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Cornelius News

Halfway through raising a girl, I haven’t worn makeup yet

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

May 13. The Blonde Bomber recently turned ten years old, which means she’s past the halfway point of growing up in our home.

Man it feels weird to write that.

She was two years old the first time I wrote about her. It was an absolute disaster that involved her smearing poop all the way down a double barrel twisty slide at North Meck park.

I’ve written about her a lot over the years.

I wrote about the time she projectile-vomited all over the front seat of the car while we watched a Christmas light show in a quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood in Huntersville.

I wrote about how I always wanted sons and not daughters, but after having her I wrote that, “I couldn’t be more in love with my doll-toting, princess-loving, bug-killing, pink-loving, man-farting, glittery, foul-mouthed, sitting-down-to-pee little girl.”

I wrote about the Florence Nightingale quote on the door outside the hospital room where she was born and about how I hoped they were words she would someday live by: “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words. They ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”


When we moved to the lake and I began writing about her in these pages, she was given a new nickname—the Blonde Bomber—that was bestowed by her grandparents’ late neighbor on account of her platinum hair and loud demeanor.

“I love the power of that nickname,” I wrote at the time. “No one is going to screw with a girl named Bomber. Bomber will dominate anything you put in front of her. Bomber will never be mistreated by anyone. Bomber will find a glass ceiling and explode through it.”

Let’s just say the quote and nickname had somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, if you’ve ever seen her in public you know she walks everywhere like she absolutely owns the joint.

One of my friends—after seeing her walking alone in our neighborhood after school one day—later told me she was worried about her being alone but after watching her for a minute told me, “I figured she was fine. Ain’t no one gonna to mess with her.”

She was five at the time.

Last year I wrote about her playing soccer and how she got tired of a girl constantly nudging her so she put both of her hands on the girl’s shoulder and flung her across the goal line. The ref blew the whistle, the parents erupted, and she just shrugged and skipped back on defense, ponytail bobbing left and right.

A soft side

The Blonde Bomber, indeed. But she also has a soft side.

Two years ago this month–smack dab in the middle of the COVID quarantine—I wrote about her and the duck egg she rescued and incubated and hatched and named Coco and read books to while it died.

I tend do things with the Blonde Bomber that I would never do with another person, like agreeing to try to carry a duck egg to full term.

We went to IKEA a few months ago to pick up shelves and fake plants so she could decorate her room. Then we hung fake ivy over the bed and put up LED lights that change color on demand.

I know that’s not really notable but there isn’t another person on this planet that could get me to spend a day shopping and decorating, especially at the third realm of hell that is IKEA.

She got me to go to the Daddy Daughter dance and I haven’t danced with anyone since my wedding. She also got me to wear a suit and I don’t wear a suit for anything. Not weddings, funerals. Nothing.

Butch it up

That’s not to say I’m always a willing participant who goes with the flow. Far from it.

The Mother of Dragons threw an epic spa party for her birthday and had nails, hair and makeup stations for each of the girls.

Midway through the party I felt the need to butch it up a little bit so I presented her birthday present to her—a recurve bow – and added an arrow target shooting station in the backyard.

Daughters ‘ n’ dads

I’ve always thought that raising a daughter is a unique proposition for a dad. Certainly both parents are responsible for raising young men and women but I always felt the onus on raising a man falls a little more on the dad.

My daughter? At the end of the day I’m not even sure what my responsibility is other than being present and being a decent role model. I’m like a confidant. Someone who laughs at her fart jokes. I’m like an older friend who feeds her and makes her walk the dog and clean up the dishes.

When we walk to the bus I tell her to wear a coat and she says it’s warm enough for a sweatshirt and I say things like, “Whatever, it’s up to you.”

My wife fights for the coat and the Blonde Bomber responds with an eye roll that starts somewhere around her left hip and ends at the back of her brain.

We’re already hearing shouts of “Young lady” and “I’ve had it up to here” and “You’re on thin ice.” I’m assuming “I didn’t behave like that when I was a girl” is just around the bend.

I asked Future Man if he would take me to college with him but he said no. I even offered to cook and do his laundry and still got rejected. So I guess I’ll stick around here and hope for the best.

And keep writing about the Blonde Bomber, of course.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 13-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 10-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.