"Mommy, you know why kids like to be with their mommies the most?" my little one asked me one day out of the blue.
"No, why, Sweetie," I replied as I continued to scrub the countertop wondering how it could possibly have gotten so dirty in just a few short hours.
"Because mommies do the most for their kids. But they also love to be with their daddies for another reason," she said coyly.
"What's that, Honey?" I responded agreeing wholeheartedly with her first statement as I put down my sponge and pulled her in for a bear hug.
"Adventure. Daddies are good when you want adventure," she said looking up at me with a toothy grin.
They say that girls get their confidence from their relationships with their fathers, not their mothers. That no matter how confident their mothers are, this trait comes directly from dear old dad. The theory from numerous psychologists who have studied the parent/child relationship is that if a man treats his daughters with respect, she will in turn expect to be treated that way by others. The more I observe my girls interacting with their father, the more I believe this theory to be true.
When I was growing up in the seventies, fathers basically spoke to their kids briefly at the dinner table. That was it. If you were lucky, your dad might show up at a game you were playing in, or a school play, but for the most part the dads worked and the moms took care of the kids. They were MIA.
Today, with the advent of two working parents becoming the norm, fathers have taken on a much greater role in parenting than ever before. They do everything mothers do, maybe not in the same way we would do it, but they do much more than our fathers ever dreamed of doing. And you know what? It's a good thing for the entire family. Not only can dad make dinner, help with homework and put the kids to bed, but he's pretty good at that adventure thing too.
"What do you mean by 'adventure'?" I asked my little girl thinking smugly that I am pretty adventurous myself, at least for a mom.
"You know, Mommy. Dads do things mommies don't, like walk in streams. They're not afraid of snakes or bad guys," she said without hesitation. "They hardly ever get cold."
And I couldn't agree more.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here on Mondays.