It was a peaceful afternoon, until the front door opened and then slammed shut behind his daughters. The youngest, Sam, tossed her bag into the corner before she rapidly retreated into her room. Mike wrinkled his forehead and stood, following the sound of the growing temper tantrum. Sam was his baby girl, who really wished she was a son. He could always count on her to be up for a game of catch or to go mudding on four wheelers, but lately, Sam was starting to become more girly (was that even the proper term?). Baseball caps and catching mitts were being replaced with dresses and bows and Mike wasn't sure how he felt about it.
He slowly approached Sam's door and leaned against the door frame. He peered inside, mentally preparing himself for the sudden onslaught of pink. When she had started liking pink and purple, Mike wasn't sure. He heard Sam throw something onto the floor before letting out a muffled, flustered scream into her pillow causing her bed to groan under her slight weight.
A hand touched his arm, "What's going on, Dad?"
He turned and looked at his oldest daughter "Looks like Sam had a bad day at school, Julia." He paused. Maybe she had a clue what was wrong. "Any idea of what is going on?"
Her lips quirked upwards, "She's a surfboard, not a turtle."
Mike blinked. "Excuse me? Last I checked, she was neither." Julia laughed as he stared at his oldest daughter in shock. Finally, he managed to stammer, "Want to clue in your old man?"
"Sam is upset ‘cause she's a surfboard, not a turtle." Julia took his arm and guided him into the living room.
"I'm still not following."
Julia rolled her eyes before huffing a long breath. "I'm a turtle, ‘cause my back goes, Snap Snap. Sam's doesn't."
He stared blankly at Julia. "Okay, I'm still not following, Sweetheart."
She lowered her head before blurting out, "Momma would have understood."
Mike recoiled a bit before regaining his composure. His wife had passed away two years ago and had dealt with everything female with their daughters. Now, he was fumbling through the world of pre-teenage hood alone.
"Then help me understand, Julia." His voice dropped as he tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes.
"Sam isn't growing...you know..." Her voice dropped off awkwardly as she gestured to the front of her chest. “... and the other girls at school are."
It was slowly dawning on Mike. "I see." There was another pause. "How, do I fix this?"
Julia's face shifted impishly. "All I need is your credit card."
"How was school today?" Mike called from the kitchen.
"I'm a turtle!" Sam called as she bounded through the house, into the kitchen. "Can we go and play catch?"
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