I have always been good with the ladies (at least that’s what I tell myself). My dimples did half the work. After I met the love of my life who gave me two beautiful daughters, I have become a different type of ladies man. I have become a knight in shining armor who kisses owies to make them feel better, a prince charming in a horse carriage (aka family SUV) who drops off and picks up his girls from daycare everyday.
So what have I learned as the testosterone levels decreased and estrogen levels increased in “my” house?
- Tears flow freely and more often than you may like. One cries, they all cry. Some tears are real, some are meant to produce hugs and sympathy from Dad. It can be hard to tell the difference, but be sure to think hard before dismissing them. Growing up male you pretty much stop crying as society sends different levels of acceptance to boys and young men. I’ve definitely had to reevaluate my gauge on what constitutes a tear-worthy event.
- Hair. Hair bows and hair ties, they’re everywhere – EVERYWHERE. Think I’m joking!? I actually bought a special vacuum cleaner that cuts through hair! I didn’t even know such a thing existed.
- You won’t watch a movie alone (whether you want to or not). Just last week, despite a rather roomy couch, my two girls felt that my knees were a much more comfortable option while we tried to see if the new live action Beauty and the Beast was scarier than the animated version (Hint: It’s not).
- Be sure to listen more and talk less. It took me a while to realize that a lot of the conversations with my daughters were not conversations but little drops of observation sharing and insight into their curiosities and fears. Once , although my daughter was making a simple statement about what she thought was a fact (that monkeys don’t wear gloves) listening closer I heard the slight hint of a question. This question lead to an insightful conversation on Simian hand wear.
- A girl can never have enough shoes. It is safe to say that each of my daughters (at ages 2 & 4 mind you) has more shoes now in their short lives than I’ve ever had. I used to get mad – now i’m just impressed. They went from trying to figure out how to put on shoes to trying on mommy’s shoes in record time!
- There is nothing I can’t do with my daughters that I would do with sons. In our culture it is expected of a Dad to want a son for reasons such as passing on the family name, or having someone to toss a ball with – especially if you already have a girl. I’ve never had that need (hell, I wanted a 2nd girl after my 1st), and see no reason my girls wouldn’t be able to do anything I would do with a son. I look forward to watching the look on little boys faces after a fastball comes flying in from across the field from the quiet girl in pigtails.
In the short time I’ve been a dad to these two girls I’ve been astonished at the way they think and feel and grow. I cannot wait to share with them all the good and bad that comes with this life.
I’m also really looking forward to being a good example (not a perfect one) of what a man should be as I hold their hands on my part of the journey with them. My wife and my two girls have definitely made me a more patient and caring person, and I am even starting to like the color pink.