Howard Wolke is originally from outside of Chicago and now lives in Sudbury, MA with his wife and son (who will remain nameless for some plausible deniability). For the last eight years, he has been a middle school social studies teacher and for the last three years he has also been teaching other teachers to integrate technology in the classroom. He graduated from Tufts University with a double-major in Comparative Religion and History and then from George Washington University with an M.Ed. Howard self-published a memoir of his first year as a father just last year called, "Toots Not Poops." You can read more of Howard's writing at http://tootsnotpoops.blogspot.com.
When my son came home from school the other day, the first thing he said to me was, "I learned about the Mayflower today!" And an immense feeling of dread overtook me.
This is not the first time…this has happened. Last month, he came home from school and said, "I learned about Christopher Columbus today." And again, my stomach dropped. Don’t get me wrong; I love how excited my son is about learning. And I definitely didn’t let him in on my worry either time. My problem is not his. My problem… >> Read More
So I saw this Verizon commercial going around on Facebook that had really good intentions. The purpose was to help encourage girls to go into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).…And while I fully support that idea, the way they did it really ticked me off. If you haven't seen it, it starts with a young girl (maybe 1 year old or so) running towards the camera and a parent calling her a “pretty girl.” Then it moves onto the girl growing up and exploring… >> Read More
So my son is going through a growth spurt right now. One way I can tell is that he is eating more food than I eat sometimes. The other way I can tell is that he is totally not in control of his…body. Here's the thing. J is wonderful. He is often polite (his recent thing is to thank my wife and I for dinner when he likes it). He is very funny ("I'm just being silly Daddy"). He is extremely verbal (particularly with anything relating to trucks, but also with rhyming words). But he also has… >> Read More
So last weekend was my daughter's simchat bat, or baby naming ceremony...
First of all, I've got to say that the baby naming was SO much easier to deal with than the
(circumcision) was…for my son J. Of course for starters, you don't have to worry about any snipping. My wife was thankful for that if nothing else. Also, it was really nice to be able to decide for ourselves when the ceremony would take place. The eight day requirement is kind of restricting. For E, we were… >> Read More
So the waiting is finally over! My wife gave birth to our beautiful daughter a couple of weeks ago. E is a tiny little peanut and the whole birthing experience from labor to leaving was totally…different (maybe more on that another time) from three years ago. And now we're home. We decided that we didn't want to stay at the hospital for too long if possible. Assuming everything was fine, the plan was to spend a day at the hospital and then go back home. The idea was that being… >> Read More
So I was reading The Week this past week and I saw an article about Tylenol. I guess a study was recently done proving that Tylenol doesn't only help with physical pain, but also existential pain…or angst. My first thought was, "Damn, why didn't I find out about that two weeks ago!" You see, my wife is due to give birth to our second child (a girl) June 1. But really, we have a sneaking suspicion that it's going to be any day now. Wait. Back up. SHE has a sneaking… >> Read More
My son has been sick a lot during his life. Fortunately, it hasn't been anything too severe, but especially during the first two years of his life, it seemed pretty constant. And while some of it was…totally normal, typical childhood stuff, we also saw our fair share of specialists. You know that it's bad when the doctor says that your son has conjunctivitis and you're relieved. Yeah, he has to be out of school for a day, but it doesn't have a huge impact on quality of life and there's a… >> Read More
So according to Judaism, I, as a father, am supposed to teach my son to swim. Seriously, it's right there in the Talmud. A father is supposed to do six things, and one of them is teach his child how…to swim. First of all, let's hold off questioning this for a while. I mean, yes, it's an important skill to have, but if I am living in what is primarily a desert-based society, I don't think I would rank swimming as one of the top six. Regardless, this particular decree has been on my… >> Read More