FIRST IT WAS TOYS R US, NOW CHUCK E. CHEESE IS CLOSING!

Everyone loves to share nostalgia with their children, things that brought them happiness when they were growing up. It’s amazing how almost every 70s baby’s childhood is being wiped away one by one. Wow, we might all be a little dramatic when it comes to things that we love going away…like when I heard about them taking away the Twinkie. Twinkies are back! But I got anxiety about Twinkies for no reason.

Then, it was the closure of Toys R Us!  It was the first place I took my daughter to pick out her own toys. Yes, we still have Target & Walmart but it’s just not the same as rewarding a child and taking them to the toy store. Buying toys online is not the same as a child walking down the aisle of a toy store and being drawn to a certain item by that exciting magic.

Oh Chuck E. Cheese, I will miss the smell, the sounds of laughter, the salad bar, the look on my daughter’s face when you came from out the back in your costume and the birthday parties with the singing puppets! The skee-ball machine and all the tickets. Oh, those tickets brought more smiles than candy! Getting to pick a toy to take home was everything. I still have our play cards and coins. I promised my baby we would use them when social distancing was over… I don’t have the heart to tell her yet! Ima just let this one play out and not make a big deal about it. The exciting thing is there will be something new. Hopefully, they won’t serve beer!  

Bye bye, Chuck E Cheese…

KIDS FEEL STRESS TOO!

My daughter said to me today, “I wish KIAN was open, Mommy.” 

“Why baby, you want me to go to work?” I asked her.

“I need a spa day, Mommy!” she said to me.

I giggled, what in the world does a 5-year-old know about a spa day?! Well plenty… her Auntie and Mommy are the owners of one. She has become accustomed to walking into a swanky spa in Bel Harbor off Collins Avenue, and receiving a massage and facial while we are trying to work and keep her busy. I understand quarantine has come with some challenges and change to her schedule but most of all, it has changed the fact she isn’t able to spend time with many she cares about. 

Even though Taekwondo is online, she can’t hug her teachers, see her friends, her Aunties, Uncles or the KIAN Staff. She misses them all so much. For a young child, missing people they love is hard.

Self-care makes everyone feel better, and it’s not just for adults, children appreciate it too. It was time for me to become her personal nail technician and massage therapist. First, I made her a bubble bath. When she got out, after I assisted her drying off, I laid her down and gave her a full body rub down. We finished the afternoon off with a pedicure, finger sandwiches and tea. LOL 

Spa Day

One of her Christmas presents was an Orbeez foot spa I found at 5 And Below and her Taekwondo Master bought her a set of polishes and charms. No better time to pull them out and ask her, “What color do you want your nails?”

Spa Day

She loved it! After her treatments her attitude changed, and she enjoyed walking around the rest of her day with her unicorn robe on. Everyone deserves an off day, even children!

WE HAVE A LOOSE TOOTH IN THE HOUSE!

“Ouch Mommy, it hurts when I bite!” My daughter said.

“Let me see, baby?” I asked her.

I reached in her mouth and felt a wiggle.

“Oh my God, baby. Your tooth is loose!” I screamed with joy.

She jumped up from the dining room table “Mommy 💕 that means the tooth fairy is coming soon,” she yelled.

“Yes, she is. Wow, Scootcha your first tooth is going to come out soon!” I told her while hugging her.

May 13, 2020 during Covid Quarantine and I get a reminder that life still goes on. My baby is growing out right before my eyes. And the biggest blessing out of quarantine is I don’t have to miss not one minute of it. Time is flying by. I swear it seems like she was just born yesterday now she’s about to lose a tooth. I mean I knew this day was coming and I’m totally prepared for it. By morning, there will be a tooth fairy door installed in her wall. I probably bought the kit when she was like six months old just because I thought it was so cute.

I gave her a Pete the Cat book because in my house, Pete the Cat is a really big deal! So, it’s been sitting in the closet probably for about six months. I found this cute little tooth pillow that came with 3 markers to be colored at Target in one of the deal bins at the front of the store for three dollars! (I knew this stuff would come in handy, I just didn’t know how soon.)

She’s so excited, she wanted to call everybody and tell them. She couldn’t wait to call her Uncle Dallas and Aunt Chavon and ask them what it was gonna be like when her tooth fell out. She wanted to send a video to her Uncle Mark and her Aunt Vicki and Cousin Vivian so they could see her wiggle it! 

Her excitement made me smile as I’m watching her move on to another chapter of becoming a big girl. But a part of me is crying inside because my little baby is growing up. I remember being excited over my teeth coming out, now I understand why my mama used to tell me, “Don’t grow up too fast though, you’re always gonna be my baby.”

Time goes by so fast don’t forget to enjoy your babies while you can… even on the hard days. They grow up way faster than you want them to. I’m going to miss those little teeth.

“QUARANTINE IS FUN, MOMMY.” – MY DAUGHTER

“What do you want for breakfast, baby?” I asked my daughter, just like I do every morning.

“Cinnamon rolls,” she says in this cute, little voice.

“Ok.” I said.

