There have been plenty of laughs – and plenty of "don'ts" – around here the past two months as Dan has incorporated Monika into his idea of 'us'.
Here's my take on a two-year-old's idea of what it means to be a big brother:
• drive tractor up and down sister's body
• jump on sister's head
• share raisins with sister by putting raisin in sister's mouth
• pull shirt up and lay down next to sister to "feed Mon-uh"
• quiet sister by letting sister suck on arm, hand or finger, despite where arm, hand, or finger may have been
• protect sister from all strangers by wrapping arms around sister's head and saying, "my Mon-uh"
• serve as sister's interpreter by announcing "Mon-uh sad" when sister cries or "Mon-uh more" when sister starts to root
• attempt to maintain family hierarchy with "no Mon-uh" when sister interrupts playtime, cuddle time or reading time with mom or dad
I'm sure Dan's role as big brother will continue to change as he and Monika grow – Glen is fond of saying, "Just wait, in two years Monika's pigtails will be flying as Dan pulls her little red wagon around the yard with his tricycle" – but, for now, Dan's got the job down pat.