Note to Dads Who Have Daughters: Get Used to Fashion Shows

Dads have a lot of responsibilities. We set examples. We squash bugs. We coach third. We check the closets for monsters every night and assure our kids that it's safe to go to bed. These duties earn us love, admiration and respect around the house. They also earn us bonus points with our wives who are afraid of bugs—especially furry ones with dozens of legs and a face like this.

When you have girls, though, your responsibilities shift a little bit. Sure, you still coach third and check for monsters. But you also sit patiently while your daughters file your cuticles. You let them spend hours brushing your face with make-believe makeup and put bows in the few hairs you have left atop your head.

Basically, you let them make you look pretty.

Some days you aren't up for the physical demands of Beauty Parlor (if you've ever let a little kid brush your face with anything, you know what I mean), so you offer up the eight words that make every little girl's face light up brighter than an iPad: "Why don't you put on a fashion show?"


The other night my wife went to the New Kids on The Block concert (and by "other night," I do not mean "1989") and I was home alone with my two eldest daughters. I mentioned those eight magical words and, before I knew it, the girls had torn through the closet and found their bag of costumes. Tiaras, dresses and monkey hats now blanketed the room. Cinderella-slipper landmines hid under articles of clothing, quietly plotting to puncture my feet. They politely asked me to leave the "backstage area" because I wasn't allowed to watch as they chose their outfits (though I was summoned occasionally to help button and zip things). So I sat patiently in the "showroom," which also moonlighted as my bedroom. This was convenient because the Reds were playing on the TV in the "showroom," which gave me something to do while I waited. 

After 20 minutes, I finally heard a little voice come from the hallway.

"We need music Dad!"

I leaned over and hit our CD-playing clock radio and the CD started to play the song that had doubled as our alarm-clock-wake-up-song for the past 3 months.

"A-wee-muh-way, a--wee-muh-way, a-wee-muh-way, a-wee-muh-way, a-wee-muh-way, a-wee-muh-way, a-wee-muh-way, a-wee-muh-way."

The girls made their way into the "showroom," dressed in a lovely mishmash of princess outfits, dainty hats and their mom's flip flops. I had to announce each one of them as they walked in, like models on a runway—which, admittedly, was difficult to do with one eye watching the Reds blow the lead.

"How do we look?" they asked.

"I've never seen anything more beautiful in my—OH MY GOD, THEY ARE BRINGING IN THAT GUY? THAT GUY?! HE STINKS! GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR DIAPER YOU STUPID STUPID MANAGER!" Then I paused. Why was I wasting my time watching these bozos on TV when I had two little girls smiling, clamoring for my approval and attention? I quickly turned off the game and grabbed my camera, snapping glamour shot after glamour shot.

"You two girls look great. Why don't you change again and I'll snap more photos and then send them to your Mom. I know she'll love seeing them too."

For the next half hour they changed outfit after outfit, matching doctor scrubs with mouse ears, purses with baseball jerseys, fancy shoes with mermaid attire, and more. I captured all of them on my phone, documenting the event. The show finally came to a close and we all sat in the bed to look at the pictures.

"Want me to send these to Mom?"

"YES!!!!!!!!!!!!" they said. And yes, it did last for exactly twelve exclamation points. I hit a few buttons on my complicated phone, yelled at it and, after a few swears, the pictures finally sent.

"Do you think Mom will like them?" they asked.

"I think Mom will love them," I said.

My phone buzzed. My wife had responded, not with words, but with a picture of her own. And, telling from the smiles on my girls' faces, they loved it more than any response.

Apparently, 100 miles away at the New Kids concert, my wife and her sisters were also playing Fashion Show.

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