“Really?” She said.

“Really let’s go!” I told her excitedly.

She ran down the hallway, through the living room and into the kitchen before I could get there. She had flour and powdered sugar on the counter. I started laughing but was very proud she remembered some of what we would need to make them. We haven’t had them this year so to be 5 years old and not made them in at least 5 months, that’s a good memory. She loves using the big Kitchen Aid mixer. She gets so excited and loves to bake. As we were using the mixer, she was all smiles. 

Finally, we put the rolls into the oven, and I let her use her oven mitt to open the oven for me. I put the rolls in and went to close the door as she said, “Mommy?”

“Yeah, baby?”  I turned and asked her.

“Mommy, Quarantine is Awesome, it’s so much fun!” She screamed with a big ol smile on her face sounding just like a little cartoon character.

“Really?” I asked her.

“Yeah, Mommy. I like being stuck with you doing fun things,” she said.

I picked her up, gave her a big ol hug and smiled. Just as soon as I was about to tell her how wonderful she was, she hit me with the con….

“Can I have some chocolate milk?” She asked. 

“Of course, you can,” I told her, then bust out laughing because she got me! 

As I was getting out the Nestle Quik chocolate powder, I was smiling because I realized she may be conning me for cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk but energy transfers! 

Never once have I complained about being shut in with my family. I make a choice to not complain about things and make the most out of every experience because complaining doesn’t change things. I’d rather spend my time coming up with a solution rather than complaining. 

There wasn’t a huge transition for us because I already homeschool and her Taekwondo school is incredible, so she has been able to attend class online. Unfortunately, soccer was cancelled but virtual piano lessons have filled the spot! 

Life can change in the blink of the eye! Children soak up all that we give, including our happiness and our energy! For your children’s sake, please Choose happiness and love! It really is that simple. 

www.TeamCherieJ.com

PET PEEVE ALERT! ALL MARTIAL ARTS ARE NOT CALLED KARATE!

My daughter takes Taekwondo. I’m very vocal about her taking Taekwondo, yet black people still want to say, “So how long has she been taking karate?” 

When I look at them and I say, “She has never taken karate, she takes taekwondo.” They look back at me and say, “Same thang. “

Martial Arts is the umbrella…

Taekwondo is Korean.

Very little is known of the exact origins of karate before it appeared in Okinawa, but one popular theory states that it came from India over a thousand years ago, brought to China by a Buddhist monk called Bodhidarma (“daruma” in Japanese).

You are the same people who think China, Korea same thing. Yes, they are Asian but culture and customs are not the same.

Spinach and collard greens are both greens but far from the same thang, right? Soul food, Cuban, Jamaican and Puerto Rican food are all prepared differently with different flavors. 

Please Stop Saying “Same Thing” quickly about something u simply don’t know about, it’s okay. Take the correction and learn from it, instead of being ignorant and refusing to learn.

“Back in my day, it was all Karate,” said to me by a man who was tryna Mack to me. No Sir, back in your Day, it was all you were exposed too…(side eye turned all the way off)

www.TeamCherieJ.com

IT’S IN THE GENES

Do you ever look at your children and think, “Where did they get that from?” Some things are in their genes, there is NO denying it!

I have these moments all the time with my daughter.

When my daughter was 2 years old, she was throwing her ball in a bag as I emptied the groceries… that was all her father! She plays basketball with everything. She has recently decided she is a DJ…LOL Yup, that’s him too, as she beatboxes.

She’s stubborn as all get out and will say exactly how she feels…Yes that’s all me! She also eats a lot…that’s me too!

But the icing on the cake was when she was in Taekwondo and her Grandmaster started telling the class about weapons training and my beautiful little baby blurts out, “I already have my weapons!” Her Grandmaster turned around and said, “Yes, I know you have Nun chucks.” She blurts out, “Nawwww. Not those. I GOT HANDS!” Holding her hands up, as if she was a boxer. She is the youngest and smallest in the class. Her Grandmaster and students all busted out laughing, while I was amused but in disbelief that my MOTHER’S spawn was born through me. She has the softest heart, but is violent at 5 years old. I know exactly where it comes from. MY Mother!! LOL

Some things are just in the genes…

www.TeamCherieJ.com

LEGOS ARE SO UNDERRATED FOR GIRLS!

During Christmas, I was browsing the toy aisle for different things to buy my daughter. I wanted some things that would help her fine motor skills and also could be used for engineering. For some reason when people think of girls, they leave out science, engineering and math.

Lego Friends

Growing up, I don’t ever remember playing with Legos. My daughter is only five, but she put the set together by herself. I assisted a few times, pushing things down a little harder, but she was able to follow directions by herself and figure it all out.

I’m sold and a total Lego fan! She sat down and was persistent for an hour. I watched her self-esteem boost. It also gave her a chance to explore her creative side and work on her fine motor skills. She also got to use her planning skills, which most toys don’t allow her to do. I mean she had blocks and big Legos when she was smaller, but these are definitely amazing, and I will be buying her a few more sets. It kept her quiet for an hour and left no mess to clean up. No need to say anymore.

