Tag Archives: individuality

THE ANSWER

16 Jan

For all of you waiting with bated breath, the answer to this question is….

HOLLY

And, yes, you can tell by the eyes.

I have never seen a picture capture what so infrequently passes over the face of a child: the ability to take on the characteristics of someone else.  It happened once when Holly was born and I looked at her face and saw my grandmother.  It happens more frequently when Josselyn makes a face and for a second I am transported back in time to when Bronwyn was that age.  But to have it on permanent record; proof that they are related; makes my heart content.  One day, I will show this picture to them.  Some day when they are older, and fighting, and hate each other.  And give them perfect proof that they are cut from the same cloth.  That we are all just extensions of each other.  Family sticks together.

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A Battle worth fighting?

9 Jan

This morning, on the radio, there was a debate going on about whether or not one of the hosts should allow her 5 year old son to cut his hair into a mohawk style, even though she hated the idea.  It generated some debate, with most people falling into two categories: it’s just hair, let him cut it however he wants; and, you’re the parent, cut his hair the way you prefer.

I started to think about this, because I find myself drawn to the argument that children should learn to accept their parents’ rules, and perhaps we wouldn’t be faced with such a terribly self-centered generation if there was more “because I said so” parenting.

BUT, I also truly believe that it IS just hair, and that we need to allow our kids to make some choices in life.  Especially ones that aren’t detrimental to their safety and well-being!

So, I came up with a Pros and Cons list on the debate “Whether to let your 5 year old choose his own haircut”:

PROS

  • Children should be allowed to make mistakes in order to learn how to own up to their mistakes in the future.
  • Children need to have a strong sense of self, and choosing how they look can be a way to exert independence.
  • If we dictate everything to our kids, they will eventually revolt, and although it might be benign, it could be over something much bigger.  However, if we allow them to make decisions over the small things, they are less likely to rebel over the big things.
  • Children need to learn how to make decisions, so if we always make every decision they will not learn how to a) make decisions b) live with the consequences.
  • Our tastes are not the same as our kids.  Remember when your parent wanted you to wear something hideous?!

CONS

  • Children should look their age, and mohawks are too old for pre-schoolers.
  • Children should learn that their parents have rules that need to be respected, whether they agree with them or not.
  • Although hair will grow, if he doesn’t like the haircut after a few days, are you going to bail him out, or let him live with it (and maybe get teased- which is a harsh lesson for a 5 year-old)?
  • This generation is very self-centered, and not being allowed a haircut of your choice might be a good lesson in learning to live with disappointment.

What do you think?

Another way in which I am an awesome mother

7 Jan

Before Christmas (and yes, we will return to Christmas blogging shortly) Walmart had a clear-out sale on school bags.  A whole bin of them for $2.

Josselyn does not tolerate random meandering down unnecessary aisles (for which our bank account thanks you) so I only had a glimpse, and couldn’t immediately bring to mind a use for more school bags, no matter how ridiculously priced, so we left without even looking at them.  However, I couldn’t get them out of my mind, and as I began to pack for our Christmas roadtrip (I can’t bring myself to call it a vacation as it has none of the required 4 S’s of Vacation: sun, sand, surf and/or skiing) I finally thought of the perfect use of a secondary packsack- overnight bags!

It was a “snow” day (with not a flake in sight) so I packed up all 3 kids to head to Walmart in search of awesome prices, mediocre selection, and horrific craftsmanship.  When we arrived I was dismayed (but not surprised) to find the $2 bin depleted.  Luckily there was also a $5 bin, and the girls and I spent the better part of half an hour digging through a hundred backpacks to find 3 different ones.

Josselyn’s was easy: Disney Princess in pink with sequins?  Deal.  Holly was quick: Disney Princess in blue and pink with sequins and sparkles?  Deal.  Bronwyn?  Not so much.

The girl is just not into girly stuff.  She rejected out of hand anything Princess.  She thought about the Fairies for about 10 seconds before deciding she could never own anything that purple.  And yet, she wanted something that wasn’t plain… but not too sparkly.  She almost settled on a boy’s, blue Zhu Zhu pets one when I pulled out… THE WINNER!  It was a tote style, over-the-shoulder, over-sized bag with matching binder and pencil case.  It was black with funky neon hearts and peace signs all over it.  I fell in love instantly.

