When my oldest daughter, Emily, was four years old, I had an idea. I had a wonderful, awful idea. I taught her that daddy’s feet smell like roses. Being a man of equality and realizing that every action needs an equal and opposite reaction, I decided to prep her for the obvious follow up question: what about momma’s feet? If daddy’s smelled like roses, then the opposite must be to stink.
After a brief session of higher education, I paraded her into the living room. “Emily,” I said, “What does mommy’s feet smell like?”
“Mommy’s feet stink,” she proclaimed with confidence.
“My feet don’t stink,” my wife protested.
“We’re not done yet,” I said. “Now what do daddy’s feet smell like?”
“Daddy’s feet smell like roses,” she announced.
*Sniff* Her performance brought a tear to my eye. I looked to my wife, and it brought a roll to her eyes. She went back to her book, not half as amused as I was. Women just don’t grasp the humor of these types of situations. Who knows why?
A few months later, we had a family Christmas party, and my daughter was walking by. It was a crowded room. A room of people who I knew were dying to discover what lay beneath the sole of my wife’s Skechers.
“Emily.” She stopped and looked. “What do mommy’s feet smell like?”
Emily wrinkled up her nose and proclaimed, “Mommy’s feet stink!”
My wife prepared to protest, but she was cut off by my mother. She had taken the bait. “Oh yeah? Then what do daddy’s feet smell like?”
Emily put her hands proudly on her four-year-old hips, tossed her chin high and said, “Daddy’s feet smell like roses!”
Chaos broke out in the crowd. Another tear of joy welled up in my eye. I looked boastfully at my wife. She wasn’t even snickering. I’m still at a loss at the lack of appreciation she showed. Pleased with her debut performance, Emily waltzed off to join her cousin drooling over the presents under the Christmas tree.
A few days later when walking down the hall, I heard my wife’s voice in the bedroom. I stopped to listen. “Emily, listen to me,” she said, “Daddy’s feet stink and mommy’s feet smell like roses.” Emily listened intently. “Okay now, what do mommy’s feet smell like?”
“Mommy’s feet stink! And daddy’s feet smell like roses,” she replied.
“No, no, no. Mommy’s feet do not stink. Daddy’s feet stink.”
“Daddy’s feet smell like roses. Mommy’s feet stink,” she repeated.
“No, that’s not right.”
I snickered quietly as I backed down the hallway. Stand your ground, girl. Stand your ground! I tiptoed away amongst the aroma of roses!
Eddie Snipes 2014