Whenever I am asked if many children have ever done something I was unprepared to handle, I tell this story. Anthony was almost three years old when my Friend’s spouse became pregnant. He knew it was vital to prepare him for the arrival of a new baby. He wanted to avoid the dreaded effects of sibling rivalry. He read the Berenstain Bears New Baby Article a dozen times. He did everything imaginable to make him feel that new baby was also going to be his new baby. As mom’s tummy began to grow, Anthony kept a little doll tucked beneath the front of his T-shirt.
Leah’s birth fascinated Anthony. He was so excited. Nearly everyone who brought a present for Leah brought one for him. It was like Eid Day. He loved his new sister, even though he noticed that she did not have any teeth. Everything was going just as we had planned.
On Leah’s sixth day home, it happened. Anthony hopped out of the bathtub. His rosy skin smelled like soap and baby powder. He asked if he could have an apple. My Friend said sure. He reappeared a few moments later. He placed one hand on the back of my chair while holding the apple in the other.