Little One #1 grabs his little chair and positions himself next to Daytime Dad.
Our patient — Little One #2 — lies on the operating, er, changing table with a luck of puzzlement.
“Doctor, we need the Desitin,” Daytime Dad tells Little One #1.
“OK, doctor, here’s the (inaudible but it does rhyme with Desitin),” Little One #1 responds.
Daytime Dad smiles at Little One #2, who no longer looks puzzled as she does confused.
It’s been nearly six months since Daytime Dad last changed diapers — Little One #1 finally (mercifully) mastered the toilet shortly after Christmas.
Little One #2, who is now no longer confused but rather quite irritated, frowns and belts out a groan that sounds too much like an elephant.
Daytime Dad removes the dirty diaper, discards it and cleans up Little One #2, who is now just angry.
“Doctor, we need a diaper, doctor,” Daytime Dad says to Little One #1.
“Here’s a diaper, doctor,” Little One #1 says. “And here’s the (inaudible but sounds kind of like Desitin.)”
Daytime Dad takes the ‘operating tools’ and gets Little One #2 ready to go. She is now infuriated and/or hungry.
“Thank you, doctor,” Daytime Dad says to Little One #1. “Excellent work.”
“Thank you, doctor,” Little One #1 replies.
Daytime Dad carries Little One #2 to Off-For-The-Summer Mom and smiles because the diaper-change, while taking a bit longer than hoped, was a success for two reasons: Little One #2 is clean and Little One #1 felt part of the process.
Preparing a child for a new sibling is a delicate process. Daytime Dad and then-Expecting Mom believed it was crucial to keep Little One #1 engaged and involved, as much as possible.
As this study points out, it can be difficult for a child to adjust to sharing the parental limelight with a sibling.
Daytime Dad, who is about as close to a parenting expert as Boston is in distance to London, believes the more Little One #1 stays involved with the process — helping with diapers and baths, for example — the better.
Time, of course, will tell.
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