What Would We Do Without it Wednesday: Enjoying the Outdoors with My Little Girl

2016-03-08 16.54.55Both my daughter and I love spending time outdoors. Though it’s not quite spring, today was absolutely lovely. Of course, my soon-to-be- three year old  enjoys going to the park, but she also likes to explore nature. She wants to run up and down hills, which makes me a bit nervous at times. She points out the clouds, blue sky, squirrels she sees running around and even birds she hears chirping. “Are the birds chirping because they’re happy, Mommy?” she inquires. To which I respond, yes, they may be happy or talking to their friends and family. It’s nice to slow down some and enjoy the simple things and important that we do not take nature for granted. What would we both do without lovely days to explore and enjoy each other’s company?

All the best,

Tanya

Park it Right There! My Toddler Rules the Playground!

Quinn Ready to Try Out the Play Are for Ages five through twelve

Quinn Checking Out the Ages Five through Twelve Play Area

A couple of weeks ago, I composed a few blog entries about what I’ve learned from my two year old daughter at the park regarding the bridge, sliding board and gymnastics swinging. However, there is major, yet obvious, lesson I learned from my daughter that I failed to mention. A couple of months ago, I located a nearby park that has playground equipment for children ages two through five. Interestingly though, Quinn was more excited to play on the playground equipment in the section for children ages five through twelve. At first, I tried to deter her and unsuccessfully tried to convince her to  play in the area that was designated for her age. After a little fussing from the both of us, I gave in and figured since I would be present and monitoring her that she would be safe and that if she experienced difficulty on the equipment for older children that she would eagerly play on the two to five year old side. She did just fine and loved going down the big slide.

Perhaps I have a little daredevil or a child who simply knows what she can handle when it comes to playground equipment. Maybe it’s the idea of her just wanting to be a “big girl.” Whatever it is, my little girl taught me that in life it is not always necessary to follow the guidelines or rules set forth. Of course, in this instance, the company that constructed the equipment had a target age group in mind and is just taking precautionary measures to prevent any tragic mishaps involving children under five. But the lesson I learned certainly applies in everyday life. Think about how many “guidelines” and “rules” that have been enforced in the past yet have set back an entire race, class or a gender. Imagine if no one ever challenged some of these “guidelines” and “rules.” While I am guilty of being an ultimate rule follower, my daughter having fun on playground equipment for children much older than she is has taught me to use common sense along with my instincts instead of just relying solely on the guidelines or rules. Thanks sweetheart!

All the best,

Tanya

Life Lessons from My Little Girl at the Park #3

Quinn Ready to Show Her Gymnastic Skills

Quinn Ready to Show Her Gymnastic Skills

When I was younger, I loved going to the park and could spend hours upon hours there begging my mom for more time on the swing or teeter totter. Now, it’s my two year old daughter who pleads, “Five more minutes Mommy, please,” putting up her little hand displaying her five fingers. Occasionally, I give in, and in return, my daughter often teaches me a life lesson at the park. My past two blog entries this week have been about crossing bridges and the power of the slide. Today, it’s all about having fun with the equipment you’ve been given, endurance, and putting those fears aside.

One day, months before Quinn’s second birthday, she prepared to go down the slide but then stopped and observed the metal bar a little above her head. It must have reminded her of the bars she uses at The Little Gym because she quickly grabbed hold of it with both hands and began to swing. My heart began to race. While I was amazed at how well she was holding on (even better than she does at The Little Gym which has protective mats), I was nervous that she would either realize the riskiness of her “gymnastic routine” and get scared or lose her grip and hurt herself. Rather than tell her to stop in a panicky voice, I just stood as close as possible and softly told her to be careful, and she confidently said, “I be careful Mommy.” She squealed with excitement awaiting my applause, which I, of course, granted her as the fear in my heart turned into pleasure.  If only more adults, including me, could be more like my daughter: having fun with the obstacles put in front us, casting our fears aside and just going for it!

All the best,

Tanya

Life Lessons from My Little Girl at the Park #2

Quinn Walking Down the Slide

Quinn Walking Down the Slide

At least four to five times a week during the summer, my two year old daughter and I go to the park, and at least four to five out of these times we visit the park, I learn a life lesson from her. Yesterday, I posted a blog entry on the bravery it takes to cross bridges. Today, it’s all about the power of the sliding board, which my little girl enjoys. Sometimes she zips down quickly. Other times she purposely inches down little by little, trying to make the trip down the slide last as long as possible. Lately, she takes pleasure in being a dare devil: walking down or up the slide and sneakily trying to slide head first if I don’t stop her first. As I told her one day, “Quinn, slide down the right way. You’re not supposed to walk on the sliding board,” the memory of me  having fun, walking up a sliding board immediately flashed in my mind. How dare I deny my child her fun? Is it always about following the rules or using something solely for its initial purpose. Climbing up the slide instead of taking the stairs might seem like merely a shortcut, but it forces her to exert herself more as the incline, slippery slide and gravity are the forces pulling her down as she tries with all of her might to go up. There are times when the slide of life or what appears to be fate is pulling me in a certain direction. As most people will say just go with it and slide on down, I still have choice. When I looked at Quinn’s face as she made it back up the slide, I saw her sense of accomplishment which far outweighs the joy she gets from actually going down the slide. Who knew such a big lesson could come from my little girl? Thanks so much sweetheart! I hope others will benefit from your lesson.

All the best,

Tanya

Life Lessons from My Little Girl at the Park #1

Quinn Crossing the Bridge All By Herself

Quinn Crossing the Bridge All By Herself

Most children love going to the park, and my little girl is no different. She enjoys running, jumping and playing on the different equipment, and I love seeing how motivated and determined she is when facing any obstacle. In simply observing her, it occurred to me that while she’s having fun (of course I have fun interacting with her too), she is learning and teaching me quite a few life lessons. One of the parks we go to has a bridge. When Quinn initially came across it, she was hesitant, possibly because it seemed long to her or was a little shaky. She asked me to go across with her and to hold my hand, but about midway across she eagerly wiggled her fingers out of my grasp and went the rest of her way by herself, excitedly saying, “I cross the bridge Mommy!” I was probably more nervous than her but so proud of my brave little girl, who wasn’t quite two at the time, for not letting the obstacle of the bridge intimidate her and stop her from getting to the other side. Since then she prefers to go across without my assistance, but if she observes another child, usually older, jumping and shaking the bridge, she has enough common sense to wait until it is safe. When I think about the obstacles I’ve faced in life, there have been many occasions when I faced a bridge I needed to cross to reap the benefits of what was in store for me on the other side, but there were times when I allowed the bridge and the thought of its instability to intimidate me, making it take longer than I would have liked to cross it. Quinn has taught me that being brave enough to cross that bridge sometimes requires a support system to get us started. While she wanted to cross the bridge, she felt more comfortable knowing that I was there with her. Oftentimes, adults, including me, feel that they must do it all by themselves and think relying on support is a sign of weakness, but I have learned from my little girl that as long as the support can get me started, it will be my own determination and bravery that allows me make it across.

All the best,

Tanya