|Katie on her change table.|
See that picture at the top? That is our daughter on her changing table, about to get a clean diaper. That changing table was one of her favourite places in the world. Yes, there was a mobile hanging over it (that's what she's giggling at), but I think she also enjoyed that place because of the focused attention she got.
It wasn't always like that.
|Triple-tasking: baby, computer games, dog. Not necessarily in that order.|
You can probably tell by the number of pictures I took that I fell more deeply in love with Stephen as I watched him loving our children. Just think of what we all would have missed out on if he'd been a "hands off" parent, or if I'd micro-managed his time with our babies?
|Steve giving newborn Katie one of her first baths. She was not happy.|
And Steve, as you can tell, was a little worse for wear.
There were times when I went into our bedroom and put a pillow over my head while Stephen paced the floor, jiggling or rocking a screaming child. And there were times when Stephen discovered tricks that worked that I hadn't tried.
The importance of these acts of caring -- changing diapers, bathing, soothing -- was really brought home during the period when I was providing home daycare. I sensed that I wasn't bonding with the little girl I babysat. It certainly wasn't her fault; she was cherubic and good-natured as could be.
One day she had a poopy diaper and I grimly took her to the change table.
As I lay her down, I thought: why is this so much harder than changing my own babies? I decided to turn her diaper change into a playtime, as it often was with my children.
I played peek-a-boo. I blew raspberries on her tummy. I kissed the soles of her pudgy feet.
And you know what? It made a difference. My actions led my heart to the right place.
I never grew to like changing dirty diapers, but my attitude towards that mundane act of caring made a huge difference -- especially as I ended up having four children, which adds up to a shitload (pun intended) of diapers.