Thursday, December 22, 2005

Define "Bad Dad"

This evening, as Allie was changing into her pajamas, I decided it would be fun to see if the kid would go outside in her undies.

The concept isn't a new one for me. A long time ago my brother and I got bored one very cold evening and decided to run around in the snow in our underwear.

It was a stupid idea then.

Stupid -- but kind of exhilarating and it certainly alleviated our ennui.

So I thought I'd make Allie's evening by betting her a dollar she wouldn't go out in the snow. She looked at me and said that I was right; she wouldn't go outside for a dollar.

Next I tried to get her to go out by letting her know I'd join her.

She still wasn't interested.

Finally I got down to my skivies and grabbed her. I threw open the door. I lifted her up by her hands and we ran down the front walk to the driveway. Then I let her go and she sprinted back to the warmth and safety of our foyer.

That's when I noticed she was crying.

Turns out she wasn't crying because she was cold. Instead she was crying because, oh - I don't know, I might have told her the police will arrest little girls who venture outside in their underwear (or something like that, I'm not sure). What's more, she saw a car go by as we ran around our front yard, in our undies, in the icy breeze. By then Allie was convinced she needed to prepare for whatever a five year-old imagines prison to be.

Now here's the kicker: She asked, "Will Santa come if he finds out I went outside in my underwear?"

Not only did I traumatized the poor girl, but I had jeopardized her good standing with the big guy in the red suit. Suddenly I was the bad dad who ruined Christmas.

It didn't take Deb long to console Allie. During the quick process of calming her down Allie looked at her mom and emphatically declared, "Daddy's weird!"

Can't argue.

But she wasn't bored. No doubt about that.

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