Lego Friends Set

SO THANKFUL MY DAUGHTER IS ENTERTAINED BY A SIMPLE CEREAL BOX!

This is how we grew up! I read on social media about parents complaining their young children are too into screens, iPads and phones at the table. It makes me giggle. 

Parents are parents for a reason. It’s your job to set the guidelines for your children, oh and don’t forget lead by example. 

My daughter is a sponge and soaks up everything I do. So, it was my job to tell her my brother and I would fight growing up to see who could get to play with the stuff on the back of the cereal box first.

! Boom it was that easy!

Once a week in my house we have cereal for breakfast and guess what she wants to do? Even if she’s done it already! Bravo to these organic cereal companies who are keeping up with the mainstream by putting cute things on the back of the boxes! It makes for a great start of our day and keeps her quiet for a moment! Win, Win for everyone! 

Confession: while organic cereal is a great substitute, I do miss my Frosted Flakes, Pops, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch! I wish they would take out the paint thinners, the GMOs and bad stuff. It’s such a shame my lil one has no idea how great they used to taste. But I guess you don’t miss what you never had…

SOCCER TIME AGAIN – OMG, I’M OFFICIALLY A “SOCCER MOM!”

It’s that time again: soccer season. My daughter was so excited to get back in town the night before soccer started. I thought she was going to be jet lagged and tired.  Excitement took over. This time I did not sign her up to be on a soccer league, I signed her up for an instructional soccer class. She did great last season, but I didn’t play soccer, so I would like for her to learn some more skills before she gets back on the field. When we got there today, she was the only girl in her class, and because we got there early, I was able to see the class before hers and it was also full of boys.

At five years old I understand sports are supposed to be fun and games, but I also believe sports are more fun when you’re on a winning team. When you’re one of the top players on the team, your confidence is high and so is your self-esteem. She is so young right now that all the children get playing time, but I am that parent that’s going to go out of my way to do everything I can (in case soccer is something that she sticks with) to make sure her skills are perfected to the best of her ability. That way when she’s older, she will earn her time to play.

I’m sorry, (not sorry) I’m not one of those parents who believes everyone deserves a trophy. Kids need to learn if you want to succeed you have to work for it. That’s how you prepare your child for the real world. Everyone’s not gonna like you and everyone’s not gonna be nice. Those are things that I tell her now and I reassured her it’s OK, everyone doesn’t have to like you, it is more important that you like yourself. 

Today the class was a meet and greet and they ran some drills. All the kids did great and we’re pretty much rookies. I’m excited to see all that they learn, and I will write again to let you know if I think this instructional class improves her skills when it’s time for her to join her next team. 

I do want to give a few little tips for soccer moms. The first one is it is winter, so they told me that they would be having class inside the gym, so bring tennis shoes which I did. I’m so happy that I grabbed her soccer bag with her cleats inside because when we got there she was out on a dirty, muddy field because it rained last night. So, if you can, keep those cleats on hand and make sure you remember their shin guards. I noticed some of the rookie moms also didn’t bring water for their kids. He gave the children three 30-second water breaks during the 45-minute class and I thought it was awesome because I’m big on hydration. Last but not least, don’t forget to encourage them. Before we got out of the car, I looked at my daughter and said, “The only person you have to do better than is YOURSELF! This is NOT a competition! You are here to learn make friends and have fun.”

THE SECRET WAY I GET MY DAUGHTER TO HOLD STILL!

I am the mother of a spunky, energetic 5-year-old! She has more energy than I know what to do with. I keep her in activities so they can wear her out. At times, I wish I hadn’t waited so late in life to have her because I truly struggle to keep up! 

Yesterday, she was riding her new scooter in the house and it just seemed like she was right behind me while I moved from room to room. After almost falling over her with a basket of laundry I wanted to put away, I thought about it…how can I get her to hold still? 

Polish her toenails! She loves having her toes polished! For Christmas, the family who owns the Taekwondo studio she goes to gave her a set of like 10 different nail polishes and she is excited about them! 

I put the laundry basket down, went to her bathroom and pulled the set out. Bent down next to her and said with excitement.

 “Who wants a pedicure?” 

She yelled, “Me Mommy”! 

So, before I knew it I grabbed a white hand towel, her spa kit and went into nail tech mode. She enjoyed every minute of it!

She sat proudly as her Turquoise right foot and Baby Pink with Hot Pink sparkles left foot dried! It worked! I made her a sandwich, put it next to her and she sat and waited for her toes to dry! Yes, I lied and told her they were still wet to get an extra 10 minutes…but I got the laundry all put away and she held still for 45 minutes, talking about every thought that entered her mind! Until I gave her a sandwich! (I was thankful I didn’t do her nails too.) 

Now, it would be nice if I could find the time to get a pedicure my damn self! I understand now why parents use to tell us, “Go outside or something” Those musta been the good ol days when you could just kick your kid out the house. We didn’t even feel rejected, we would just go play. Deep sigh, imagine… Anyway, how do you encourage your kids to keep still? 

Please share!