You might have caught this story on Facebook earlier in the week as a quite scary-looking dad was applauded for “sucking up all his pride” and taking his child’s toy out for the day? Here’s the real story about why this dad was photographed out solo with a nappy-clad newborn doll!
"SO, this guy comes into Goodwill today, he's a big dude. He has tattoos on his neck and arm and even a skull tattoo the…
(The initial post on Love What Matters’ Facebook page)
He’s 100 percent committed
When this tough-looking dad was issued a challenge by his daughter, he rose to the occasion and delivered big time. Keenan Watkins of Indiana may have been a little half-hearted when he agreed to his daughter’s initial request, but he soon realised he needed to be all in – and confidently fulfilled her challenge the very next day. Keenan explained:
“I am the proud parent of two amazing and complex young children. [Ash and Aayla] A few nights ago, while cooking dinner for them, Aayla asks me ‘Daddy Poo, will you take Davey with you tomorrow, everywhere you go?’ ”
“I absentmindedly replied ‘Yes, Baby Poo, of course I will.’ I then hear her become noticeably excited as she retorts ‘REALLY?!!!?’ It was at this point that I realized exactly what I had just agreed to, and there was no going back.”
Davey is Aayla’s baby doll, in case you hadn’t figured that bit out yet.
No let-downs. No lies.
Keenan said he wanted to be sure that he maintained the trust he’d built with his kids. Going full baby doll seemed like the only way to do that, so this great dad stepped up, big time.
“I do not purposely lie to my daughter, and I do not purposely let her down. ‘You know it, Squirrel! Me and my grandson are gonna do it all!’ You’ve probably noticed that in our family, little nicknames run rampant. I call her Baby Poo, Baby Girl, Baby Squirrel, Princess, Pony Princess…it goes on and on. Just a small way of letting her know that she is special, to me,” Keenan explained.
At this point the Baby’s Day Out guidelines were amped up to the next level by a gobsmacked-yet-delighted Miss Aayla.
“So, she now knows that I’m locked into this adventure, and decides to up the anti. ‘Daaaaaddy? Can you buy Davey some clothes while you’re out? He doesn’t have any that fit him right. And will you take pictures for me?'”
Davey’s day out
Keenan figured he had nothing to lose and everything to gain in the Dad of the Year stakes. He confirmed his 100 percent in position with his ‘grandson’ Davey the (non-attractive) newborn doll and agreed to these stringent new terms.
“I agree to this new added detail. See, Davey is her favorite doll. A yard sale doll that my wife had picked up for a dollar. Davey is a vintage ’80’s, anatomically correct, baby boy that many describe as being ugly, and not without merit, if you get my drift. But, Aayla (my daughter) absolutely adores Davey, calls him her son, and my grandson, treats him as if he is actually alive, etc.”
Keenan explained that Davey holds a special place in Aayla’s heart and revealed that a good night’s sleep did nothing to distract her from her baby doll’s welfare, happiness and adventuring goals.
“As she walks down the driveway towards the [school] bus, she turns and says ‘Don’t forget to go get Davey’s clothes, Daddy!’ Dang, lol, time to see what I’m really made of.”
“I retrieve Davey from his little sleeping area, and go searching the garage for a car seat. I should probably mention that at some point during dinner, she had interjected the fact that Davey will need to be strapped in, everywhere we go. Because, you know… safety.”
Keenan forged on with the job at hand, revealing via the Love What Matters Facebook page, just how the day played out. We find the pair outside US thrift chain Goodwill. Tag along…
“Davey and I go in, I grab a cart, strap him in (Daddy promised) and begin looking around, completely lost. I approach a young woman who appears to work there,” Keenan says.
“‘Miss, where are your clothes for little babies?’ Still smiling, but possibly a bit confused as she just saw the 250 pound, six foot two, tattooed man wearing a shirt that says “Punisher” who has what is clearly a doll strapped into his cart.”
Not to judge a book by its cover, but her confusion seems quite legit. #Punisher
“She kindly directs me to the back wall, where the newborn clothes are, doing her job without pause. I pick out a few outfits, try them on him to make sure they fit, but only two did, so I made my way to the cash register. I go to check out in the line of my favorite cashier, because she knows me, and definitely doesn’t judge me,” the seasoned thrift shopper explained.
Others in-store were a little more weirded out…
“I proceed to absolutely shock this beautiful little girl standing in line in front of me. She just can’t wrap her mind around why this big dummy has a perfectly good doll that she could be playing with! It was so cute and funny.”
“I took some more pics for Aayla, and we left,” Keenan recalls, his mission officially accomplished.
Keenan says he doesn’t feel his day out with Davey warrants the viral attention its received over the last few days, because he was just doing what a good dad should.
“I’m just a Daddy that wants his kids to truly understand that I love them,” he explained.
“I want them to be happy, and would gladly take on a potentially embarrassing situation, in order to keep my promise to them. Father of the year? Hardly. Father? You bet.”