When my youngest daughter is displeased with me, she refers to me by my name, rather than by "Dad."
"I'm upset with you, Ross," she said while we were shopping in Costco the other day.
"It's 'Dad' to you, and why are you upset?"
"Because, Ross, you're making me carry this piece of cardboard," she said, waving the Cineplex voucher card that would be scanned at the checkout to purchase movie passes for her and her sister. A treat, from her dad.
"Don't you want to want to go to see that movie you've been waiting for?"
"Yes, Ross, but if you're going to buy it for me, you should carry it, too."
That's gratitude for you.
Yesterday, Lori and I were talking about the white-water canoe course that we're taking, and how we were going to need wetsuits for our next class. An online company currently has a sale on the wetsuits, so we looked into ordering ourselves one.
"It looks like they only have extra-small and extra-large sizes left, for men," said Lori, looking at her iPad as she, the girls, and I ate lunch.
"When we were in MEC the other day, I held one up," I said. "It looks like I would fit a men's medium."
"I wonder if a women's large would fit you."
"I'm sure a women's wetsuit would be cut differently," I replied, "or else they wouldn't distinguish the suits by gender. I think the hips would be different."
"Probably the chest area, too," she said, "though your boobs are only a little smaller than mine."
"Mom!" our youngest protested. I thought she was going to defend me, but she simply added, "I'm trying to eat."
"My man-boobs aren't that big," I said, wounded, having just cycled 116 kilometres, to Merrickville and back. "Your boobs are much bigger than mine."
"Ross!" said our daughter.
"They aren't great big," I continued, "but they're great."
"Ross Hamlington Brown!" shouted my daughter.
"Hamlington?" I asked.
"Yes," she said. "When I'm very angry at you, your name is Ross Hamlington Brown."
"But Ross is my middle name."
"Not when I'm angry with you, and I'm very upset with you. You shouldn't talk about Mom's boobs, especially around your kids. And never at the kitchen table."
"Why don't you call out your mom? She started it by pointing out my man-boobs."
"That's because you have boobs."
"Not as big as hers, thankfully."
Here's a lesson for you dads out there: it's okay to talk about your chest, but not about anyone else's in the house.
Especially, at the lunch table.