A few years ago when Edwin was a baby about Joseph's age, Kathleen became intensely interested in helping Sophia get dressed, brush her hair, eat her dinner, and other domestic tasks. I encouraged this, and Sophia was perfectly happy to go along.
Sophia has reached the same age Kathleen was when I could ask Kathleen to get her sister ready for bed, and Kathleen would do it. Recently she has shown that same strange interest in helping her brother.
Edwin is no Sophia, however, and I don't think that anyone could call him 'docile,' so I figured that I would be dressing Edwin until he showed some interest, any interest in dressing himself. Maybe when he was three. Or four. Maybe five.
Recently, however, he's been letting her dress him for bed and even being so kind as to not kick her. Kicking is such a signature move of his, that when Joseph was born, the girls fought and fought over holding him because he 'doesn't kick us.'
So on his good days, Edwin will submit to having his hair washed by Sophia in the bath, and even occasionally letting her put his diaper on and dressing him. Kathleen, however, has only every gotten kicks for her attempts to dress him.
This evening Brandon and I sent the children upstairs to get ready for bed. Even though we usually get Edwin ready, he followed his sisters. A few minutes later Kathleen came downstairs and told us that Edwin's diaper was dirty. I had known he was stinky and sent him upstairs intending to change him, and was annoyed that Kathleen had come all of the the way back down just to tell us to do something about the smell that was bothering her.
So we went upstairs and found Sophia carefully unbuttoning Edwin's shirt while getting him ready for bed. "See!" Kathleen told us, "Sophia changed Edwin's diaper!" Somewhat in disbelief that our three and a half year-old had changed our two year-old's dirty diaper, we checked. It was clean.
Afraid of how it had happened, Brandon asked where the dirty diaper had gone, expecting to find it in the room or on the bathroom floor. "Sophia put the poop in the toilet," Kathleen explained patiently, "and put the diaper over there," gesturing to the pile of cloth diapers waiting to be put in the pail. I went to check the diaper - a disposable one he wore to church - and sure enough, it was fairly clean and just waiting to be washed.
Now if we could just get her to finish eating her breakfast.