As a first-time parent, the hardest thing for me to deal with is seeing my daughter in any kind of pain. When Meghan had to have a tooth pulled at barely 3 years old, it took every fiber of my being to hold myself back from dragging the dentist away from my daughter every time she even flinched. And when she screamed as the tooth came out, I very "calmly" and "casually" mentioned to the dentist that if he continued to hurt my baby, I could easily inflict an equal amount of pain on him. This was strictly to keep things in the universe balanced, of course. Needless to say, my wife received a phone call later that day suggesting that she bring Meghan to all of her dental appointments from then on. But seeing my daughter in distress, feeling helpless that I can't make it better for her, has always been hard for me to take. Likewise, it was a rough week for all of us recently when Meghan came down with her first serious ear infection.

It is heart-wrenching to see Meghan sick and moving so slowly. It's a huge change from her usual manic, ball-of-energy personality. And having to deal with the pain of an ear infection? That must be brutal for a 5 year old. But the toughest thing for me this time was keeping Meghan out of our pool. Meghan loves the water—so much that sometimes I think she might really be a fish in little girl's clothing. She had to stay out of the water for a full week while on her medication. All she could do was stare out the window into our backyard, all during one of the hottest weeks of the summer. Yet, Meghan was a trooper about it, as she is about most bad situations. Sometimes I think that even as the parent and the adult, I could take a few lessons from her. I will be sure to keep that in mind if I ever take Meghan back to the dentist.