As my daughter gets older (she’s going on seven), she has less use for me in certain instances, such as doing her hair (the three-horned unicorn look I invented was quite forward-thinking, I thought) and fashion (cheetah print stretch pants and horizontal multi-colored striped blouse tells the world to look at your inner beauty). Today, however, my daughter really needed a Daddy. She was getting ready for school and freaked out because she couldn’t find a uniform skirt in her dresser to wear – she only had pants and she absolutely couldn’t wear pants, oh no, it had to be a skirt. I calmly walked into her room and started to soothe her. I realized that the reason she couldn’t find a skirt is because they were all in the laundry hamper so I went to the hamper, stuck my hand in and fished around to find one of her skirts. I demonstrated the sniff check that indicates whether a given article of clothing is ‘clean enough.’ I smiled as I tossed the skirt to her and told her to get continue getting ready. I suppose that one day her instincts will kick in and she’ll unlearn this very valuable lesson and that’s okay, today it was just what she needed.
My two boys, being close in age, have a lot of clothes that look interchangeable, with only a slight difference in size. This means that they regularly wear each others’ clothes and my older boy will come out in high-water pants while my younger son has pants that drop around his ankles because he’s not wide enough to hold them up. The only time this becomes an issue is when the mix up happens with their underpants. It’s not a big deal for my younger son, but when my five-year-old comes out in 3T briefs, I start to worry. Now that they mostly dress themselves, I don’t discover anything until bedtime, or when my older boy’s eyes start bulging out of his head. That’s when I do a quick clothing label check and then suggest that he and I go back to the dresser and maybe pick something that would help him breathe better.
While I never would have made the cover of GQ, I did take pride in dressing sharply for both work and social events whenever appropriate. Polishing my shoes and pressing my shirts were as enjoyable as the finished result.
Today as I sort and fold laundry, I realize how far I’ve drifted from my previous life. I have separate categories for “exercise t-shirts,” daily wear t-shirts,” and “dressy t-shirts.”
As I stood there in my boxers, ironing my wife’s pants for work while belting out some Adele, I thought that perhaps I’ve been a house husband a bit too long.
I’m actually not so bad when it comes to doing my daughter’s hair, especially when you consider the fact that I’m a forty-something bald male. I’ve heard stories of girls crying as tufts are being ripped out or pulled way too tight. If anything, I can be accused of being way out of style.
People know it when I do my daughter’s hair because she looks straight out of the 80’s. I suppose it’s because that’s the last time I had hair.
There’s a lot worse problems a girl could have. At least at her current age (6), she’s not so worried about what fashion mags tell her so if she loves the wind blown look and wants to don her favorite feather earring, so be it.