When one father learned that his young daughter had wet her pants at school, he came up with a creative way to make her feel better.
According to Fox 13, Ben Sowards, an associate professor of illustration at Southern Utah University, was at home on Friday when he got a call from his 6-year-old daughter Valerie’s school. The little girl had wet her pants and was crying, and she wanted to be picked up.
Sowards then had a flash of brilliance: He poured water on his own pants to make it appear as though he had wet himself too, and then hopped in the car. When he picked up Valerie, he used her pink-and-black backpack to cover himself up, which Valerie thought was hilarious, according to Fox 13. The pair then posed for a photo.
On Friday, Sowards’s older daughter Lucinda tweeted the photo, and it went viral, with more than 62,000 retweets and more than 253,000 likes. Many are calling Sowards “Father of the Year” and the incident a Billy Madison moment, referring to the scene in the 1995 film where Adam Sandler’s character pees in his pants.
My little sis had an accident today at kindergarten & this is how my dad left to pick her up so she wouldn't feel so sad/embarrassed ????????❤️ pic.twitter.com/veHMFO4QHr
— Lucinda Sowards (@LucindaSowards) April 14, 2017
Lucinda, who is the oldest of 13 children (some of whom are foster kids), told Buzzfeed News how her dad handled a different accident in the past. When Lucinda fell while ice skating a few years ago, “He FaceTimed me — he had vividly painted a black eye that matched mine,” she said.
Sowards, who did not respond to Yahoo Style’s request for comment, is adopting four of his foster kids on Monday, according to Fox 13.
He isn’t the only parent to go the extra mile for his child. In March, a single mother in Georgia named Amy Peterson didn’t want her 6-year-old daughter Gracie to miss out on her school’s father-daughter dance. So Peterson dressed as a man, even painting a beard on her face with mascara, for the event. While the school informed Peterson that she couldn’t attend the dance, it didn’t stop Peterson from defending her decision.
She told Today, “The lesson I was trying to teach Gracie is it is OK to get knocked down, it’s OK that people don’t always see things the way we do, but if you know something isn’t right, then you speak up and tell your story. So maybe you can make a difference in someone’s life.”
And in 2012, German father Nils Pickert, whose 5-year-old son liked to wear dresses and nail polish, decided to wear a red skirt to match his son’s red dress. “I didn’t want to talk my son into not wearing dresses and skirts,” Pickert told German magazine Emma. “He didn’t make friends in doing that in Berlin already, and after a lot of contemplation I had only one option left: to broaden my shoulders for my little buddy and dress in a skirt myself.”
A photo of the pair walking down the street holding hands went viral, and Pickert was celebrated for his positive parenting.
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