Drawing The Line at Painted Toesies


Daddy’s Home! 

Hearing two little high-pitched voices squeal those words as I walk up the stairs makes it all worth it.  When people say there is something special about a daddy’s girl they are right.  Two beautiful little bundles of blue eyes and curls that I still can’t believe I had a part in creating.  Daughters have a way of stealing your heart in an instant and making you work for the rest of your life to ensure that they never give it back.

Having two daughters probably means two weddings and two first dates and that I will spend 2020 to 2028 with a daughter in high school.  Those things are daunting for sure but there is still a lot of time between now and then and it gets to be filled with giggles and tickles and dress up and tea parties.  I don’t bat an eye when given the opportunity to toss a pink feather boa over my shoulder and lift my pinkie for a spot of tea.  I try to keep them well-rounded with an occasional light saber battle but when having two daughters means wearing a tiara and competing in a beauty pageant,  I join in without question.

I do it because I love them in a way that I could have never understood before they were here.  I do it because their smiles and giggles feed my soul and also because Doc McStuffins is actually a pretty good show and I need to find out what happens even when they wander off and I am left watching it alone.   I have painted a bedroom purple, another bedroom pink, and then repainted the purple one pink.  I have a “wing” of our house adorned in pastel and fairy dust.  It may sound silly but even when I feel as if I may drown in a sea of pink and sparkle, nothing makes me feel more like “the man” like having two little girls who love their daddy.  You see, to them, I am the man.  When they seek protection or provision or even occasionally a prince charming or a knight in shining armor, their search ends with me.  There is magic in that.

When we found out our second was a girl I told my wife that I finally understood why God had made me so good with women.  She didn’t find it near as hilarious as I did but I like to think that He knew I would embrace the frilly and the sparkle and recognize how special girls are.

They really do grow up faster than you are prepared for and I love seeing them grow into themselves.  I get excited about the women they will become and realize how I get to be a part of that, a part of them.  There isn’t much that I wouldn’t do for those two girls.  To keep them safe or to just to see them smile.  I am a full contact dad of daughters but even I have my limit.  Though the begging seems to amplify, there will be no painting of daddy’s toesies and no lip stick.

Last night I held our youngest and rocked with her as she fell asleep.  At 19 months her feet now hit my legs and she seems to spill out of the lap that not too long ago enveloped her.  I listened to the rhythm of her breathing and soaked in the moment.  I sat there for a long time and hoped that this Sunday evening would root itself deep enough into my soul that I will still be able to find it 20 years from now.

Daughters are totally sweet.


Sometimes I Just Need More Lasers 

So yeah, I play with the girl toys because all of the emotional mumbo jumbo I just wrote about is true but sometimes dad just wants to blow stuff up.  I still want to play with their cozy critters, only I want to turn them into lunch for a hungry Jedi Knight that hunts them down.

When you play toys with your kids, it takes you back to your own childhood.  The thing is, when I was a kid, Star Wars, GI Joe, and The Dukes of Hazzard were my jam and I never had much use for Barbie, Polly Pocket, or Cabbage Patch Kids.  While nothing in the world can change my love for my girls, sometimes I just need to wander down the boy side of the toy section to see what kind of rocket packed monster killing super agents are lining the shelves today.

I loved my toys when I was a kid and sometimes it bums me out when I am putting stuff together on Christmas morning and realize none of this shizz came with a grappling hook.  My girls never like it when I make Barbie’s corvette careen off an embankment and crash into a twisted pile of flaming steel.  No one ever wants to make Strawberry Shortcake a secret agent or My Little Ponies Dinosaur snacks.

