Mommy’s “Moment” Monday: Perfecting Fun With My Little One

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Getting a Lesson in Abstract Painting from My Daughter. (Can you guess which bunny is hers and which is mine?)

It may sound cliche, but not a day goes by that my little girl doesn’t teach me something about motherhood, childhood, myself or just life in general. One moment that’s been on my mind just occurred this past Friday. My daughter and I were doing an Easter painting  project with large plastic bunnies I purchased at Target. Since I’m a big kid at heart, I purchased one for her and one for me so that we could both have a little fun.

As we got started with the project, I labored over what colors to use and if I should use some painter’s tape to ensure that my lines were straight. I even thought of drawing a little sketch of how I wanted my bunny to look so that it would be perfect. My soon-to-be three year old, on the other hand, was just excited to be creative with the paint and wanted to use all of the colors. She was eager to mix the yellow and blue together to make green while I tried to keep the colors separate on my little painting plate and warned her not to dip the brush in the different color paints because it would change the color. I even found myself making commentary on her bunny, in a cheerful yet judging way. “Your bunny sure does have a lot of paint everywhere, Quinine!”

At that moment, I stopped and briefly thought about what I was doing. I was stifling her fun and making a great activity into work and projected my a perfectionist ways onto my daughter. Though she did not appear to be bothered by what I realized I was doing, it bothered me because I want her to enjoy being a kid and to explore her creativity. She actually taught me to relax and to not worry so much about everything being perfect. Sometimes it’s nice to just have a little fun without following all of the so-called rules and expectations.  In the end, we both enjoyed painting our bunnies, and I am looking forward to more teachable moments courtesy of my daughter.

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