The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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May 17, 2013

LEVINE: Preparing for another child

With a little more than a month before another child occupies my home, it’s becoming more apparent every day that my daughter is ready for her first sibling.

My wife and I aren’t near as prepared this time around (sorry son), considering the majority of our lives are devoted to entertaining an energetic toddler. By this time before our daughter was born, we had already set up the crib, read dozens of articles and had baby-proofed the home.

This time, we’re barely able to stop for a moment and think before crashing into bed at night. I’m sure that feeling of constantly being active will only multiply in a month. These last three years have taught me an important lesson — that “tired” is a relative term. I’m sure I thought I was “tired” before my daughter was born, but for some reason I can’t remember those days.

But this time, we know what to expect, at least from what we remember. And our secret weapon is our daughter, who keeps evolving into motherhood at the ripe age of 3.

Discipline

We won’t have to worry about discipline when our new boy enters the world. Our daughter has already started her reign of authority.

Like any healthy baby, our boy kicks my wife regularly. But, in my daughter’s world, kicking leads right to the time-out chair. With all the kicking that has happened in these last few months, my son has multiple days worth of punishment that my daughter is ready to dish out.

“When my baby brother kicks me, I’m sending him to time out, and then he will cry, and then he will say sorry, OK?” my daughter said as I was driving her home Thursday.

“But babies don’t talk,” I said. “And you weren’t punished as a baby, so why should he?”

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