Clara burst into the bathroom this morning while I was getting dressed. She had something exciting she wanted to show me on her phone, but was immediately distracted when she saw what I was wearing.
She stood for a moment with a look of disgust and confusion. “Um, Dad. Is that what you are going to wear to work today?”
I was still buttoning up my shirt and realized that apart from a pair of socks I was only wearing a pair of denim colored boxer shorts. I shrugged and decided to see where this conversation would end up.
“Yes.” I told her plainly. “I thought since it is warmer out now I would wear my shorter pants instead today. I think they will be a lot cooler around the office.”
Her facial expression was unchanged, but her eyes became slightly more frantic. She stepped around me and sat on the edge of the bathtub. “Well.” She finally said, while I continued to button my dress shirt, “they are not very cool to me.”
“Okay, okay.” I told her. “What if I tucked my shirt in? Would that help?”
Her eyebrows quickly retreated up to the back of her head as I worked to demonstrate my idea. She strained hard for the right way to inform me of her important fashion news. “Dad, I don’t want you to go to work in those short pants please.”
I could tell this was causing her serious trauma, so I gave up. “Okay Clara. I trust you. How about this. How about I put my long pants over top of my short pants? Is that a good idea?”
Her face glowed with relief and her shoulders dropped two inches with a sigh. Then after half a second of additional thought she became very excited. “Oh! Oh, Daddy that is perfect! Now, if you are in your office and someone comes in suddenly and your long pants are down you will still have your short pants as a backup and you won’t be embarrassed.”
I couldn’t move for a few frightening moments. It was as if my entire body of energy was rerouted to my brain as it tried desperately to process what my daughter had just said. I stood there, holding my pants out in front of me, as the little girl beamed widely at her impeccable problem solving abilities.