Sometimes The Example Sinks In

I began my day unexpectedly at the pediatrician’s office and ended it as planned at the allergist where my daughter was looking over my shoulder as I started to type.

“What are you writing about?” she asked.

“The doctor’s office visit this morning.”


“Because it was really interesting and positive.”

“Dad, I have a sinus infection. What’s positive about that?”

“There were a lot of dads in the waiting room. And they weren’t just with newborns.”

“Oh my, God, Dad,” she said with a smile. “I could have been dying and you would be, like, look at all those dads being there with their kids.”

I started laughing.

“Oh, no, my daughter went to the ER in an ambulance, but how many dads are there with their kids? Wow, that’s a lot of dads in the ER.”

“The front-desk person also texted me and not mom with the sign-in.”


Teenagers make fun of their parents. All. The. Time.

But to have her mock me about something that we talk about at The Company of Dads – also all the time – was AWESOME. It meant our message was getting through to her, that when she’s older and at work or in a relationship, she won’t stand for any outdated gender norms that are still lingering (though hopefully they’re dead by then). And she won’t become the default parent – she’ll be better positioned to have a reasoned conversation around who is going to be the lead parent.

“You’re going to make this a bigger point, aren’t you, Dad?”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, Dad, I know you’re going to make this about some Company of Dads lesson. Dads are there with their kids. Wow. You’re always there. Big deal. That one dad was totally on his phone and just rocking his kid with his foot.”

“True, but he was there, alone. That’s a step forward.”

“Oh, DAD!!!”