This is an area where my wife is truly awesome.  Last Christmas she gave me light sabers.  She knows that I won’t get to vicariously enjoy the girl’s fighter jets or transformers.  She also knows that I spent most Decembers as a kid with a Sears Wish Book in my lap drawing circle after circle around the greatest toy man has ever known.  The U.S.S. FLAGG G.I. Joe aircraft carrier complete with towing fuel vehicle, admiral’s launch, and working electronic sound system.  I might as well have been circling a picture of one of the Egyptian pyramids because there was no way I was getting either.  I remember seeing the aircraft carrier in a store and marveling that it seemed to take up the bottom shelf of the entire aisle.  I remember it was over $100.00 which might as well have been a million.  I coped with its elusiveness because it seemed like no one actually got the aircraft carrier.  That is, until one day you find yourself in Pete Mooney’s basement  taking in its glory firsthand and realizing it truly was the greatest thing you had ever seen.

I appreciate that my wife realizes that after time all of the sparkle starts to take a toll on old dad.  It is nice to pepper in the occasional sword fight or pirate scenario into play time because take it from me, your daughters think that having their American Girl Doll taken hostage by an evil doctor plotting to rule the world is totally weak.


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

61 responses to “Drawing The Line at Painted Toesies

  • Joe the Cop

    You know, Simon, you can still track down the FLAGG on eBay, and Christmas is coming. Just syaing.

  • Appetite 4 Life

    Nice….have an imagie of you with your little one in your arms. My youngest is 3 in November and since she was born I have enjoyed waking in the night to hold her when she cries; trying to etch the moment into my memory forever. I know this time will pass and never be the same – it is all about savouring the moments as they grow! Enjoy!

  • Gold and silver

    Hello simon, it is great to see your blog and posting commends.Me and my wife read out for long time and enjoyed very much.thank you and appreciating to carry on.good luck.

  • squirrel circus

    Loved the post — once again, your genuine love and respect for your family was front and center – beautifully written. As a mom who was meant to have boys, I love evenings like last night, when the boys and I got out our baseball gloves and played catch until it got dark. When we came in, they showered, put on fresh shorts and t-shirts, and went to bed….already dressed for school today! The absence of fashion drama in our house is SWEET. 🙂

    • Simon

      I try to keep out of the fashion drama as much as I can but it has already started and I know it will only get worse. Sounds like a perfect night. Thank you for the kind words.

  • Andrew

    You can never, EVER, have enough lasers…. If that was already in one of the comments, I apologize.

  • Jennifer

    Brilliant post as always – and I can relate to the boy stuff, as a tomboy myself growing up and mum of 3 boys (have no idea what to do with girls, honestly) Your daughters are gorgeous and you are an awesome dad! keep it up 🙂

  • Don

    Simon, I admire you immensely. You’re a great guy. Thanks for a marvellous post.

  • metan

    Lovely 🙂 I have always thought a sign of a real manliness was someone who could enjoy a tea party with dolls or dress a Barbie, the Man of the House has been known to let little girls plait his beard. If you are man enough to do those kinds of things, you can do anything!

    Your girls are very lucky to have a dad who loves being with them and will join in on all of those things they love so much.

    We have nothing but boy stuff at our house, so we do have running light sabre battles around the house, and pretty much everything comes with a side order of destruction. Next time I use my forcefield to deflect their imaginary plasma cannons I will think of you 😉

    PS; even boys don’t like it when you unexpectedly crash any of their special cars into into a twisted mess, trust me….

  • Stacie Chadwick

    Right back atcha with my favorite line: “Daughters have a way of stealing your heart in an instant and making you work for the rest of your life to ensure that they never give it back.” You are in just as much trouble as I am from the looks of that adorable picture. =)

  • avagabondishlife

    I have become a huge fan of ur blog, reading it religiously and always with a smile on my face! I must say this one steals my heart and I wish I could write like that. You’ve captured all the feelings that a Daddy has ever had. Keep writing and we’ll keep reading!!! Fantastic!!!

  • jenn

    my dad used to play ‘tales of the crystals’ with me. wore the crystals and everything. a true champion!! and he also taught me how to bait a fish hook and shoot a rifle like a champ. : )

  • tracylaneisnotavirgin

    what adorable little girls!!! and very very sweet posting about your relationship with them. nicely done.

