Daddy-Daughter Podcast 2023

From age 4 to age 15.

Cory Doctorow
4 min readDec 11, 2023

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If you’d like an essay-formatted version of this post to read or share, here’s a link to it on pluralistic.net, my surveillance-free, ad-free, tracker-free blog:

https://pluralistic.net/2023/12/11/daddy-daughter-2023/#not-bye

11 years ago, my kid’s daycare surprised us by announcing that they were closing for Christmas break a day before everyone else, so I ended up with our then-four-year-old daughter, Poesy, at my office for the day.

After she got bored with coloring and playing with my office toys, I sat her down on my lap in front of my podcast mic and we recorded the greatest, all-singing episode of my podcast ever:

https://craphound.com/news/2012/12/21/happy-hols/

Thus began an annual tradition. Every year since — save one, when my mic was busted — we have recorded a podcast: I interview the kid about her favorite media, apps, books, and hobbies. Sometimes, she gives a tutorial. Then, we sing a song.

She’s 15 now (!), and I still managed to drag her to the mic this weekend. We discussed her musical favorites, old (Ike and Tina singing “Proud Mary”) and new (Dominic Fyke). We discuss high school, volunteering at the zoo, and the rigors of dance team. She teaches us how to drive. She runs down her favorite apps, and discusses her recent name change. And then, we sing!

https://craphound.com/news/2023/12/10/daddy-daughter-podcast-2023-edition/

This is the eleventh installment in this time-series snapshots of my kid, starting in London, then moving to LA, and every year I go back and listen to the previous recordings. It’s not just a wonderful moment of nostalgia for me — it’s also a powerful way to put everything into perspective. Anyone who’s kept a journal (or a blog!) knows, the act of regular record-keeping, combined with regular revisiting of those records, turns the impressionistic jumble of memory into a clear picture of your life and its trajectory. We remember so poorly, but our treacherous minds fill in those omissions with whatever’s going on right now, so if times are good now, we remember all times as good. If times are bad, everything seems bad.

The following year sees Poesy far more confident and even funnier — and excited about working at the zoo someday:

https://craphound.com/news/2013/12/23/christmastime-daddy-daughter-podcast-with-poesy/

At six, Poesy has learned a little French, and some naughty words for Jingle Bells (and she’s got a lot more vocal control!):

https://craphound.com/news/2014/12/22/podcast-happy-xmas-guest-starring-poesy/

At seven, Poesy is living in Los Angeles and my mic is very busted, but Poesy knows all the words to Frosty and she’s got the barrelhouse walkout nailed:

https://craphound.com/news/2015/12/25/podcast-happy-xmas-guest-starring-poesy-2/

We didn’t manage to record the next year, so we catch up with Poesy at nine, with her English accent all but gone — but her memory for lyrics is better than ever (who knew there were so many choruses to “Deck the Halls?”). This is the first time I interviewed her, for an in-depth discussion of how to make slime (remember slime?):

https://craphound.com/news/2017/12/23/reviving-my-christmas-daddy-daughter-podcast-with-poesy/

At ten, Poesy is now watching online makeup tutorials and has lots of advice for you, and is super into squishies:

https://craphound.com/news/2018/12/24/christmas-podcast-with-poesy-2018-edition/

At eleven, Poesy’s no longer willing to sing, but she has lots of information about riding horses. This is the first year that she’s got her own music preferences, with half of them being contemporary artists like Billie Eilish and the other half being older acts like Queen. This is also the year that she got rid of all her old toys, books and clothes, because they were “not her style”:

https://craphound.com/podcast/2019/12/20/my-annual-daddy-daughter-xmas-podcast-interview-with-an-11-year-old/

Twelve sees us podcasting from covid lockdown. No song this year, but she’s playing video games (Among Us), thrifting (while double-masked), and she’s just discovered Tiktok, along with Tiktok dances, and she’s started to find cool music that I enjoy:

https://craphound.com/news/2020/12/11/daddy-daughter-podcast-2020-edition/

At thirteen, Poe’s a high school freshman and the singing is back! She’s big into Drag Race and Ru Paul. And high school sucks so hard that she’d rather go back to Zoom school. She’s still riding horses, and she’s fallen in love with a book for the first time in years: Animal Farm (but she hates the ending):

https://craphound.com/news/2021/12/23/daddy-daughter-podcast-2021-edition/

Last year, Poesy was fourteen, and my office had just flooded out in a freak rainstorm. Poesy has discovered her argumentative nature, and she loves hiking in nearby Angeles National Forest. She’s getting into hiphop — Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Cyprus Hill — and South Park (also Fleetwood Mac!). We get a lot about Big Mouth, and a long discussion of her short fiction writing:

https://craphound.com/podcast/2022/12/12/daddy-daughter-podcast-2022-edition/

These annual time-capsules are just tremendous. I may not have had the discipline to do daily, time-lapse ready photo portraits, but this corny, silly yearly tradition is more than a way for my kid and me to spend a few minutes together just before Christmas — they’re a way to connect to our past and think about the future to come. I can imagine doing these over Zoom when the kid’s away at university in a couple years, though who knows if she’ll stand for that.

Here’s the podcast episode:

https://craphound.com/news/2023/12/10/daddy-daughter-podcast-2023-edition/

And here’s a direct link to the MP3 (hosting courtesy of the Internet Archive — they’ll host your stuff for free, forever):

https://archive.org/download/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_457/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_457_-_Daddy_Daughter_Podcast_2023_Edition.mp3

And here’s the RSS feed for my podcast:

https://feeds.feedburner.com/doctorow_podcast

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