I had a lot of things planned for Mila and I to do today. Of course, she had an agenda of her own when we woke up.
She ran straight to her closet and picked out a dress. Not unusual if you know Mila, but…
This is the dress she chose. Today she is Princess Mila.
I brushed her hair all out and put her in a little ‘crown.’ We found the most perfect princess shoes. Then, we put it all together and she wanted to take pictures with her ‘beast.’
So, we did just that.
My biggest tips for moms is things don’t go exactly as planned. Just try to roll with it.
It might not be what you wanted, but these unexpected moments can be just as wonderful. You never know when you’ll have the beauty and a beast in your house. Or a fire fighter, police officer, chef, or dance teacher.
Embrace these moments. They go too quick.
What’s your child been pretending they are lately?
One of the toughest things I face as a single mom is wondering if Mila has enough love.
It’s hard being away from her during the days, but I have to be to give her the life she deserves. When we’re together, we play, read stories, and create. I tell her I love her every chance I get and she does the same.
We’re happy in our own little world.
But, it’s the days I have to go away. I question if she forgets about all our fun. There are some times I wonder if the love I instill in her stays. Or if she’s just made at me when I’m gone.
A few nights ago, I realized I shouldn’t put any thought into those fears.
I picked her up one afternoon after school. She sat in the car as my mom told her goodbye. As usual, she asked for a hundred goodbye hugs and kisses. Then kept saying bye. As my mom walked away, then started the goodbye kisses.
She blew them and for awhile they were reciprocated. Mom had to go back inside, but Mila did something that made me smile.
As the door shut and we backed out of the driveway, I saw her continue blowing goodbye kisses.
Between each kiss, she yelled, “goodbye! I love you!.”
She didn’t stop when we backed out. Or when we went down the street. Or even parked in our driveway. Outside our door, she kept saying goodbye and how much she loved her Gigi.
That’s when I realized, Mila has all the love in the world. She knows what love feels like and how to feel it towards others.
All those worries about if I’m doing good enough ease.
The next morning, when it’s hard to go away again. I see her goodbye kisses in action. It made leaving a little easier.
Because, I know those goodbye kisses never end and that love travels where ever we go.
One thing that she absolutely loves is painting nails. No matter if it’s her nails or someone else’s, she always asking.
I saw this activity last year and figured now was the perfect time.
All you need is:
I had everything had home and used old cereal boxes to draw the hands. To hold the paint, I used the caps of milk containers.
Next, I traced my hand and then drew finger nails.
To get her used to seeing her name, words, and numbers, I wrote them on the cardboard too. Before she painted, we counted all the fingers, told her which one was right and left, and spelled her name. She tells me her name is ‘la,’ which always makes me smile.
Then, I let her paint these nails.
She enjoyed mixing the colors and practicing painting nearly, at first. It switched from near to a little wild soon after.
This is a quick activity to put together, but it gave me enough time to do some work on the computer. Sometimes you just need five minutes of peace and this did the trick.
I will continue doing this activity with Mila. To help her with her pre-writing, I’ll make dotted lines that she has to trace for bracelet and rings. It would also be fun to do color recognition or teach the order of the rainbow here too.
Either way, this is DIY nail salon is fun and toddler approved.
I think every kid takes a few toys in the bath, but the amount my toddler brings… might be a little weird.
Last night during Mila’s bath, I counted: ten ponies, seven Barbies, a Barbie boat, six empty bottles, two bath books, a play broom, countless numbers, countless blocks, and all the bubbles that could fit.
To top it off, she asked me to get in the bath with her. Unless we took half of them out, there was no room for me to fit. She ended up chooses all her toys instead.
The amount she brings in is strange, but at least she has fun… right?
To honor that, I wanted to have another diversity talk with Mila. I figured to keep her full attention, I’d use her biggest motivation: m&ms. The girl loves them and always sneaks them. I guess I can’t blame her for that.
Anyways, m&m’s are a perfect way to showcase different skin colors, but we’re all human on the inside.
I lined her m&m’s up and asked her what colors they were. She told me all of the colors and I mentioned how all of them were all different. I talked about how people all have different skin colors too.
Then, I asked her if she would be sad if I told her she couldn’t have certain colors of m&ms. Of course she was. She told me she liked them all.
With that, I told her in the past, boys and girls who were black weren’t allowed to play with boys and girls with white skin. She seemed upset by this. Yet, i explained that some people judge others by their skin color.
Without giving her much more thought, I cut an m&m in half.
She seemed a little shocked, but I asked her if she thought the other m&ms looked the same on the inside. With a quick nod of her head, she pointed to another one and I sliced it in half too. It may be aggressive, but she liked it.
I told her that even thought people look different on the outside, we’re all humans on the inside. We have differences, but we still have the same emotions too.
Of course, as she gets older, these conversations will get more complex.
I’ll never claim to know what racism is like to experience. The only thinks i can do is teach my daughter to see people’s differences, but love them for their character.
Kids will change the world, but it starts with teaching them about diversity, even with m&ms.
Here’s some videos about Martin Luther King Jr. that Mila enjoyed this morning:
With Martin Luther King Jr day quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to do an activity with Mila.
Plus, I thought it’d be fun to share beforehand in case you have your child home from school and want to do a productive activity with them.
Mila and I talk about race a lot. It’s important to me that she grows up anti-racist, especially in the world we live in now. It’s never too early to start those conversations. She has black barbies and dolls, books with diverse characters, and watches shows with people of all races.
Still, talking about MLK with her was a must. During this activity, I mentioned his name and talked about how people have different skin color. We also talked about how she would play with anyone, no matter what they looked like. She seemed shocked when I told her some people don’t like others because of the color of their skin.
Back to the project though!
This is an easy art project that actually took less than five minutes. The conversation we had before, during, and after spanned beyond that though.
I started off by asking Mila what she thought her skin tone was between the three colors. She chose the middle color which was called “Territorial Beige.” It was interesting to see her perception of her skin tone.
This shade went in the middle because I wanted an ombre affect. Of course, you can do whatever color sequence you want.
I took a paint brush and painted her hand. Then we pressed it on the canvas. When pressing their hands down, make sure to get all of their fingers too. If not, it’ll be really faint. Finally, I cleaned her hand off and did the process two more times.
That part really is that easy.
After her handprints, or she calls them paw prints, dried, it’s time for the words. I ended up painting the phrase, “small hands change the world.’
You can use any quote or phrase here. There are a ton of MLK quotes that would work perfectly.
I have some more ideas to do for Black History Month that I want to share. They’ll be posted in the second half of the month. I have a few special activities for Valentine’s Day that I know you’ll love just as much!
If you like this activity or try it, let me know in the comments!
Kids have amazing imaginations and Mila is no different. She loves to pretend, which makes me happy that she’s so creative and playful.
Sometimes though… she takes it to the next level.
Her favorite thing to pretend to be is a dog. Normal, right? Every kid goes through this stage. It’s fine. But, every morning as of lately, she goes and gets Cookie Crisp and says it’s her dog food. I fill up her bowl and she’ll eat it all.
That’s one way to get your toddler to eat!
Then, she took it one step further. After asking for a bowl of milk, I figured she’d just put her ‘dog food’ in there. Nope. She had to make me laugh and do this.