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New and improved doesn’t always convince a three year old grandson that change is a good thing. Somewhere, inside each of us is the three year old’s approach to change.

Lincoln, my grandson, was given a slightly used stuffed monkey some time ago. His monkey was one of those stuffed animals essential for a happy bedtime. Old monkey was made of T-shirt knit material and had seen better days. I have mended monkey several times so that hopefully monkey would make it one more time through the wash. Finally, the fabric was so thin that clearly monkey wasn’t going to make it much longer.

I borrowed monkey and bought some cuddly velour fabric that was soft and more durable than the knit. I copied the pattern. I made a ‘new and improved’ monkey. Lincoln’s first reaction was “Oh Nana my new monkey!” The colors were close and the face I had embroidered was pretty close to the look of old monkey. Of course new monkey did not have the smell of one who’d been slept with for at least a couple of years. New monkey got a pretty good reception, all things considered.

Later that night, Lincoln toddled off to bed clutching both monkeys. He’s a very compassionate little boy and seemed protective of both monkeys. He is still sleeping with both of them, at least until all the stuffing escapes old monkeys thin fabric.

For all the experts on change management and ‘letting go’ to make room for the new, I say phooey. I much prefer the kind of change management that Lincoln is doing. He’s hanging on to the old monkey and loving them both. Someday he’ll realize that old monkey needs to go. In the meantime, he has the comfort of the old while embracing the new. Change management, ala two monkeys does have a certain wisdom to it.

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