I Was REALLY Surprised How My Toddler And I Were Treated On Our 'Date-Night...'

I took my daughter out for a "daddy-daughter" date night on Sunday night and the way we were treated by EVERYONE we met actually kind of surprised me.

From the SECOND we got out of the car, people smiled at us. We walked down the street and I felt like I was escorting FLOTUS: smiles all the way into the restaurant.  When we were being escorted to our table a couple stopped their conversation and couldn't take their eyes off my daughter, all smiles. At our seats, we had OUR server AND two other servers come over throughout dinner to make sure we were doing ok.  I was catching stares and smiles from people at the bar and at the tables all around us. 

Don't get me wrong, it was AWESOME.  Plus my daughter is SUPER cute and awesome so it wasn't totally out of the ordinary.

What made me stop and think was the way people made it seem like seeing a dad out with his toddler in a restaurant by himself was completely out of the ordinary.  When it's the three of us (my wife, daughter and I), people are certainly kind and nice but we are also sometimes looked at as "those people" that bring a toddler to a restaurant.  I don't know how my wife is treated when it is just the two of them but my suspicion is that most people don't even give a mom out with her kids a second thought.  

Sunday night, when it was just me and my daughter, people looked at us as if they had seen a unicorn.  Like I must have lost a bet, or my wife must be in the bathroom and will be out any second to "handle" anything that comes up so I can just go back to being a dad at dinner.  The truth is, even I might give it a second look if I saw dad and his two-year-old just sharing a dinner together.  Why is that?

Fast-forward a couple nights later and I was having a meeting with a gentleman who has two kids under ten along with four kids that are much older.  He lamented to me how much he had missed of his older kids growing up and how he was "determined not to let that happen again" with his youngest son and daughter.

It was then that I realized that, as men, we are pre-programmed from a young age to go out and provide for our family and that a dad "being around" wasn't as important and that raising children is primarily mom's job. A lot of dads just swoop in for the good times.  The child doesn't come out of us and therefore, it's impossible to share the same bond that they have with their mother.  I'll admit that there are a TON of situations where my daughter wants NOTHING to do with me, and it hurts.  I smile through it because I know it will pass and at some point, I will be her absolute hero.

I know that my views are generalizations of my experiences and every case is different. There are SUPER active and involved (and single) dads out there that are crushing it EVERY DAY and I ABSOLUTELY salute you.  Keep setting the example.  

In no way am I trying to say I'm better than any other dad,  I would just LOVE to see a dad and his daughter out on the town as the norm, rather than the exception.  

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