Austin Steinbach posted his daughter’s school photo to Reddit on Tuesday, never imagining that she would become an Internet superhero in the blink of an eye.
But that’s what happens when your daughter is adorable dressed like Supergirl — and hugging her Superman doll like a best friend.
Kaylieann, 3, is a big fan of superheroes, Steinbach told The Huffington Post.
She’d worn her blue velvet Supergirl dress with a red cape so much over the last few weeks that her parents had to sneak it away from her to wash it, he told CBS News.
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She picks her own school outfits every morning and has dressed like superheroes before — Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, Anna from “Frozen.”
“Her school is amazing. They always love and look forward to ‘the superhero of the day’ or what she’s picked out to wear,” he said of Merryhill Preschool in Rocklin, California.
His daughter is 75 percent deaf in both ears and communicates mainly through sign language.
“Both her mom and I are hearing though,” he shared on Reddit. “We just got the news from her audiologist 5 months ago and are learning ASL now and love it. She's learning so much faster than us though!”
“I love how much her learning sign has opened up her expressiveness and vocabulary. It's so heartwarming to see her grow and become her self. We've started attending deaf groups and get-togethers once a month and it's helping her confidence (in) signing tenfold.”
He told Buzzfeed that Kaylieann likes using her hearing aids to her advantage, especially when it’s time to take a bath or go to bed.
“She loves to take them out then respond with a loud ‘HUH?’ since she then can’t hear me anymore,” he said.
Because she can’t hear the letter S, when she says “Superman” and “Supergirl” it sounds like “Pooterman” and “Pootergirl.”
On picture day, she told her dad she wanted to dress like “Pootergirl.”
“And well, I couldn’t argue with that answer,” he told The Huffington Post.
When he saw the finished photo he thought, “this is such a KJ picture.”
“What really made it was her arm placement around Superman, which made it look like a prom picture; that really made it even cuter,” he told Buzzfeed.
“The reaction and turnout from the deaf community is amazing,” he told The Huffington Post. “I still haven’t been able to get through all the messages of support and kind words people have sent me. I could never have imagined how much her picture could have touched so many.”
One Reddit user, blown away by Kaylieann’s journey, gave her this super shout-out: “It’s not stopping her from being awesome.”