  • thesubterraneanworld

    Interesting post! Loved reading about your girls! They are so pretty!

  • cynthia

    Wonderful post- I will be back to read more 🙂

  • Alexandra Jump

    Really enjoyed the post today. My father was absent from my life and passed when I was still young. I have no memories of him at all and grew up with stories of how broken he was as “the man”. As an adult I have searched for the part of him that was good and I have found it and have made peace with it all. I am left with a huge appreciation of men who step up to the plate to dress in pink and play with their daughters. Lucky them for having you.

  • Brigitte

    Oh my! This is poetic, Simon. “she seems to spill out of the lap that not too long ago enveloped her.” There should be one of those songs about growing up or something with this. This should be in one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul Things. Love that your girls love the sabers though. You never know….girls have been known to paint makeup and dad’s toes when dads go to sleep. You’ve been warned. Growing up there were four of us girls and my Dad could never get into the bathroom. This is awesome, awesome stuff. :).

    • Simon

      Thank you so much Brigitte. Your words are too kind for sure. I think a bigger house or at least an additional bathroom build will be on the horizon very soon. I will try and learn how to sleep with one eye open.

  • Michelle Childs

    Love this post – love that you are enjoying your daughters so much and playing such a big part of their lives.

  • La La

    That is one of the sweetest things I have ever read. I have no jokes this time. Well done.

  • dpbowman

    3 girls here and at 5, 3 and 1 I can only imagine the horrors my son and I face….anyway, funny you posted this. I just heard my son work into his “pirate narrative” how the long lost treasure he found was somehow proof that he was related to the two princesses (his sisters) that now demanded his time, and half of the sandbox. I must being doin ok if even my 8 year old realizes you have to be a least a little hopelessly romantic with that many girls around. Sweet. ~Regards, Dan

  • lauriebest

    Should have checked spelling before I posted…’adding’ was supposed to be ‘wedding’!

  • lauriebest

    I had two girls and a boy in the middle. Somehow they all enjoyed rousing games of “GI Joe and Barbie Play House”. Never understood it, but it worked. It seemed to involve the girls getting ready for a adding and my son blowing up the venue! I give you a lot of credit for being a good dad, and maybe one day soon they’ll delight you by asking for a set of Lego…you can hope.

  • SzaboInSlowMo

    Ok, I’m tearing up over this one, so thanks for being funny too. I am emotional lately over my first daughter graduating, so this hits home. My husband did allow pink toenails, a hairdo, and a facial mask. And they posted him on Facebook! Lipstick was a deal-breaker though. Another great post!

    • Simon

      Thanks Sandra, I didn’t intend for it to be so sappy I really just wanted to write about the aircraft carrier but that’s how it came out. Tell your husband I salute him.

  • becca3416

    My best friend is soon to have a baby. She finds out the sex today. I SO hope it is a little girl so we can smother her in pink glittery frilly junk. Nice post.

  • Maggie O'C

    Once again, the crying at work thing is not my fave.
    “I sat there for a long time and hoped that this Sunday evening would root itself deep enough into my soul that I will still be able to find it 20 years from now.”

    You’ll remember.

  • Mandy

    Love this post. My husband could never understand why I spent hours buying Sylvanian families on ebay for our daughter but you should see his eyes light up now that our son is old enough for Nerf guns!

  • unfetteredbs

    love this post.. we have two girls and there was nothing sexier than watching my husband fumble desperately to put tights on them. Now there is nothing sexier than hearing them yell at their father because he bought the wrong kind of feminine products. Enjoy the ride! Your girls sound equally as blessed as mine are…we picked great Dads for our girls

    • Simon

      Thanks so much for the great compliment. My stomach just did a flip though as I had not thought about buying feminine products for them yet. It looks like the only thing to be afraid of is everything. Enjoying the ride for sure!

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