observation and emulation.

Meet American Bear:


American Bear is Quinn’s favorite stuffed companion.  She got her name from the knitted sweater she wears, which has an American flag on it.  (Quinn picked AB’s gender once he was old enough to understand the difference between boy and girl.)

A month or so ago, Quinn started to emulate Daddy’s kid maintenance tasks with American Bear.  He started dressing her in his clothes (the outfit pictured above was selected and put on American Bear by Quinn himself), and putting her down for naps.  The other day, we were driving into town, and Quinn had American Bear on his lap, pretending to change her diaper.  He’ll put pull-up diapers on his bear, and when I ask why American Bear needs diapers, Quinn informs me that “she doesn’t know how to use the potty yet.” 

(He also puts AB on Lyra’s training potty, presumably to wean her off the diapers.)

I know my old man would look upon such un-boylike activities as dressing and diapering a bear in horror, for fear that the kid will turn out gay.  Me, I’m rather amused by Quinn’s emulation of Daddy’s daytime chores.  One thing’s for sure—however that kid turns out as an adult, he’ll not only know how to change a diaper, but also consider it a perfectly normal job for a Dad to do.


17 thoughts on “observation and emulation.

  1. ChrisB says:

    Everyone knows the best way to help your kid become gay is to tell him not to be gay, “The Secret” explains it all.

  2. T.Stahl says:

    I simply find it impressive and for me it shows how far ahead Quinn is compared to other four-year-olds.

  3. Tam says:

    I find it amusing when grown men treat changing a diaper as though it were as complicated as swapping out reactor cores at Three Mile Island.

    Yeah, it’s a little smelly, but it’s a piece of fabric and two bits of tape (or safety pins); it ain’t particle physics, and incompetence isn’t a turn-on.

  4. fastbike says:

    How can a fella consider himself manly if he can’t change a diaper? Lot easier than cleaning cosmoline out of various nooks and crannies.

  5. Jay G. says:

    Heh. Back in the days of diapers, I used to do what I called the “Nascar diaper change”:

    Step 1. Position baby on changing table.
    Step 2. Get new diaper at the ready.
    Step 3. Make impact wrench noises while removing old diaper, wiping bottom, and putting on new diaper.

    Both kids – TheBoy and BabyGirl G – loved this.

    Anyone who says that changing a diaper isn’t manly isn’t a true father.

  6. “how to be a man in a gazillion not-so-easy steps; the animated version”

    same way your kids’ll know how to handle “real guns”…which of course was the point of my comment on that post.


  7. Dr. Feelgood says:

    Funny you should say that, Tam, because I put on the full mad scientist gear when my kids go nuclear–face shield, long gloves, rubber apron, etc. Of course, I have three in diapers at the same time, so I do it assembly-line style and only have to don the outfit once. My oldest, who’s fully potty trained, grabs her dolly and a left-over premie diaper to race with me during the change.

    I think it’s great when my older boys pretend to care for their infant brother the way I do, but I draw the line at allowing them to pretend-feed him like mommy.

  8. Al T. says:

    What was the Heinlien quote? Change a diaper, program a computer, etc.,etc. Specialization is for insects.

  9. MarkHB says:

    There are people still alive in first-world countries who think that diaper-changing is wierd behaviour in men? I’ve lost count of the diapers I’ve changed and I’m not even a blimmin’ parent….

    • Jay G. says:

      Just watch, oh, any television program or commercial these days. Men – in particular white men of European heritage – are portrayed mainly as bumbling incompetents who would forget how to breathe if their much smarter wives didn’t tell them how…

      • MarkHB says:

        Thanks for reminding me why I quit watching TV. I think that was a bigger contributing factor to coming off blood-pressure meds than exercise, to be honest.

  10. Al T. says:

    Here’s the quote:

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, con a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

  11. Strings says:

    Parenting: you’re doin’ it right! 😉

  12. Eric says:

    My wife thinks it great when I change my daughters diapers. Its great entertainment for her and my daughter. She, the lil one, thinks its great fun to try to run away in between the diapers

  13. Don Gwinn says:

    Sean has a baby doll named “Fred.” 🙂

  14. MarkHB says:

    And our new President has observed and learned from our old President that wiretapping, snooping, imprisonment without trial, torture, search-and-seizure and the repeal of the first amendment “As long as it doesn’t bug the Prez” are all cool!”

    What other forms of emulation can we lurn today, kiddies? Remember – as long as it’s Officer Friendly’s finger, it’s No Foul!

  15. MarkHB says:

    Uhm. Yeah… note to self: having quit drinking for a bit, that which I do drink hits much harder….

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