Happy Starting Off the New Year with Goals and Guidance from My Little Girl (2018)

“Happy New Year,” my daughter said in a low voice as we all finished the countdown and watching the ball drop. With her party horn by her side and her eyes noticeably heavy, my husband hugged her and gave her a kiss on her forehead saying, “You made it, Quinnie! You made it to midnight! It’s now a new year: 2018! Do you want to blow your party horn?” She silently shook her head no as she gazed at the people celebrating on TV. Her listless response was a sharp contrast to the excitement she had earlier during the countdown2noon at the Please Touch Museum blowing her horn, cheering and dancing around. My poor four year old was determined to stay up to bring in the new year, but she was completely exhausted.

This morning, after getting some much needed sleep, my daughter excitedly informed me, “Today is a new year, Mommy! It’s January 1st, 2018! What would you like to do in the new year?” My response was, “I want to reach the different goals I have for myself.” She then said, as a matter of fact, “You know, you can do whatever you want in the new year. We can even work together to be happy and reach our goals…just like my goal was to stay up for the new year!” I was impressed with her logic.

How sweet, I thought to myself. My daughter has the right idea and is on to something many of us, including me, fail to realize at times. Often, when we establish goals in the new year and focus in how we can accomplish them all on our own when in actuality there are people in our lives who love us, care about us and are more than willing to lend a hand or just a listening ear to help us reach our goals.

Yes, my daughter may only be four years old, but knowing that she loves and supports me and believes in me and my goals makes them that much more attainable. Here’s to a happy new year filled with many goals accomplished (one including more family togetherness) in 2018.

All the best to you and your family in the new year!

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

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

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

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Growth Off the Charts for My Little Girl

“How tall am I now, Mommy?” my daughter inquired. Even though we measure Quinn occasionally throughout the year, as part of her birthday, we write it down on her chart so that she can see how much she’s grown, so a couple of weeks ago when she turned four, she was excited to get measured. “So I was 30 inches when I was one, and now I’m 43 inches tall at four?” she asked. “That’s correct, Quinn,” I informed her.

She was so impressed with how much she’s grown and even asked, “How come I didn’t grow as much from when I was three like I did when I was two or one?” Interestingly, in the past year I’ve observed her grow in her ability to articulate how she’s feeling and what she wants, to ask questions and get the answers she’s looking for and just an overall increase in her cognitive development. Actually, her doctor said she’s the height of the average five and a half year old.

As Quinn, her dad and I  saw how much she’s grown just by looking at the lines on the height chart, I think were all amazed at how far she is come and are excited to see how much she will continue to grow. My baby is growing up so much in such a short period of time. It’s moments like these when I utter that cliché phrase, “Where did the time go?”

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: “Skating” Along with My Little Girl

“If I practice, I’ll get better and better and be able to do some skating tricks?” my three year old inquired. “Yes, you sure will,” I assured her.”She followed up, “Then I won’t need you, and I’ll be able to skate by myself?” “Yes” I paused, “you will!” While I’m so proud of the many milestones my little girl has reached, hearing her actually say that she won’t need me anymore makes me feel so uneasy. About a year ago, I did a blog entry about Quinn skating for the first time, and now a year later she is feeling more confident and even wanted to let go of my had a few times when we were at the skating rink for her cousin’s birthday party this past Saturday.

Skating, just like walking, requires the ability to balance, but the risk of falling, going too fast or crashing into someone or something is much greater. So of course I’m both looking forward to and dreading the day that my daughter no longer needs to hold my hand while skating. At this point, something that offers me solace, not just with skating but with all of the different skills Quinn’s mastering, is that she understands the importance of practice. She even said, “If I work really hard, I’ll get really good at skating !” With this in mind, maybe she will know when she is ready to step out on the skating rink floor by herself, and it will just be up to me to be willing to let her hand go.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Fulfilling My Little Girl’s Dream and My Bucket List by Swimming with a Dolphin

“Mommy, are you going to swim with the dolphins? That would be so much fun!” my three year old exclaimed as she looked at the website of tourist attractions in Mexico with her daddy. I responded, “I don’t know, honey. Maybe.” I never did anything like that before, but as a result of my daughter’s enthusiasm, I strongly considered doing it. Last week, my husband and I vacationed in Mexico while Quinn stayed with my mother, and when the hotel representative of tourist attractions presented the brochure about the Dolphin Discovery, I felt that I was destined to do this activity to fulfill my little one’s dream as well as my very own “bucket list.”

We arrived at our destination on Sunday, and to ensure that I didn’t have too much time to change my mind, I booked the Dolphin activity for that Monday. I’m a novice swimmer, so I purposely didn’t ask how deep the water as to minimize any anxiety, and I found myself channeling my daughter’s fearlessness as I got into the water. It was such a wonderful experience. Upon entering the water, I felt calm, and my heart was no longer racing from fear but just from the excitement of interacting with the dolphin who had such a sweet and calming aura. I jokingly told my husband that I want one as a pet because they just seem so loving.

