Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Teaching moments

On my last post I mentioned how sometimes movies can present teaching opportunities for Mila. After watching Frozen, Mila wasn't quite sure she understood why Hans was a bad guy. I mean, at the beginning of the movie he totally sweeps poor gullible Anna off of her feet. They sing "Love is an Open Door" together and he proposes to her. I had to explain to her that he was just pretending to be nice in order to take over the kingdom. She still isn't quite sure about that explanation but she goes with it.

The other day I had my laptop open and it went into sleep mode where it starts scrolling through pictures we've downloaded. On this day it was scrolling pictures of our trip to Hawaii with Marc's mom and his brother's family when they had just one child. Neither of my girls were yet in the world. Particularly, these were of our visit to Pearl Harbor. There were pictures of The USS Arizona Memorial, The USS Bowfin and some of the artillery that had been used. Mila asked what the pictures were and I told her we visited Pearl Harbor, where a long time ago, some bad people attacked.

Mila: "Why mama?"
Me: "Well they wanted to take control"
Mila: "Like Hans?"

The way her young mind made that connection was really just awesome. I know that my explanation of the event was beyond simplistic but she's 3, she'll learn about the events that led up to that fateful day when she's older. I was just amazed that she made that connection. Our conversation expanded a bit from there about why but, I just thought that this was a perfect example of a teaching moment from both life and fiction. I love to see her mind grow with each experience she has and when she makes connections it just blows me away. I know that's how I grew too but to see it in action is to see life. The life that grew within me and is now out in this big, wide, scary and amazing world.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Let it Go

For those of you that know me, you know I'm anti-Disney Princesses. I just loath how they market the crap out of them and make little girls seem like crazed pink seeking zombies. Well, if you haven't been "off the grid" in the past year, you're probably at least slightly aware of the phenomenon that was/is Frozen. For the past two and a half years of Mila's life she's had a princess free zone but the songs of Frozen were slowly seeping into our world. We hadn't seen the movie yet but I would play the songs on youtube for her. She loved them! She knew the songs before we had really seen the movie and she would run around our house singing Let it Go at the top of her lungs and waving her hands like she was creating magic. Who can resist that?! I had to yield and we finally saw the whole movie around the time that Luna came along. It turned out to be a great movie. I liked it even more because ****SPOILER ALERT**** the act of "true love" that saves Anna in the end is her own choice of sacrificing herself to save her sister. Good theme of sisterly love and strength in family.

Well, as one might assume, Mila caught on to the idea of princess and has since wanted to wear a blanket as a mantel "like Elsa" around our house. She also wants to wear long dresses, also like Elsa, but we didn't have any for her. Needless to say, her birthday party theme was Frozen and for Christmas, Santa brought her an Elsa dress and daddy added a crown to match.

I have come to realize that I need to... "Let it Go" (Yes, I went there) and let her be a princess sometimes. It's all about letting her play and pretend and learn for herself. It's about me not being controlling but helping to guide and model for her that will help her interpret and learn things from the world around her including sometimes from movies.

As a side note, it's also about not over indulging in the princess merchandise because that stuff is, to quote Dr. Evil in a more G rated tone, Ri-gosh-darn-diculous! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Terrible Three's??

Ok, so I was reviewing my post for Mila's birthday last year. She was a spunky little two year old who was constantly learning new words, who was curious and friendly to everyone. She was anything but 'terrible'. 

Fast forward another year (which is definitely how it feels) and we now have a three year old and a 5 month old! I look back on this time last year and I remember my little two year old, who was still nursing at the time, and how sweet she would say 'mama, I'm gonna share with the baby'. I'm proud to say she does share with the baby.  She loves her little sister so much, sometimes a little rough but with all the warmth in the world! But right before she turned three she wanted to share something else... Screaming. She started throwing tantrums! Like the real thing... I mean, kicking, screaming,  flailing on the floor, Niagra Falls tear streaming tantrums!! And for the littlest things. They come on like a tornado with all the chaos and destruction and yelling that comes with it... Well at least that's how it seems.  

Now seeing my sweet daughter morph into something akin to Slimer on Ghost Busters combined with the wailing of banshee is enough to make me want to find my own proton pack, and so far I haven't had any luck on curbing these little storms. I'm trying to stay calm and ignore her when they come on but any parent who has seen similar outbursts knows the difficulty. 

And today, it happened. I was that parent. She'd had a great swim class and I gave her 5 minutes in the hot pool. When it was time to get out she tried to swim out of my reach so I pulled her out... And meltdown ensued. Screaming...becoming a limp noodle so I couldn't pick her little wet body up. Refusing the towel while shivering and cold. All while other mothers witnessed this display with looks of silent solidarity. I wasn't embarrassed just distressed because I know she isn't that child, but  a three year old going through a phase. I gained a little encouragement from the fact that she saw better of sitting on the wet floor and that I wasn't having it by walking under her own volition into the dressing room, albeit while still screaming. 

Sigh...I ironically thought of Dori on Finding Nemo singing 🎶'Just keep swimming'🎶 

And that's what I have to do!