In which The Four-Year-Old discovers the pure unadulterated joy that is…

The boots, temporarily at rest after weeks of near constant jumping.

… a new-to-you pair of white leather cowboy boots.

The Four-Year-Old, jumping up and down in the vintage store during the test run before purchase: “These boots have got some hop in them.”

Hopping over to a mirror, and pausing (briefly) to admire her reflection, The Four-Year-Old again: “Maybe I could go herding a cow in them. Or a bull.”

Turning to me, with great excitement, The Four-Year-Old: “Mommyo! Maybe I could even get a job in Texas!”

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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2 Responses to In which The Four-Year-Old discovers the pure unadulterated joy that is…

  1. tirane93 says:

    ‘scuze me, ma’am? mah name’s betty sue ann leona may smith. i’m from texas and i’m ‘a lookin’ to find me a four-year-old who can hop and herd a bull. she’d need t’have her own whaht cahboah boots too. would you happ’n t’know of any such child? we’d shore be willin’ to pay top dollar.


    • Shala Howell says:

      Thank you for your interest, Betty Sue Eleanor Jehosaphat, ma’am. I will certainly pass along your inquiry to The Four-Year-Old once she completes her latest interplanetary mission. I believe she is still counting the rings of Kitty Saturn.


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