This dad is winning at fatherhood. The real winner, though, is his 6-year-old daughter Valerie.
Last Friday, Ben Sowards of Utah fielded a phone call from his wife letting him know Valerie had had an accident (of the toilet variety) at school and needed her dad to scoop her up.
Sowards' first thought? "I knew she was mortified, but I thought if I could make her laugh everything would be fine," he said.
So decided to fake an "accident" of his own — and went to school to fetch his daughter rocking this look:
Valerie was waiting for her father in the principal's office. When her dad arrived, he asked Valerie if he could borrow her backpack to "hide something." We're not sure if we would have been more mortified or less mortified had we been Valerie. But in the end, she seemed to appreciate her dad's sense of humor (we're guessing the kid's used to it by now).
“She was totally exasperated. But once she saw my pants, I got that look from her where I knew everything was OK. All dads know what look I’m talking about,” Sowards said. “And we just strolled out of the school like nothing was happening.” Cool as cukes, these two.
When he and Valerie arrived home, Sowards' 17-year-old daughter, Lucinda, couldn't resist taking some photos of her dad and sister. (We are so impressed with Valerie being such a good sport in the middle of all this.)
Lucinda posted the photos to Twitter, where the family quickly became a hit — more than 253,000 likes and 62,000 retweets. (That makes them pretty much Twitter royalty.)
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Many Twitter users pointed out a similar scene in the film Billy Madison. “I remember the movie and that may have been somewhere in my subconscious,” Sowards said. “But when you’re a parent you work on instinct.” (We don't think Sowards had been waiting to use Billy Madison material he'd tucked away in his parenting toolbox, but you never know.)
Lucinda was not surprised by her dad's splashy way of handling her little sister's situation. Apparently, once Lucinda got a black eye — and her dad FaceTimed her with a matching (painted!) black eye of his own.
If you're worried about little Valerie and all the attention she's gotten for one little accident at school, well, her dad and her older sister say you can relax.
“She’s doing great,” Lucinda said. “She’s learned to laugh about it and thinks what my dad did was hilarious.”
Get ready for your golden years, Ben. We're thinking your daughters will have some Depends gags up their sleeves by then.