I’ll admit it. I didn’t know if I wanted to have kids…I mean, after I met my wife I kind of assumed that I would be a dad someday, but I never dwelled on the idea. I thought it would be OK to have children and thought about having a son that would carry on the family name and help me on my projects.
God knew better.
God gave me girls. God also has a sense of humor…he gave me two girls when I still can’t figure out what I did to deserve their mother and still can’t figure out what girls are thinking. It is a giant learning process.
After we found out our second child was going to be a girl, we were at a dinner party and one of the guys there had also found out he was going to be the father to a daughter. He told me that his boss had asked him if he was a dog guy or a cat guy. The meaning being that cats will let you love on them, but they could really care less and want to do their own thing. Dogs are loyal and always by your side and love you unconditionally. If you’re a dog guy, you want daughters.
I understand that now more than ever. Granted, there is a huge responsibility that any parent has, but dads of daughters have an even bigger one. Let’s face it, they don’t call it ‘daddy issues’ for nothing.
I have learned a few things along the way though.
1. You cannot love them enough. My daughters, no matter how frustrating they are sometimes, are the light of my life. I fall in love with them again every day and it is amazing to watch them grow through each stage in life. I suppose this lesson is true for any parent, but somehow I think I see it more with daughters. I have daughters that adore their daddy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
2. There will be drama. I read a blog the other day from the mother of boys who said she had drama as well. People told this woman she was lucky she had boys because they weren’t as dramatic. I am certain little boys have drama, but I cannot imagine it being more. My oldest is five-years-old and it has been five years since I’ve gone a day without someone crying in my house. When my girls get mad at me, they’ll threaten to never play with me again or to not be my friend anymore. Seconds later they’re saying they’re daddy’s girls again. Sometimes I have no idea what the crying is about only to find out it is about a hair bow, shoelace or some other inanimate object.
3. Clothes and shoes matter. I always thought that joke about women and shoes was too much of a stereotype. But I kid you not, with no prompting my girls developed a love affair with shoes. They want new shoes whenever they see them, the want different colors of the same shoes, it matters which boots they have on. There is deep thought put into what clothes they wear every morning. Even getting ready to go to the hardware store with me sometimes requires a costume change.
4. Leggings are pants. Apparently there is some debate over this. I’ll end it. Leggings are pants. In my house they are called “soft pants” and I’m forever jealous of girls. These are essentially stylish sweat pants that give you unlimited movement and go with anything. I own 5 pairs of the exact same style/color/model of dress pants so I don’t have to put much thought into what I wear on a daily basis…but my girls have soft pants that can go with anything. They are always comfortable.
5. Invest in toilet paper stocks. Your TP consumption is going to go way up. I remember when I was single and living on my own. A four pack of toilet paper could last me a year. Sometimes I would buy that 8-pack of double rolls just so when it ran out I knew it was time to renew my driver’s license. Now, I’m asking the guy at Sam’s Club if a 24 pack is as big as they have because I want to make it through the next month. I don’t know where it all goes, but I am planting more trees now because I just feel guilty.
6. Girls can do boy things. My youngest made up a song the other day that went like this: “We are the girls and we can do boy things!” My girls will hammer nails into boards while I’m building things in the garage. They’ll hand me tools when I’m working under the sink (but be careful with this one as a pipe wrench unexpectedly dropped on your stomach will knock the wind out of you). One girl likes to dig in the dirt and play with worms, the other likes to play with the dog and help me with yard work. I get offended when Walmart sells science kits under the name “Boy Craft” because my girls love science and math and everything in between. I cannot think of a single thing a son could do with me or for me that my girls can’t or won’t do.
My girls teach me something new every day. They’ve taught me to be more patient, more loving and more accepting. I was never much of a ‘macho’ guy, but I liked doing guy things. I can still do all that, but have learned to also accept a world of princesses, ponies and fairies.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.