Kaavia Wade is ready to change the channel.
Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade's daughter may be only 3 years old, but according to her mom, the youngster has been "pretty ahead of schedule" when it comes to hitting her milestones. As the actress told E! News, Kaavia's "language skills are off the charts," but that's just one of the many on her list of accomplishments.
"Her being able to count, her being able to identify certain words on the page, her being fully potty trained and asking for privacy. I don't know what milestone that is," Union said with a laugh. "But my kid is, like, as you're standing there just making sure everything is going according to plan and there's not, you know, feces on the ground, she's like, 'Can I have privacy please?' And she says it just that clear and you're like, 'Oh! Yeah, I'm sorry.'"
In addition to demanding her space, Kaavia is also running the television on her own. "She figured out the remote before Mom did! Not sure what milestone that is in what book but for Kav, it's been a game changer. She could turn on the TV herself and find her very specific YouTube videos that she wants to watch," Union explained. "Yeah, she's pretty dang dynamic."
While the tot is advancing, there are times when she reminds her parents that she's still just a toddler. "Then she has a tantrum and you're like, 'Wait, oh, wait, you're not 100 years old. You're a baby that cried because somebody put a tomato on your pasta and now you're crying for the next four hours and you've decided that that person doesn't like you because there's a tomato,'" Union said. "It's a whole thing. She's a whole little bird."
Still, she's blowing them away so much that Union is considering adding another language to her daughter's repertoire. "She's been spoken to in Spanish since birth but, like, it's time to start Mandarin? Maybe Cantonese! I don't know. She's a freaking sponge," the star said. "She seems like she could do pretty much anything. Yeah, we're trying to just come up with different ways of challenging her because she's kind of off the charts."
The youngest member of the family is also learning the spirit of giving back from her philanthropic parents. "With Kav, it's getting her to understand that toys and things like that—they're just things and you can share your things with other kids who may not have those things," Union explained. "It's also a lesson about sharing that we had to start early [and] it has to start at home. She has to see us giving things that we love away and sharing and making sure that if we have enough, then it is our duty to give to others, so they have enough or they have something to start with. But that's just how we've always rolled and we've just sort of led by example."
In the fall, Union and Ford partnered to donate the 2022 Ford Maverick to three charities—Deborah's Place in Chicago, Harvest Home in Los Angeles, and OutNebraska in Omaha—in support of homeless women and the LGBTQ+ community. "The freedom of mobility is huge," Union said, "and not having reliable transportation can mean the difference, a world of difference in someone's life."
But if you can't give money or a big-ticket item, there are other ways to help, according to the L.A.'s Finest actress. "When you talk about charity, it's not always writing a check. It's showing up. It's being present. It's sharing resources, sharing solutions, sharing a platform. It's building awareness. You don't have to be wealthy to be a philanthropist," she said. "We like to praise people with stupid amounts of money because they give crumbs, but real philanthropists give when they have nothing. That's philanthropy. That's where it's at, so all of us, we didn't always have things, but we were raised by families that were like, 'Listen, if I got a dime, you got a nickel, so that's how we're going to roll. We'll figure it out.' And that's how it's always been, so we believe that it does take a village, and we have a huge village that keeps our family and our lives afloat and we try to be a part of that village for other people."