For little Fox Whitten, that meant sitting with his dad in the shower for almost two hours.
When Thomas’s wife walked in on the scene, she was so moved she took a photo – and now, that photo is doing the rounds on the internet.
“I snapped a couple of pictures,” Heather Whitten told TODAY Parents.
“It was just beautiful. It was not surprising or anything out of the ordinary; it’s how he has always been with the kids.”
Despite the photo being taken almost two years ago, Heather has only recently decided to post it online in an effort to illustrate a point about how photos can be misunderstood.
Naturally, because this is the Internet, a whole lot of people misunderstood it anyway, reporting it to Facebook as "sexual content" and causing it to be banned twice.
While Heather comments that "some people missed the story or didn't even look past the nudity", the response to the image has been overwhelmingly positive, with the photo receiving more than 30,000 shares and 130,000 likes on Facebook.
And while some naysayers call the picture "disgusting", other commenters are calling Thomas's actions "parenting at it's best" and saying he is "the perfect dad."
It turns out, though, that the Whitten family doesn't really care what anyone else thinks.
"My family may be different than yours," writes Heather on the post. "But, that doesn't make your way right or my way wrong."
What do you think about the photo?
Everyone has parenting ups and downs, including sick kids. Watch the Mamamia Team confess to the times they felt like terrible mothers.