Here’s where my good mothering comes in.

I let her get it.  AND, I let Holly get hers.

I did suggest that perhaps Holly would prefer a similar colour and matching style to the bag that Bronwyn was now joyously clutching to her chest.  And I may have unearthed an equally cute white one with orange and pink hearts all over it that I thought would be perfect for her.  And I definitely wondered if Holly would regret not going with MY choice when we got home and she realized that Bronwyn’s came with a matching binder and pencil case.  BUT, I didn’t force the issue.  Even though I would have loved Holly to have chosen the better bag.  The one not emblazoned with Princesses that screams FRANCHISE MERCHANDISE.  And I love the girls to be all matchy-matchy.  It makes my heart happy to see them coordinated.  But I let it be.

I think the bigger lesson of individuality could be learned from this.  As much as it would be easier to be raising cookie cutter children, that just isn’t the case.  They are each unique and special, and trying to mold them into clones of each other will come at a terrible price if I am not careful.  Although it would be great to try to instil into each of them the traits that I most respect and admire:  Bronwyn with her strong sense of self, and child-like (and yet so mature) faith; Holly with her sweet nature, daredevil, try-anything attitude, and cleverness; Josselyn with her determination, passion, and empathy.  Each of these things I wish they could all possess in spades, and it is precisely these qualities that make each of them special and unique.

I know I made the right choice when we got home and Holly decided that her new bag would now be her school bag and her old bag could be her overnight bag.  She was smitten with it.

And me?  Well, I think I’d still rather the girls match, but if it were up to them, 2 against 1 would have meant Bronwyn would now be sporting a grimacing Fairy or something equally garish!  Good choice, Julie.  Good choice.

Which one would YOU rather have?!?

Two Cute

16 Jun

Josselyn celebrated her 2nd birthday last Sunday (May 29), and Monday, and Tuesday… and, you get the picture.  It was a week-long celebration, with a week of events leading up to the big event.  What did we do for her on her double fun day?  Weeelllll… we actually invited ourselves to a friend’s house, brought supper and made them join us while we took the kids mini-putting.  I don’t think they minded.  We were there again tonight…

The big girls studying a difficult shot

Bruce adjusting Holly's swing

Josh helping Maya with the rest of us looking on

Bored of golfing, Joss is checking out the wildlife

Hole in One! PS I also got a Hole in One but no one saw it since I was at the end, and they didn't believe me!!!

More animals

Mini Golf anyone? Come visit, and we'll go to a great place!

Now that Joss is 2, I am noticing a subtle, yet real change in her behaviour.  She is still a toddler, and has worse tantrums than the other girls at any age put together but she is so much better than she used to be.  She has smiles for strangers, and hugs for friends.  She spontaneously calls out the names of my friends who she likes.  She melts down and cries, but can be distracted with apple juice (just not right away- she needs time to feel she’s made her case).  She still loves Purple, but has rechristened it “Mimi”.  She is learning to share.  And she is showing a heart of sweetness.  If she receives a candy as a treat for peeing in the potty she holds out her other hand every single time and says, “Holl?”  I must give her one for Holly too, or she becomes indignant then inconsolable.

She is a pretty good eater, and is definitely willing to try new foods.  But beware if she decides she doesn’t like it, because she’ll spit it back out in your hand.  She also likes to feed you her food.  But again, BEWARE: one time it wasn’t food, it was a booger.

She always shouts “ong ong” before you lay her down in her crib.  That means “song”.  And you could find yourself starting half a dozen before she nods that it is the right one.  Lately the “right one” is “I want to Eat Apples and Bananas”.  Strange for a lullaby…

I can take her out for short errands with no Pull-Up on.  Except today when the wait in the line at Wal-Mart was so lengthy that she peed in the aisle.

She loves to swim, and wants to do it on her stomach with her face in the water, and a good strong kick.  Except, she also doesn’t want to be held onto, and I have let her sink a few times when she was too insistent.  She always came up sputtering and smiling.  I worry about her…  She has slid down the slide or jumped into the pool without waiting for anyone to catch her.  Several times.  Today, she was walking along the edge of the pool with her lifejacket on and fell in.  It wasn’t on purpose, she just leaned too far forward, and I watched as she wobbled and tried to regain her balance but eventually succumbed to gravity.  I was on her in a second and pulling her out.  She didn’t love it, but she didn’t cry.

