Our third son, Duffy, was two-and-a-half when our first daughter was born.
He stuck to the baby and I like glue.
That doesn't mean he learned anything . . .
At the tender age of three, Duffy was enrolled in the Sunbeam class in our church.
With eight little girls.
Boys were obviously something new.
Moving on . . .
The scheduled lesson was all about babies.
A precious gift from God.
It was a beautiful lesson.
My four-month-old baby, Caitlin was invited into the class.
I came with her.
Sort of like show-and-tell.
Okay, just like show-and-tell.
After the little girls got tired of cooing over the real baby, their teacher (the mother of five girls, herself) brought out a large basket.
Filled with everything 'baby'.
There were dolls by the dozen.
Everything to keep the budding little mothers in the class happy forever.
Duffy was a boy.
And, though his older brother liked cuddling dolls, Duffy was more comfortable with trucks and things 'boy'.
He was handed a baby doll.
And a blanket.
He dangled his doll by one foot and looked at the little girls around him.
All had at least one (and some two) little baby wrapped warmly and tucked tenderly into her arms.
Most were singing softly.
Duffy stared at them, then held up his baby.
Still by one foot.
Okay. He could handle this.
He spread his blanket out on the floor.
Then dropped the doll onto one corner and proceeded to roll it up like a sausage.
He then jammed the resulting package under one arm like a satchel.
The teacher handed him a bottle.
He took the bottle and looked at it.
I should mention here that I nursed my babies.
Duffy had never seen a bottle before.
He frowned, thoughtfully.
What an earth was he supposed to do with this?
Finally, he pulled out his little, blanket-wrapped bundle, grabbed a corner of said blanket and gave it a pull.
The doll flipped out, spun in the air for a moment, then clattered to the floor.
Duffy again grabbed it by the foot.
This time, he examined it closely.
Ah. There was a tiny hole in one butt cheek.
Perfect for the strange little bottle he had been handed.
He stuck the nozzle of the bottle into the little hole and beamed happily at me.
All was well.
My son, father to future generations . . .
There is a codicil.
Despite this obviously rocky start, Duffy has proved to be an excellent and loving father.
Gifted with working with children of special needs.
I guess he was watching after all.