The Howe To Blog

Parenting Advice from the Unqualified



Sing Your Hearts Out, Kids

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This week the whole family filed into a pew of the Presbyterian church that runs the kiddo’s preschool for her final Christmas recital as a preschooler — oh, how the time flies. It was an emotional roller coaster for me; I vacillated between pride and a bitter-sweetness that brought tears to my eyes and uncontrollable giggles at the adorably animated performers. I began to wonder if the manner in which each child performed on stage predicted something about his or her personality or how he or she will approach the world in the future. There were some very specific types of singers on stage:

The Deer in the Headlights: These are usually the younger children on the stage who are nervous and/or shy and stare unblinkingly at a chosen spot in the audience rather than sing. If onstage behavior predicts future behavior, these children will grow up to be fantastic at staring contests and well qualified for any profession that requires them to keep their eyes open for a long period of time (graveyard shifts, perhaps), but you probably won’t want to call on them in emergency situations.

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Howe To…Obsess Over Milestones

First time parents are naturally obsessed with “firsts” of all kinds when it comes to their babies. Mundane things like first baths, first solid foods, and first words elicit squeals of delight–and not from the baby! Mommies and daddies at once become huge dorks the moment their little ones arrive. They do things their cooler single, childless selves once mocked others for doing. They dance around the room with shower caps on their heads, they talk like pirates, they burst into song in the  middle of respectable Vietnamese restaurants, all in an effort to shake one tiny little giggle loose from that adorable child they love so much. And Hailey’s parents indeed have succumbed to this level of dorkiness and overly enthusiastic pandering all in the name of “firsts.”

The Howe’s have experienced many Hailey Firsts of late:

First Solid Foods: Carrots– and much to her grandmother’s disgust, Hailey loves carrots!

First Thanksgiving: Hailey ate and promptly spit out sweet potatoes.

Baptism: Hailey was the only baby being baptized that day who didn’t cry once. She even seemed to mock those babies that did cry (the apple doesn’t fall far from the overly competitive trees). It was a lovely ceremony and a joy as parents to welcome our child into the Christian community.

Christmas: Though Hailey was as dazzled by wrapping paper and boxes as she was by her gifts, she was on the receiving end of so much generosity and love on this day. And our house now looks like a Toys R Us! It’s worth noting too that Hailey met Santa this year and didn’t cry and even gave his beard a tug.

Crawling: Little Miss Howe is on the move and there is no stopping her now!

Waving: Hailey learned to wave “bye bye” around 6 months; however, most of the time the wave faces the wrong way and she is waving “bye bye” to herself. Sometimes she talks to her hand as she does this (with great enthusiasm), which makes her look a little bit like a deranged ventriloquist.

Saying Mama and Dada: Last night, while in her crib, Hailey said mama over and over again with increasing urgency each time. And she definitely seemed to be calling for me. So she has learned the meaning of mama, how to say it, and how to demand my attention all at once!

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