It only took five days of his college-aged daughter being home for the holidays before Dan Howard cracked.
First, it was the heavy suitcase with the broken wheel that he had to lug through the airport when he picked up Shannon. It weighed “150 pounds,” Howard said, but he managed.
Then, it was the friends his daughter had over to the house, who stayed up past 3 a.m. baking cookies and cupcakes, and chit-chatting in the kitchen. He didn’t mind. No, really. Not at all. He enjoys the smell of baked goods in the middle of the night, and sleep is overrated.
But what pushed Howard over the edge, and inspired him to create a humorous, now-viral two-minute Facebook video rant about his daughter’s escapades, was tripping over the 20-year-old’s oversized luggage — two different times.
“I said, ‘This is it,’ ” said Howard, who lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, with his family. “I grabbed my computer and ran upstairs.”
When he got there, Howard stood against a wall and fired up the camera. What followed was a long-winded, tongue-in-cheek rehash of Shannon’s visit so far, titled, “day 5 of having my college kid home — Merry Christmas.”
In the witty video, Howard bemoans, among other things, his daughter’s friends singing catchy tunes late into the evening, keeping him from getting any shuteye before work; milk going sour after being left out all night; and, of course, the luggage and clothes piled up around the house, strategically left exactly where people walk.
Jumping over the piles, Howard says in the video, a grimace on his face, is “very good for the quads. Very good for the quads and the calves.”
“We love to have her,” Howard says in the video, staring toward the ceiling with a look on his face that screams, “I’m lying.”
“It’s really great to have her home from college,” he says.
After Shannon, who is a junior at High Point University in North Carolina, and a few of Howard’s Facebook friends shared the video with others, it seemed to immediately resonate with parents all over. As of Thursday night, just a few days after it first went live, the video had more than 1.4 million views and counting.
Howard, who is originally from Medford, told the Globe in a telephone interview that he never expected he’d get so much attention for something he thought would be a simple joke shared with friends and family.
“I’ve been getting these massive requests and shares. It’s crazy,” he said. “I think my biggest Facebook post ever was 19 likes.”
This one has hit 13,000 and has shown no signs of slowing down.
The father of three said although he cracks jokes at his daughter’s expense in the video, it’s all in good fun.
“We all love them to death,” he said of being a parent. “But five days in, we are like, ‘Jeepers creepers!’ But they’re all good kids.”
Shannon is home until Jan. 15, then she’s off to do a semester abroad. He loves her — no question about it. But already, Howard is checking off the days on his calendar until winter break is done.
“We have the countdown going — and it’s not for Santa,” he said.