I periodically take each of my children on special dates. After flipping through my calendar, I realized that my 10-year-old daughter, Nee, and I hadn’t done anything together since the Father/Daughter Dance. We were way overdue for a Daddy/Daughter date. I brainstormed a few activities until I settled on the perfect outing – a shopping trip. My daughter is turning into quite a little fashionista and I figured that she’d be thrilled to go shopping to the mall with dear old dad.
I didn’t reveal our plans until we were pulling out of the driveway because I wanted the trip to be a surprise.
“Where are we going, Daddy?” Nee asked. The suspense was killing her.
“Daddy’s taking you to get some new clothes.” I said. I looked in the rear view mirror expecting to see a thrilled little girl. Instead, I saw Nee’s dour expression.
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” I asked. “Don’t you want to get a new outfit?”
She sighed and tried to let me down easy. “No offense, Daddy,” she said. “But shopping is something that I do with Mommy.”
“But I’m offering to buy you some brand new clothes and it’s not even your birthday or Christmas,” I said. “You really should take advantage of this offer.”
“If we were going to a concert, I’d have no problem going with you because music is your thing,” she said. “But shopping for girl’s clothes is more of Mommy’s thing.”
My mind started racing. I was sure that I had taken her shopping before. Unfortunately, I soon realized that I was wrong. Aside from my buying her some baby clothes, the only other time that we had shopped together was right before school started when we browsed a few online stores and selected a cute sweater vest and stylish jeans.
I reminded her of that shopping experience because she did like the clothes that I helped her to pick out.
“Shopping online was fun,” she said. “But it’s different in the store. I need Mommy to help me pick out things and try them on.”
“I can do those things,” I said hoping to sway her.
“Can we just do something else Daddy?” She asked politely.
“Fine!” I said. “But you just missed out on a golden opportunity. With my help you could have been the best dressed girl in 5th grade.”
“I can live with that,” she said. And at that moment, I realized that I had no choice but to live with it too.