She is in the 2s and 3s room at church now.  Which means I have no one in the nursery anymore.  That is bittersweet.

She loves Curious George just as much as Bronwyn did at that age.  I may have to buy second copies of those books they are so dog-eared.

She is fanatically, maniacally obsessed with Dora.  She screams in the car if we don’t listen to Dora (not that I give in all the time- the girls are sick of that CD as much as I am), and cries when we don’t watch Dora on tv (why would we bother watching anything else?!?!??) but she does eventually get over it, and quite enjoyed Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper the other night.  There will be a photoblog on that story coming up soon.

What else?  She is around 24lbs, 33 3/4 in, and cute as a picture.  FYI that puts her in the barely 3rd and almost 75th percentile respectively.  We are stopped daily by old ladies and store employees who gawk at her hair, her eyes, and her *ahem* sunny disposition.  My baby is growing up, and I am excited to see that her strong-will and wild (er) disposition have tempered with age, while still showing signs of being a valuable asset to her when she gets a little older.  I can’t wait to see how she’s grown in another year!

Happy Birthday Josselyn!

Twins!

14 Mar

Let’s play a little game called, “Who Am I?!?!?”

Which Howarth sister Am I?!

That middle daughter of yours is… uh… lively!

13 Mar

We are now safely home from Galilean, and full of stories and sugar.  Bronwyn had a great time making new friends, making puppets, and performing at the Talent Night.  Josselyn was in fine form, and my worries about how she would do away from home and with so many tempting off-limits foods were unfounded.

But Holly, Holly was the star.  She flitted from one group to another, making friends, and being independent.  Her favourite thing to do was go to the bathroom by herself.  The following is a true story:

Al was in the bathroom, taking his shower when he heard, “Excuse me, I need some help”.

“Uh, shouldn’t you be in the girls bathroom?”

“I need some HELP!”

“I think you need to find your mom.”

“No, I need to wash my hands!”

At this point, Al steps out of the shower, “uh, ok, just let me get a towel.”

“Can you turn on the water… can you get me soap… I need a paper towel.”

Good thing Al is such a good sport!

In another case, I get summoned by another man, “I think your daughter needs your help, in the, uh… men’s bathroom.”

When I enter, wishing fervently that Bruce had come on this trip, I find Holly on the toilet waiting for me to wipe her bum.

“I’m sorry I forgot to not use the boy’s bathroom, Mommy.”

And finally, as an epilogue to yesterday’s post:

Holly: Knock knock.

Me: Who’s there?

Holly: Interrupting Mommy!

Me: Interrupting Momm…

Holly: NO!!!!!!!

I don’t know WHERE she gets it… *eye roll*

26 Jan

Bruce and I are about to celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary on Monday.  To mark the end of what is (hopefully) our hardest year, I signed us up for a cooking class.  In the words of my not-at-all-sarcastic sister, “why would Bruce like that?!”

But, truthfully, it is Bruce who has always suggested it would be fun to take some cooking classes.  We didn’t have time for an actual course, but I found an evening class where you got to eat the food that was made.  We had apple and blue cheese soup with hardtack (there was a pirate theme!), codfish fritters, pork tenderloin with prune and walnut stuffing and rum gravy (the chef made this gravy out of thin air I-kid-you-not!), and honey cake with rum whipping cream.  DELICIOUS!!

So, since this would be more enjoyable with just the two of us, and since we were celebrating an event that they were not present for in the first place, we hired a babysitter to look after the small ones.  I instructed the babysitter that anyone who finished her supper could have leftover birthday cake and that I had put it in the fridge in an ice cream container.  When it was time for the cake to served, Holly and Joanna were searching the fridge…

“It’s in the ice cream container” piped up Holly.

“No, I don’t think so” answers Joanna.

At this point, Joanna decides to inspect the container as it is the only place left to look.

“Hey, it is in here!” she exclaims.

“Surprise, surprise” sasses Bronwyn.

Saucy smart-alec!  Where does she get that mouth?