After being away from my daughter for a week, she first gave her father and me big hugs and then asked, “Did you swim with the dolphins, Mommy?” I proudly said, “Yes, I did sweetie.” Then, I gave her a plush dolphin along with a dolphin t-shirt as souvenirs, and she was very excited to receive them and asked when she can swim with the dolphins too.

Had it not been for Quinn asking me about swimming with the dolphins, I wouldn’t have stepped outside of my comfort zone and ventured out to do something new and daring. Who would have ever thought that my three year old could evoke the quality of fearlessness within me? This truly is a moment I will never forget and owe this experience to my daughter.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: My Little Girl’s Dancing Without Me, & I Couldn’t Be More Proud

Dance Class

Quinn in Her First Dance Class (The Other Children’s Faces Are Intentionally Blurred)

Yesterday, I posted a blog entry on my three year old transitioning from our mommy and me class to an independent class at the Little Gym. I was a little nervous since this was her first class without me, and I knew I would miss our class together. Today was her first dance class, and my little girl made me very proud as she followed the instructions of the teacher (at least 90 percent of the time) and danced around eagerly in her little tap shoes and then ballet shoes along with the other children.

Her former teacher at The Little Gym jokingly commented on how I was nervously pacing the floor looking into the classroom through the glass window while Quinn was full of smiles and probably wouldn’t have even noticed if I stepped out of the waiting area. While part of me wanted her to miss me and long for my presence in the classroom, it makes me feel good that Quinn is growing up and becoming more independent. Though I could see what was happening though the large glass window, it was a different experience for me because I could not hear all of what was going on in the classroom, and Quinn certainly could not hear me over the music and instruction from the teacher with it being in a separate room.  This is a perfect example of the experiences to come. Sometimes there will be limitations on what I can do as Quinn’s mommy, and I may be forced to just observe as she makes decisions as my big, little girl. Here’s to fun-filled classes for Quinn and her continued growth and development socially, mentally, emotionally and intellectually!

All the best,

Tanya

 

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Right or Wrong, Left or Right. “The Shoes Fit Fine,” Says My Little Girl

2016-05-25 06.49.21“Straps go on the outside!”my three year old exclaims as she reassures herself that she’s putting her sneakers on the correct feet. Those velcro straps come in handy with helping her remember which one goes on which foot. Her Crocs, however, are a different story. She loves wearing them around the house; nevertheless, more times than not, they’re on the wrong feet. Her father or I will tell her, “You need to swap your shoes and put them on the right feet.” To which she typically responds, “They feel fine to me! I love them this way.” She’s even asked, “If they are on the wrong feet, how come I can still walk in them?” Sometimes, I just let her keep them on the wrong feet as long as she’s not tripping around, but it got me thinking about how everyone has their own shoes to fill, even my three year old. Sometimes what everyone knows to be correct may not feel right to her, and what is considered the standard way may not be “the way” for her, especially as she gets older and continues to become her own person. Perhaps this is an example of her ability to “march” to her own tune or even lead the metaphorical marching band rather than follow. I know she will eventually master her right shoe from her left. But the true challenge will be her ability to master right from wrong as she goes through life even if the majority of her friends are headed down the wrong path. Though there is no way of knowing what path she will choose, it gives me comfort knowing that her father and I will be there along the way offering guidance and providing her with some footsteps in which to follow.

All the best,

Tanya

Mommy’s Monday Moments: Game On, Little Girl!

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Playing Ms. Pac-Man

One of my favorite video games when I was a little girl was Ms. Pac-Man. I could play it for hours on the Atari (That’s right, I said Atari!) with my siblings. Today, I had a nostalgic moment when I took my daughter in for her dental check-up to a new dentist and witnessed a Ms. Pac-Man arcade game in the waiting area. As I tried to resist the lure of Ms. Pac-man as she went around the screen eating the pellets and avoiding ghosts in the game simulation, my little girl said, “Look Mommy, a game! What kind of game is it?” She quickly skipped over and stood on the pedestal to reach the controller. When I began telling her, “Honey, I think the game will cost money,” She pressed start, and the game commenced.

Before I knew it, I was out of my seat showing her how to play. “See the arrows and the controller? Use this to move right and left and up and down.” “Like this, Mommy?!” Quinn looked towards me for approval. And then, “Wah…wah…wah wah…”Pay attention, and watch out for the ghosts. Now, it’s Mommy’s turn!” Then, the inevitable happened when I held onto to controller to show her how it’s done. I was really into the game and even made it to the next level, and then I heard, “Quinn, we’re ready for you now.” from the dental hygienist. I smiled and told Quinn, “They’re ready for you honey,” but my inner voice was saying, “Aw man! Can I just finish this level first?”

Though she’s only three and did not fully understand the full concept of the game, it was great being able to play Ms. Pac-Man with her as it was a big part of my childhood and brought back some good memories.

All the best,

Tanya