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When my daughter was about two and a half, we were in Wal-Mart one day. Her dad and I were separated, but he still saw her every two weeks or so. This time in Wal-Mart, we’re walking down the aisle and my daughter sees a tall, dark-skinned guy. He has about the same build as her dad, so my daughter starts yelling (top of her lungs) “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”
I hustled her over to a different aisle and explained, “No, that’s not your dad. He’s not here right now.” She seemed to get it.
About three minutes later, in a different aisle, we run into the same guy again. Same thing happens. Screaming “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy.” This time I apologize to the guy — if you aren’t following along, it wasn’t actually her dad — and go to another aisle.
Now here comes the punchline.
We run into this guy a third time, although here’s the new catch: he has a woman with him. My daughter starts yelling “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”
The woman looks at me.
Looks at the guy.
Looks at my daughter.
Looks back at me.
Slaps the man right across the face.
I abandoned my cart and made a mad dash for the exit. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever left anyplace in my life that fast.
For the next few months, we kept a photo album of her dad to confirm exactly what he looks like.
We all have these challenges, you know?