Being a dad means smiling through some less-than-ideal gifts. Such as a “Daddy Pig” shirt.

I've gotten some stupid gifts from my kids over the years. Last year, for Father's Day, Tristan gave me a poop emoji…

Posted by No Idea What I'm Doing: A Daddy Blog on Sunday, July 2, 2017

As Clint Edwards wrote on Facebook, he’s used to getting bad gifts from time to time. After all, children need to learn how to be good gift-givers, and that takes time and teaching.

The father and author, who blogs at “No Idea What I’m Doing,” once received a poop emoji pillow from son Tristan. Then there was the bag of his daughter’s favorite candy — the one she promptly ate. But Edwards sees bad gifts as part of being a father. He wrote:

Not that I’m complaining. It’s just that my kids aren’t all that good at giving gifts yet. They think a little more about themselves when shopping. It’s their job to kinda suck at giving gifts, and it’s my job to help them figure out how to do it right. Particularly before they get married.

So when Edwards opened a present from his daughter, he wasn’t surprised to find it was a gift that represented her interests, not his:

When I opened my Father’s Day gift this year to find a T-shirt with Daddy Pig (Peppa Pig’s father) with the caption “Best Dad Ever,” I groaned a bit. I knew this gift was really for Aspen, my youngest. She’s the Peppa Pig fan.

Even the sweet caption can’t truly diminish the impact of walking around as Daddy Pig. But Edwards did it anyway. And he got a reward he never expected. As he wrote on Facebook:

But the craziest thing happened. Every time I wear this shirt, she hugs me. She snuggles her head into my chest and says, “daddy pig.” Or she screams, runs to me, and tugs at my shirt so I’ll bend down and pick her up. Or, like in the picture, she lets out this deep contagious laugh that fills me with rich warm joy.

That doesn’t mean that Edwards doesn’t still feel “like a four alarm nerdy father” when he’s out and about in the Daddy Pig shirt. But any negatives associated with the shirt fade beside the joy it gives his daughter.

In fact, it’s quickly becoming the best shirt he’s ever had. He wrote:

[T]he way Aspen looks at me when I wear it. The way she insists on holding me, makes it the most fashionable thing I own. It makes this shirt the best gift I’ve ever received.

And that realization made him rethink his children’s gifting issues. Maybe the gifts they give him aren’t about the item, but rather the deeper relationship that follows. And if that’s the case, maybe they aren’t bad gifts after all.

He concluded:

And when I think about that, I realize that maybe I was wrong to think otherwise. Perhaps my kids know more about this whole gift giving thing than I realized.

Dearly reached out to Edwards for comment, but he was unavailable at the time of publication.

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