DEAR JERKASS: I'm a married father with a son 19 months old, and a baby girl on the way. While I couldn't be more excited about my daughter's impending arrival, I'm unsure about whether there is a right time to stop doing things like changing a diaper or seeing my daughter unclothed because she's a girl and I'm not.
I come from a conservative family, but because this is a new experience for me, I'm not sure how to go about it. I know this dynamic changes when these roles are occupied by a mother and her son, and that a little boy is probably older by the time the transition occurs. I don't want to end up in a position where my wife or daughter regrets my involvement in some aspects of my daughter's life. Any thoughts? -- EXPECTANT DAD IN NEW YORK
With a few exceptions your kids can be considered (shudder) gender neutral. Boys will act like boys generally, and girls will act like girls. When it comes to things like cleanliness, getting dressed, etc, there is no gender. A girls needs her butt wiped just as much as a boy (well, a little more, she'll have more creases). And potty training is a necessity, and part of a child learning about their body. Don't run in fear if you are in your room getting changed and she sees you naked, just cover up and explain the intircacies of dressing privately. As she gets older, she'll tell you if she's uncomfortable.
If you're truly uncomfortable about it, just have your wife present. She'll definately tell you what's appropriate and what isn't. Talk to your wife about this, how she felt when she was a girl, how she feels about her body. Wedding bits to tackle, she'll tell you all you need to know.
Seriously. It's your daughter. Talking to your wife instead of an advice column is a much better idea, you nitwit.