How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Unicorn Poop or How I Fell in Love with the Daughter I Never Had

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Rainbow Pooping Unicorn Crossing Sign

I’m not much of a “Guy” or “Man” in the senses used in the advice given in the movie Say Anything: “Don’t be a guy, be a man.” Whichever stereotype coloring book you’re using, most of my colors wind up outside the lines. But I do have a penis and three boys to prove it, so it’s at least an accurate statement to say that I’m male.

Herald and Sons Sausage Factory Boy Making Company

Because we’ve got all boys, Lizzie calls me The Sausage Factory. Even to people we’ve just met. I don’t mind. I love the rising nervous hehHEHHEH when it dawns on strangers that the conversation just made a left turn onto Penis Street. My wife can be an awkward laugh factory. Which pairs well with sausages, so we’re in luck—please pass the ironic mustard.
 

We Never Had a Daughter, Though

Of course we love the boys to pieces blah blah blah (get ready for the “but”), but when we were pregnant, we did also like the idea of having a daughter. Especially after sausages #1 (Cody) and #2 (Max). Y’know, someone for Lizzie to do girly stuff with while the boys and I did guy-ly stuff. But “wanting” and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee these days.

We didn’t have a daughter, so it became just something to think about.
 

What Unicorn Poop Taught Me

Needless to say, I would have been in fathervana constructing cardboard box castles for our daughter to play dolls or princesses, but it began to occur to me that I could just as easily have been making monster truck ramps that she’d been begging for.

This is where unicorns come in. Yes, and their poop.

A couple years ago, I discovered Robot Unicorn Attack. A viral game that is pretty well described by its name. I was laughing the entire southern part of my body off as I played. And, over time, I kept on discovering amazing unicorn things.

 
Unicorn Poop Cookies

Above: Unicorn Poop Cookies for sale on Etsy? Yes. Get ‘em while they’re… sparkly!

Right: Moxie Girlz doll with pet unicorn that poops rainbow-colored pellets. Much more preferable for me than buying Barbies.

Moxie Girls Unicorn Rainbow Poop

This sugary mythological icon with a pearly horn sticking out of its head was being broken down and reassembled, and I found myself asking why I had ever thought my daughter would have been the rubber-stamped idea of what a “little girl” was supposed to be.

Unicorns were now hilarious and rad, with magical and delicious-looking poop.

It took unicorns breaking out of the stereotype lines to help me realize I’d been coloring inside them myself. It repulsed me to discover. I didn’t like the taste of the Kool-Aid one bit.

Sons don’t belong to dads and daughters to moms. The opposite is often said to be the case. And it’s also not like all girls are princess pink, and all boys are blue (or a dirty sort of stained brownish blue). But my wife and I had looked at it those ways a little, from time to time.
 

 
Yes. It is a bit of a freak show of an epiphany; that unicorns showed me more clearly that I would have loved my daughter because she was my child and amazing, however she was. However she liked her unicorns, if she did at all. I love the boys on the same terms. Why would it have been any different for a girl?

Still.

Sometimes Lizzie and I share the pleasant thought of pretend tea parties and bedazzled leg warmers. We just smile and sigh at how nice that seems.

Or maybe we were sighing because one of the boys had just run naked into the room to spread cheeks and flash their butthole at us.*
 

* It may be amusing to the reader to note that autocorrect is rather insistent that “butthole” should be “buttonhole.” The developers must not have kids. If they did, half of all misspelled words would get changed to poop or butthole.
 

Sausagebook
Yeah I know it’s also Muffinbook. ;)

A Unicorn’s Preferred Method of Learning
Brightly colored pictures! Weeeeeeeeee!
 

28 Comments

28 Responses to “Unicorn Poop or How I Fell in Love with the Daughter I Never Had”

  1. jessie says:

    love this post; especially the Say Anything reference. i spent a good year looking for my lloyd dobler and writing about that process lol

    anyways, unicorns rock!

  2. Virginia says:

    I’m hoping you are also coloring outside the lines WITH your boys!
    My son (5) loves to cook, sew and do art (*mostly drawing stick figures with some of poop).

  3. Kathryn says:

    I have a 2 year old daughter who is girlier than I ever imagined, and yet loves Spiderman (she has never seen anything spiderman, but managed to download a $6.99 Spiderman app)…how does this happen? Also, she will not play with girls…just boys…older boys. Yikes!

  4. Christina says:

    Great post. We have something in common, seems we’re both sausage factories, just different plumbing.

  5. JeninCanada says:

    Yes, the gender stereotyping Kool Aid tastes gross, once you realize you’ve been drinking it. Gender is a social construction. Sex is what’s between our legs. Both exist to a certain degree on a spectrum and that’s AWESOME. Having one boy and one girl I have to try hard, maybe even harder, not to fall into the gender-box traps.

  6. bfmama says:

    I’m quite sure my 3yo daughter has done the butthole show and tell. And the “gina” one. I bet if your third had been a girl, you’d get that too, especially with older brothers setting precedent.

