Steve and Jessica Rold took their baby daughter to pick up their 2-year-old son at a local daycare.
But they received an unexpected and unsolicited parenting suggestion.
Staff at the daycare told the Rolds they should dress their daughter more "girly" so fellow children could tell she was a girl.
Because that's super important information for infants who don't even talk yet.
Instead of going on an online-tirade, the couple decided to mock the staff's idea with a now-viral Reddit post focusing on how absurd the whole situation was.
In SubReddit Daddit, Steve posted this photo along with the caption:
"a subreddit for Dads. Single Dads, new Dads, Step-Dads, tall Dads, short Dads, and any other kind of Dad. If you've got kids in your life that you love and provide for, come join us as we discuss everything from birth announcements to code browns in the shower."
The other fathers were supportive of Steve and shared their own experiences.
Reddit user MrTomDawson commented on the negative feedback he got from a relative because his 3-year-old son wears pink and speculated on their reaction if they saw his son doing ballet.
But Redditor JustNllt said as a 46-year-old man he wears pink and would share MrTomDawson's son's enthusiasm for a free ballet lesson if his time in the military had not made it physically impossible.
Steve Rold told Babble:
"A few of the older teachers at the daycare made suggestions to my wife that we should think about dressing our girl in more dresses.… or putting bows in her hair so that the other kids would know that she was a girl when my wife was there with her to pickup our 2-year-old son."
And that really nice "bow" in the photo of Steve's daughter got some definite Daddit admiration while poking some fun at gender stereotypes.
Steve also mentioned he and his wife often dress their daughter in their son's hand-me-downs, you know, since she's still physically unable to tell who she is in a mirror and has no concept of her own gender.
"We never bothered to find out the genders of our children ahead of time. So most of what my daughter wears at the moment are hand-me-downs we bought before we knew our son was even going to be a boy."
Redditor sqweexv shared his daughter's diverse tastes at 5-years-old: Hot Wheels cars, Minecraft, Pokemon, My Little Pony (MLP), Barbie, Lego, mermaids and more.
My Little Pony (MLP) and brony culture came up in the Daddit discussion more than once with one father speaking up for himself and all his brony bros.
The Rolds also made a point of saying they wouldn't really be offended by any potential gender mix-up anyway:
"We weren't really offended at all. If someone calls my daughter a boy that's fine, how should they know?"
But some men think they need to question boys who wear pink, even if it isn't their son, as Redditor ambitious_flosser shared. It's called toxic masculinity.
But more and more, society is beginning to recognize that not only girls need to be free to be themselves; so do boys.
And the point was made in the Daddit thread that "pink for girls" and "blue for boys" once was the opposite and no one died or spontaneously combusted because of clothing colors.
And either way, who cares? Why are people being pushed to color code their kids?
Although they aren't too angry about it, the Rolds have noticed differences in the way people treat their son and daughter and how willing strangers are to comment on their appearance based on their gender:
"We're already seeing that while our son received compliments like '[he's]such a fine strong boy,' once people know our second child is female, she gets lots of comments like 'what a beauty' or 'how sweet she is'."
It doesn't stop there:
"We also get a lot more when it comes to suggestions on things we should be doing with her," Rold adds, "which is funny because we really could have used that kind of information the first time around [after the birth of their son] when we were really making it up as we went along."
"But for whatever reason, it seems people feel more comfortable making suggestions for girls. Perhaps this is because they are trying to be protective or maybe it's because of some a societal tenet that makes people feel they have a bit more dominion over girls, I couldn't say."
Despite the strange, prevalent pressures placed on children and parents by society, it seems like the Rolds are doing a good job of keeping their priorities straight.
As did Daddit contributor RamiRok, who is fine with his son getting his nails painted when his twin sister does, so long as it makes his children happy.
Important things: making it clear your love for a child is unconditional, food, shelter.
Not important: wearing frilly pink dresses if you're a girl, wearing sturdy blue shirts if you're a boy.