I” on the mat and jumped on it. One of the first steps to learning how to read is not only recognizing letters but mastering the sounds to identify which words start with certain letters. Even though Quinn has known the alphabet and been able to recite it for a few years now, when she was about three and half, I decided to purchase an interactive game that reinforces what she knows while encouraging her to want to learn how to sound out words and eventually read.

Though the game is marketed to children in kindergarten (five years old) and up, and Quinn just turned four last month, she is still able to have fun with it because there are multiple ways to play based on the level of the child. Also there is a focus on gross motor, language, social and behavioral skills that she can apply not only in an academic setting but simply interacting with people in her everyday life.

There’s so much pressure for children to learn to read at young ages, and even though Quinn is learning how to sound out and spell a few words, I want it to be a fun experience for her where she is excited about learning, and this game is one of the resources that has helped. If you are looking for a way to promote learning the alphabet and transitioning to reading with active play for your child, Alphabet Marks the Spot by Learning Resources may be the perfect choice for you.

 

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Just Ask “Mommypedia”

“When birds chirp together, is that how they speak to one another?” “Who decided that green means go and not the color blue?” “How did the doctor get me out of your stomach?” Are just some of the questions my four year old has asked me in the past couple of days. Quinn has always been an inquisitive child; however, the quantity and quality of questions has increased exponentially over the past few months. There are times when I feel like “Mommypedia” (The parental version of Wikipedia) or my daughter’s personal search engine who must yield results and provide an answer immediately because “I don’t know” is usually not acceptable and simply leads to more in-depth follow-up questions.

Of course, the barrage of questions can be overwhelming, and after a long day I may long for a mommy version of Siri or Alexa to answer everything for me. Nevertheless, I am flattered and honored that she looks to me for guidance and clarity and holds my response in a high regard. Also, her questions challenge my critical thinking and make me ponder over why something is the way that it is when I’m too sure, which is a fantastic way to keep me on my toes.

I treasure our conversations  and love how she listens so intently to my responses because I know that similar to some people who come to the realization that just because it’s on the internet it is not necessarily true that she will one day feel that her mommy doesn’t have all the answers. Here’s to all of the “mommypedias” and “daddypedias” trying their best to keep up with the search for answers from their children.
All the best,

Tanya

Can’t Stop the Feeling! Mommy’s Little Girl Loves to Dance

“I got this feeling inside my bones. It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on…” was not only the lyrics of the song playing for my four year old’s dance recital but how I felt as she did her tap moves with the other children in her class. “I Can’t Stop the Feeling” of excitement, nervousness and being a doting mommy as Quinn tried her best to keep in rhythm and do the steps she memorized for the past few months. Since she was about six months old, I’ve been enrolling her in classes at The Little Gym, and while some parents may choose to enroll their children in a facility that focuses exclusively in dance, I love it here because it is all about the children having fun, and there is not as much pressure to become “professional” dancers. Like her mother, my daughter has an inherent quality which may be a gift and a curse. She tends to be a perfectionist and will keep trying until she gets it just right or even becomes frustrated if she is unable to get it right. With this in mind, the environment at The Little Gym is ideal to help her relax more.

Nevertheless, I would not be totally truthful if I didn’t admit that I was proud that my daughter followed the instructions of her teacher, did not run off during the performance or suffer from stage fright and cry. Also, something that really put a smile on my face is how she handled a mishap with her tiara for the ballet routine. When she did a spin with her partner, it was knocked off of her head. In that moment, I was more anxious than she was as I wondered what she would do next. She simply reached down and put the tiara back on her head to the best of her ability and continued to dance. Now that really put a smile on my face. Even after the performance she said with a big smile on her face, “My tiara came off when I was dancing, so I had to put it back on, Mommy. But I kept dancing!”

After the dance portion, she and the other children displayed some of their skills on the gym equipment. Even though Quinn also inherited her lack of flexibility from her mother (me), she still keeps trying and had a fun time. This summer, Quinn’s going to try out karate at The Little Gym for a new and different experience, and then we’ll return to dance for the school year. This was a wonderful experience for the both of us.

When we prepared to leave, I just couldn’t get those lyrics out of my head, “…Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance. A feeling good, good, creeping up on you, so just dance, dance, dance…” It’s moments like these that make my heart dance and will stay with me always.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Stopping to Smell the Flowers with My Little Girl

“Stop and smell the flowers (or roses)” is an idiomatic expression meaning to take the time to appreciate life and to acknowledge everything, especially the little things we may often take for granted. Something “little” that I most definitely will not take for granted is my little girl. When I was pregnant with her, with the help of my husband and mother, I planted several lillies along the side of the house. I specially recall how sunny and comfortable it was that day and how excited I was to get the flowers planted prior to my daughter’s arrival.

Now, a little over four years later, both Quinn and I look forward to seeing the first lily blossom. Look, Mommy! I see an orange flower!” my little girl excitedly tells me. Then within a matter of days almost all of them have burgeoned. Just like Quinn, the lilies have gotten taller and more colorful. Similar to my four year old’s synapses multiplying, it seems like the amount of lillies has doubled since I initially planted them.

For me, the lillies are a reminder to not just “stop and smell the flowers” but to take time to appreciate how much my little girl is blossoming. Both her father and I must continue to be the sunshine and water she needs to continue to grow, and we look forward to reaping the benefits of what we sow within her moral fiber.

All the best,

Tanya