  7. Mother Duck says:

    Oh my god! I cried, I laughed…I think I may have sharted a unicorn poop. Amazing post. Thanks Andy. Oh, and if you ever want to borrow my daughters for a weekend, feel free. ;)

  8. Me says:

    My god daughter was overjoyed by mud puddles and naked television watching, never liked pink and is now gearing up for Medical school. I have seen more butthole more than should be legal.

    My 7 year old son watches My Little Pony and Barbie cartoons on Netflix when he thinks no one is looking, and has never climbed a tree.

    It’s not a matter of sexual orientation (he thinks Barbie is hot and wants to marry his BFF, who is a girl…) but just saying… you never know what you’re gonna get!

    • Andy says:

      You do never know! I think that is so wonderful. Can you imagine how horrible it would actually be if everyone WAS actually the same or even started out the same and only became different later? Blech!

  9. Marilyn says:

    My husband had two boys with his first wife and two boys with me. He jokes that if he lived in ancient times he’d be a king. I love our boys (all four!), I really do, but I dream of pink and ribbons and lace and nail polish and makeup. I don’t even wear lace or nail polish or makeup, at least not often. More than anything, I want a little girl I can teach to be a woman. Whether she likes cars or rainbows or construction equipment or Barbies, I want to teach a daughter to be strong and beautiful and kind and confident. I want someone who looks like me, only much better.

    I could go on, but I think you get it. Daughters and sons are different, and no matter how much I love the one, I feel incomplete without the other.

  10. Jenelle W. says:

    This: “a dirty sort of stained brownish blue,” describes my entire existence as a mom! Ha! And the butthole show occurs everyday at our house promptly at bathtime. Oh the joys… But truly, I only have sisters and was scared to death when I realized I had to figure out how to raise a boy. But, surprise! It’s just a baby with a penis. And now he’s just a kid with a penis that totes around a pink waterbottle. Cuz that’s how he chooses to roll this week :-)

  11. A wonderful read, something I agree wholeheartedly with! I just wanted to pop in and thank you for including my unicorn poop cookies with your wonderful story. I will be sharing this on my Facebook fan page as well! Thank you again- Nikki

  12. Will says:

    I have a 10 day old daughter. She belches like a longshoreman and farts like a German on a beer and sauerkraut bender.

    • J says:

      Will – I had a stinky kid, turns out it was because I was eating eggs (he was nursing). If you don’t want your newborn to smell like a dirty old man with a shart in his pants, that’s something you might consider. Then again, if you’re cool with it, go on with your bad self. ;)

  13. Louise says:

    My mother-in-law had two boys and always what-if’d the idea of a girl to by dresses for and have tea amd cakes with. Needless to say she is makng up lost time with my baby girl. It’s not too late for you either, Andy.

    Grandchildren seem to be natures second chance.

  14. Mary says:

    Having been born in a family of all girls, I hoped my first kid would be a boy. My husband, on the other hand, comes from a family of all boys, so he naturally wanted a girl. We got a girl, but she grew up to be as boisterous as a boy, so I guess it was a win-win all around. That, and I quickly discovered that she’s awesome whatever her gender is.

    Thanks for this great post! :D

  15. Jen says:

    Girls flash their buttholes too…. at least my 5 year old does. Well maybe not the full on BUTTHOLE…. but she does the naked dance and bootie shake daily.

    http://oururbanplayground.com/?p=1098

    Nice post Andy.

  16. Betsy says:

    How awesome! My 2 favorite blogs have similar themes this week – unicorns and bodily functions! (As a pediatrician, bodily functions are ALWAYS funny!) :) http://crappypictures.com/farkles-the-unicorn/

  17. Tony says:

    I don’t consider myself a particularly masculine guy, and was relieved when we had twin girls. Right now one of them is playing skylanders in her panties, while the other one is in a princess dress (actually 2 or 3 on top of each other) and armed with nerf weapons. I guess I would have probably survived boys just fine too.

  18. I just love you for writing this :) I’m trying to get all of this stuff drilled into my head now for when I have kids because my parents were all for cookie cutter gender stereotypes (not because they were bad or sexist; they just thought I would prefer makeup and barbies to dirt and cars). So anyway, I love this post, and good on you for letting your kids be who they are :)

  19. Laurie says:

    Awww! I love this post! I totally want you to have a daughter now! My dad was the only guy in a house full of girls, my mom says that he never wanted it any other way!

  20. Gale says:

    You know what’s rad…when you discover that boys like stuffed animals too, and babies, and kitty cats.

    When your very boyish older son is secure enough to say “RC is my favorite transformer. I don’t care that she’s a girl.” (And RC is super cool…I mean who wouldn’t want a motercycle that turns into a robot that looks practically anime).

    • Gale says:

      (That’s when he’s not body slamming his younger brothers or climbing the walls–literaly…do girls do that? I don’t remember ME doing that).

  21. Jo says:

    Oh I hear you…..Mum of three boys. I never wished for a daughter but one day, watching a family line up for Santa photos, there was an adorable baby girl in a cute little outfit ,I had a few tears out of nowhere. But, like you said, it was probably because my youngest was painting his face with donut icing and the other two were bickering over something Pokemon related……

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