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The Bottom

March 15, 1996

It was a new and strange, but familiar place. My book would not be needed if all families were the quality of this one. I had been there one night, and arose before light to join the noisy activity. The five boys had more energy than a flock of black birds. I thought I knew all the ways a kid could mount a couch. Did you know you can sit on a couch with the back of your neck, your head pointing out, your face searching the ceiling for spiders, your rear where your shoulders are normally, and your feet in proper position, right side up but backwards? And all the time competing with a flock of brothers for space while the Bible story is being read? Don’t ask for patience. God will give you five of those critters, all of the male variety, each thirteen months apart.

But in the midst of the circus, over by the heater, I saw a five-year-old fellow lay his two-year-old brother on a blanket, hoist his legs, remove a very, all night long, three times over, soiled diaper and begin to wipe and wash away the night’s litter. Very routinely and quite efficiently, the five-year-old held his little brothers two legs up with one hand and wiped with the other. He completed the task in record time and with optimum cleanliness.

I looked around in wonder to see which parent was going to start the brag, but no one had noticed. When I excitedly questioned, “How did you get him to do that?” the mother explained that he just decided it was his chore and one day assumed the responsibility. My wife worked on me for ten years and finally got me to change about three diapers of the number-two variety.

Can you conceive of the depth of caring and fellowship that existed between these two little brothers? Now you are waiting for me to give you the secret of training your five-year-old to change diapers. Well, I don’t know yet. I am thinking about it. Maybe its a quirk, but a pleasant one for this particular mother.

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2 comments on “The Bottom”

  1. I don't know why but my children especially my boys(10, 8, &6), the oldest three children, fight over changing the baby's diaper. I am definately spoiled, at least at THIS point. Not long ago they were all little. They even infant potty train him, the baby, another boy, for me. Glad they are excited. I don't know what the motivation is but I will appreciate it.